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Biden and Trump agree to presidential debates in June, September — but with some big changes

Biden and Trump to debate

The last time either President Biden or former President Donald Trump participated in a presidential debate was nearly four years ago, when they tangled in Tennessee at the height COVID-19 pandemic. Now Biden and Trump are finally set to meet again. Here’s what will be different this time — and why it matters.

On Wednesday, Biden posted a video on social media challenging Trump to “make my day, pal” and debate him “twice” before the November election. “So let’s pick the dates, Donald,” the president said, adding that “I hear you’re free on Wednesdays — the only time Trump is not required to be in court for his hush money trial.

Trump immediately responded on his Truth Social network, calling Biden “the WORST debater I have ever faced.” “Just tell me when,” Trump wrote. “I’ll be there.”

Within hours, Biden and Trump had tentatively agreed to two debates: one on June 27 in Atlanta, hosted by CNN, and one on Sept. 10, hosted by ABC News. Dates and details will be finalized after further negotiations.

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Supreme Court allows Louisiana's congressional map with new, mostly Black district

SCOTUS allows La mapThe Supreme Court on Wednesday cleared the way for Louisiana to use a congressional map with a second majority Black district, a move that has implications for which party wins control of Congress after the November elections.

The court’s decision, made in a response to an emergency request from state officials and voting rights advocates, is the latest twist in a yearslong battle over the boundaries of the state's six congressional districts involving the interplay of race, politics and redistricting.

"Louisiana will finally have a fair and equitable map," said Jared Evans, an attorney with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

The Supreme Court put on hold a lower court's ruling invalidating a map that increased the number of mostly Black districts from one to two.

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Democrat Angela Alsobrooks to face ex-governor Larry Hogan in Maryland Senate race

Angela Alsobrooks wins Dem primary in Maryland Senate race

Democrat Angela Alsobrooks will face off against former Republican governor Larry Hogan in the Maryland Senate race this November, setting up an unexpectedly competitive election in the reliably Democratic state. Republicans have a rare opportunity to flip a Senate seat in Maryland, and the outcome of that race could determine control of the upper chamber in November.

Alsobrooks and Hogan won their parties’ Senate primaries on Tuesday, as Maryland voters cast ballots in the presidential race as well as congressional elections. Joe Biden and Donald Trump easily won the state’s primaries after already securing enough delegates to capture their parties’ nominations.

Leaders of both parties were closely watching the results of the Senate contests, as the retirement of Senator Ben Cardin has created an opening for Republicans to potentially capture the seat, thanks to Hogan’s late entry into the race. A Hogan victory would mark the first time that a Republican has won a Maryland Senate election since 1980, and it could erase Democrats’ narrow majority in the chamber.

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Jan. 6 felony rioter Derrick Evans loses GOP House primary in West Virginia

Rioter defeated in W Va
Derrick Evans, a Jan. 6 rioter who admitted in court that he committed a felony crime against police officers when he stormed the Capitol while yelling "Derrick Evans is in the Capitol!," lost a Republican primary race against Rep. Carol Miller in West Virginia, NBC News projects.

Evans pleaded guilty to a felony count of obstructing or impeding officers during a civil disorder and was sentenced to three months in prison in June 2022. Evans struck an apologetic tone after admitting under oath in court that he had, in fact, knowingly committed a felony crime on Jan. 6, but has since rebranded himself as a "political prisoner" and spread conspiracy theories about the attack in which he took part.

Footage that Evans live-streamed online on Jan. 6, which was later presented as evidence during his sentencing, proved to be the most damning evidence against him. It highlighted him storming the Capitol while bragging in the third person, as well as his thoughts and knowledge that his conduct was unlawful.

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Paul Manafort Won't Advise Republican National Convention, Refuses To Be A 'Distraction'

Manafort

Donald Trump insider Paul Manafort will no longer be assisting party officials ahead of the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee this July.

Manafort, Trump’s 2016 campaign chairman, who the former president later pardoned, announced he was going to “stick to the sidelines” in a statement on Saturday following criticism of his unofficial role with the campaign.

“As a longtime, staunch supporter of President Trump and given my nearly 50 years experience in managing presidential conventions, I was offering my advice and suggestions to the Trump campaign on the upcoming convention in a volunteer capacity,” Manafort told The New York Times in a statement provided by the Trump campaign.

“However, it is clear that the media wants to use me as a distraction to try and harm President Trump and his campaign by recycling old news. And I won’t let the media do that,” he continued. “So, I will stick to the sidelines and support President Trump every other way I can.”

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Students Walk Out on Jerry Seinfeld’s Duke Commencement Speech

Seinfeld walked out on at Duke graduation

A slew of students walked out of Duke University’s commencement ceremony on Sunday to protest Israel’s war in Gaza just as the university’s commencement speaker, Jerry Seinfeld, was set to speak.

Videos posted on social media—but omitted from the university’s livestream—showed students walking out as Duke President Vincent Price introduced the comedian, who received an honorary doctorate. Other students erupted into dual jeers and cheers of “Jerry!”

Seinfeld’s speech largely steered clear of his recent public scuffles, focusing instead on jokes surrounding the students, AI, and his honorary degree. In a riff on the idea of privilege, though, he made specific mention of his heritage to loud cheers.

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Katie Britt proposes federal database to collect data on pregnant people

Katie Britt

Katie Britt, the Republican US senator from Alabama best known for delivering a widely ridiculed State of the Union speech in March, marked the run-up to Mother’s Day on Sunday by introducing a bill to create a federal database to collect data on pregnant people.

The More Opportunities for Moms to Succeed (Moms) act proposes to establish an online government database called “pregnancy.gov” listing resources related to pregnancy, including information about adoption agencies and pregnancy care providers, except for those that provide abortion-related services.

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