10 things you need to know today: June 17, 2023

Biden to hold first rally since announcing re-election bid, Blinken to arrive in China for tension-filled talks, and more

President Joe Biden.
(Image credit: Bing Guan / Bloomberg via Getty Images)

1. Biden to hold first rally since announcing re-election bid

President Biden will hold his first rally on Saturday since announcing his re-election bid for 2024, speaking to a crowd of union workers at an AFL-CIO gathering in Philadelphia. Biden has called himself the "most pro-union" president ever, and has received endorsements from the AFL-CIO as well as a slate of other large unions. There are a number of labor groups backing Biden earlier this year than they did in 2020, The Hill reported, and a recent survey cited by the outlet showed that six in 10 union members supported Biden that year. The president will also tour the recently collapsed I-95 bridge, which has caused problems for one of the nation's largest traffic arteries.

The Hill The Philadelphia Inquirer

2. Blinken to arrive in China for tension-filled talks

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will arrive in China this weekend for a series of talks with senior Chinese officials. While it is unclear if Blinken will meet with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, the secretary of state's visit comes four months after his initial trip was postponed due to the discovery of a Chinese spy balloon flying over the United States. While the balloon was eventually shot down by the U.S., it caused already chilly tensions between the two nations to increase. Beijing has repeatedly pushed back on attempts by Blinken to reschedule the meetings, but officials have said that his trip will be part of an ongoing effort to try and "de-risk" China.

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Politico The Washington Post

3. Putin confirms arrival of nuclear weapons in Belarus

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday confirmed that a batch of nuclear weapons had been moved to Belarus. The Russian president said that the weapons would only be used if his country was threatened, but also claimed that the stationing of nuclear arms in neighboring Belarus was a "warning" to the West. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken cautioned the move, but added that "we don't see any indications that Russia is preparing to use a nuclear weapon." Russia will continue to move nukes into Belarus throughout the summer, Putin said, but again claimed that he has no plans to use these weapons unless provoked.

BBC News Bloomberg

4. At least 40 killed in rebel attack on Ugandan school

At least 40 people, most of whom were students, died Friday when rebels linked to ISIS attacked a school in Uganda, marking one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in the nation's history. Around 20 members of the armed group, known as the Allied Democratic Forces, encroached on the Lhubirira secondary school late in the day and began attacking the teachers and students inside. Many of those who were killed were hacked to death by machetes, and others died when the school's dormitories were set on fire, Ugandan military spokesman Felix Kulayigye said in a statement. Another six people were also kidnapped by the group, and efforts to locate them are ongoing.

The New York Times CNN

5. Fox News producer out after network called Biden a ‘wannabe dictator’

The Fox News producer deemed responsible for an on-air chyron that called President Biden a "wannabe dictator" has left the network. Alex McCaskill, the former managing editor and producer of the canceled "Tucker Carlson Tonight," confirmed on Instagram that he had left the network, with rumors circulating that he had resigned. The news comes just days after the former "Tonight" timeslot aired a side-by-side video of Biden with former President Donald Trump, with the onscreen message reading, "Wannabe dictator speaks at the White House after having his political rival arrested." The chyron generated furor from both Democrats and the Biden administration. In a statement, Fox said the message had been "addressed," but did not elaborate further.

The Guardian The Associated Press

6. Stoltenberg expected to extend another year as NATO head

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is expected to be asked to remain as head of the intergovernmental group for at least another year, it was reported Friday. News of Stoltenberg's likely continuance comes as reports emerged that NATO has struggled to find a replacement for the Norwegian politician, who has served as NATO's secretary general since 2014. A former prime minister of Norway, Stoltenberg has already had his term extended three times and is currently scheduled to step down this September, though it appears that is likely to change. Sources told Reuters that Stoltenberg continues to have broad support among NATO members and is an "effective leader" in the growing alliance.


7. Man gets nearly 5 years for attacking police officer on Jan. 6

A Florida man was sentenced Friday to nearly five years in prison for attacking a police officer during the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Mason Joel Courson, 27, was sentenced to four years and nine months for assaulting, resisting, or impeding a law enforcement officer with a dangerous weapon, according to a filing from the U.S. Justice Department. He will also undergo 36 months of supervision upon his release. Courson pleaded guilty to the charge this past November, after prosecutors said he had been part of the mob that attacked the Capitol and beat a police officer with a baton, causing numerous physical injuries. Courson was one of nine defendants in an ongoing case.

The Washington Post The Associated Press

8. Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg dies at 92

Daniel Ellsberg, the military analyst who leaked the Pentagon Papers detailing American actions during the Vietnam War, died Friday at the age of 92. Ellsberg's family confirmed that he had passed away at his home in Kensington, California, from pancreatic cancer, which he had been diagnosed with this past February. A military analyst working for the Pentagon, Ellsberg published an extensive record of American involvement in Vietnam in 1971. They would come to be known as the Pentagon Papers and shockingly revealed that multiple presidential administrations continued the war despite coming to believe that it was a "no-win" scenario. The leak would eventually become the beginning of Richard Nixon's downfall as president.


9. King Charles rides in first Trooping the Colour parade as monarch

King Charles III rode in the first "Trooping the Colour" parade of his reign on Saturday, during a ceremony marking the official birthday of the British sovereign. The festivities typically draw massive crowds to London, and are deemed a public birthday celebration for the country's king (whose actual birthday is in November and is generally a private occasion). Charles rode on horseback to join 1,500 soldiers during a ceremony past Buckingham Palace. This was the first time the monarch has ridden in a Trooping the Colour event since 1986, when Charles' mother, Queen Elizabeth II, led the parade on horseback for her last time.


10. Comedian Pete Davidson charged with reckless driving after crash

Comedian and former "Saturday Night Live" cast member Pete Davidson was charged Friday with reckless driving following a car crash this past March. Davidson faces a single misdemeanor count after he allegedly crashed his vehicle into a home in the upscale Los Angeles neighborhood of Beverly Hills. In a statement, prosecutors said that Davidson "engaged in reckless driving, which ultimately resulted in his involvement in a serious collision into a home. Luckily, no one was seriously injured as a result of this collision." Davidson's arraignment has been set for July 27, and he could face anywhere from a fine to 90 days in jail if convicted.

ABC News

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Justin Klawans

Justin Klawans is a staff writer at The Week. Based in Chicago, he was previously a breaking news reporter for Newsweek, writing breaking news and features for verticals including politics, U.S. and global affairs, business, crime, sports, and more. His reporting has been cited on many online platforms, in addition to CBS' The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

He is also passionate about entertainment and sports news, and has covered film, television, and casting news as a freelancer for outlets like Collider and United Press International, as well as Chicago sports news for Fansided.