5 things to know for June 14: January 6, Stocks, Gun laws, Ukraine, Yellowstone
(CNN) — A Google engineer claims that one of the tech company’s unreleased artificial intelligence programs advanced so much that it has achieved a level of consciousness. Google and many in the AI community quickly shut down the engineer’s claims, but the mere idea is sparking fascinating conversations — and stoking fears — about the potential for what this technology can do.
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1. January 6
The chairman of the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol told reporters that the panel won’t criminally refer former President Donald Trump or others to the Justice Department. Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson’s statement on Monday drew quick reactions from other members of the committee, revealing the panel is split over how to handle potential criminal referrals of Trump and his associates for prosecution. In Monday’s hearing, Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren laid out evidence that Trump knew he had lost the 2020 election, was told he had lost on dozens of occasions, and not only refused to accept it but actively pushed conspiracy theories and other false claims that he knew were wrong to stir up his party’s base. In response, Trump lashed out in a 12-page statement trashing the committee’s work.
Stocks plunged again Monday, officially pushing the S&P 500 into bear market territory — which happens when stocks close down 20% or more from their most recent high. In short, stocks are tumbling due to inflation and the Federal Reserve’s efforts to tame it, experts say. One month ago, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said that the central bank was not “actively considering” raising interest rates by three-quarters of a percentage point to fight inflation, but Wall Street is now worried that Powell may have to change his tune. The S&P 500, the broadest measure of Wall Street, is down more than 21% from its high reached in early January — and cryptocurrencies have also joined the meltdown. Bitcoin fell below $23,000 today as investors bailed out of risky assets.
3. Gun laws
The vast majority of Republican senators are showing they are hesitant to fully embrace the announced gun safety framework, with many telling CNN they want more details before saying where they stand. It’s a sign of just how hard it will be for Republicans to hold on to the support they have and expand it, as pro-gun groups and others whip up supporters against the framework. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia — the most conservative Democrat in the Senate — defended the newly reached bipartisan agreement on Monday, adding it takes “no rights away, no privileges away” from gun owners. Separately, Ohio’s governor Monday signed a Republican-backed bill into law that makes it easier for teachers and staff to carry guns on school premises.
The embattled Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk is nearly completely controlled by Russian forces, according to Ukrainian military officials. The third of three main bridges to the city was deemed impassable on Monday, making evacuations extremely difficult. Meanwhile, the human rights group Amnesty International has accused Russia of war crimes during its efforts to capture the northeastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, documenting the alleged use of cluster munitions and “other indiscriminate means of attack which killed and injured hundreds of civilians.” Ukraine’s national police said authorities are also investigating the deaths of more than 12,000 civilians across the country.
Severe flooding has shut down Yellowstone National Park and left some people in surrounding communities trapped without safe drinking water, officials say. All park entrances have been closed to visitors through at least Wednesday, officials announced, citing “record flooding events” and a forecast of more rain to come. Images of the damage show bridges partially collapsed and washed out roads across the park — 96% of which is in Wyoming, 3% in Montana and 1% in Idaho. The Yellowstone River, which runs through the park and several Park County cities, swelled to a record high this week due to recent heavy rainfall and significant runoff from melting snow in higher elevations.
America’s most outstanding restaurant is…
Calling all foodies! These outstanding restaurants earned prestigious James Beard Awards at the annual ceremony on Monday.
Woman clings to tree in canal for hours after trying to save her dog
Watch the intense rescue footage here. A woman and her dog were trapped in the water for 18 hours — but she didn’t give up.
Post Malone welcomes a baby girl
A lovely gift just in time for Father’s Day this Sunday!
Amber Heard speaks out for the first time since her defamation trial
For all of our readers following the saga, here is Amber Heard’s first interview since her blockbuster trial with Johnny Depp.
Think you’re OK because you only drink on weekends? Think again.
Well, it’s not too late for 2022 to be the “year of the mocktail.” If you consider yourself to be a light-to-moderate drinker, this new research may interest you.
That’s how many global travel destinations are on the CDC’s “high” risk category for Covid-19 as of Monday. Some popular places that joined the “Level 3: Covid-19 High” category this week include Mexico, a favorite destination for US tourists, and the UAE, the Middle East’s glitzy hot spot. The Level 3 category applies to countries that have had more than 100 cases per 100,000 residents in the past 28 days, the CDC said.
“We remain concerned about the prospects for what would be a seventh nuclear test over multiple administrations. We know that the North Koreans have done preparations for such a test. We are being extremely vigilant about that.”
— Secretary of State Antony Blinken, emphasizing the US is prepared to make adjustments to military posture in response to a potential nuclear test by North Korea. Following several recent missile launches by Pyongyang, Blinken said Monday the US is “preparing for all contingencies” and is in “very close touch” with partners like South Korea and Japan “to be able to respond quickly” if North Korea carries out such a test.
Today is National Flag Day
Did you know the current American flag was designed by a high school student from Ohio? Watch this 2-minute video to learn how a class project changed our country forever. (Click here to view)
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