First Thing: Trump a ‘clear and present danger to US democracy’ |

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The US system of government “nearly failed” on January 6, the chairman of the House Select Committee warned while a conservative judge stressed that Donald Trump and his allies remained “a clear and present danger to American democracy”.

Judge J Michael Luttig, who was an adviser to former Vice President Mike Pence, told the hearing that Trump and his Republican supporters were openly planning an “attempt to nullify this 2024 election in the same way that they tried to cancel the 2020 election. , but [to] to succeed”.

The committee hearing also detailed how the former president endangered Pence’s life by falsely claiming he had the power to refuse to count votes for Joe Biden. Just 40 feet separated the former vice president from the mafia Trump stoked on Jan. 6: Some chanted “Hang Mike Pence” and a gallows was erected outside.

When Trump heard about the chant, the deputy chairman of the panel’s committee said, “The president replied… ‘Maybe our supporters have the right idea.’ Mike Pence “deserves it”.

  • How prevalent is Trump’s lie among Republicans? More than 100 Republicans who won primaries for the midterm elections this year support Trump’s lie about voter fraud in 2020, according to the Washington Post.

Chief Republican negotiator quits Senate gun talks

John Cornyn with reporters at the Capitol.
John Cornyn with reporters at the Capitol. Photography: Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/Rex/Shutterstock

The chief Republican negotiator for U.S. Senate talks for a bipartisan gun safety bill walked out of negotiations on Thursday, telling reporters he was “done talking.”

Senator John Cornyn said he had not abandoned negotiations but was returning to Texas at an impasse, reducing the chances of a vote on the legislation before the Senate splits for a two-week break The 4th of July.

The group has drafted legislation to address gun violence after the Uvalde school shooting in Texas, which happened just 10 days after another gunman killed 10 people in Buffalo, New York .

  • A shooting at a church in suburban Birmingham, Alabama, killed two people and injured two others on Thursday, the police said. The suspect was taken into custody.

Russia ‘strategically lost’ the war, says UK defense chief

Admiral Sir Tony Radakin said Russia's military power had been severely reduced by its war in Ukraine.
Admiral Sir Tony Radakin said Russia’s military power had been severely reduced by its war in Ukraine. Photograph: Andrew Milligan/PA

Russia has already “strategically lost” the war in Ukraine and will never be able to take control of the whole country, the head of the British armed forces has said.

Admiral Sir Tony Radakin said Russia was taking heavy losses for marginal gains and would emerge from the conflict a “more diminished power” while strengthening NATO. “Putin used about 25% of his army’s might to gain a tiny amount of territory and 50,000 dead or wounded,” he said.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov gave an interview to the BBC on Thursday, saying: “Russia is not squeaky clean. Russia is what it is. And we’re not ashamed to show who we are. Asked about alleged war crimes against civilians, he accused the UN of spreading “fake news”.

  • What does western intelligence say? Reports from British intelligence seem to echo the claims about the victims. Some Russian battalion battle groups – usually consisting of around 600–800 personnel – have included as few as 30 soldiers.

  • The US State Department is aware of a photograph appearing to show two missing Americans was reportedly captured by Russian forces while volunteering to defend Ukraine, a relative of one of the men has said.

In other news…

A humanitarian aid convoy waits to be inspected by customs officers at the Bab al-Hawa crossing point between Turkey and Syria
A humanitarian aid convoy waits to be inspected by customs officers at the Bab al-Hawa crossing point between Turkey and Syria Photograph: Omar Haj Kadour/AFP/Getty Images
  • The last UN humanitarian aid route to Syria is likely to be closed amid the collapse of relations between Russia and the West. The Security Council will vote on July 10 on whether to keep the Bab al-Hawa crossing from Turkey open; this year, more Syrians are at risk of going hungry than at any other time in the conflict.

  • Japanese schoolchildren were once again allowed to talk to their friends during lunch break, after the Covid rule of mokushoku – eat in silence – was abandoned. It comes as cases fall nationwide and amid concerns over children’s development.

  • An inquest has been opened into the death of a disabled passenger who allegedly fell after disembarking from a plane in London gatwick airport unaided. An airport spokesman said staff shortages “were not a factor” in the passenger falling down an escalator.

Stat of the day: 85% to 90% of the food consumed in Maui is imported

Kaipo Kekona pictured on his family farm.  He and his wife, Rachel Lehualani Kapu, are restoring once depleted farmland.
Kaipo Kekona pictured on his family farm. He and his wife, Rachel Lehualani Kapu, are restoring once depleted farmland. Photography: Bea Oyster/The Guardian

Once an abundant source of food and medicine, Maui now imports between 85% and 90% of its food. But a growing movement for food and land sovereignty in Hawaii is working to bring back the lost prosperous landscape, as indigenous farmers oppose the dominance of multinational agrichemicals in the state.

Don’t miss this: Jay-Z’s Bitcoin school met with skepticism in his former housing project

Jay-Z and a sign outside Marcy Houses where he grew up.
Jay-Z and a sign outside Marcy Houses where he grew up. Composition: Getty Images

As hip-hop’s first confirmed billionaire raps about staying close to his roots, residents of the Marcy Houses where Jay-Z grew up met his plan by offering them a free cryptocurrency ‘financial literacy’ course with skepticism. Many have reacted to the idea of ​​joining the Bitcoin Academy with frustration: “People don’t want to invest money knowing they might have a chance of losing it,” said a 58-year-old retiree.

Climate control: UN climate talks end in deadlock and claim of ‘hypocrisy’

Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, addresses the Bonn conference
Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, addresses the Bonn conference Photography: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

Climate activists have accused Western countries of seeking to exploit the developing world’s fossil fuel reserves while failing to help them tackle the climate emergency. Countries like Germany are planning to increase their imports of fossil fuels to replace Russian gas amid war on Ukraine.

Last thing: Experience: I’m the most boring man in Britain

Kevin Beresford in the village square of Sambourne, with one of the stars of his Benches of Redditch calendar.
Kevin Beresford in the village square of Sambourne, with one of the stars of his Benches of Redditch calendar. Photograph: Stephen Burke/The Guardian

Kevin Beresford, proud member of the Dull Men’s Club, has been crowned Britain’s most annoying man. The international collective (which welcomes women into its ranks) finds “joy in the banal”; Beresford, who created a successful calendar celebrating his town’s roundabouts, has that quality in spades.

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