• Breanna Crossman

Weekly News Blast | Jun. 13-19

Noteworthy events from the week of June 13.


1. Former President Trump to be indicted for January 6 insurrection.

A committee is investigating former President Trump’s role in the January 6 insurrection. (Tyler Merbler/Wikimedia Commons)


Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff, a member of the House of Representatives Select Committee, stated on June 19 that the U.S. House panel investigating the former president’s involvement in the January 2021 attack on the Capitol would present evidence this week. The evidence is a part of the Department of Justice’s ongoing criminal investigation into Trump’s role in trying to falsify the 2020 election results. While the case against the former president is the same as during Trump’s second impeachment trial, the committee has more key evidence, including subpoenaed documents and testimonies from some of Trump’s former allies. Ivanka Trump, Trump’s daughter and former Senior Advisor to the president, reportedly testified against her father in the trial. Tweets from the former president’s Twitter, including the December 19, 2020 tweet, “Be there, will be wild!” will also be used in the investigation.


The committee investigating Trump is composed of seven Democrats and two Republicans who were appointed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Both Republican members, Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, have both faced backlash from their own parties for their participation in the investigation. Former Vice President Mike Pence has also been heavily criticized for not aiding Trump by rejecting electors’ votes during the election. Despite earlier failures to indict Trump in his impeachment trials, the committee remains hopeful they will reveal Trump’s role in the January 6 insurrection and misinformation campaign after the 2020 election.


“We’ll show evidence of the president’s involvement in this scheme,” said Representative Schiff. “We’ll also again show evidence about what his own lawyers came to think about this scheme. And we’ll show courageous state officials who stood up and said they wouldn’t go along with this plan to either call legislators back into session or decertify the results for Joe Biden.”


2. Transgender swimmers banned by FINA, international swimming federation.


On Sunday, FINA, the world governing body for swimming, instated a policy that effectively banned transgender women from women’s swimming competitions. FINA’s president, Husain Al-Musallam, said in a statement, “We have to protect the rights of our athletes to compete, but we also have to protect competitive fairness at our events, especially the women’s category at FINA competitions.”


The policy received 71.5 percent approval from the FINA Extraordinary General Congress but received criticism from various transgender advocacy groups, who have called the policy “discimintory, harmful, unscientific.” Members of the Congress voted after hearing presentations from an athlete group, science group, and legal and human rights group that collaborated on the policy based on the International Olympic Committee’s recommendations. FINA has defended the policy, citing a “performance gap” between males and females, also stating it may develop an “open” category for people not eligible for the male or female competitions.


The new policy comes as equality in the world of athletics is being debated. Transgender swimmer Lia Thomas sparked controversy after making history at the NCA swimming championships, where she won the 500-yard freestyle. The University of Pennsylvania swimmer has stated, “Trans women competing in women’s sports does not threaten women’s sports as a whole. Trans women are a very small minority of all athletes. The NCAA rules regarding trans women competing in women’s sports have been around for 10-plus years. And we haven’t seen any massive wave of trans women dominating.” Other sports governments, including the cycling’s governing body, have altered their eligibility rules for transgender athletes with stricter limits. The International Cycling Union lowered maximum accepted levels of testosterone and increased the transition period on low testosterone to two years. However, it remains unclear what role transgender athletes will play in the world of athletics in coming years.


3. As the war in Ukraine continues, Ukrainian president renews plea for weapons.


Ukrainian President Zelensky stated that Ukraine should expect “greater hostile activity” from Russia as Ukraine’s application to join the European Union is pending8. Russian forces have advanced in Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk region, destroying cities and gaining control of 95 percent of the region. Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar stated that “without exaggeration, decisive battles are taking place” in the area. “We must understand that the enemy has an advantage both in terms of personnel and weapons, so the situation is extremely difficult. And at this very minute these decisive battles are ongoing at the maximum intensity.”


Many fear that continued violence in Ukraine will strain global food and fuel supply chains. Sanctions on Russia are seemingly yet to discourage their military intervention, and Russian President Putin has blamed the U.S. for a crisis in global relations and trade. Meanwhile, Ukraine requested more weapons to defend themselves, President Zelensky stating, “We need your support, we need weaponry, weapons that will have better capabilities than the Russian weapons. It is a matter of life or death.” The official United Nations death toll of the war is 3,381, with thousands more displaced by Russian forces across Ukraine.


 

Sources & Further Reading