5 things to know for June 20: Debate countdown, Severe weather, Religious freedom, Ecuador blackout, Stonehenge | CNN (2024)

5 things to know for June 20: Debate countdown, Severe weather, Religious freedom, Ecuador blackout, Stonehenge | CNN (1)

Former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden.


Today is the 2024 summer solstice, the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s also the first official day of summer — although swaths of the US have been baking in unseasonably high temperatures for weeks.

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    1. Debate countdown

    President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump are set for a historic showdown in exactly one week, with the stage now set for CNN’s June 27 presidential debate. The event will make history as the first debate between a sitting president and a former president — and could be a pivotal moment in the 2024 race as millions of potential voters tune in. The debate qualification window closed at midnight, with Biden and Trump meeting the constitutional, ballot qualification and polling thresholds set by the network. Both candidates have spent the past weeks working to fine-tune their message on a wide array of issues, from the economy to foreign affairs to their rival’s fitness for office.

    2. Severe weather

    The season’s first tropical storm has formed in the Gulf of Mexico and a dangerous heat wave and wildfires are impacting parts of the US. Alberto, the first named storm of the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season, is bringing gusty winds and storm surge to southern Texas. A level 3 of 4 risk of flooding is in place for parts of the state, including Corpus Christi. Meanwhile, a dangerous heat wave is scorching parts of the Midwest and Northeast, where record-breaking high temperatures are forecast across dozens of cities. And in New Mexico, around 1,400 structures have been lost and about 8,000 people have evacuated due to the South Fork Fire burning near the village of Ruidoso.

    3. Religious freedom

    Louisiana public schools are now required to display the Ten Commandments in all classrooms after Republican Gov. Jeff Landry signed the requirement into law on Wednesday. House Bill 71, approved by state lawmakers last month, mandates that a poster-size display of the Ten Commandments with a “large, easily readable font” be in every classroom at schools that receive state funding, from kindergarten through the university level. Opponents of the bill have argued that a state requiring a religious text in all classrooms would violate the establishment clause of the US Constitution, which says that Congress can “make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” Civil liberties groups swiftly vowed to challenge the law in court.

    4. Ecuador blackout

    Around 17 million people were left in the dark on Wednesday after Ecuador was hit with an hourslong nationwide blackout. The outage affected hospitals, homes and a major subway system. Authorities said it was caused by maintenance and transmission issues in the country’s electrical system. As of Wednesday night, energy had been restored in 95% of the country, the government said. Ecuador has been struggling with an energy crisis for years. In April, the country’s president declared an energy emergency and ordered widespread power cuts amid a drought that is straining its electric grid.

    5. Stonehenge

    Britain’s most famous prehistoric structure, Stonehenge, was vandalized by environmental protestors on Wednesday. A video shows two climate activists from the Just Stop Oil group spraying the landmark with orange paint. The protestors “demanded the incoming government sign up to a legally binding treaty to phase out fossil fuels by 2030,” the group said on social media. The two protestors — a 21-year-old student from Oxford and a 73-year-old man from Birmingham — were arrested “on suspicion of damaging the ancient monument,” police said. This comes as climate activists have been staging increasingly high-profile protests, many of which have involved attacking high-value artworks including the Mona Lisa and Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers.”

    5 things to know for June 20: Debate countdown, Severe weather, Religious freedom, Ecuador blackout, Stonehenge | CNN (3)

    Just Stop Oil protesters spray Stonehenge with orange paint

    00:36 - Source: CNN


    Why is Dolly Parton facing online backlash?
    Country icon Dolly Parton is one of the few celebrities who has long appealed to both ultra-conservative and ultra-liberal fans. Read why she’s now caught in the crosshairs of cancel culture.

    CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta shares lifestyle changes that he says showed cognitive improvement
    Neurosurgeon and CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta discusses a study that may show greater insight into preventing Alzheimer’s. Watch the video here.

    Car dealerships hit with massive computer system outage
    Hopeful car buyers were in for a surprise on Wednesday … a cyber incident hampered operations at thousands of US and Canada dealerships.

    WNBA rookie and Olympic hopeful Cameron Brink suffers knee injury
    “You never think it will happen to you,” Brink said after suffering a season-altering ACL tear.

    The disturbing pattern of missing tourists in Greece
    Some scientists think extreme heat could be the reason people keep disappearing in Greece. Here’s how environmental factors in the region could be costing lives.


    $2.6 million
    That’s how much Robert F. Kennedy Jr. raised for his presidential campaign in May — a modest sum compared to recent cash hauls by his major party rivals. The Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee raised a combined $141 million in May as Trump’s criminal trial fueled donations. Details on Biden’s May fundraising efforts are forthcoming, but his campaign and affiliated committees entered last month with $192 million cash on hand.


    “Only pirates do this.”

    — Philippine military officials, accusing China’s Coast Guard of launching a “brutal assault” with “bladed weapons” during a South China Sea clash earlier this week. Analysts say the confrontation seen in a new video released today could escalate a festering dispute that threatens to drag the US into another global conflict.

    5 things to know for June 20: Debate countdown, Severe weather, Religious freedom, Ecuador blackout, Stonehenge | CNN (4)

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    Video shows confrontation between Filipino forces and Chinese coast guard

    01:27 - Source: CNN


    Check your local forecast here>>>


    5 things to know for June 20: Debate countdown, Severe weather, Religious freedom, Ecuador blackout, Stonehenge | CNN (5)

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    VIDEO: Do you snore? Here's why

    02:02 - Source: CNN

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    Watch this interesting video to learn why some of us snore and others don’t.

    5 things to know for June 20: Debate countdown, Severe weather, Religious freedom, Ecuador blackout, Stonehenge | CNN (2024)
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