5 things to know for June 17: Biden trip, voting laws, coronavirus, Myanmar, climate

President Joe Biden says he warned Russian President Vladimir Putin of consequences if jailed Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny were to die in prison. CNN's Clarissa Ward reports.

Posted: Jun 17, 2021 7:10 AM
Updated: Jun 17, 2021 7:10 AM

The first tropical system of the season could be headed our way by the end of the week. If the storm materializes, it will be named Claudette and is expected to bring nearly a foot of rain to parts of the southern US.

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1. Biden trip

After months of anticipation and diplomatic preparation, President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin met yesterday for the first time since Biden took office. How did it go? "Positive" and "constructive" were two words used by the leaders. While there were some small advancements, like a decision to return each countries' ambassador back to their posts and the establishment of task forces on cyberattacks, Biden has said the point of the summit was to reestablish dialogue with Russia, not to spark some immediate diplomatic breakthrough. Still, firm words were exchanged. Biden said he warned Putin of "devastating consequences" if jailed opposition leader Alexey Navalny were to die in prison. He also confronted Putin about a spate of recent cyberattacks believed to originate in Russia, but Putin was evasive, saying of one attack, "What do Russian authorities have to do with this?" Yesterday's summit marked the conclusion of Biden's first trip abroad.

2. Voting laws

Vice President Kamala Harris met with a group of Democratic Texas lawmakers who successfully killed a state bill intended to restrict voting access -- one of many similar pieces of legislation that have been circulating through state governments across the country. Harris has been charged with leading the Biden administration's effort to bolster voting rights across the nation. While in Washington, DC, the Texas lawmakers put pressure on Congress to pass the For the People Act, a comprehensive federal voting rights bill that would counteract a number of voting restrictions put in place by Republicans at the state level. The bill has stalled in the Senate after passing the House, but there may be new movement soon. For one, Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin has said he wouldn't rule out supporting it with some changes.

3. Coronavirus

Covid-19 cases may be going down in the US, and in some areas, life may feel like it's back to normal, but there are still sobering reminders that the pandemic isn't over yet. The US has now surpassed 600,000 coronavirus-related deaths, and concern is growing about the Delta variant and the danger it could pose to unvaccinated communities. One former White House adviser called the variant "like Covid on steroids." How much should you worry about it? If you're fully vaccinated, you're protected against the variant, the CNN Health team says. But if you're only partially vaccinated, you're still at risk.

4. Myanmar

Members of Myanmar's military junta set ablaze a village of about 800 people after clashing with opponents of their rule, witnesses said. Most of the village's residents remained in hiding in nearby forests after much of the area was reduced to ash. As security forces continue violent crackdowns in the wake of February's military coup, tens of thousands of Myanmar residents have taken to the country's jungles to escape the violence. There is a precedent for this kind of incident: Human rights groups have accused Myanmar's forces of burning hundreds of villages in 2017 during an offensive that drove about 700,000 minority Rohingya Muslims to flee to Bangladesh. One activist group estimates the junta has killed about 860 people since February's coup. Myanmar's security forces have denied that figure and have also denied burning villages in the past.

5. Climate

The heat wave in the Western US is hitting historic proportions. About 300 high temperature records could be broken this week, and more than an eighth of the US population -- over 40 million people -- is on alert for potentially deadly conditions. The heat and an exceptional drought are also fueling one of Arizona's largest wildfires. There have always been heat waves, but climate change is making them worse, and not just in the US. The UK's Climate Change Committee warned that heat-related deaths could triple in the country by 2050 unless urgent efforts to tackle climate change are made.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

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If it's sweltering outside, now is NOT the time to test out your summer feet.

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Leggings ... or chaps? Cheggings?

Joe Jonas crashed a Jonas Brothers-themed spin class

New goal: Crash a self-themed spin class. (OK, well first: Acquire a self-themed spin class.)

By the way, the three 1970s moon buggies are still up there.

That's gonna be one heck of a parking ticket.

Facebook is testing AI to get you to stop fighting in its groups

If anything can flummox AI technology, it's a bunch of angry strangers online.

TODAY'S NUMBER

$500,000

That's how much the Department of Education is canceling in student loan debt for 18,000 former ITT Tech students defrauded by the now defunct for-profit college. The Biden administration has been taking on a backlog of more than 100,000 student loan forgiveness claims.

TODAY'S QUOTE

"Microsoft is under intense public scrutiny due to numerous claims of sexual harassment and an alleged failure to address them adequately and transparently. Reports of Bill Gates' alleged inappropriate relationships and sexual advances towards Microsoft employees have only exacerbated concerns, putting in question the culture set by top leadership."

A statement from activist investment firm Arjuna Capital, also a Microsoft shareholder. The firm is urging Microsoft to do more to combat sexual harassment following misconduct allegations against its founder Bill Gates.

TODAY'S WEATHER

Check your local forecast here>>>

AND FINALLY

Dream when you're feelin' blue (or orange or white ...)

Octopi have all kinds of miraculous talents, like, say, changing colors while they sleep. (Click here to view)

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Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1590342

Reported Deaths: 26979
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook60937610925
DuPage1031521352
Will865801083
Lake764741056
Kane65399842
Winnebago38682543
Madison37731569
St. Clair34758561
McHenry32773313
Peoria25738361
Champaign25601182
Sangamon24263266
McLean21611205
Tazewell19559326
Rock Island17631342
Kankakee16523233
Kendall15274105
LaSalle14349275
Macon14248233
Vermilion12908182
Adams12589147
DeKalb11542127
Williamson11206156
Whiteside7813176
Boone756681
Jackson756683
Coles7175112
Ogle705385
Grundy693181
Clinton676498
Franklin669694
Knox6528163
Marion6454135
Macoupin636597
Henry610272
Jefferson5981131
Effingham588980
Livingston564394
Woodford549791
Stephenson540089
Randolph522996
Monroe503299
Christian481980
Morgan479995
Fulton479069
Logan473573
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Lee454956
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Saline399263
Iroquois391171
Fayette387756
McDonough352155
Jersey319753
Douglas303336
Shelby300343
Crawford298930
Lawrence294631
Union293846
Wayne267957
White261530
Richland256852
Hancock253434
Pike252256
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Edgar229844
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Hamilton127221
Brown10138
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Edwards94815
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Gallatin7285
Scott6895
Alexander66411
Calhoun6382
Henderson63114
Hardin55713
Putnam5414
Pope4725
Unassigned1582432
Out of IL80

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 926604

Reported Deaths: 15083
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1262201958
Lake626901087
Allen52772747
Hamilton43283445
St. Joseph41475584
Elkhart33129488
Vanderburgh29927439
Tippecanoe26589247
Johnson23267415
Hendricks21902340
Porter21473341
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Madison17065379
Vigo15815273
Monroe14298190
LaPorte14108237
Delaware13771219
Howard13635262
Kosciusko11232134
Hancock10637160
Warrick10523176
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Floyd10200202
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Grant8939196
Morgan8734158
Boone8299109
Dubois7596123
Henry7469128
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Noble7294101
Marshall7237128
Cass7097117
Lawrence6862150
Shelby6457107
Jackson643981
Gibson6036106
Harrison595585
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Montgomery5706102
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Knox537599
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Whitley516251
Steuben486367
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Ripley444175
Adams439365
Daviess4064106
Scott394963
White386257
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Greene380189
Wells379683
Decatur379595
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Posey354941
Jennings346356
Washington325847
LaGrange315774
Spencer313034
Fountain309753
Randolph305487
Sullivan299447
Owen279161
Starke272761
Orange272659
Fulton268851
Jay250634
Perry247451
Carroll241127
Franklin233637
Vermillion229750
Rush228930
Parke215220
Tipton206754
Pike202538
Blackford165634
Pulaski158751
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Newton140742
Benton139816
Brown132646
Martin126916
Switzerland123510
Warren113416
Union93511
Ohio77211
Unassigned0468