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Here’s what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.
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1. January 6
The House select committee investigating the US Capitol insurrection on January 6, 2021, will hold its first prime-time televised hearing today at 8 p.m. ET. The committee’s central mission has been to uncover the full scope of former President Donald Trump’s unprecedented attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election and stop the transfer of power to President Joe Biden. These highly choreographed hearings will be the panel’s first opportunity to show the public what it’s learned from more than 1,000 witness interviews and 135,000 documents during its 10-month investigation. Today’s hearing will also shine a spotlight on the nine-member committee, which features seven Democrats and two Republicans, and set the stage for subsequent hearings in the coming days.
2. Gun violence
Victims of the Uvalde elementary school massacre and other recent mass shootings gave first-hand descriptions of the horrors of gun violence at a House committee meeting on Wednesday. In a pre-recorded video, 11-year-old Miah Cerrillo, a fourth-grade student at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, described trying to hide behind her teacher’s desk and covering herself in blood in an attempt to survive. It marked a rare moment for Congress to hear testimony from someone as young as Cerrillo on a subject as sensitive and disturbing as gun violence. Family members of shooting victims also made passionate pleas for gun legislation. The hearing, however, clearly displayed the partisan divide in the debate on guns as Democrats urged stronger gun control, while Republicans pushed back on restrictions.
Ukrainian officials say they are considering pulling back troops to more fortified positions as intense fighting continues for the key eastern city of Severodonetsk, the epicenter of the confrontation in Donbas region. “The Russians are destroying everything,” Serhiy Hayday, head of the Luhansk regional military administration, said in a televised announcement Wednesday, “They are firing tanks and artillery at residential buildings,” he added. Separately, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned that “millions of people may starve” if Russia continues its blockade of Ukraine’s ports. The UN secretary-general made similar remarks Wednesday, saying the war threatens to “unleash an unprecedented wave of hunger and destitution” around the world.
The White House is set to announce a Covid-19 vaccine rollout plan today for children under 5. The Biden administration is partnering with state and local governments, health care providers, federal pharmacy partners, national and community-based organizations and other entities to ship and distribute vaccines across the country following next week’s meeting of the FDA’s vaccine advisers — who will review data on vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna — and the expected authorization from the full FDA. Following that expected authorization, the first vaccinations could start as early as the week of June 20 — with the program ramping up as more doses are delivered and more appointments become available, the White House wrote in a fact sheet.
The immigration challenges facing the Biden administration along the southern border are “beyond anything that anyone has seen before,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told CNN Wednesday. US officials have said immigration will be a key focus of a summit of regional leaders taking place this week in Los Angeles. Notably, however, the leaders of several countries that are crucial to addressing the influx of migrants at the border — including Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala — are boycotting the summit, dealing an embarrassing blow to the White House at a time when it is scrambling to handle the issue. At the US southern border, US Customs and Border Protection stopped more than 310,000 migrants from the Northern Triangle of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador from October through April, according to the latest agency data.
Disney apologizes to couple after employee ruins their proposal
Watch the not-so-magical moment here… it’s so awkward and uncomfortable.
Foo Fighters announce two tribute shows to honor late band member
The band is set to perform in London and Los Angeles to honor the life of their former drummer Taylor Hawkins.
‘Black Adam’ trailer unveils Dwayne Johnson as DC’s latest antihero
The Hollywood titan and wrestling legend plays DC’s latest warrior with super strength. Very fitting.
NFL’s first out trans cheerleader readies for her Carolina Panthers debut
Meet Justine Lindsay, the first out transgender woman to cheer in the NFL.
How a female Buddhist monk became one of Asia’s most revered chefs
This vegetarian “temple cuisine” showcases the best of Korean produce.
That’s how many more votes Mehmet Oz received in Pennsylvania’s Senate GOP primary, defeating Dave McCormick. According to a recount of the votes, Oz — a celebrity heart surgeon endorsed by former President Trump — received 419,999 votes (31.1%) while McCormick received 419,048 votes (31.0%), the commonwealth’s acting secretary of state said Wednesday. Oz will now move forward to face Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman in one of the nation’s marquee Senate races of this year’s midterm elections.
“As the President has consistently made clear, public officials — including judges — must be able to do their jobs without concern for their personal safety or that of their families. And any violence, threats of violence, or attempts to intimidate justices have no place in our society.”
— White House spokesman Andrew Bates, saying President Biden strongly condemns the actions of the armed individual arrested near Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s house in Maryland on Wednesday. The man, Nicholas John Roske, 26, of Simi Valley, California, was charged with attempting or threatening to kidnap or murder a US judge.
Don’t hit the snooze button
Watch this 2-minute video to learn why hitting the snooze button for a few extra minutes of sleep causes more harm than good. (Click here to view)