5 things to know for June 7: White House, coronavirus, voting, Mexico, Chicago


Here’s what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.

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1. White House

The Biden administration is facing a national security crisis. Ransom-demanding hackers have targeted a pipeline, a Florida water system, schools, health care institutions, government agencies and the meat industry in recent weeks, and the nation’s energy secretary warned yesterday that US adversaries are capable of shutting down the power grid. Many of the attacks appear to be the work of criminal gangs based in Russia. President Biden is set to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin this week on his first foreign trip since taking office, and the summit is likely to be even more tense than expected.

2. Coronavirus

Let’s start with the good news: Most adults in the US have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, and about 66% said in a recent survey that their lives are at least somewhat back to normal. The average national vaccination rate also got back up above a million shots a day, after falling under that threshold last week. But even as things are looking up, experts warn that vaccination lags among groups such as adolescents could delay the return to normal. Also, only 13 states have reached Biden’s goal of vaccinating 70% of US adults with at least one dose by July 4 — and those that are behind could be vulnerable to another outbreak. 

3. Voting

Sen. Joe Manchin says he plans to vote against a sweeping voting rights bill and remains opposed to gutting the filibuster. The moderate Democrat from West Virginia has for months been a key holdup to the For the People Act, which he described as “partisan voting legislation.” His opposition to filibuster changes also presents a major roadblock for Biden, given that Republicans can hold up many of his legislative priorities under the current rules. Meanwhile, former President Trump continued to push disinformation around the 2020 presidential election in a speech this weekend before the North Carolina Republican Party, while praising states like TexasFlorida and Georgia that have advanced laws making it harder for Americans to vote.

4. Mexico

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador appears to have lost his grip on power after a poor showing in yesterday’s midterm elections. Preliminary results suggest the country’s ruling political coalition will no longer have a qualified majority in the lower house of Congress, making it harder to pass major legislative and constitutional reforms without the help of opposition parties. The contest was largely seen as a referendum on López Obrador, who was elected in 2018 after campaigning to tackle violence and corruption. But critics say he’s failed to stop the organized crime turf wars that have plagued Mexico for decades. With fears of voter intimidation high, the balloting concluded one of the deadliest recent midterm election seasons.

5. Gun violence

The US experienced another deadly weekend of shootings as the nation emerges from restrictions imposed during the pandemic. In Chicago, at least five people were killed and 40 others wounded during five gun violence incidents; so far, no one is in custody. Salt Lake City and Indianapolis also reported fatal shootings over the weekend, while a shooting in New Orleans yesterday morning left eight people injured. More than 8,400 people have died from gun violence in the United States this year.


Meghan and Harry welcome their second child

Lilibet Diana is named after her great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, and her late grandmother, the Princess of Wales.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. faced off against YouTuber Logan Paul … and it wasn’t a knockout 

The two went for eight rounds in yesterday’s highly publicized exhibition match.

The last surviving liberator of Auschwitz dies at 98

David Dushman helped free prisoners from the notorious Nazi concentration camp as a soldier for the Soviet Red Army in World War II.

Americans can take cruise vacations again

The first big cruise ship to allow North American passengers since the pandemic shut down the industry has set sail. 

Dozens of tourists were fined after police seized more than 200 pounds of sand and shells taken from the beaches of Sardinia

The Italian island’s white sand is protected, and beachgoers can even face jail time for taking it.



That’s the price of a barrel of oil in the US as of yesterday — the highest it’s been in nearly three years. The reason for the comeback: more demand for gasoline and jet fuel now that life is returning to normal.


“Asian people in Brazil … We pretend we don’t care, but it hurts deep inside.”

Sissy Oishi de Lima, a fitness instructor in São Paulo, speaking about the discrimination she’s faced at work since the coronavirus pandemic began. She’s one of many Asian workers around the world who reported experiencing more workplace bias in the last year.



The song of the cicada

Before you dismiss their loud, buzzing drone as just a nuisance, let resident bug expert Dr. Sammy teach you a thing or two. Cicadas … they’re just like us! (Click here to view.)

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