5 things to know for June 24: Infrastructure, Covid, Afghanistan, Capitol, Canada

An extraordinary heat wave could hit the northwestern US this weekend, with triple-digit temperatures all the way up to Oregon. To make matters worse, people in some of these places may not have AC, since such record-breaking temps are almost unheard of.

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

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1. Infrastructure

Senators and White House officials have reached a bipartisan deal on an infrastructure bill, according to lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. That’s a significant breakthrough on one of President Biden’s biggest legislative goals, but there’s much left to be done. Senators are slated to meet with Biden today to discuss details of the plan. A lot of Republicans may still not support it. And some progressive Democrats still plan to support a bipartisan version of an infrastructure package, then use parliamentary processes to pass a larger, big-ticket bill without bipartisan support. The current agreement is worth around $1.2 trillion, with $579 billion in new spending.

2. Coronavirus

Just 10% of the world’s population is fully vaccinated from Covid-19, new data shows. In the US, two groups are being hit especially hard by the virus right now: Black Americans and younger people. Throughout the pandemic, Black people have been disproportionately affected by Covid-19, accounting for about 12.5% of the population but more than 15% of total deaths, according to the CDC. The average age of people dying from the virus has also recently shifted younger. Adults under 40 made up about 3% of Covid-19 deaths in May, more than double their proportion of total deaths since the pandemic began. Meanwhile, a Covid-19 outbreak at the US Embassy in Kabul has now ballooned to 159 cases, with several people on oxygen.

3. Afghanistan

The Taliban is rapidly regaining control of areas in Afghanistan as the US troop withdrawal continues ahead of the White House’s September 11 deadline. Since May, the group has taken control of at least 50 of the country’s 370 districts, according to the UN’s special envoy on Afghanistan. The Taliban puts the figure higher, at 90. Dire warnings about the future stability of Afghanistan have sounded since Biden announced the US and NATO troop withdrawal two months ago. While a possible resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan was always a known risk, conditions are now worse than expected — and the ongoing peace negotiations between the Taliban and the country’s government have proven to be thin at best.

4. Capitol riot

A judge handed down the first sentence related to the January 6 Capitol riot — and rebuked the GOP in the process. A woman from Indiana had pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor for trespassing inside the Capitol and avoided jail time with a probation sentence. But US Judge Royce Lamberth said some Republican lawmakers’ attempts to downplay the insurrection are “utter nonsense,” adding, “I don’t know what planet they were on.” Meanwhile, an alleged member of the Oath Keepers pleaded guilty to charges related to the insurrection, marking the first plea deal among the Capitol riot cases against extremist groups. The Oath Keepers is a far-right coalition of largely ex-military and law enforcement that organized paramilitary training and attendance at political events. A handful of others have filed guilty pleas, admitting their roles in the riot.

5. Canada

Hundreds of unmarked graves have been discovered at the site of the former Marieval Indian Residential School in Canada. The Cowessess First Nation in Saskatchewan is due to host a news conference today to announce the “horrific and shocking discovery.” This tragedy comes after the remains of 215 children were found in late May buried near the Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia. Indigenous leaders and residential school survivors in Canada called on officials to conduct a thorough investigation of every former residential school in the wake of that discovery. In recent years, Canada has been contending with the damaging legacy of the country’s residential schools, where thousands of mostly Indigenous children were separated from their families and forced to attend.

THIS JUST IN …

A multiple-story building in Miami has partially collapsed

Authorities in South Florida are responding to a partial building collapse in Surfside, a few miles north of Miami Beach. More than 80 rescue units were there early this morning.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Whoever wins the NBA Finals, it’ll be their first championship in at least half a century

Some long-suffering fan base is finally going to get release. (And the rest will, sadly, continue their torment.)

The new Netflix dating show, ‘Sexy Beasts,’ is … well, it’s quite something

With everyone decked out in elaborate makeup, it’s somewhere between “The Masked Singer” and a furry convention — but for dating.

The Ever Given could soon be released by the Suez Canal

Yes, it’s still been there this whole time.

Could alien astronomers have spotted Earth?

Honk if you see us, aliens.

On sale: $125,000 balloon trips to the edge of space

Six figures, just to get that close to leaving the planet and then come back down? No, no. Set us free!

TODAY’S NUMBER

1.2 million

That’s how many nonbinary people are living in the US, according to a first-of-its-kind study by the Williams InstituteĀ at UCLA School of Law.

TODAY’S QUOTE

“Basically this conservatorship is doing me way more harm than good. I deserve to have a life. I’ve worked my whole life. I feel ganged up on, I feel bullied, I feel left out and alone. I’m tired of feeling alone. I deserve to have the same rights as anybody.”

Britney Spears, who asked during a court hearing yesterday for an end to her nearly 13-year conservatorship. Spears, who rarely speaks about the situation in public, said she felt she had been forced to perform, was given no privacy and was made to use birth control, take medication and attend therapy sessions against her will.

TODAY’S WEATHER

Check your local forecast here>>>

AND FINALLY

I spy with my little eye … some real talent

Watch this lovely drawing of an eye come together with just three colors of ball point pen. (Click here to view.)

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