Voters on Tuesday went to the polls for primaries in seven states: California, Iowa, Montana, New Mexico, South Dakota, New Jersey and Mississippi. In one of the closely watched races, voters in San Francisco recalled Chesa Boudin as district attorney of San Francisco. Boudin is a progressive prosecutor who aimed to reform the criminal justice system, but he faced mounting attacks by the real estate industry, Republicans and some Democrats.
In the Los Angeles mayoral race, billionaire real estate developer Rick Caruso and Congressmember Karen Bass are headed to a runoff in November after placing first and second in Tuesday’s primary. Caruso is a Republican-turned-Democrat who sits on the board of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Caruso spent at least $39 million of his own fortune on the race. Bass is attempting to become the first female mayor of Los Angeles and the city’s second Black mayor.
Meanwhile, in Montana, Donald Trump’s former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is in a close race in a Republican primary to win back his old House seat. We’ll have more on the primaries after headlines.
Bipartisan negotiations on new federal gun laws are continuing in the Senate, but several key proposals are already off the table, including a new federal ban on assault weapons, new background checks and new restrictions on high-capacity ammunition magazines. Instead, lawmakers are focusing on school safety and mental illness.
On Tuesday, Congress heard testimony from the son of 86-year-old Ruth Whitfield, who was gunned down by a white supremacist last month at a Buffalo grocery store with nine other Black shoppers. Garnell Whitfield urged Congress to act.
Garnell Whitfield Jr.: “And ask yourself: Is there nothing that we can do? Is there nothing that you, personally, are willing to do to stop the cancer of white supremacy and the domestic terrorism it inspires? Because if there is nothing, then, respectfully, Senators, you should yield your positions of authority and influence to others that are willing to lead on this issue. … My mother’s life mattered. My mother’s life mattered. And your actions here today would tell us how much it matters to you.”
The Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey spoke at the White House press briefing on Tuesday. McConaughey is a gun owner from Uvalde, Texas, the site of last month’s school massacre where 19 students and two teachers were shot dead.
Matthew McConaughey: “We need background checks. We need to raise the minimum age to purchase an AR-15 rifle to 21. We need a waiting period for those rifles. We need red flag laws and consequences for those who abuse them. These are reasonable, practical, tactical regulations to our nation, states, communities, schools and homes. Responsible gun owners are fed up with the Second Amendment being abused and hijacked by some deranged individuals.”
Matthew McConaughey and his wife spent a week in his hometown of Uvalde after the massacre meeting with the loved ones of the massacre victims.
On Tuesday, former Congressmember Gabby Giffords, who was shot in an assassination attempt in 2011, spoke at the opening of a temporary memorial for victims of gun violence at the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
Gabby Giffords: “Stopping gun violence takes courage, the courage to do what’s right, the courage to new ideas. I’ve seen great courage when my life was on the line. Now is the time to come together, be responsible — Democrats, Republicans, everyone. We must never stop fighting. Fight, fight, fight. Be bold. Be courageous. The nation is counting on you. Thank you very much.”
Gabby Giffords is marking her 52nd birthday today. Last night Giffords was in New York for the premiere of the new documentary, “Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down,” directed by Julie Cohen and Betsy West. Their previous film, “My Name Is Pauli Murray,” won a Peabody Award on Tuesday. Click here to see our coverage of that film.
In Tempe, Arizona, three police officers have been placed on leave after they ignored an unhoused man’s pleas to help him from drowning in a lake. The incident began when police responded to a reported disturbance involving 34-year-old Sean Bickings and a companion near Tempe Town Lake last month. After the police arrived, Bickings climbed a metal fence to reach the water. He soon began struggling in the water. According to a police transcript, Bickings said, “I’m drowning.” An officer responded saying, “I’m not jumping in after you.” Bickings responded by saying, “Oh god. Please help me. Help me.” Tempe’s city manager and police chief have called his drowning a “tragedy.”
Meanwhile, in North Carolina, a county has agreed to pay a $3 million settlement to the family of Andrew Brown Jr., a Black father who was fatally shot by officers last year. Three sheriff’s deputies opened fire on him in his driveway while serving an arrest warrant. An autopsy confirmed Brown died of a gunshot wound to the back of his head. Andrew Brown Jr. was the father of seven children.
Italy’s foreign minister is warning millions of people could die of hunger if Ukraine’s ports are not reopened. Italy is hosting a meeting of Mediterranean nations to discuss the global food crisis. This comes as Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is in Turkey for talks. Lavrov said the ports can’t be reopened until Ukraine removes mines it placed off its coast. Both Ukraine and Russia have been accused of placing mines in the Black Sea. Turkey has offered to provide naval escorts to ships carrying grain from Ukrainian ports. Meanwhile, the United States has accused Russia of trying to sell grain stolen from Ukraine to drought-stricken nations in Africa. In other developments, Russian media is reporting that more than 1,000 Ukrainian fighters who surrendered in Mariupol have now been transferred to Russia.
More leaders of Latin American countries have announced they will not attend the Summit of the Americas, which is taking place in Los Angeles. The summit has been mired in controversy after the Biden administration refused to invite Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela. On Monday, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced he would boycott the talks over Biden’s decision. The presidents of Bolivia, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador have also said they will not attend the summit. We will have more later in the program.
An internal U.S. government report has found the State Department and Pentagon have failed to assess how many civilians are being killed with U.S.-made weapons in the U.S.-backed, Saudi-led war in Yemen. The report was written by the Government Accountability Office but remains classified. The Saudi-led air campaign has killed nearly 15,000 people in Yemen, striking homes, hospitals and other civilian targets.
This comes as President Biden is facing mounting questions over his plans to travel to Saudi Arabia next month to meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre defended Biden’s planned trip.
Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre: “So, Saudi Arabia has been a strategic partner of the United States for eight decades. Every president since FDR has met with Saudi leaders. … As I’ve said, the president will meet with any leader if it serves the interests of the American people. That’s what he puts first. He believes engagement with Saudi leaders clearly meets that test, as has every president before him.”
The FBI has seized the electronic data of retired Marine four-star General John Allen as part of a probe into whether Allen lied about his role in secretly lobbying for the government of Qatar. Allen retired from the Marines in 2013 and became the president of the Brookings Institute in 2017.
The Lebanese military says that it arrested 64 people on Tuesday as they attempted to sail from northern Lebanon to Europe to seek refuge. The group was made up of people from Lebanon, Syria and Palestine. They were taken into custody before their boat could set sail from a point near the Lebanese city of Tripoli. This comes just weeks after a boat carrying more than 60 capsized off the coast of Tripoli, killing at least seven and leaving many others missing. Many have fled Lebanon since the country’s economic collapse began in 2019, leading to severe shortages in fuel, medicine and food.
A federal judge has ordered Louisiana’s new congressional map be redrawn. The judge accused Republicans of racial gerrymandering by packing Black voters into a single district in a move that would likely lead to the state having just one Black member of Congress.
Louisiana has become the 18th state to enact a trans athlete ban. The measure to bar trans girls and women from competing on school sports teams became law after the state’s Democratic governor, John Bel Edwards, chose not to veto the legislation. The bill, called the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, says that schools must designate teams based on “biological sex” — defined as the sex listed on a person’s birth certificate at the time of their birth.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen testified before the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday and warned inflation will remain high.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen: “We currently face macroeconomic challenges, including unacceptable levels of inflation, as well as the headwinds associated with the disruptions caused by the pandemic’s effect on supply chains and the effects of supply-side disturbances to oil and food markets resulting from Russia’s war in Ukraine.”
Yellen’s comment comes as the World Bank has warned stagflation in the global economy could have potentially destabilizing consequences in some countries including the rising risk of malnutrition and even famine.
Meanwhile, U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has faced some criticism after recently saying one of his goals in combating inflation was “to get wages down.”
Workers at a Starbucks in Memphis, Tennessee, have voted to unionize, after the Workers United union won an election to represent the store’s baristas on Tuesday. This is the same store that fired seven union activists, known as the “Memphis 7,” who were trying to organize back in February. The store is now one of the approximately 115 Starbucks locations that have voted to unionize in recent months. This is Nikki Taylor of the Memphis 7.
Nikki Taylor: “We just won, after a fight that almost took, I know, me out. I want to say thank you to our supporters across the nation that have held us down, all our supporters here in the city of Memphis. Memphis is a union town, and Poplar Highland is unionized, baby!”
Click here to see our interview with another member of the Memphis 7.