First Thing: Kevin McCarthy pulls GOP appointees from Capitol attack panel

First Thing: Kevin McCarthy pulls GOP appointees from Capitol attack panel

Good morning.

The House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, yesterday rejected two of the minority leader Kevin McCarthy’s appointments for the House select committee tasked with investigating the 6 January attack on the US Capitol.

After learning of Pelosi’s veto of his choices, Jim Jordan and Jim Banks, McCarthy withdrew all five of his appointments. He called the move an “egregious abuse of power” that would “irreparably damage this institution”.

  • Jordan and Banks had voted in support of the baseless objections to the certification of the presidential election on 6 January, raising questions of a conflict of interest – many people who stormed the Capitol that day said they did so because they believed the election was stolen.
  • Pelosi, however, said how someone voted on 6 January did not disqualify them from serving on the committee, and did not object to the appointment of Troy Nehls, who also voted in support. She rejected their appointment because of their remarks disparaging the inquiry and their ties to Donald Trump, she said.
  • The Republican congresswoman Liz Cheney, who was previously appointed to the panel by Pelosi, called McCarthy’s actions “despicable and disgraceful”. “At every turn the minority leader has tried to get the people not to know what happened” on 6 January, she said.

Biden: children under 12 could soon be eligible for Covid vaccine

Joe Biden went on a televised CNN-hosted town hall in Cincinnati to say that children under 12, who are currently ineligible for the three coronavirus vaccines available in the US, could get shots by August or later in the fall.

Covid-19 cases have nearly tripled in the US in the past two weeks, with the Delta variant sweeping through unvaccinated communities. Only 56.2% of Americans have had at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the CDC.

Harvey Weinstein pleads not guilty in LA trial

Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced Hollywood producer and convicted rapist serving a 23-year prison term in New York, pleaded not guilty yesterday in a Los Angeles courtroom to four counts of rape and seven other sexual assault counts.

His charges pertain to alleged attacks involving five women spanning from 2004 to 2013, some taking place during Oscars week, in the hotels in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles that the New York-based Weinstein would make his headquarters for Hollywood business.

Uber and Lyft drivers join daylong strike

Across the country, hundreds of Uber and Lyft drivers went on strike alongside other app-based workers, calling for better wages and congressional support of the Pro Act, a bill that would provide protections for workers who attempt to join unions.

In other news …

People wade through a flooded street following heavy rain in Zhengzhou, in China’s Henan province
People wade through a flooded street after heavy rain in Zhengzhou, in China’s Henan province. Photograph: Noel Celis/AFP/Getty Images
  • At least 33 people have died in China’s deadly floods, raising questions about the readiness of authorities for the disaster.
  • Republican lawmakers’ attempt to limit the powers of local health departments across more than a dozen states is likely to lead to “preventable tragedies” during disease outbreaks, including the Covid-19 pandemic, experts say.
  • Alaska’s assistant attorney general has posted antisemitic and homophobic messages on social media as a supporter of the Mormon-derived extremist group the Deseret nationalists, the Guardian has found.
  • The US women’s soccer team lost to Sweden, 3-0, in the Olympic opener, but their Olympics are far from over.
  • A California couple was criminally charged for their alleged role in sparking a deadly wildfire with their gender-reveal party last year.

Stat of the day

A consumer could reduce emissions by up to 55% by choosing an airline ticket from within the cheapest 25% of fares. A new study found that people can reduce their carbon emissions while flying by choosing carbon-friendly routes when buying airline tickets.

Don’t miss this: the politicization of grief

Families who lost their loved ones to gun violence found their losses weaponized in the debate over defunding police.

Climate check: the loss of a climate refuge

A cyclist rides along the seashore during record-breaking temperatures in Seattle, Washington.
A cyclist pauses while riding along the seashore during a spell of record-breaking temperatures in Seattle, Washington. Photograph: Jason Redmond/AFP/Getty Images

The recent heatwave that swept across the west, melting power cables and cracking roads, has shattered the dream of the Pacific north-west as a temperate haven in a world ravaged by the climate crisis.

Last Thing: keeping Tab(by)s

In Britain, most pet cats are free to roam, leaving their owners’ minds roaming for far too often on where they have gone. The Guardian fitted six cats – Larry, Pablo, Bluebell, Marina, Zaki and Pisi – with GPS trackers to determine what they got up to for a week.

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