Monday, June 13, 2022

Wake-Up Call: Senate Reaches Deal On Gun Safety

A bipartisan group of senators announced yesterday that they have reached a deal on a narrow set of gun safety measures. The agreement would enhance background checks on gun buyers under age 21 and bar known domestic abusers from possessing guns. It also provides funding for states to implement “red flag laws” that allow for the confiscation of guns in the hands of people deemed dangerous. The bill falls well short of what Democrats wanted but appears to have enough Republican support to ensure its passage in the Senate.

The deal falls well short of the gun bill that passed the House last week. That measure would have raised the age to buy automatic weapons to 21, banned sale of high-capacity magazines, and required a background check to buy an untraceable “ghost gun.”

➤HEARINGS ZERO IN ON ELECTION FRAUD CLAIMS: The House committee investigating the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol is expected to focus today on the continuing claims by former President Donald Trump that voting fraud cost him the 2020 presidential election. The televised hearing is expected to focus on testimony asserting that Trump was repeatedly told by his own circle of advisors that his claims of significant election fraud had no basis in fact but continued to make the allegations, beginning on election night. The hearings start at 10 A.M ET today.

Meanwhile, the D.C. branch of the federal office that enforces the ethics of attorneys has filed misconduct charges against President Trump’s former attorney, Rudy Giuliani. He is charged with making baseless claims alleging voter fraud in a federal court.

➤SARAH PALIN READY FOR A COMEBACK: Former Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is ready for her political comeback. A preliminary ballot count released yesterday suggests she leads a field of no fewer than 48 candidates in a special election for the state’s sole seat in the House of Representatives. The top four candidates face a special election on August 16th.

🍲FOOD BILLS UP 10.1 PERCENT: You’re not imagining things. The average amount Americans spent on food has risen 10.1 percent compared to prices one year ago, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s the biggest jump in more than 40 years. Chicken prices alone are up 17.4 percent. Wage increases and fuel costs are blamed.

💸GOOGLE SETTLES LAWSUIT ALLEGING IT PAID WOMEN LESS: Google has agreed to pay $118 million in monetary relief to about 15,500 women who allegedly were paid less than their male counterparts by the tech giant. Four former employees sued the company, claiming women were systematically paid less than men in similar jobs. Google made no admission of guilt in the proposed settlement but agreed to allow independent observers to review its pay practices. A Superior Court judge in San Francisco must approve the settlement.

🍔PSEUDO McDONALD’S OPEN IN RUSSIA: A Russian businessman has reopened 15 of the 850 restaurants that McDonald’s shut down when it bailed out of the country along with many other American businesses. The new burger joints are called Vikusno & Tochka, which apparently translates to “Tasty and That’s It!” The restaurant in Moscow, where McDonald’s opened its first Russian location reportedly served 30,000 diners on its opening day yesterday.

⚾NOTRE DAME BLOWS AWAY TENNESSEE: The Notre Dame Fighting Irish dealt a stunning defeat to the top-seeded Tennessee Volunteers, 7-3, yesterday in the Knoxville Super Regional. That gets Notre Dame an unexpected trip to Omaha as one of the NCAA tournament’s final eight teams.

🏌RORY McILROY WINS CANADIAN OPEN: Rory McIlroy shot a 62 to win the Canadian Open yesterday. It was a repeat of his victory in 2019, the last time the Canadian event was held. It’s McIlroy’s 21st PGA Tour win.Meanwhile in London, South African golfer Charl Schwartzel won the first competition staged by LIV Golf, the new and controversial rival to the PGA Tour. Schwartzel won the individual stroke-play competition and his four-man team won the team competition by 14 shots. Phil Mickelson, one of the better-known players to join the controversial Saudi-backed tour group, finished in 34th place.

⚾DODGERS HAVE TO MAKE DO WITHOUT BUEHLER: The Los Angeles Dodgers are going to have to live without ace pitcher Walker Buehler for the next six to eight weeks. A strain in his right elbow will keep him off the field.

🏀WNBA’S IONESCU MAKES HISTORY: New York Liberty star Sabrina Ionescu scored her 10th rebound in the space of 30 minutes, making her one of only a few WNBA players to have achieved multiple triples. But none has ever done it in so short a time. It took her a flat 30 minutes. Ionescu finished the game with 27 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists. Despite her efforts, the New York Liberty lost to the Chicago Sky 88-86.

➤SUAREZ WINS NASCAR CUP SERIES RACE: Daniel Suarez won the NASCAR Cup Series race yesterday, passing Chris Buescher for a historic victory at Sonoma Raceway. Suarez is the first Mexican-born driver to win.

➤WE LIVE IN INTERESTING TIMES: Washington Commanders defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio has deleted his Twitter account, no doubt having had enough feedback about his public reference to the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol as “a dustup.” The team fined Del Rio $100,000 for the comment, and head coach Ron Rivera declared that the event was no dustup, it was an act of domestic terrorism. Then Fox News host Tucker Carlson called Rivera a “fascist moron.” Asked for comment, defensive tackle Jonathan Allen told NBC Sports: “I don’t care about his opinion as long as he shows up every day and works hard. That’s what I want from my defensive coordinator.”

🎥‘JURASSIC WORLD: DOMINION’ HAS COLOSSAL OPENING: Jurassic World: Dominion dominated the weekend box office, bringing in $143 million. Deadline reports that 10.8 million people went to theaters to see the movie, making it the fourth-best in terms of admission during the pandemic. The top three spots are held by Spider-Man: No Way Home at 20.6 million, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness at 14 million and Top Gun: Maverick at 11.6 million.

Box Office Numbers from Friday, June 10th through Sunday (June 12th):

1. Jurassic World: Dominion, $143.37 million
2. Top Gun: Maverick, $50 million
3. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, $4.9 million
4. Bob’s Burgers Movie, $2.33 million
5. The Bad Guys, $2.25
6. Downton Abbey: A New Era, $1.65 million
7. Everything Everywhere All at Once, $1.27 million
8. Firestarter, $820,000
9. Sonic the Hedgehog 2, $710,000
10. Ante Sundharaniki, $620,000

🌞75 MILLION SWEAT DURING HEAT WAVE: It was 123 degrees in Death Valley yesterday. That was the worst of it, but about 75 million people elsewhere in the U.S. sweated out a weekend heat advisory issued for much of the southwest and central U.S. It reached a record 114 degrees at the Phoenix airport. A cooling off is expected today as the heat wave moves east towards the Mississippi Valley and the Carolinas.

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