5 things to know for June 22: Primaries, Gun laws, January 6, Ukraine, Bill Cosby
By Alexandra Meeks, CNN
If you’re among the millions of Americans who are still waiting on your tax refund from 2021, we have good news for you. The IRS announced it will finally finish processing last year’s tax return backlog this week — meaning your refund will soon make its way to your mailbox or bank account.
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The primary season continued Tuesday with more elections in Alabama, Georgia, Virginia and Washington, DC. In Alabama, Katie Britt, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, became the state’s Republican candidate for Senate, CNN projected. Trump had initially endorsed Rep. Mo Brooks but withdrew that support in March after Brooks made comments urging Trump supporters to move past the 2020 election. In Georgia, though, two Trump-endorsed GOP House candidates lost their respective primary runoffs. Tuesday’s elections also set the matchups for several key House races in Virginia and Georgia. And in Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser won her Democratic primary and is now poised to win a third term.
2. Gun laws
The Senate on Tuesday cast a key vote to advance newly released bipartisan gun safety legislation, a major step moving the bill forward as lawmakers face pressure to respond to the recent string of mass shootings. The bill still has a number of hurdles to clear, however. In the Senate, it will face two more major votes — first to break a filibuster and then on final passage. The vote to break a filibuster will be a critical, high-stakes moment for the legislation since it will require 60 votes to advance, which means at least 10 Republicans will need to join Democrats in support. This latest move to advance the bill is the clearest sign yet that it will likely overcome that filibuster. If so, the bill will go on to a final passage vote. The House would then need to take up the measure.
3. January 6
The House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol held its fourth public hearing on Tuesday, focusing on then-President Donald Trump’s pressure campaign on officials in states like Georgia and Arizona, where the 2020 election results were close. The panel featured testimony from three Republican officials who were all on the receiving end of Trump’s outreach after the election — and all testified about their unwillingness to participate in schemes that would undermine the election. Multiple witnesses also told the committee that Trump was personally involved in the effort to put forward slates of fake electors in key battleground states — a key part of the broader effort to overturn President Joe Biden’s legitimate election victory.
As Russia’s war in Ukraine grinds on, US Attorney General Merrick Garland said a new accountability team will be formed to identify and prosecute anyone who committed war crimes in Ukraine. The team, according to Garland, will be led by the Justice Department’s best-known Nazi hunter Eli Rosenbaum — who helped the department to strip citizenship from or deport accused Nazis in more than 100 cases. The announcement is a strong signal from the department that it is interested in investigating war crimes in Ukraine and follows a previous effort to lock down the assets of Russian oligarchs. Meanwhile, heavy fighting is taking place in southern Ukraine, according to Ukrainian officials. And in Kherson, which has been under Russian control since March, more activists, politicians and journalists are reported to have been abducted.
5. Bill Cosby
A jury in Los Angeles found embattled comedian Bill Cosby liable in a civil case brought by Judy Huth, a woman who claimed he sexually assaulted her as a teenager in the 1970s. The jury, comprised of eight women and four men, awarded Huth $500,000 in damages. “It has been so many years, so many tears,” Huth said, reacting to the verdict. Through his lawyers, Cosby, 84, has denied all allegations of sexual misconduct. Since 2005, more than 50 women have come forward to accuse Cosby of sexual assault. After being convicted of assault, Cosby served just under three years in a Pennsylvania state prison before his conviction was overturned on appeal. He was released from prison in September 2021.
Biden will call for 3-month suspension of gas tax
President Biden will call on Congress in a speech today to suspend federal gasoline and diesel taxes until the end of September, administration officials said, framing the move as necessary to provide relief to Americans but itself not enough to resolve the problem of surging energy prices. Biden will also call on states to take steps to remove their own taxes on gas and diesel, and he’ll tell oil refining companies to increase their capacity ahead of their planned meeting later this week with administration officials.
THIS JUST IN
Earthquake hits eastern Afghanistan
More than 900 people are feared dead and hundreds more hurt after a magnitude 5.9 earthquake hit eastern Afghanistan today, according to state-run news agency Bakhtar. The earthquake struck about 28.5 miles southwest of the city of Khost, near the country’s border with Pakistan.
NFL star Rob Gronkowski announces his retirement
Eleven seasons and four Super Bowl rings later, Gronk is hanging up his cleats for the second time.
This Ivy League school is eliminating student loans for undergraduates
Thanks to generous donors, many students at this prestigious institution will graduate debt-free.
Where is the healthiest US community?
Click here to see if you live in one of the healthiest communities in the US!
Meet the first Mexican-born woman sworn in to Congress
Republican Rep. Mayra Flores of Texas made history on Tuesday.
Dave Chappelle said his former high school theater will no longer be named after him
Some of the comedian’s recent comments and jokes have stirred up controversy.
That’s how much Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov auctioned off his 2021 Nobel Peace Prize for — with all proceeds donated to help Ukrainian child refugees. About 7.5 million Ukrainian children have been deeply affected by the ongoing conflict, including being separated from family, lacking basic supplies and resources, and facing the daily threat of explosives, according to UNICEF.
“You could never ask a child to go back or a teacher to go back to that school. Ever.”
— The mayor of Uvalde, Texas, saying Robb Elementary school will be demolished, after a gunman opened fire inside a classroom, killing 19 children and two teachers on May 24. On Tuesday, Mayor Don McLaughlin sharply criticized the authorities leading the investigation into the shooting and said he and other city officials have never been briefed on how the investigation is going. The mayor also said he requested body camera video from all agencies that responded to the shooting and hasn’t received any.
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