News Headlines 6/8/22

RUSSIA CLAIMS TO HAVE CONTROL OF MOST OF EASTERN UKRAINIAN PROVINCE: Russia claimed Tuesday (June 7th) to have taken control of 97 percent of Luhansk province, one of two provinces in the eastern Donbas region that they seek to fully take over. Ukrainian officials and military analysts say that it appears Russia also occupies about half of Donetsk, the other province in the Donbas. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said last week that Russian forces hold about 20 percent of the country. Meanwhile, the U.S. military has begun training Ukrainian forces at a base in Germany and elsewhere in Europe on the rocket launchers the administration agreed last week to send to Ukraine. Officials said about three weeks of training will be needed. 

UVALDE SCHOOL DISTRICT POLICE CHIEF DOESN’T APPEAR AT CITY COUNCIL MEETING: The Uvalde, Texas, school district police chief who’s faced strong criticism for keeping law enforcement officers from confronting the gunman in the mass shooting two weeks  ago at Robb Elementary School for more than an hour, didn’t appear at a City Council meeting yesterday (June 7th), despite being newly elected to the council. Mayor Don McLaughlin said he was unable to explain why Chief Pete Arredondo wasn’t at the meeting, and said he was frustrated about the lack of information about the law enforcement response to the shooting in which 19 children and two teachers were killed. He said, “We want facts and answers, just like everybody else.” 

JAN. 6TH COMMITTEE ANNOUNCES WITNESSES AHEAD OF THURSDAY PUBLIC HEARING: The House committee investigating the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday (June 7th) announced the witnesses who will appear at Thursday night’s prime-time public hearing, the first in a series of hearings in which they will lay out their findings. The witnesses will be British documentary filmmaker Nick Quested, who recorded members of the far-right Proud Boys group as they stormed the Capitol, and U.S. Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards, who was seriously injured and was one of the first people hurt in the attack. Quested was filming the Proud Boys as part of a documentary on extremisim in the U.S. The committee said that it will on Thursday, quote, “present previously unseen material documenting January 6th, receive witness testimony, and provide the American people an initial summary of its findings about the coordinated, multi-step effort to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and prevent the transfer of power.”

10-YEAR-OLD GIRL ARRESTED IN FATAL SHOOTING OF WOMAN ARGUING WITH HER MOTHER: A 10-year-old girl was arrested by Orlando, Florida, police yesterday (June 7th), accused of fatally shooting a woman who was arguing with her mother, and was put in the custody of the Florida Department of Children and Families. Her mother has also been arrested. State Attorney for Orange and Osceola Counties Monique H. Worrell said after the shooting that her office would, quote, “consider all of the facts, including the age of the child, and all of the surrounding circumstances, when making a charging decision.” In the May 30th incident, the child’s mother and the victim, 41-year-old Lashun Denise Rodgers, reportedly began arguing outside an apartment complex. The girl was with her mother at the time. Witnesses reported that the mother first became physical, punching Rodgers, who punched her back. Rodgers’ boyfriend told police he tried to break up the fight, but Rodgers tried to again go after the mother. The girl then allegedly fired the gun twice, which had been in the mother’s bag that she’d given to her daughter, and reportedly yelled, “She shouldn’t have hit my momma!” The mother has been charged with manslaughter by culpable negligence, child neglect, negligent storage of a firearm and aggravated assault with a firearm.