Day 450: "Strange."
1/ Russia threatened to deploy nuclear weapons in the Baltic Sea region if Finland and Sweden join NATO. The threat came a day after Finland and Sweden officials suggested that they were stepping up consideration of joining the military alliance in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas, however, said Russia already has nuclear weapons in the Baltic region. “The current Russian threats look quite strange, when we know that, even without the present security situation, they keep the weapon 100 km from Lithuania’s border,” Anusauskas said. (Bloomberg / Washington Post / Reuters / CNBC)
2/ The Republican-led Kentucky legislature override the governor’s veto to enact strict abortion restrictions that will force the state’s two clinics to stop providing abortions immediately. The new law makes Kentucky the first U.S. state without legal abortion access since the 1973 Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade established the right to end a pregnancy before the fetus is viable. House Bill 3 imposes limits on medication abortion, requires the cremation or burial of fetal remains, bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, and requires an in-person examination at least 24 hours prior to the medication abortion. An exception is allowed if the woman’s life is in danger, but there is no exception for rape or incest. (Washington Post / The 19th / Reuters / ABC News)
3/ Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a 15-week abortion ban into law. The new Florida law, which takes effect July 1, provides no exemptions for rape, incest or human trafficking. Abortions must also be reported to the state, along with information on why the procedure was provided. (Associated Press / NPR / Axios / Washington Post / CNN)
4/ Ron DeSantis proposed a new congressional map that would create four more Republican-leaning districts by breaking up a largely Black district. The DeSantis administration submitted its plan days after Florida’s legislators said they would defer to DeSantis on the new congressional boundaries. Last month, DeSantis vetoed a set of maps from the Republican-controlled Legislature that would have created less of a GOP advantage. (NBC News / Politico)
5/ The Republican National Committee unanimously voted to withdraw from the Commission on Presidential Debates, accusing the bipartisan commission of being biased in favor of Democrats. The RNC will also require GOP presidential candidates to attest in writing that they will only appear at party-sanctioned debates. (Washington Post / Wall Street Journal)
6/ Chuck Schumer suggested that Biden “seems more open” to canceling student debt “than ever before.” On the campaign trail, Biden pledged to cancel $10,000 in student debt per borrower, but since then he’s wanted Congress to pass legislation to do so, which he would then sign. “I have talked personally to the president on this issue a whole bunch of times,” Schumer said. “I have told him that this is more important than just about anything else that he can do on his own.” Meanwhile, the Education Department extended the pause on federal student loan repayment, interest, and collections through August. It was the fourth extension of the pause on student loan payments. (Business Insider / The Hill)
poll/ Biden’s job approval among Generation Z and millennials is down roughly 20 points since 2021. (Gallup)
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