6.13.2022

Gun Reform Deal, Heat Waves, and How the World Laughs Everything you need to know today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Monday, June 13, and we're covering an emerging bipartisan gun reform bill, blistering temperatures in the US Southwest, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].

PS—Happy Flag Day!

 

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NEED TO KNOW

 

Gun Reform Deal

Lawmakers have reached a tentative agreement on a package of gun reform measures, a group of bipartisan senators announced yesterday. The proposal follows high-profile mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas. 

 

The legislation reportedly provides increased resources for mental health and school safety, incentivizes states to enact red flag laws (see 101), and requires expanded criminal and mental health background checks for buyers under the age of 21. It also closes the "boyfriend loophole." The details of the bill still need to be translated into legislative text. 

 

Negotiations included 20 senators, 10 from each side—a sign that sufficient bipartisan support exists to overcome the 60-vote filibuster threshold. The package is likely to be considered in the coming days. 

 

The announcement came one day after thousands marched in gun violence protests around the country, including an estimated 40,000 in Washington, DC. 

Early Summer Heat Waves

More than 80 million Americans were under heat advisories over the weekend as a stalled heat wave scorched much of the US Southwest. Phoenix and Las Vegas matched daily records Saturday at 114 and 109 degrees, respectively, while California's Death Valley saw temperatures reach 120 degrees. 

 

Coming less than two weeks into meteorological summer, the heat stretched eastward as the weekend proceeded. Most of Texas saw triple digits, with large parts of Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, and more under heat advisories. 

 

The jet stream is expected to lift northward throughout the week, bringing high temperatures to much of the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic. Some forecasts suggest Chicago will hit triple digits for the first time in a decade. 

 

One enterprising Arizona man has used the heat to cook various dinners inside his parked car. (w/video)

French Elections

French voters cast ballots yesterday in the first round of parliamentary elections to fill the country's 577-seat National Assembly. The outcome will determine whether President Emmanuel Macron, elected to a second term in April, will retain a legislative majority. 

 

The centrist Macron has faced a surging opposition effort spearheaded by veteran liberal politician Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who finished third in the presidential race. Mélenchon has assembled a coalition of progressive, leftist, and environmental parties around a platform of expanding the country's social safety net, raising taxes and the minimum wage, and lowering the retirement age.

 

Analysts say frustration with major parties has led to a drop in voter enthusiasm. Early returns suggest less than 50% of eligible voters cast ballots yesterday, the lowest level in modern French history. 

 

The determinative second round of elections is scheduled for next Sunday.

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IN THE KNOW

 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Tampa Bay Lightning top New York Rangers 4-2 to advance to third straight Stanley Cup Final (More) | Lightning will face Colorado Avalanche in Game 1 Wednesday (8 pm ET, ABC); see full series preview (More)

 

> "A Strange Loop" wins Best Musical, “The Lehman Trilogy” wins Best Play at 75th Tony Awards; see full list of winners (More) | Justin Bieber reveals facial paralysis from Ramsay Hunt syndrome (More)

 

> Steph Curry scores 43 points in Golden State's Game 4 win over Boston in NBA Finals; series tied at 2-2 (More) | Mo Donegal wins 154th Belmont Stakes; Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike finishes sixth (More)

Science & Technology

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> US monkeypox tally hits at least 45 cases across 15 states and the District of Columbia; global case count passes 1,300 across 31 countries (More) | See US map (More)

 

> Free-floating black hole potentially discovered for the first time in the Milky Way; new detection approach relies on the distortion of nearby starlight by the black hole's gravitational field (More)

 

> Genetic analysis confirms discovery of a living Fernandina Island Galápagos giant tortoise, a species believed to be extinct for more than 100 years (More)

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Business & Markets

> US stock markets fell Friday (S&P 500 -2.9%, Dow -2.7%, Nasdaq -3.5%) as US inflation in May reached 40-year high (More) | US consumer sentiment index falls to lowest level on record (More)

 

> Average US gas prices top $5 per gallon over the weekend for the first time ever (More)

 

> Tesla plans three-for-one stock split; Oracle founder Larry Ellison to step down from board of directors (More)

Politics & World Affairs

> German, French, and Italian leaders set to visit Kyiv to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (More) | Russia reportedly close to controlling the city of Severodonetsk; see updates here (More)

 

> First Jan. 6 committee hearing draws an estimated 20 million viewers during Thursday prime-time airing (More) | Second hearing scheduled for this morning (Watch, 10 am ET)

 

> Mexican authorities reportedly disband 7,000-person strong migrant caravan headed from Central America to the US border (More) | Encounters with border officials along the Southwest US-Mexico border passed 230,000 in May; see data (More)

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ETCETERA

 

Scientists are finally unraveling COVID-19 and smell loss.

 

A Google engineer says its AI has become self-aware.

 

Mapping how the world laughs online.

 

The six forces fueling friendship. (paywall, Atlantic)

 

The Savannah Bananas and the business of making baseball fun.

 

A bee ball tops this year's Big Picture competition

 

Hero rats help save earthquake victims.

 

Welsh seal caught hanging out on dinghy.

 

Clickbait: When your bridge inauguration goes terribly wrong.

 

Historybook: Miranda rights are established (1966); Thurgood Marshall becomes first African American nominated to Supreme Court (1967); Pioneer 10 is first human-made object to exit our solar system (1983); HBD actresses Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen (1986).

 

"Sometimes history takes things into its own hands."

- Thurgood Marshall

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