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5 things to know for June 15: Primaries, Economy, Ukraine, Covid-19, UK deportations

By Alexandra Meeks, CNN

The official start of summer is still six days away, but for many across the US, it feels like it’s been here for weeks — with unusual severity. On the heels of an intense heat wave, a large swath of the country is now bracing for extreme temperatures today, testing power grids and leaving more than 88 million people under heat warnings or advisories.

Here’s what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.

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1. Primaries

Primary elections were held in Nevada, South Carolina, Maine and North Dakota on Tuesday. Much of the attention was on Nevada, where Republicans chose a vocal supporter of former President Donald Trump’s lies about election fraud as their nominee to become the state’s top elections official. In South Carolina, voters delivered the vengeance that Trump had sought as they ousted Rep. Tom Rice, one of the 10 House Republicans who voted for Trump’s impeachment last year. But In a district near Rice’s, a one-time Trump critic, Rep. Nancy Mace, narrowly survived a challenge from a Trump-endorsed rival — displaying the difficulty of surviving in a GOP still dominated by the former President without embracing his grievances. A special election in Texas also resulted in a GOP win after Democrat Dan Sanchez conceded to Republican Mayra Flores in a contest for what had long been a Democratic-held House seat.

2. Economy

All eyes on are the Federal Reserve as it wraps up a two-day meeting on interest rates today. In a move to fight rampant inflation, the central bank is expected to increase its benchmark interest rate by three-quarters of a percentage point — the biggest single hike since 1994. This follows the Fed’s decision to raise rates by half a percentage point in May, the biggest increase in 22 years. So, what does this mean for consumers? Experts say every time the Fed raises rates, it becomes more expensive to borrow. That means higher interest costs for mortgages, home equity lines of credit, credit cards, student debt and car loans. Business loans will also get pricier.

3. Ukraine

The US expects more announcements of weapons and equipment packages to be sent to Ukraine to help in its fight against Russia at a meeting of nearly 50 countries in Brussels today, according to a senior US defense official. Ukrainian officials have warned that Russia is gaining ground in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, specifically in the city of Severodonetsk, which has seen some of the heaviest fighting. Without an influx of more weapons, some Ukrainian officials say it will be difficult to halt Russia’s progress or reclaim occupied ground in the region. This, however, could force a tough decision for Western governments, which have offered immense support to Ukraine at an increasing cost to their own economies and national stockpiles of weapons.

4. Coronavirus

In a unanimous decision on Tuesday, FDA advisers voted in favor of authorizing Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine for children and teens ages 6 to 17. The FDA, which typically follows the committee’s decisions, will now decide whether to authorize the vaccine for emergency use in these age groups.  Moderna’s vaccine has been estimated to be 93.3% effective against symptomatic Covid-19 among adolescents ages 12 to 17 when the original coronavirus and the Alpha variant were dominant, according to an FDA briefing document. The vaccine was estimated to be 76.8% effective against symptomatic Covid-19 for children ages 6 to 11 when the Delta variant was dominant. Pfizer/BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine is approved for people 16 and older, and it’s authorized for use in children as young as 5.

5. UK deportations

The inaugural flight of a controversial UK government scheme to send asylum-seekers to Rwanda was stopped on Tuesday at the eleventh hour, after an intervention by the European Court of Human Rights. According to the UK’s PA Media news agency, “all migrants have been removed from the plane and the flight to Rwanda will not take off as scheduled tonight.” Britain’s government had announced the deal with the east African country in April. Those people granted asylum would then be allowed to resettle in Rwanda. The government insisted the program was aimed at disrupting people-smuggling networks and deterring migrants from making the dangerous sea journey across the English Channel from France.


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That’s about how many days US basketball star Brittney Griner will remain in Russian custody — if not more — Russian state news agency TASS reported Tuesday. Griner — who has been held in Russia since February on accusations of drug smuggling — will remain detained through at least July 2, according to a Russian court. US officials have officially classified Griner as “wrongfully detained” with some supporters expressing concerns Russia would use Griner as a political pawn amid tensions over the war in Ukraine.


“This is merely an attempt to stop a man that is leading in every poll, against both Republicans and Democrats by wide margins, from running again for the Presidency.”

— Former President Donald Trump, delivering a scathing critique of the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, riot at the US Capitol in a 12-page statement. The next hearing is scheduled for Thursday at 1 p.m. ET after the committee postponed the hearing scheduled for today. The upcoming hearing is expected to focus on the pressure campaign applied to then-Vice President Mike Pence to refuse to certify the results of the 2020 election.


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