Leslie Van Houten released and a jury rules on Aretha Franklin’s will: Morning Rundown | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey

Donald Trump’s demands for loyalty in Iowa undermine his front-runner narrative. NATO is lukewarm on a path to membership for Ukraine. And a jury rules that a note found in Aretha Franklin’s couch is a valid will.

Here’s what to know today.

Trump’s problem with Iowa’s governor hints at a vulnerability

Former President Donald Trump is upset with Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds. 

He credits himself with helping her get elected as the state’s first female governor. But the neutrality of many Republican elected officials in Iowa — Reynolds included — has rubbed Trump the wrong way. It’s one of the few counterpoints to the narrative that he’s on a path to locking down the Republican nomination for president.

“Gov. Reynolds as well as the rest of our delegation not endorsing candidates in the presidential process is a sound policy that really makes sense not just for Iowa, not just for them, not for the candidate, but for the country,” said Will Rogers, a former chairman of the Republican Party in Des Moines’ Polk County. 

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Trump’s closest competitor, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has so far collected some endorsements from state legislators, Rogers says, whereas Trump hasn’t been able to corner as much of the market on institutional backing in Iowa as he would have liked.

And a lawyer involved in Republican politics in the state points out that Trump may have harmed himself by going after a governor with a sterling reputation among conservatives.

More Donald Trump news

  • The Justice Department has dropped plans to defend Trump in a lawsuit brought by author E. Jean Carroll, it said in a court filing yesterday.
  • Ron DeSantis said he wouldn’t be Trump’s running mate if given the opportunity to join him on the ticket. “ I’m not a No. 2 guy,” he said.

The question of NATO membership for Ukraine

Talk of an invitation into the NATO alliance for Ukraine, or even a pathway, was watched closely as the organization’s 31 leaders tried to forge a consensus on the issue. But NATO has only promised so far that it “will be in a position” to invite Ukraine to join the union “when allies agree and conditions are met.” Critics say such wording falls short, with one calling the message “a diplomatic dud.”

All eyes will be on President Joe Biden when he meets with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy before delivering a keynote speech on the summit’s final day. Follow live updates here

Iowa Republicans pass six-week abortion ban

Late last night, after a marathon one-day special legislative session, Iowa Republicans passed a bill to ban most abortions after six weeks. The vote came after Gov. Kim Reynolds called for the special session last week with the goal of enacting “pro-life” legislation. The bill now heads to Reynolds’ desk — and the law would go into effect immediately if she signs it. 

The restrictive measure is almost certain to affect the 2024 presidential race, as Iowa is the first state to hold Republican caucuses.

Discord updates its child safety policies

Popular chat platform Discord is changing and clarifying its child safety policies, the company’s head of trust and safety announced, after an NBC News investigation last month into child safety on the platform.

The expanded policies address artificial intelligence that can create fake content and the sexualization of children, specifically banning AI depictions of child sex abuse and even the sexualization of children in text chats. Other changes include explicitly banning teen dating.

Manson family killer released on parole

Leslie Van Houten, a Charles Manson follower who was convicted in two killings and has spent more than five decades in prison, was released on parole. In May, a California appeals court ruled that Van Houten was eligible for parole, and last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom said he would not challenge her release, clearing the way for her release yesterday.

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▼ Today’s Talker

A handwritten will found in Aretha Franklin’s couch… 

… is valid, a jury decided yesterday, a critical juncture in a dispute that turned the late singer’s sons against each other. The papers were found after Franklin’s death in 2018, and lawyers for two of her sons argued that the documents, dated 2014, should override a 2010 will discovered around the same time. There are differences between each will, and crucially one of them listed which sibling would get Franklin’s home.

▼ Politics in Brief 

Tuberville’s blockade: An Alabama senator’s efforts to block hundreds of military promotions could inflict widespread damage on troops and their families and prompt some to leave the armed forces, President Joe Biden’s nominee for chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told lawmakers.

Freedom Caucus: Members of the conservative group won’t say whether they kicked out Marjorie Taylor Greene. “It’s none of your business,” one member said. Another said, “I’m not gonna comment on that with all the world problems we’re having.”

‘Informant’ indicted: Federal prosecutors have indicted a think tank co-director Gal Luft on allegations he was an agent for China. Luft has made headlines as a GOP House “informant” who has alleged the Biden family received payments from Chinese nationals tied to Chinese intelligence.

▼ Staff Pick

The summer of strikes

Hours spent commuting to Los Angeles for meager wages have left some hotel workers, many of whom are Latino, struggling to survive in a city where the cost of living has skyrocketed. Workers like Arturo Huezo, who is a housekeeper in Santa Monica, are back on strike asking for an immediate $5 hourly wage bump and other benefits. After 29 years at his job, Huezo has even considered leaving the state. — Isabela Espadas Barros Leal, associate editor for diversity

▼ In Case You Missed It 

Inflation has cooled off dramatically since last summer, but economists say “back to normal” is still a long way off.

The stagehand of country music star Randy Travis was shot dead by his wife after she claimed he had cheated on her, Nashville police say.

Research suggests humans lived in South America at the same time as giant sloths, bolstering evidence that people arrived in the Americas earlier than once thought.

The city of Phoenix is poised to tie or break the record for most consecutive days at or above 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

Milan Kundera, author of ‘The Unbearable Lightness of Being’ whose writings in communist Czechoslovakia transformed him into an exiled satirist of totalitarianism, died in Paris at the age of 94.

Great white sharks in Massachusetts are killing seals “very close to the shore” in parts of Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, leading to a swimming ban on some beaches.

A record 87 out LGBTQ athletes will compete in the 2023 Women’s World Cup, more than doubling the amount since the 2019’s competition.

Thanks for reading today’s Morning Rundown. Today’s newsletter was curated for you by Elizabeth Robinson. If you’re a fan, please send a link to your family and friends. They can sign-up here.


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