Tuesday, Jun 25th

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Netanyahu says Israel may shift focus to Hezbollah in Lebanon after Gaza war ends

Benjamin Netanyahu will take us all to an all out regional warIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday, June 23, that Israel’s “intense fighting” in Gaza will wind down, and that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) could soon shift its focus to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Netanyahu said though the war is far from over, he is willing and ready to consider deals to get more hostages home, adding that he’s still pushing forward with his goal of eliminating Hamas.

The prime minister reiterated Israel will not leave Gaza until all hostages are returned, but it is also trying to minimize tensions with Hezbollah at the Lebanon border.


Zelenskiy replaces commander leading war on Russia in eastern Ukraine

Zalensky replaces commander

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has replaced the commander of the Joint Forces Command of Ukraine’s military, after a well-known soldier accused the commander of causing mass casualties in the war with Russia.

In his nightly video address on Monday, Zelenskiy said Lt Gen Yuriy Sodol had been replaced by Brig Gen Andriy Hnatov, without giving a reason for the shake up.

Sodol was removed shortly after Bohdan Krotevych, the leader of Ukraine’s revered Azov regiment, accused the general of causing significant military setbacks and major losses in personnel.


Louisiana families file lawsuit against Ten Commandments display in schools

Loouisiana families sue about ten commandments

Several Louisiana families backed by human rights groups have lodged a lawsuit in federal court seeking to block the state’s new law forcing public schools to display the Ten Commandments.

The suit was filed with the US district court in Baton Rouge on Monday at the start of what is expected to be an epic legal battle that could end up before the US supreme court. Christian nationalists have been itching for this fight, hoping to destroy the country’s longstanding separation of church and state.

The new law, HB71, was signed by Louisiana’s hard right governor Jeff Landry last week, making the state the first in the nation to order the Ten Commandments to be displayed in all public school classrooms. The law stipulates that the text must be shown exactly as written in the legislation in a frame that is at least 11in by 14 in, and in “large, easily readable font”.


CNN’s Kasie Hunt cuts off interview with Trump spokesperson over attacks on moderator

Kasie Hunt ddefends colleagues

CNN anchor Kasie Hunt stopped an interview with a top spokesperson for former President Trump’s campaign Monday after she repeatedly attacked two CNN anchors who are slated to host this week’s presidential debate.

Hunt asked Trump national press secretary Karoline Leavitt what Trump “is gonna to do differently on the debate stage this time,” drawing reference to his 2020 clashes with President Biden.


Julian Assange to plead guilty in exchange for release from prison

Julian AssangeWikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will plead guilty to one felony charge under the Espionage Act in a plea deal that will allow him to go free from prison and bring to an end a years-long legal saga stemming from his role in one of the largest publications of classified information in U.S. history, according to court documents filed Monday.

Assange will plead guilty to conspiring to unlawfully obtain and disseminate national defense information, under the plea deal, which still must be approved by a judge.

Assange is slated to appear in federal court in the Mariana Islands, a U.S. commonwealth in the Western Pacific. His plea and sentencing are scheduled for Wednesday morning, after which time he is expected to return to Australia.


Hunter Biden requests new trial after conviction in gun case

Hunter Biden

Lawyers for Hunter Biden have filed a motion requesting a new trial, arguing that a Delaware court did not have jurisdiction over the case when it proceeded to trial.

Biden, the eldest living son of the US president, was found guilty earlier this month on three felony counts related to a handgun purchase while he was a user of crack cocaine.

Biden’s lawyer Abbe Lowell, in a court filing on Monday, argued that his client’s “convictions should be vacated” because the judge overseeing the case lacked jurisdiction to hold a trial because of pending rulings in his appeals case.

A federal appeals court had rejected two attempts by Biden’s lawyers to dismiss the gun charges, but Lowell said that the court had not yet issued a formal mandate denying one of those appeals.


Texas' anti-abortion heartbeat law aimed to save babies, but more infants died.

Texas abortion law results on more infant deathsTexas lawmakers touted their heartbeat law as an effort to save lives, but the state's near-total ban on abortion appears to have triggered an increase in infant deaths, according to a new study published Monday.

The findings in JAMA Pediatrics show that infant deaths rose after Texas’ Senate Bill 8, which banned all abortion after about six weeks from conception. S.B. 8 became Texas law in September 2021 and U.S. Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to abortion just over nine months later, on June 24, 2022. The high court ruling in the Dobbs case prompted more than a dozen states to issue near-total bans on abortion. Observers speculate that evidence will also show increases in infant deaths in those states, akin to what Texas has seen, the study said.

“It just points to some of the devastating consequences of abortion bans that maybe people weren't thinking about when they passed these laws,” Alison Gemmill, an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health who authored the study, told USA TODAY. She called the deaths following the Texas heartbeat law its “spillover effects on moms and babies.”


Are bans on gender-affirming care for minors constitutional? Supreme Court to decide

SCOTUS to take up gender affirming caseThe Supreme Court will wade into the controversial topic of puberty blockers and hormone therapy for transgender people under the age of 18, taking up a case that could be a flashpoint in the fight for LGBTQ rights.

The court agreed Monday to hear the Biden administration's challenge to a Tennessee's ban on gender-affirming medical treatment for minors, an increasingly potent political issue that has divided lower courts and emerged as a leading front in the battle over LGBTQ issues.

The case will be argued in the next term, which begins in October.

It's the first time the justices will weigh in on the matter, which is being fought by transgender teens and their families.


Multiple people, including a priest, killed in attacks in Russian Republic, officials say

Gunmen attack in RussssuaGunmen opened fire at places of worship across two cities in Russia's North Caucasus region of Dagestan on Sunday, killing multiple people, including an Orthodox priest and police officers, officials said.

The gunmen opened fire at synagogues, churches and a police post in the cities of Makhachkala and Derbent in the Republic of Dagestan − a predominantly Muslim region along the Caspian Sea, authorities said. The exact number of gunmen and victims involved in the attacks was not immediately clear.

Dagestan's Gov. Sergei Melikov said in a video statement early Monday that six of the gunmen had been “liquidated" in the two cities. The National Anti-Terrorist Committee said five attackers were “eliminated," Russian state news agencies reported.


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