NEWS - THURSDAY, JUNE 17, 2021 - NEWS
All eyes are on Geneva, Switzerland, as President Biden met with Vladimir Putin today in his first sit-down with the Russian President this term. Also, the cease-fire in the Middle East appears to be over after Israel carried out airstrikes after militants in the Palestinian territory launched fire balloons. All that and all that matters in today’s Eye Opener. Your world in 90 seconds. CBS
VOA VIEW: Biden made himself took weaker then he is.
After their first summit meeting, the two leaders described each other with respect but resolved none of the disagreements that have sent U.S.-Russian ties to their lowest level since the Cold War. New York Times
President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to resume stalled nuclear talks and return ambassadors to their foreign posts. CNBC
VOA VIEW: They agreed to nothing.
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In a highly anticipated summit, U.S. President Joe Biden met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Switzerland on Wednesday. The leaders held separate press conferences afterward, starting with Putin. UPI
VOA VIEW: The US accomplished nothing but defeat.
A "murder hornet" was found dead just north of Seattle -- the first Asian giant hornet spotted in North America this year -- as scientists work to prevent invasive species from invading North America. New York Post
Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott formally announced the first step in his plan to build a wall along the state's border with Mexico Wednesday. New York Post
VOA VIEW: All should donate.
The House approved the measure, which would designate June 19 as a federal holiday to commemorate the end of slavery. New York Times
VOA VIEW: The American people will have to pay for another national holiday.
The bill goes into effect on Sept. 1 and allows anyone who can legally possess a firearm in Texas to carry a handgun in public without a permit. USA Today
VOA VIEW: There may be safer Texans.
More than 50 million people across eight states were under heat warnings and watches as the National Weather Service urged people to stay indoors.
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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis castigated the Biden administration for creating “a disaster and an emergency” at the nation's border with Mexico and said Wednesday that he would send law enforcement to Texas and Arizona, whose Republican governors have appealed to other states for help. Washington Times
Cybercriminals linked to the ransomware group that hit major U.S. fuel supplier Colonial Pipeline have reemerged and changed their tactics, according to cybersecurity firm FireEye. While the DarkSide ransomware group behind the attack on the pipeline company appeared to go dormant last month, FireEye said Wednesday it detected a DarkSide ... Washington Times
A statement of support by the G-7 leaders at their summit this week set off the Chinese government, which responded with stepped-up vitriol and provocative military flights in response to strong language in the group's final communique. "We reiterate the importance of maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific, which is ... Washington Times
VOA VIEW: China may not like the new precedent.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has avoided a censure some House Democrats had sought over remarks the Georgia Republican made about the Holocaust last month in light of her publicly apologizing this week. Rep. Brad Schneider of Illinois said Tuesday he would no longer move forward with plans to introduce a ... Washington Times
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Black Lives Matter argued in court papers this week that a federal report exonerating former President Trump from ordering the clearing of protesters in Lafayette Square last year contradicts prior justifications by officials who said the use of tear gas was authorized “to protect the President’s safety.” Washington Times
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell hinted this week he would hold open a vacancy on the Supreme Court preventing President Biden from making a nomination should Republicans take back control of the upper chamber in 2022. Washington Times
A California man charged with storming the U.S. Capitol is accused of using a tax-exempt charity as a platform to protest that the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump and to advocate for violence against political opponents ABC
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The U.S. Education Department on Wednesday expanded its interpretation of federal sex protections to include transgender and gay students ABC
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey's executive order mandates that public universities can't make students get COVID-19 vaccines or show proof of vaccination to attend class. ABC
VOA VIEW: The courts may wade in.
Before the pandemic, GM announced an initial $20 billion investment in electric and autonomous vehicles. ABC
VOA VIEW: The end result will be interesting.
The DOJ on Wednesday moved to drop its civil lawsuit targeting former national security adviser John Bolton over his 2020 memoir about Donald Trump's presidency. ABC
VOA VIEW: The DOJ has gone left.
Democratic Texas lawmakers met with Vice President Harris, but conceded that while the administration wants to see federal voting reform pass, the hurdle is the Senate. ABC
VOA VIEW: Time will tell.
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Many of the asylum cases filed by Central American migrants along the U.S.-Mexico border cite domestic violence and gang persecution. CBS
VOA VIEW: Easy passage to the US.
One homeowner in Alabama is five months behind on her mortgage and hopes she can strike a deal with her lender. CBS
VOA VIEW: The free rides should be over.
Older Americans are considerably more likely to have shared a bedroom with a sibling than younger Americans. CBS
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Alabama pastor held off push from group pushing to move already-conservative, largest U.S. Protestant denomination further right. Racial and sex abuse issues were front-and-center. CBS
VOA VIEW: The left won - so far.
Manchin circulated a list of provisions he would support in the sweeping voting and elections bill up for consideration in the Senate. CBS
VOA VIEW: What price is Manchin's honor?
Broader Republican support boosts the chances of a bipartisan plan passing, but lawmakers would still need to win over skeptical Democrats. CNBC
The increased costs include a greater-than-expected impact from the parts shortage as well as rising commodity inflation costs of up to $2 billion. CNBC
"I predict there's 10 good years in front of us, because the world is becoming more digital, and everything digital needs semiconductors." CNBC
Facebook on Wednesday announced that it will begin testing advertisements that will appear within the company's Oculus virtual reality headsets. CNBC
VOA VIEW: Takeover is problematic.
Amazon didn't name call out any social media platforms by name, but recent investigations have found that fake review groups are prevalent on Facebook. CNBC
VOA VIEW: Fake reviews are a major problem that must be exposed and eradicated.
The WHO is also tracking recent reports of a "delta plus" variant that has an additional mutation, said Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO's Covid-19 technical lead. CNBC
VOA VIEW: WHO cannot not be trusted.
President Joe Biden gifted Russian President Vladimir Putin a pair of custom aviator sunglasses made by Randolph USA during their summit on Wednesday, according to a White House official. CNN
The Covid news is contradictory. The country is more open every day and getting back to normal. People who want a vaccine should already have it. Sports stadiums are packed. Airlines are full. Restaurants are booked. CNN
VOA VIEW: CNN fear tactics.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agents at the Laredo Sector in Texas intercepted a U-Haul truck carrying 27 illegal immigrants in a suspected smuggling operation. FOX News
A teacher in Illinois is defending critical race theory as a valuable tool for addressing racism. FOX News
VOA VIEW: CRT must be exposed and ended.
The U.S. Army has hidden or downplayed the extent to which its firearms disappear, significantly understating losses and thefts even as some weapons are used in street crimes. FOX News
VOA VIEW: The problem must be stopped.
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona on Wednesday announced the Biden administration will provide $500 million to fully cancel loans for 18,000 former ITT Technical Institute students. UPI
VOA VIEW: Discrimination!
The House Armed Services Committee was critical of plans to defund development of nuclear sea-launched cruise missiles, as noted last week by the acting Navy Secretary. UPI
VOA VIEW: The acting Navy Secretary is selling the US short.
A federal appeals court on Wednesday ruled that North Carolina's law banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy is unconstitutional. UPI
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 265 points on Wednesday as markets hit their session lows after the Federal Reserve announced plans to implement two rate hikes by the end of 2023. UPI
VOA VIEW: Biden will cause financial crises to the US.
Leaders in San Jose have approved new gun control measures -- including one that says sellers must video record every sale -- three weeks after nine people were killed in a shooting attack at a rail yard in the city. UPI
VOA VIEW: Forcing individuals to undergo video tapping is wrong.
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Authorities in Ukraine said Wednesday they have arrested several members of a notorious hacking group that's targeted a number of U.S. institutions with ransomware attacks. UPI
Kim Jong Un acknowledged North Korea faces a critical food shortage during a much anticipated meeting of the Korean Workers' Party. UPI
VOA VIEW: Un is under nourishing his country.
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A federal watchdog has opened an investigation into the National Institutes of Health’s grant program amid the ongoing controversy over funds being sent to the Wuhan Institute of Virology. “We share stakeholders’ concerns regarding compliance and oversight of NIH grant funds. We have been monitoring this issue for some time and consider it a high-priority matter that can pose a threat to the integrity of the NIH grant program,” Department of Health and Human Services inspector general spokesperson Tesia Williams said in a statement obtained by the Post. Fauci will be exposed and should be fired.
“Based on our preliminary research and analysis, HHS-OIG has decided to conduct an extensive audit reviewing how NIH monitored selected grants and how the grantees and subgrantees used and managed federal funds between years 2014 through 2021,” Williams added. The time frame covered by the investigation, which was first reported by CNN, coincides with the period when New York City-based non-profit EcoHealth Alliance received $3.75 million in grant money from the NIH to carry out a study called “Understanding the Risk of Bat Coronavirus Emergence.”
Between fiscal years 2014 and 2019, a total of $826,277 from the initial grant was parceled out by EcoHealth to the Wuhan Institute of Virology as a subgrant. Internal NIH emails obtained earlier this month by the conservative group Judicial Watch indicate that the Wuhan lab was due to receive a total of $1.5 million in federal grant money via EcoHealth between mid-2014 and mid-2025. EcoHealth would have received approximately $7.4 million over the same period.