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The Morning Rundown™

Former VP Mike Pence announces 2024 presidential bid: June 7 rundown

Jun 07, 2023

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The field of GOP candidates for the 2024 presidential election continues to expand, as former Vice President Mike Pence has officially announced his bid for the White House. And pharmaceutical giant Merck has filed a lawsuit against the federal government over the Biden administration’s drug pricing plan. These stories and more highlight the rundown for Wednesday, June 7, 2023.

Former VP Mike Pence announces 2024 presidential campaign

Former Vice President Mike Pence officially launched his 2024 presidential campaign Wednesday, June 7, with the release of a video announcing his bid for the White House. In the video, Pence directed his criticism toward President Joe Biden and Democrats, while emphasizing the importance of patriotism.

Pence’s decision to run against former President Donald Trump makes him the first running-mate in eight decades to challenge the president he served with. The last instance of such a contest occurred in 1940 when President Franklin Roosevelt was unsuccessfully challenged by his vice president, John Nance Garner III.

Pope Francis hospitalized, will undergo intestinal surgery

Pope Francis has been hospitalized and will undergo intestinal surgery, which is expected to require several days of recovery. The surgery aims to repair a hernia in his abdomen. The Vatican has reported that the procedure was arranged within the last few days.

Prior to the surgery on Wednesday morning, Francis was seen at Saint Peter’s Square waving to crowds, displaying good spirits. However, his condition soon worsened and necessitated medical attention, leading to the decision for him to undergo surgery.

This is not the first time this year that the 86-year-old pontiff has faced health concerns. In March, Francis spent three days in the hospital due to a bout of bronchitis.

Deadly shooting at high school graduation in Virginia

A deadly shooting incident took place following a high school graduation ceremony in Richmond, Virginia. The incident unfolded outside a downtown theater, causing panic and prompting hundreds of people to flee the area.

Law enforcement authorities confirmed that two individuals lost their lives in the shooting, including an 18-year-old student who had just graduated and a 36-year-old man. Additionally, five other individuals sustained gunshot wounds. Of particular concern is a 31-year-old gunshot victim who is currently hospitalized with life-threatening injuries.

Amid the chaotic scene, with graduation attendees scrambling to find safety, a 9-year-old girl was unfortunately struck by a car. Reports indicate that she is expected to recover from her injuries.

In connection with the incident, police detained a 19-year-old suspect who attempted to flee the scene while carrying four handguns. It is believed that the suspect was an acquaintance with at least one of the victims. He is expected to face charges of two counts of second-degree murder.

In response to these events, the school district has made the decision to cancel all remaining graduation ceremonies scheduled for this week.

Controversy among Republicans over debt ceiling bill

The nation narrowly averted a potential default on its debt this week as a last-minute bill was signed to raise the country’s debt limit. However, the passage of the bill faced opposition from a group of conservative lawmakers, leading to internal strife within the Republican Party.

Following the debt ceiling vote, 11 Republican House members are now in open revolt against House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., in response to the debt ceiling bill. This rebellion is led by vocal members of the House Freedom Caucus. The controversy arose when a routine procedural vote failed to pass, causing delays in the day’s schedule and slowing progress on various GOP bills, including legislation concerning gas stoves. Notably, this is the first time in nearly two decades that the procedural vote has failed.

The Republican-majority chamber has experienced a rocky start, facing challenges in electing a House speaker and now witnessing internal divisions that have stalled their own agenda.

Pharmaceutical giant Merck files lawsuit against federal government

Pharmaceutical company Merck has taken legal action against the federal government regarding its proposed plan to allow Medicare to negotiate prices for a select group of drugs. Merck’s lawsuit, filed in response to the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act, characterizes the plan as “extortion” and deems it unconstitutional. The company argues that the government’s request to adhere to government-set prices without receiving adequate compensation infringes upon their rights.

The drug pricing plan, aimed at reducing healthcare costs and improving affordability, has garnered criticism from some patient advocacy groups. These groups have voiced their opposition to Merck’s lawsuit, emphasizing the importance of affordable medication for patients in need.

In response to the legal challenge, the secretary of Health and Human Services expressed confidence in the legality of the plan, asserting that “the law is on our side.”

Canadian wildfires result in poor air quality alerts across parts of the US

New York and several other parts of the United States are experiencing a haze in the skies, caused by the ongoing wildfires raging in Canada. Photographs emerging from New York and other affected areas capture the visible impact of the fires, as millions of people find themselves under poor air-quality alerts.

Canada is currently grappling with over 400 active wildfires, with the resulting smoke drifting into the northern and eastern parts of the U.S. The smoke has led to reduced visibility, creating a hazy glow in the affected regions. In some areas, residents have reported being able to smell the smoke in the air.

Responding to the deteriorating air quality, New York City Mayor Eric Adams issued an air quality health advisory. The advisory specifically urged individuals with asthma and respiratory conditions to remain indoors, at least until midnight tonight, to minimize their exposure to the compromised air quality.

Apple introduces AI-powered auto-correct feature for iPhone users

Users of the Apple iPhone can look forward to an enhanced auto-correct feature in the near future as Apple plans to incorporate artificial intelligence technology to personalize the experience. This new development aims to learn user habits and adjust words accordingly, providing a more tailored and accurate auto-correct feature.

One of the primary improvements users can expect is the correction of frequently misspelled words. With AI assistance, the auto-correct feature will have a better understanding of individual typing patterns, reducing errors caused by common mistakes.

The AI-powered auto-correct will also be designed to recognize intentional typing choices. It will respect user preferences and refrain from automatically changing words that individuals intentionally type, including commonly used curse words.

Apple plans to introduce this AI-assisted auto-correct feature in the upcoming iOS 17 update, scheduled for release in the fall.

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