Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: June 7, 2022

Seven states hold midterm primaries, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson survives a no-confidence vote, and more.

1

7 states hold midterm primaries

Voters head to the polls on Tuesday for midterm primary elections in California, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota. In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), Sen. Alex Padilla (D), and Attorney General Rob Bonta (D) are all expected to win their respective primary races. In the tight race for Los Angeles mayor, Rep. Karen Bass (D) and former Republican billionaire Rick Caruso are likely headed for a runoff. Former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who served in the Trump administration, is running for the House in Montana's newly formed 1st Congressional District. In Mississippi, incumbent Rep. Steve Palazzo (R) is hoping to fend off six primary challengers.

2

U.K.'s Boris Johnson to stay in office after surviving no-confidence vote

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson survived a vote of no-confidence Monday night that could have resulted in his removal from office. The final vote was 211 to 148, and he needed a simple majority of 180 votes to survive. Johnson has been embroiled in scandal for months over revelations of parties at 10 Downing Street that broke his own government's COVID-19 lockdown rules. The vote of no-confidence was initiated by 54 discontented members of Johnson's own Conservative Party. Johnson surviving the vote means he can't face a vote of no-confidence for another year, though the large number of Tory MPs who voted against him is widely viewed as leaving him politically weakened.

3

2 suspects charged in connection with Philadelphia mass shooting

Police in Philadelphia arrested 34-year-old Rashaan Vereen on Monday in connection with a mass shooting that left three people dead and 11 wounded in the city's South Street district on Saturday night. He has been charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, and other charges. Quran Garner, 18, was previously arrested and charged with aggravated assault and assault on law enforcement officers. Garner was taken to the hospital on the night of the shooting after a police officer shot him in the hand. The incident reportedly grew out of an altercation that involved Vareen and his friend, Gregory Jackson, on one side, and Garner and a man identified as Micah Towns on the other.

4

Proud Boys charged with seditious conspiracy in DOJ Jan. 6 investigation

Five members of the Proud Boys — including former leader Enrique Tarrio — were indicted Monday for seditious conspiracy in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. The charges match the most serious brought by the Justice Department in its investigation of the attack. The new indictment against Tarrio, Joseph Biggs, Ethan Nordean, Zachary Rehl, and Dominic Pezzola was unsealed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. The five men had already been charged with conspiracy and other crimes back in March — they pleaded not guilty. So far, the only other defendants in the Jan. 6 investigation charged with seditious conspiracy are Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes and 10 of his associates.

5

Zelensky: Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk are 'dead cities'

Weeks of intense fighting have taken a devastating toll on the eastern Ukrainian cities of Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Monday. They are both "dead cities," he added, the latest casualties of Russian artillery and ground assaults. Ukrainian forces are outnumbered by Russian troops in Sievierodonetsk, where battles are taking place from street to street amid heavy shelling. Russia is aiming to capture Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk in an attempt to secure control over Ukraine's entire Luhansk Oblast.

6

Mexico's president will skip U.S.-hosted Summit of the Americas

The ninth Summit of the Americas officially began Monday in Los Angeles, marking the first time the U.S. has hosted the meeting of North American, South American, Central American, and Caribbean leaders since the inaugural pan-American summit in 1994. President Biden, who arrives at the summit on Wednesday, plans to focus on crafting a cooperative economic vision for the Americas, fighting climate change, tackling food insecurity, tightening supply chains, and managing migration. But the summit's agenda has so far been overshadowed by disagreements over its guest list. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador confirmed Monday that he will not attend, citing Biden's decision not to invite Cuba, Venezuela, or Nicaragua. The White House says at least 23 heads of government will attend.

7

Amazon shares up after 20-for-1 stock split

Amazon's 20-for-1 stock split, announced in March, took effect Monday, giving shareholders who owned stock as of May 27 an additional 19 shares for every share they owned while keeping the total value of their holdings the same. Share prices responded positively, rising 2 percent to $124.79. "Stock splits are certainly associated with successful stocks," said Steve Sosnick, chief strategist at Interactive Brokers, while Peng Cheng of JPMorgan said the split could drive more investors to buy stock in the e-commerce giant, now that each share doesn't cost $2,500. "Psychologically, it doesn't feel good to spend $1,000 and own a third of a share," he said.

8

Russia returns bodies of Azovstal defenders to Ukraine

Russia has returned to Ukraine the bodies of 160 fighters who died defending the Azovstal steel works in Mariupol, The Associated Press reported Monday night. Ukraine announced Saturday that it had recently exchanged the bodies of 160 Russian servicemen for those of 160 Ukrainian troops, but the announcement did not mention that the bodies came from the Azovstal plant. Anna Holovko, a spokeswoman for Ukraine's Azov Battalion, said some of the remains have been taken to Kyiv for DNA testing so they can be identified. The Azov Battalion played a key role in holding the Azovstal plant for nearly three months after the rest of the city had fallen.

9

Georgetown law professor resigns after tweet investigation

Libertarian-conservative legal scholar Ilya Shapiro announced Monday that he has resigned from his position at Georgetown University, just days after the university reinstated him following a lengthy investigation into a tweet he sent in January. In that tweet, Shapiro criticized President Biden's decision to nominate a "lesser black woman" to the Supreme Court. Shapiro was cleared on a technicality, but the school's diversity office also warned that if he were to "make another, similar or more serious remark" it would likely create "a hostile environment based on race, gender, and sex." Shapiro claimed that it would be impossible to work under such conditions and that Georgetown's administration had "created a hostile work environment for me."

10

Gas prices jump 30 cents in the past week

The American Automobile Association reported Tuesday that the national average gas price has reached $4.92 per gallon, an increase of 30 cents in the past week and 62 cents in the past month. A gallon of regular gas costs $5 or more in 13 states plus the District of Columbia. In California, which has the nation's highest gas prices at $6.37 per gallon, pain at the pump could put Orange County districts that swung Democratic during the Trump years back in play for Republicans, The New York Times reports. A year ago, the national average gas price was $3.05 per gallon. On Tuesday, Georgia had the cheapest gas in the country, averaging $4.33 per gallon.

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