In other headlines today, the January 6 congressional committee issued a subpoena to the US Secret Service for recordings and text messages from the day and day before the attack on the US Capitol. This is the first time the committee has subpoenaed an executive agency after the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general told the panel that the text messages were erased after the oversight agency requested the data in as part of his ongoing investigation into the attack on the Capitol. The Secret Service disputes the claim that no text relevant to the investigation was lost, after the agency’s phones were reset in what they call a planned system migration.
Starting today, people in mental health crisis can simply call or text 988 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and speak to trained counsellors. Suicide Lifeline connects to an existing network of more than 200 crisis centers across the country, modeled after the 911 emergency number. It is the first national mental health crisis hotline in the United States. In addition to 988, the old 1-800 helpline number will also remain functional.
Parts of Europe are in the grip of a scorching heat wave. In the UK, soaring temperatures are being treated as a life-threatening emergency. The government met with them today to discuss how to respond. The UK Met Service issued a red warning for the first time on Friday with temperatures expected to reach 100 degrees – 104 degrees Fahrenheit early next week, which would be a record high in a country used to temperatures moderate summers in many buildings, many buildings do not have air conditioning.
Meanwhile, high temperatures in Europe have created powder keg conditions fueling numerous wildfires in France, Portugal, Spain and Greece. Tens of thousands of people across these countries have been forced to evacuate.
And Russia today ordered all of its forces across Ukraine to intensify military operations to prevent strikes against key Russian assets. But as fighting continues in the eastern Donbass region, Russian forces are now hitting towns elsewhere in the country with missiles and rockets, killing dozens of civilians. Entire blocks are in ruins at Dnipro to the west. And buildings have been reduced to rubble in Chuhuiv to the northeast. The Pentagon estimates that as many as 150 civilians have been killed by Russian military strikes in Ukraine in the past two weeks alone.
And yet to come on “PBS News Weekend,” how two COVID subvariants are causing increased infections and the role vaccines can play. And Nick Schifrin’s conversation with a Saudi diplomat on issues raised during President Biden’s trip to the Middle East.