National News

5 things for Monday, June 12: Sessions, Qatar, Puerto Rico, Uber

Posted June 12

A year ago today, a gunman opened fire at a gay nightclub in Orlando, killing 49. The shockwave it generated still reverberates. Here's what else you need to know today to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door. (You can also get "5 Things You Need to Know Today" delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)

1. Jeff Sessions

There's another blockbuster hearing for the Senate intelligence committee this week. -We just don't know if it'll be in public or private. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he plans to testify before the panel tomorrow. That came as a surprise to a lot of folks -- especially the senators on the committee.

Sessions was supposed to talk with the House and Senate spending committees on the Justice Department's budget. But questions about the Russia probe were sure to come up, so Sessions wants to meet with the intelligence committee -- in closed session -- instead. Some Democrats say this is just a ploy by Sessions to avoid answering prickly questions about Russia in the open, so they're pushing for him to testify in public.

Whatever happens, it's already shaping up to be another tough week for the attorney general. Last week, he had to endure the White House not giving him a full-throated endorsement. Then, reports emerged that he may have had a third, undisclosed meeting with Russia's ambassador. Remember, it was undisclosed meetings with Russians that forced Sessions to recuse himself from the investigation to begin with.

2. Qatar

Iran is sending planes filled with food to Qatar. Five planes landed over the weekend and Iran says it plans to send 100 tons of fresh fruit and legumes every day. Qatar definitely needs it. The wealthy, but tiny, Mideast nation imports virtually all of its food. But last week many of Qatar's neighbors -- including Saudi Arabia, from where it gets most of its food -- cut links with the country, accusing it of supporting terrorism. And the fact that Qatar is getting help from Iran will only further tick off the Saudis. Just in case you didn't know, Iran and Saudi Arabia are bitter foes.

3. Puerto Rico

It's hard to figure out what to make of the results of Puerto Rico's statehood vote over the weekend. Sure, an overwhelming number of Puerto Ricans -- 97 percent -- voted for statehood, but the turnout was really low at just 23 percent. Also, this election was just a nonbinding referendum. If Puerto Rico really wants to go from commonwealth to statehood, Congress will have to get involved. It's the only body that can approve new states.

4. Uber

Uber's chief business officer is expected to resign today, as the fallout from the ride share company's sex harassment-scandal continues. Just last week,-20 Uber employees were fired over harassment claims. And over the weekend, Uber's board of directors adopted recommendations from a report into the scandal. Also, Uber's founder and CEO, Travis Kalanick, may be taking a leave of absence after his mother died in a boating accident.

5. Mississippi mystery

Police in Mississippi are investigating two different crime scenes that may have an obvious, yet gruesome connection. -A severed head was found on the front porch of a home. A couple of hours later, and less than a mile away, a burned, headless body was discovered in the woods by some kids. Authorities are going to have to wait for the coroner and medical examiner to report back to see if head and body belong to the same person.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

People are talking about these. Read up. Join in.

Goodbye, Caped Crusader

Adam West, the one and true Batman, has died at age 88.

Broadway's big night

"Dear Evan Hansen" danced away as best musical at this year's Tony Awards.

Thanks dad

His father died just months before his 16th birthday, but dear old dad left one last, beautiful gift for his son.

Sophi smiles

She's done with first grade -- and cancer -- with what may be the most heartwarming school's-out-for-summer picture ever.

NUMBER OF THE DAY

$447.8 million

That's how much one lucky lotto player in Cali won in the Powerball drawing. So if you know anyone in L.A., you might want to give them a call.

AND FINALLY ...

Where'd it go?

A magician gets a few laughs making treats disappear right before these puppies' cute little eyes. (Click to view)

Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all