5 things to know for June 14: NATO, G7, Israel, Coronavirus, DOJ
Why is everyone so testy? The Federal Aviation Administration has recorded about 2,900 reports of “unruly behavior by passengers” since January. That’s about 18 incidents a day, ranging from inconvenient to downright dangerous. Here’s what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.(You can also get “5 Things You Need to Know Today” delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)
President Joe Biden is in Brussels today to attend the 31st NATO Summit, his first as President. A lot is riding on the gathering — including the US’ commitment to NATO itself. Former President Donald Trump frequently rallied against the trade alliance, but Biden has reiterated his support of NATO and its goals of transatlantic security and collective defense. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the countries at today’s summit will agree to the group’s 2030 agenda, which is focused on strengthening collective defenses, strengthening resilience, sharpening their technological edges and working with likeminded partners. They’ll also talk about ways to approach Russia — a well-timed conversation since Biden is due to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.
“America is back at the table.” That’s what Biden said yesterday, on the last day of the G7 summit in the UK. During the summit, Biden aimed to show G7 allies that the US is recommitted to global concerns like climate change, which was a main talking point at the meeting. In addition to new commitments to climate change action, like halving emissions by 2030 from 2010 levels, leaders from the representative countries agreed to an additional 1 billion Covid-19 vaccines to poor or middle-income countries. They also issued a call for a new study into the origins of Covid-19 after an initial report was deemed lacking because Beijing had refused to cooperate.
Naftali Bennett was sworn in as Israel’s new prime minister yesterday, ending former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12 years in office. After four elections in two years, Bennett’s incoming government breaks a long political deadlock and ushers in the most diverse coalition Israel has ever seen, including the first Arab party to serve in the government. Netanyahu, who commands a much larger political faction, is not taking the defeat lying down. In a debate ahead of the swearing-in, Netanyahu denounced the coalition that ousted him from office, calling it a “weak” and “dangerous” government and saying it wouldn’t be able to stand up to global rivals like Iran. “We’ll be back soon,” Netanyahu said, as a warning to both his internal rivals and outside enemies.
A dangerous Covid-19 variant is on the rise in the US, and could do serious damage in areas with low vaccination rates, a former FDA official says. The Delta variant currently accounts for about 10% of US Covid-19 infections, but but that proportion is doubling every two weeks and may become the dominant strain in the US. That may not mean a sharp uptick in infections across the country, which has administered more than 309 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine, but specific regions are at risk. Nationally, 64.4% of adults have received at least one dose of the vaccine, but some states, like Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Wyoming, are seeing significantly lower rates.
Leaders from CNN, The New York Times and The Washington Post will meet with US Attorney General Merrick Garland today to discuss the Trump administration’s controversial leak investigation that involved seeking reporter records from all three media outlets. This comes after the revelation that Department of Justice officials took aggressive steps to obtain 2017 phone and email records of reporters at the three outlets. Democrats are demanding sworn testimony from Donald Trump’s former attorneys general involved in the scandal. These revelations pile on to other recent subpoena news. Last week, it was revealed prosecutors in Trump’s Justice Department subpoenaed Apple for data from the accounts of House Intelligence Committee Democrats. Former Trump White House counsel Don McGahn and his wife also reportedly received disclosures from Apple last month that their account records were sought by the Justice Department in February 2018.
Wasabi the Pekingese wins Best in Show at the Westminster Dog Show
New Zealand houseplant sells for $19,200 in online bidding war
Imagine the fear of living with a finicky $20k houseplant. It would run your life.
Chris Hemsworth wishes Chris Evans a happy 40th birthday with photo of Chris Pratt
Scientists say 90% of the world’s open-ocean sharks died off in a mystery extinction event 19 million years ago
Restaurant tests out pizza topped with cicadas
Honestly? Honestly? It looks pretty good.
That’s how many nuclear power plants are operational in China as of March 2021, with a total of 49 nuclear reactors. All in all, nuclear energy represents about 5% of the total energy produced by the country. The US is currently monitoring a leak at once such plant, the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant in Guangdong province.
“A lot of people have been beaten, killed. So mama’s gonna take the baton and turn it into something positive.”
Stephanie Houston, mother of Muhlaysia Booker, a Black trans woman who was shot and killed in 2019. After her daughter’s death, Houston started the Muhlaysia Booker Foundation, where families with transgender children can go for guidance and support.
Ain’t nothin’ gonna break my stride
Let’s skip on into the new week like a little deer across a beach!