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Westminster crowns top dog; WHO considers monkeypox emergency; remembering Tony Siragusa

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Today is Thursday, June 23, 2022. Let's get caught up.

Here are today's top stories, celebrity birthdays and a look back at this date in history:

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TODAY'S WEATHER

Monsoon rains continue to provide much needed relief for the Southwest as very hot temperatures remain in the South. CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam has the forecast.

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TOP STORIES

This morning's top headlines: Westminster's top dog; monkeypox warning; Tony Siragusa dies

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A bloodhound named Trumpet has won the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Trumpet bested six other finalists Wednesday night to snare U.S. dogdom’s most coveted best in show prize. Trumpet beat a French bulldog, a German shepherd, a Maltese, an English setter, a Samoyed and a Lakeland terrier to take the trophy. Trumpet became the first bloodhound to win Westminster. The competition drew more than 3,000 purebred dogs, ranging from affenpinschers to Yorkshire terriers. The goal is to crown the dog that most represents the ideal for its breed.

AP
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As the World Health Organization convenes its emergency committee to consider if the spiraling outbreak of monkeypox warrants being declared a global emergency, some experts say WHO’s decision to act only after the disease spilled into the West could entrench the inequities that arose between rich and poor countries during the coronavirus pandemic. Many scientists also doubt any declaration would help to curb the epidemic, since the developed countries recording the most recent cases are already moving to shut it down. Monkeypox has sickened people for decades in central and west Africa. To date, no deaths have been seen outside Africa. The WHO said Thursday it did not expect to announce any decisions by its emergency committee before Friday.

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Former top Justice Department officials have testified to the Jan. 6 committee that President Donald Trump hounded the department to pursue his false election fraud claims. They say he contacted the agency’s leader “virtually every day” and strove in vain to enlist the government’s top law enforcement officials in his desperate bid to stay in power. The House panel investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol also revealed Thursday that several Republican loyalists in Congress who trumpeted the president’s claims later sought pardons from the White House after the effort failed.

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Ukraine says Russia's military has captured two villages in eastern Ukraine and is vying for control of a key highway as it seeks to cut supply lines and encircle frontline Ukrainian troops. The Ukrainian military hopes to gain an advantage with the arrival of powerful U.S. multiple-launch rocket systems. Britain's Defense Ministry reported on Thursday that Russian forces had advanced since Sunday toward the city of Lysychansk and Ukrainian forces had withdrawn from some areas. Also Thursday, the European Union voted unanimously to grant Ukraine and Moldova candidate status, binding them more to the West and away from Russia.

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Survivors are digging by hand through villages in eastern Afghanistan reduced to rubble by a powerful earthquake that killed at least 1,000 people. The Taliban and the international community that fled their takeover are now struggling to aid the disaster’s victims. The quake Wednesday was Afghanistan’s deadliest in two decades. Officials fear the toll could rise. An estimated 1,500 others were reported injured. The disaster inflicted by the 6 magnitude quake heaps more misery on a country where millions face increasing hunger and poverty and the health system has been crumbling since the Taliban retook power nearly 10 months ago amid the U.S. and NATO withdrawal.

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Prosecutors say British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell should spend at least 30 years in prison for her role in the sexual abuse of teenage girls over a 10-year period by her onetime boyfriend, financier Jeffrey Epstein. Prosecutors made their recommendations late Wednesday in a submission to the judge who will preside over a sentencing hearing next Tuesday in Manhattan federal court. The 60-year-old Maxwell was convicted in December of sex trafficking and other crimes after a month-long trial that featured testimony from four women who said they were abused in their teens. Defense lawyers say she should spend no more than five years in prison.

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The Uvalde school district’s police chief has been put on leave following allegations that he erred in his response to a mass shooting that left 19 students and two teachers dead. Superintendent Hal Harrell said Wednesday that he put schools police Chief Pete Arredondo on administrative leave. Arredondo has faced criticism for his role as commander in charge of the response to the May 24 massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Officers armed with rifles waited in a school hallway for more than an hour while the gunman carried out the massacre. Arredondo has tried to defend his actions, telling the Texas Tribune that he didn’t consider himself the commander and that he assumed someone else had taken control of the police response.

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A U.S. House committee says Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder conducted a “shadow investigation” that sought to discredit former employees making accusations of workplace sexual harassment. The committee released a memo ahead of a hearing Wednesday. The Committee on Oversight and Reform is investigating the Commanders’ workplace culture following accusations of pervasive sexual harassment by team executives of women employees. Snyder declined to testify at the hearing, but the committee plans to issue a subpoena to compel a deposition. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told the committee that Snyder “has been held accountable."

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Millions of Americans who rely on their cars for work are changing their habits, signing up for carpools or even ditching their cars for bicycles as gas prices recently hit $5 per gallon for the first time ever. This week, it’s averaging $4.95 per gallon nationwide, up from $3.06 per gallon a year ago, according to AAA. Some help could be on the way. On Wednesday, President Joe Biden asked Congress to suspend federal gas taxes for three months, which would shave 18.4 cents per gallon off the price of gas. He also called on states to suspend their own gas taxes. But in the meantime, gas is straining budgets.

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Tony Siragusa, the charismatic defensive tackle who helped lead a stout Baltimore defense to a Super Bowl title, died Wednesday. He was 55. Siragusa’s broadcast agent, Jim Ornstein, confirmed the death Wednesday. The cause of death was not immediately available. The man known as “the Goose" played seven seasons with the Indianapolis Colts and five with the Ravens. Baltimore’s 2000 team won the Super Bowl behind a defense that included Siragusa, Ray Lewis and Sam Adams. Siragusa was popular with fans because of his fun-loving personality, which also helped him transition to broadcasting after his playing career.

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Nazem Kadri scored at 12:02 of overtime — perhaps with too many Colorado players on the ice — and the Avalanche beat Tampa Bay 3-2 on Wednesday night in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final to move within a victory of dethroning the two-time defending champion Lightning. Playing for the first time since June 4 due to a thumb injury, Kadri skated in on Andrei Vasilevskiy and slipped a shot under the goaltender’s right arm to give Colorado a 3-1 series lead. Without specifically saying Tampa Bay felt Colorado had too many men on the ice for the winning goal, Lightning coach Jon Cooper suggested the goal should not have been allowed. Game 5 is Friday night in Denver.

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MORNING LISTEN: THE ETHICAL LIFE

Listen now and subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | RSS Feed | Omny Studio

Episode 43: Over the past few years, trans issues have gotten much more attention, especially with more children talking about and sometimes questioning their own gender. In the episode, Richard Kyte and Scott Rada talk about why this topic is so polarizing for many Americans and ideas about how to think about acceptance and treatment.

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IMAGE OF THE DAY

APTOPIX Britain Sotheby's Auction

A member of the staff holds the painting 'Cloud Study' by John Constable, against the backdrop of 'Study for Clouds' by Gerhard Richter at Sotheby's, in London, Wednesday, June 22, 2022. The piece has an estimated price of 100,000-150,000 pounds, while Study for Clouds is 6-8 million pounds and will go on auction on June 29. 

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TODAY IN HISTORY

After 13 years of near silence in the conservatorship that controlled her life and money, pop star Britney Spears told a judge in Los Angeles …

2005 — Tim Duncan comes up huge in the second half and is chosen finals MVP as the San Antonio Spurs beat the Detroit Pistons 81-74 in Game 7 …

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ...

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