5 things to know for July 2: Capitol riot, Covid-19, SCOTUS, condo collapse, Canada

US factories are feeling the squeeze of supply chain issues and materials shortages. As a result, manufacturers in June recorded the biggest price jump in 42 years.

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1. Capitol riot

The House voted this week to create a select committee to investigate the deadly January 6 attack on the US Capitol — and it’s immediately become a politically fraught assignment. Republicans have made it clear they’re not interested, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy even threatened to strip party members of other committee assignments if they accepted an offer from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to serve. So far, Republican Rep. Liz Cheney has been tapped as one of the Democratic House speaker’s committee picks. Cheney was previously removed from GOP House leadership after repeatedly criticizing ex-President Trump’s false election claims. Meanwhile, new video from the insurrection is prompting more legal action against people who were there. The Justice Department this week rounded up several new defendants accused of destroying thousands of dollars’ worth of professional broadcast equipment.

2. Coronavirus

More local officials in the US are sounding the alarm over another possible wave of Covid-19 just as people are setting off for the July 4 holiday. For instance, places in Arkansas have seen a surge, and Gov. Asa Hutchinson says more than 90% of active virus cases are among unvaccinated people. To combat the spread of the Delta variant, the Biden administration is planning to deploy response teams across the US to areas with high infection rates. As for vaccines, Johnson & Johnson says data shows its vaccine provides immunity that lasts at least eight months and appears to provide adequate protection against the Delta variant.

3. SCOTUS

The Supreme Court has dealt a blow to the fight to preserve voting rights. The court yesterday ruled two provisions of an Arizona voting law that restrict how ballots can be cast do not violate the historic Voting Rights Act that bars regulations that result in racial discrimination. Critics see the ruling as essentially gutting what’s left of the Voting Rights Act. This also means the restrictive voting laws that Republican-led states are implementing this year are more likely to withstand legal challenges. The decision also raises questions about the legacy of the court’s 6-3 conservative majority. The Supreme Court term is now over, and attention is turning to Justice Stephen Breyer, the court’s senior liberal who is facing intense calls to retire.

4. Condo collapse

Rescue efforts at the Florida condo collapse site could face more challenges soon as a tropical storm approaches and risk of further collapse lingers. Work had to be halted for much of yesterday as engineers assessed the structure still standing. The rest of the building is expected to be demolished in coming weeks. Meanwhile, more ominous details from the years leading up to the collapse are coming to light. The building department in Surfside, Florida, was the target of mounting complaints by residents and contractors in late 2018 — so much so that the town manager at the time placed the office under administrative review. A family suing the Champlain Towers South condo association also claims an engineering firm that performed a 2018 structural analysis on the building should have been more thorough.

5. Canada

The Lower Kootenay Band, a member band of the Ktunaxa Nation, has announced the discovery of 182 human remains in unmarked graves at the site of another residential school in British Columbia. This site, near the city of Cranbrook, was formerly the St. Eugene’s Mission School. This is the third boarding school where vast numbers of human remains have been identified. The discoveries have forced Canada to confront its history of systemic abuse of Indigenous communities, perpetuated in schools like these. The painful discoveries also led some Canadians to discourage celebrations during yesterday’s Canada Day.

THIS JUST IN …

All US and coalition forces have left Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan

The departure, according to a US defense official, marks the end of the American presence at the sprawling compound that became the center of military power in Afghanistan. The full withdrawal of US troops from the country is expected very soon.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

What’s safe to do over the 4th of July weekend?

We’re talking pandemic-wise. Explosives-wise, that’s a whole other world of caution.

Krispy Kreme’s second attempt on the public markets is much sweeter

Like the donuts themselves, perhaps Krispy Kreme stock is an acquired taste.

Richard Branson will try to beat Jeff Bezos to space

This is how “keeping up with the Joneses” goes when the Joneses are really, really rich.

Vacation rental demand has gone crazy. Here’s how you can still get a deal

Because why go on vacation to relax if all you’ll do is worry about how much it’s costing you to relax?

Celebrate the 4th of July by taking our quiz about American symbols!

Here’s one question to get you started: What is the national mammal of the United States?

a: the Chesapeake Bay Retriever

b: the American bison

c. the American black bear

d: the white-tailed deer

Do you know it? Take the quiz and see if you’re correct! 

TODAY’S NUMBER

$1.76 million

That’s how much prosecutors say the Trump Organization gave CFO Allen Weisselberg in untaxed compensation, covering rent, utilities and garage expenses on an apartment. The Trump Organization, Trump Payroll Corporation and Weisselberg are charged with a scheme to defraud, conspiracy, criminal tax fraud and falsifying business records. All three have pleaded not guilty.

TODAY’S QUOTE

“For many years the workplace environment at the Washington Football Team, both generally and particularly for women, was highly unprofessional.”

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, as the NFL fined the Washington Football Team $10 million after an independent investigation into the team’s workplace culture. It was launched after 15 former female employees and two journalists who covered the team accused team staffers of sexual harassment and verbal abuse.

TODAY’S WEATHER

Check your local forecast here>>>

AND FINALLY

Somewhere over the rainbow

Have you heard of daytime fireworks? They look like literal magic. Enjoy your Fourth of July holiday, everyone! (Click here to view.)