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Biden joins world leaders, veterans for 80th anniversary of D-Day

Jun 6

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President Joe Biden joined other world leaders and World War II veterans in Normandy to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day. And Israel strikes a school in Gaza it says was the location of a Hamas compound as local officials say dozens have been killed. These stories and more highlight The Morning Rundown for Thursday, June 6, 2024.

Biden joins world leaders, veterans for 80th anniversary of D-Day

President Joe Biden is among the dozens of world leaders who are commemorating the 80th anniversary of D-Day in France Thursday, June 6. They are joined by the remaining World War II veterans from the U.S., Britain and Canada who took part in the Allied forces’ surprise attack eight decades ago. 

The president and the first lady, landed in Normandy early Thursday, after arriving in Paris on Wednesday, June 5, to begin his five-day trip in France. 

President Biden will be joined by French President Emmanuel Macron, Britain’s Prince William, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to mark the anniversary. The commemoration comes as the war between Ukraine and Russia rages on. 

Around 200 World War II veterans — many of whom are at least 100 years old — are set to take part in the events. 

It was on June 6, 1944, when more than 150,000 Allied soldiers stormed the beaches of Normandy to drive out the forces of Nazi Germany. 

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Two of Hunter Biden’s exes testify in federal gun trial

Three more witnesses took the stand in Hunter Biden’s federal gun trial on Wednesday, June 5, including two of his exes. A gun store clerk also testified about the day he sold the president’s son a gun. 

Hunter Biden’s former girlfriend, Zoe Kestan, testified about his history of crack cocaine use at upscale hotels in the months before he bought a gun in 2018. Prosecutors in the case are trying to prove the president’s son purposely lied about his addiction to illegally buy the gun. 

Kestan testified she witnessed Hunter Biden smoking crack in late September 2018, just weeks before the purchase. 

His ex-wife, Kathleen Buhle, also took the stand, describing how Hunter Biden’s drug use impacted their family. He and Buhle divorced in 2017. 

The store clerk who sold Hunter Biden told the jury he watched Hunter Biden fill out the form to purchase the firearm. 

Testimony will continue on Thursday, June 6. Hallie Biden, the widow of Hunter Biden’s late brother, Beau, is set to be among six witnesses to take the stand. 

Prosecutors have indicated they could be ready to rest their case as soon as Thursday afternoon. 

Senate vote on right to contraception bill falls short

A Democrat-led effort to move forward with legislation that would codify the right to access contraception nationwide failed in the U.S. Senate Wednesday, June 5. The final vote came down to 51 in favor of the measure and 39 against it, with just two Republicans siding with the Democrats.  

It needed 60 votes to move forward. 

The legislation was first introduced in 2022 after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, striking down the federal right to abortion. 

Senate Republicans argue the Right to Contraception Act is too broad in its scope and that it’s unnecessary, as contraception is available in every state. 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., addressed reporters after Wednesday’s vote. 

“Make one thing clear,” Schumer said. “Today was not a show vote. This was a show-us-who-you-are vote, and Senate Republicans showed the American people exactly who they are. They showed that they’re not willing to stand up and protect something that 92% of Americans support.” 

Schumer said he intends to bring a package introduced earlier this week to protect access to IVF treatments up for a vote in the coming days. 

Israel targets Hamas compound at Gaza school, officials say dozens killed

Israel said its military struck a school that contained a Hamas compound on Thursday. Israel has long accused Hamas of using critical civilian facilities, like schools and children’s hospitals, as hideouts and places to store their weapons.

Israeli officials said the early morning airstrike killed fighters who were involved in Hamas’ terror attack on Oct. 7. 

The Hamas-run media rejected those claims, saying the strike by Israeli fighter jets killed at least 30 people — including women and children —who were seeking shelter inside the United Nations school in central Gaza. 

The Israeli military said it took steps to reduce the risk of harming civilians before launching the attack. 

The strike comes a day after the Israeli military announced a new ground and air offensive in central Gaza, where it says Hamas militants have regrouped. 

Despite the reports from local officials, Israel said it was not aware of any civilians deaths at the school.

This comes after Straight Arrow News recently reported the United Nations had revised its estimates on the number of Palestinian women and children killed in the war. The world agency said the actual death toll was half of what had been reported by the Hamas-run Ministry of Health in Gaza. 

The U.N. also suggested the numbers could further decrease as they continue to investigate the death count. 

Tornadoes sweep across US, toddler killed and others injured

Extreme weather across the U.S. on Wednesday, June 5, saw tornadoes touch down in multiple states. One tornado, which struck just outside Detroit, Michigan, left a toddler dead and his mother critically injured. 

Officials said the tornado sent a tree into the family’s home where the mother and child were sleeping. 

It was a similar scene in Montgomery County, Maryland, northwest of Washington, D.C., where a tornado toppled a tree into a home, trapping those inside. 

Authorities said at least five people were injured, with one suffering traumatic injuries.

Meanwhile, states in the South and West are experiencing the hottest days so far this year. In California, for example, a heat wave is raising temperatures 20 degrees above average in some parts. Record highs are expected to continue into Friday, June 7. 

Boeing’s Starliner launches successfully, face new helium leaks

The third time was the charm as Boeing’s Starliner Atlas V rocket successfully launched from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on Wednesday, June 5, carrying two NASA astronauts. This followed two previously failed attempts. 

The capsule reached orbit about 12 minutes after liftoff. Now, the Starliner mission is facing new issues en route to the International Space Station. 

NASA reported two helium leaks were detected on the spacecraft, adding to a previously known leak. The new leaks were discovered after the spacecraft arrived in orbit. 

Mission Control informed astronauts Butch Willmore and Suni Williams to shut down two valves to stop the leakage. The astronauts were guided through the process during a NASA broadcast

However, Boeing reports that the crew is safe, and the spacecraft remains stable. They are expected to successfully dock at the International Space Station on Thursday.

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[KARAH RUCKER]

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN IS AMONG THE DOZENS OF WORLD LEADERS WHO ARE COMMEMORATING THE 8OTH ANNIVERSARY OF D-DAY IN FRANCE. THEY ARE JOINED BY THE REMAINING WORLD WAR TWO VETERANS FROM THE U.S., BRITAIN AND CANADA WHO TOOK PART IN THE ALLIED FORCES’ SURPRISE ATTACK EIGHT DECADES AGO. 

THE PRESIDENT ALONG WITH THE FIRST LADY LANDING IN NORMANDY EARLIER TODAY – AFTER ARRIVING IN PARIS ON WEDNESDAY TO BEGIN HIS 5-DAY TRIP IN FRANCE. 

BIDEN WILL BE JOINED BY FRENCH PRESIDENT EMMANUEL MACRON, BRITAIN’S PRINCE WILLIAM, GERMAN CHANCELLOR OLAF SCHOLZ, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT VOLODYMR ZELENSKYY TO MARK THE ANNIVERSARY. 

THE COMMEMORATION COMES AS THE WAR BETWEEN UKRAINE AND RUSSIA RAGES ON. 

AROUND 200 WORLD WAR TWO VETERANS — MANY OF THEM NOW 100 YEARS OLD AND OLDER – ARE SET TO TAKE PART IN THE EVENTS. 

IT WAS ON JUNE 6TH 1944 – WHEN MORE THAN 150 THOUSAND ALLIED SOLDIERS STORMED THE BEACHES OF NORMANDY – TO DRIVE OUT THE FORCES OF NAZI GERMANY. 

THREE MORE WITNESSES TOOK THE STAND IN HUNTER BIDEN’S FEDERAL GUN TRIAL ON WEDNESDAY — INCLUDING TWO OF HIS EXES. 

HIS FORMER GIRLFRIEND, ZOE KESTAN, TESTIFIED ABOUT HUNTER BIDEN’S HISTORY OF CRACK COCAINE USE AT UPSCALE HOTELS IN THE MONTHS BEFORE HE BOUGHT A GUN IN 20-18. 

PROSECUTORS IN THE CASE ARE TRYING TO PROVE THE PRESIDENT’S SON PURPOSELY LIED ABOUT HIS ADDICTION TO ILLEGALLY BUY THE GUN. 

KESTAN TESTIFIED SHE WITNESSED HUNTER BIDEN SMOKING CRACK IN LATE SEPTEMBER 20-18 — JUST WEEKS BEFORE THE PURCHASE. 

HIS EX-WIFE KATHLEEN BUHLE ALSO TOOK THE STAND — DESCRIBING HOW HUNTER BIDEN’S DRUG USE IMPACTED THEIR FAMILY. 

HE AND BUHLE DIVORCED IN 20-17. 

THE STORE CLERK WHO SOLD HUNTER BIDEN THE GUN ALSO TESTIFIED — TELLING THE JURY HE WATCHED HUNTER BIDEN FILL OUT THE FORM TO PURCHASE THE FIREARM.   

HALLIE BIDEN — THE WIDOW OF HUNTER BIDEN’S LATE BROTHER, BEAU — IS SET TO BE AMONG SIX WITNESSES TO TESTIFY THURSDAY.  

PROSECUTORS HAVE INDICATED THEY COULD BE READY TO REST THEIR CASE AS SOON AS THURSDAY AFTERNOON. 

A DEMOCRAT-LED EFFORT TO MOVE FORWARD WITH LEGISLATION THAT WOULD CODIFY THE RIGHT TO ACCESS CONTRACEPTION NATIONWIDE FAILED IN THE U-S SENATE WEDNESDAY. 

THE FINAL VOTE CAME DOWN TO 51 IN FAVOR OF THE MEASURE AND 39 AGAINST IT — WITH JUST TWO REPUBLICANS SIDING WITH THE DEMOCRATS.  

IT NEEDED 60 VOTES TO MOVE FORWARD. 

THE LEGISLATION WAS FIRST INTRODUCED IN 20-22… AFTER THE SUPREME COURT OVERTURNED ROE VERSUS WADE — STRIKING DOWN THE FEDERAL RIGHT TO ABORTION. 

SENATE REPUBLICANS ARGUING THE RIGHT TO CONTRACEPTION ACT IS TOO BROAD IN ITS SCOPE — AND THAT IT’S UNNECESSARY AS CONTRACEPTION IS AVAILABLE IN EVERY STATE.  

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER SPEAKING TO REPORTERS AFTER THE VOTE — 

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER | D-NY, MAJORITY LEADER 

“So make one thing clear, today was not a show vote. This was a show us who you are vote. And Senate Republicans showed the American people exactly who they are. They showed that they’re not willing to stand up and protect something that 92% of Americans support.” 

SCHUMER SAYS HE INTENDS TO BRING A PACKAGE INTRODUCED EARLIER THIS WEEK TO PROTECT ACCESS TO IVF TREATMENTS UP FOR A VOTE IN THE COMING DAYS. 

ISRAEL SAYS ITS MILITARY HAS STRUCK A SCHOOL THAT CONTAINED A HAMAS COMPOUND. 

ISRAEL HAS LONG ACCUSED HAMAS OF USING CRITICAL CIVILIAN INFRASTRUCTURE LIKE SCHOOLS AND CHILDREN’S HOSPITALS TO STORE THEIR ARMORY AND TAKE SHELTER. 

ISRAELI OFFICIALS SAY THE AIRSTRIKE EARLY THURSDAY MORNING KILLED FIGHTERS WHO WERE INVOLVED IN HAMAS’ TERROR ATTACK ON OCTOBER 7TH. 

THE HAMAS-RUN MEDIA REJECTS THOSE CLAIMS – SAYING THE STRIKE BY ISRAELI FIGHTER JETS KILLED AT LEAST 30 PEOPLE – INCLUDING WOMEN AND CHILDREN — WHO WERE SEEKING SHELTER INSIDE THE UNITED NATIONS SCHOOL IN CENTRAL GAZA. 

THE ISRAELI MILITARY SAYS IT TOOK STEPS TO REDUCE THE RISK OF HARMING CIVILIANS BEFORE LAUNCHING THE ATTACK. 

THE STRIKE COMES A DAY AFTER THE ISRAELI MILITARY ANNOUNCED A NEW GROUND AND AIR OFFENSIVE IN CENTRAL GAZA – WHERE IT SAYS HAMAS MILITANTS HAVE REGROUPED IN THE REGION. 

LAST MONTH — STRAIGHT ARROW NEWS REPORTED THE UNITED NATIONS REVISED ITS NUMBERS ON THE NUMBER OF PALESTINIAN WOMEN AND CHILDREN KILLED IN THE WAR — THE WORLD AGENCY SAYING THE ACTUAL DEATH TOLL WAS HALF OF WHAT WAS REPORTED BY THE HAMAS RUN MINISTRY OF HEALTH IN GAZA. 

THE U.N. SUGGESTED THE NUMBERS COULD FURTHER DECREASE AS THEY CONTINUE TO INVESTIGATE THE DEATH COUNT. 

EXTREME WEATHER ACROSS THE U.S. ON WEDNESDAY SAW TORNADOES TOUCH DOWN IN MULTIPLE STATES. 

A TORNADO STRUCK JUST OUTSIDE DETROIT, MICHIGAN – KILLING A TODDLER AND CRITICALLY INJURING HIS MOTHER. 

OFFICIALS SAID THE TORNADO SENT A TREE INTO THE FAMILY’S HOME WHERE THE MOTHER AND CHILD WERE SLEEPING. 

IT WAS A SIMILAR SCENE IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND – NORTHWEST OF WASHINGTON, D.C. – WHERE A TORNADO TOPPLED A TREE INTO A HOME – TRAPPING THOSE INSIDE. 

AUTHORITIES SAY AT LEAST FIVE PEOPLE WERE INJURED IN THE LATEST ROUND OF SEVERE WEATHER. 

MEANWHILE — STATES IN THE SOUTH AND WEST ARE EXPERIENCING THE HOTTEST DAYS SO FAR THIS YEAR. IN CALIFORNIA, FOR EXAMPLE, A HEAT WAVE IS RAISING TEMPERATURES 20 DEGREES ABOVE AVERAGE IN SOME PARTS. 

RECORD HIGHS ARE EXPECTED TO CONTINUE INTO FRIDAY. 

THE THIRD TIME WAS THE CHARM AS BOEING’S STARLINER ATLAS 5 ROCKET SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHED FROM CAPE CANAVERAL SPACE FORCE STATION ON WEDNESDAY — CARRYING TWO NASA ASTRONAUTS. THIS FOLLOWED TWO PREVIOUS ATTEMPTS. THE CAPSULE REACHED ORBIT ABOUT TWELVE MINUTES AFTER LIFTOFF. 

NOW, THE STARLINER MISSION IS FACING NEW ISSUES EN ROUTE TO THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION. 

NASA REPORTING THAT TWO HELIUM LEAKS WERE DETECTED ON THE SPACECRAFT, ADDING TO A PREVIOUSLY KNOWN LEAK. THE NEW LEAKS WERE DISCOVERED AFTER THE SPACECRAFT ARRIVED IN ORBIT. 

MISSION CONTROL INFORMED ASTRONAUTS BUTCH WILLMORE AND SUNI WILLIAMS TO SHUT DOWN TWO VALVES TO STOP THE LEAKAGE. THE ASTRONAUTS WERE GUIDED THROUGH THE PROCESS DURING A NASA BROADCAST. 

HOWEVER, BOEING REPORTS THAT THE CREW IS SAFE AND THE SPACECRAFT REMAINS STABLE. THEY ARE EXPECTED TO SUCCESSFULLY DOCK AT THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION THURSDAY.