By Alexandra Meeks, CNN
(CNN) — If you fly economy, you know firsthand that coach seats are often endured rather than enjoyed. That’s because main cabin tickets almost always include a battle for legroom, a nudge from your neighbor — or worse, wedging into a wretched middle seat. Now, amid widespread flight frustrations, two senators are calling on the FAA to review whether these seats may even be too cramped for safe emergency evacuations.
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1. Debt limit
The House of Representatives passed a bill Wednesday to suspend the nation’s debt limit through January 1, 2025. This comes as lawmakers race the clock to avert a first-ever default ahead of June 5 — the date the Treasury Department has said it will no longer be able to pay all of the nation’s obligations in full and on time. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy took a victory lap immediately after the House passed the debt limit deal with a big bipartisan showing. The legislation will now need to be passed by the Senate before it can be sent to President Joe Biden to be signed into law. But in the Senate, any one lawmaker can delay a swift vote and it is not yet clear when a final vote will take place.
2. Presidential race
Former Vice President Mike Pence will launch his 2024 presidential campaign on June 7 with an announcement video and a speech in Iowa, two sources familiar with the plans tell CNN. Pence’s presidential bid will pit him against his former boss and running mate, former President Donald Trump, who’s seeking a second term and is for now the early frontrunner. It will be an uphill climb for Pence, who has been polling in single digits, while Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who jumped into the race last week, continue to lead the field. Separately, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie plans to announce his candidacy in the 2024 race on Tuesday, according to sources familiar with the matter. Christie, who also ran in 2016 and has been outspoken against Trump, will make the announcement at a town hall at Saint Anselm College.
The war in Ukraine has taken a new turn this week amid increased shelling and drone strikes inside Russia’s border, including Moscow. Ukraine has denied any involvement in drone attacks on the Russian capital, even as one top official made it clear that Russia was getting a taste of its own medicine after months of bombarding Ukrainian cities. “Of course, we enjoy watching and predicting an increase in attacks,” said Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak. “But of course, we have nothing to do directly with it.” The US National Security Council’s John Kirby told CNN on Wednesday that the US is uncertain about who coordinated the recent drone incursions, adding that the Biden administration has “been clear, privately and publicly, with the Ukrainians that we don’t support attacks on Russian soil.”
Amazon on Wednesday agreed to pay more than $30 million to settle privacy complaints over its Alexa voice assistant and Ring doorbell cameras. The settlements with the Federal Trade Commission highlight claims that the company retained Ring videos and Alexa voice recordings — including that of children — for years. The FTC also alleges Amazon held on to voice recordings and geolocation in some cases without users’ consent and despite requests by consumers for the data to be deleted. The company in a statement disagreed with the claims and denied violating the law. However, as part of the agreement, Amazon said it will send consumers notices about the FTC settlement as well as implement a more robust privacy program.
An independent team assembled by NASA will publish its first report on unidentified anomalous phenomena, also known as unidentified flying objects, or UFOs, by the end of July. Unidentified anomalous phenomena, or UAP, “are events in the sky that cannot be identified as aircraft or known natural phenomena from a scientific perspective,” according to NASA. “The report will inform NASA on what possible data could be collected in the future to shed light on the nature and origin of UAP” and “assess whether those phenomena pose any risks to safety,” according to the agency. There have been several studies of UAPs carried out by various arms of the US government, including a Pentagon report that was declassified in June 2021, though none have given the public a clear answer about what the UAPs could be.
The Scripps National Spelling Bee finals are today
One of the nation’s brightest young minds will win the popular annual spelling bee this evening. Here’s how to watch.
Al Pacino is set to become a father again
The 83-year-old actor and his 29-year-old girlfriend are expecting a child.
Megalodon tooth necklace spotted in digital scan of Titanic wreck
For more than 100 years, this necklace carrying the tooth of a megalodon shark has sat at the bottom of the ocean.
Ford is recalling 176,000 Bronco SUVs
Luckily, the problem this time is far less serious than many other Ford recalls.
This UK castle could be yours for $37,000
That’s how many asylum applications Mexico’s refugee assistance agency said it expects to receive by year’s end. Some local officials say the influx in Mexico City is in part the result of the end of Title 42 in the US, which brought many more people to Mexico in hopes of crossing the US-Mexico border. Mexico plans to launch an asylum processing app next week to manage the overwhelming number of requests.
“Poison in every puff.”
That’s one of the messages that will soon appear on cigarettes in Canada after the country announced Wednesday it will require health warnings to be printed on every individual cigarette. The new rules, which go into effect August 1, will make Canada the first country in the world to require such warnings.
Smashing stereotypes in synchronized swimming
June is LGBTQ Pride Month, a time to recognize the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities’ quest for equal rights. See how this man is smashing barriers in artistic swimming — with the help of a non-profit dedicated to supporting the LGBTQ community succeed in sports. (Click here to view)
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