National News

EXPLAINER: What's the impact of a Russian debt default?

Russia has defaulted on foreign debt for the first time since the Bolshevik Revolution more than a century ago, further alienating the country from the global financial system amid its war in Ukraine. Moscow owed $100 million in interest on two bonds that was originally due May 27. A 30-day grace period expired Sunday, and rating agency company Moody's on Monday declared the country to be in default. The U.S. ended Russia’s ability to pay international investors through American banks. Russia says it has the money to pay but Western sanctions created “artificial obstacles” by freezing its foreign currency reserves held abroad.

Heckler charged with assault after confronting Rudy Giuliani

A heckler who clapped former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani on the back at a campaign event has been arrested on an assault charge. The arrest stemmed from an altercation Sunday while Rudy Giuliani was at a Staten Island supermarket campaigning for son Andrew Giuliani. Video obtained by the New York Post shows a man touching Giuliani with an open palm. Giuliani says it felt like “a boulder” hit him. The man was arraigned Monday on charges including assault. The Legal Aid Society says in a statement that the man merely patted Giuliani and that Giuliani was not injured.

Company buying Trump's social media app faces subpoenas

The company planning to buy Donald Trump’s new social media business disclosed Monday that it has received subpoenas from a federal grand jury in New York. Shares of Digital World Acquisition Corp. dropped almost 10% Monday as the company reported that the subpoenas and related investigations by the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission could delay, impede or even prevent its acquisition of the maker of Trump’s Truth Social app. Trump’s social media venture launched in February as he seeks a new digital stage to rally his supporters and fight Big Tech limits on speech, a year after he was banned from Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Russian superyacht seized by US arrives in San Diego Bay

A $325 million superyacht seized by the United States from a sanctioned Russian oligarch has arrived in San Diego Bay. The 348-foot-long Amadea flew an American flag Monday as it sailed past the retired aircraft carrier USS Midway and under the Coronado Bridge. The FBI linked the Amadea to the Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov, and the vessel became a target of Task Force KleptoCapture. The operation was launched in March to seize the assets of Russian oligarchs to put pressure on Russia to end the war in Ukraine. The U.S. won a legal battle in Fiji to take the Cayman Islands-flagged superyacht earlier this month.

Families brace for changes to pandemic-era free school meals

The pandemic-era federal aid that made school meals available for free to all public school students — regardless of family income levels — is ending, raising fears about the effects in the upcoming school year for families already struggling with rising food and fuel costs. A bill signed by President Joe Biden over the weekend is intended to allow summer meal distributions to remain widely available for students. It also gives higher reimbursement for meals to schools while providing some flexibilities to help them deal with increasing food prices and supply chain issues. Several states have taken it upon themselves to keep school meals free for all.

Podcast dramas morph to TV shows in Hollywood reappraisal

Listened to any good television shows lately? If you’re glued to a scripted podcast drama you may be auditioning a potential TV series. The trend is a result of Hollywood’s demand for small-screen material and a growing appreciation for podcast fiction. Dramatizations of fact-based podcasts such as “WeCrashed" and “The Thing About Pam” have become TV staples. But fiction born on podcast platforms is gaining traction. Some established TV producers see podcasting as a way to test a drama's worthiness for a second life on screen. The production company behind “Law & Order” has a podcast crime drama in development as a TV series.

Anti-abortion centers to grow, wield more influence post-Roe

Hundreds of so-called crisis pregnancy centers are located across every state in the U.S. Now that the Supreme Court has ruled that states can make abortion illegal, experts say these centers are likely to redouble their efforts to persuade women not to end their pregnancies. The logistics work in their favor, since many women won’t have the legal option of abortion without leaving their state. Some 2,500 pregnancy centers are located across the country, while there are fewer than 800 abortion clinics. Often religiously affiliated, the anti-abortion centers are not licensed medical facilities and do not provide medical services such as pre- or post-natal care or other health care for uninsured women.

MSNBC appoints Alex Wagner as 4-night prime-time anchor

MSNBC says that journalist Alex Wagner will take over Rachel Maddow's prime-time slot four nights a week, beginning in August. Wagner has recently worked at CBS News and as co-host of Showtime's “The Circus” before rejoining MSNBC earlier this year. She'll host the 9 p.m. weeknight hour from Tuesday through Friday, beginning Aug. 16. Maddow will continue to fill the time slot on Monday nights. It's a key hire for MSNBC and its president, Rashida Jones, since Maddow has been MSNBC's most popular personality. Maddow's decision earlier this year to cut back on her daily show left the network with a hole to fill.

Judge says NYC can't let noncitizens vote in city elections

A judge has blocked New York City from letting noncitizens vote for mayor and other municipal offices. Republicans challenged the measure as unconstitutional. A Staten Island Judge agreed with the GOP in a ruling issued Monday. In January, New York became the first major U.S. city to grant widespread municipal voting rights to noncitizens, though none had cast ballots yet. The law’s supporters said it gave an electoral voice to many people who have made a home in the city and pay taxes to it but face tough paths to citizenship. City lawyers say they're considering next steps.

School shooting suspect may testify at parents' trial

Lawyers representing the parents of a Michigan teenager charged in a shooting at Oxford High School that left four of his fellow students dead say they plan to call him to testify at the couple’s trial. Defense attorney Shannon Smith told Oakland County Circuit Judge Cheryl Matthews on Monday that Ethan Crumbley’s testimony would be related to “extraneous matters” and not the Nov. 30 shooting. The disclosure came during a hearing in Pontiac, where Matthews ruled against the defense's motion for a change of venue for James and Jennifer Crumbley’s upcoming involuntary manslaughter trial. Matthews sided with the couple’s arguments that some evidence, such as the condition of their home, would not be admitted at trial.

Lawsuit: Texans 'turned a blind eye' to QB Watson's actions

A lawsuit alleges the Houston Texans had been told that their former quarterback Deshaun Watson was sexually assaulting and harassing women during massage sessions, but instead of trying to stop him, the team provided him with resources to enable his actions and “turned a blind eye” to his behavior. The lawsuit against the team was filed in Houston on Monday by one of the 24 women who had previously sued Watson over allegations of sexual misconduct when he played for the Texans. In a statement, the Houston Texans said the team would “take the necessary steps to address the allegations against our organization." Watson is set to have a hearing this week over whether he will be disciplined by the NFL.

Court revives block of vaccine mandate for federal workers

A court ruling is back in effect that blocks President Joe Biden from requiring federal employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19. A Texas-based federal judge had blocked the federal employee vaccine mandate in January. But a three-member panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled the judge didn’t have jurisdiction and that employees opposed to the mandate should have pursued civil service remedies. Now, the full 17-member 5th Circuit court has decided to take another look at the issue. That means the Texas judge’s block on the mandate remains in effect.

Stocks sway on Wall Street, cool off after winning week

Stocks swayed in afternoon trading on Wall Street Monday as the market cools off following a rare winning week. The S&P 500 was mostly unchanged, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1% and the Nasdaq fell 0.4%. Energy companies made solid gains along with rising oil prices. Several big retailers and travel-related companies fell and checked gains elsewhere in the market. European markets were mixed and Asian markets closed higher overnight. Treasury yields were mostly higher. Stocks closed out last week with solid gains and the S&P 500 had its best day in two years on Friday.

Ex-Minneapolis officer who killed 911 caller leaves prison

A former Minneapolis police officer who fatally shot an unarmed woman who called 911 to report a possible sexual assault behind her home in 2017 has been released from prison on parole. The state Department of Corrections says 36-year-old Mohamed Noor was released Monday morning and placed under the supervision of Hennepin County Community Corrections. Released offenders are generally supervised by the county where they live. The agency confirmed he had been held in North Dakota for most of his sentence and had no disciplinary issues in prison  Noor was sentenced to nearly five years in prison for manslaughter after the Minnesota Supreme Court overturned a third-degree murder conviction against him for killing Justine Ruszczyk Damond, a dual U.S.-Australian citizen.

US grapples with whether to modify COVID vaccine for fall

U.S. health authorities are facing a critical decision: whether to offer new COVID-19 booster shots this fall that are modified to better match the latest changes of the shape-shifting coronavirus. Moderna and Pfizer say their candidates targeting the super-contagious omicron variant will be an improvement. But the original omicron already has been replaced by its even more contagious relatives, with no way to know what version will spread this fall and winter. Advisers to the Food and Drug Administration will debate a recipe change Tuesday, and regulators promise a quick final decision.

Some cities nix July 4 fireworks for shortages, fire dangers

The skies over a scattering of Western U.S. cities will stay dark for the third consecutive Fourth of July as some big fireworks displays are canceled again, this time for pandemic-related supply chain or staffing problems, or fire concerns amid dry weather. The city of Phoenix cited supply chain issues in canceling its three major Independence Day fireworks shows this year. The northern Arizona city of Flagstaff is replacing fireworks with a laser light show. Some cities in California and Colorado are also nixing the once traditional fireworks shows for their July 4 celebrations.

Andrew Giuliani invokes famous dad in bid for NY governor

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani is not the guy most politicians would summon to hold a news conference for them, not after his false assertions of election fraud. But one place where Giuliani is in high demand these days is on his son Andrew's long shot campaign to win the GOP nomination for governor of New York. Andrew Giuliani worked as an aide in the Trump White House and as a commentator on the conservative network Newsmax, but he has never held elected office. His father says that when he was mayor and his son a teenager, his son was helpful to him.

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