News Our Way

First Thing: bodies found in search for Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira – The Guardian US

First Thing: bodies found in search for Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira

Regional police chief says one of men arrested led officers to burial site. Plus, two US volunteers in Ukraine feared taken prisoner by Russia

Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira went missing on 5 June, at the end of a four-day trip down the Itaquaí River in the far west of Brazil.

Good morning.

Police in the Brazilian Amazon have found two bodies in the search for British journalist Dom Phillips and Indigenous activist Bruno Pereira.

Regional police chief Eduardo Fontes said one of the two men arrested in connection with the pair’s disappearance had confessed to killing them and led officers to the burial site.

The announcement appeared to bring a tragic close to the 10-day search after the pair went missing on 5 June. The pair’s disappearance has underlined the growing dangers faced by defenders of Brazil’s environment and Indigenous communities under the Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro.

Third panel hearing will show Trump pressuring Pence to overturn election

Donald Trump and Mike Pence in 2020

The House select committee investigating the January 6 Capitol attack will focus its third hearing on how Donald Trump pressured then-vice-president Mike Pence to reject the certification of Joe Biden’s election win.

The panel will examine the origins of Trump’s pressure campaign on Pence, and outline how Pence rejected the former president’s plan. Despite being roundly told the scheme was unlawful, Trump ignored his top White House advisers to follow the course of action, it will argue.

The committee will show how Trump’s false public statements about Pence having the power to refuse to count votes for Biden endangered his life as the mob shouted “hang Mike Pence”.

  • What does the so-called Pence strategy mean for Trump? His involvement makes him liable for the crimes of obstructing an official proceeding and conspiring to defraud the United States, the panel argues.

Two US volunteers in Ukraine feared taken prisoner by Russia

Alexander Drueke and Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh

Two American volunteers in Ukraine have gone missing and are feared to have been captured by Russia, officials and family members have said.

Both Alexander Drueke, 39, and Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh, 27, are US military veterans from Alabama who traveled to Ukraine to aid Ukraine’s war effort. The pair haven’t been heard from in several days.

White House spokesperson John Kirby said he could not confirm the disappearance of the two Americans but said: “If it’s true, we’ll do everything we can to get them safely back home.” He discouraged Americans from traveling to Ukraine.

  • What does it mean for the US? If confirmed, the pair would be the first Americans known to have been captured. It would complicate efforts in the war, as the US is trying to steer clear of direct confrontation with Russia.

  • It comes after two Britons and one Moroccan national were sentenced to death by pro-Russia officials in eastern Ukraine. The UK has condemned the ruling as a show trial.

  • The leaders of the EU’s three biggest nations, Germany, France and Italy, will visit Kyiv on Thursday in a show of support for Ukraine. Volodymyr Zelenskiy is expected to push the leaders to provide Ukraine with more arms.

In other news …

John Hinckley pictured in 2003
  • John Hinckley, who shot and wounded former president Ronald Reagan in 1981, has been freed from court oversight. He has been living in the community in Virginia since 2016 following decades in a Washington mental hospital after he was acquitted of trying to kill Reagan by reason of insanity.

  • The UN human rights chief, Michelle Bachelet, has said she wasn’t able to speak to any detained Uyghurs or their families, and was accompanied by government officials during her visit to Xinjiang. Activists and some western governments described it as a propaganda coup for Beijing.

  • Ghislaine Maxwell’s attorneys have argued that she should be sentenced to “well below” the 20 years’ imprisonment that probation authorities have recommended in her sex-trafficking case. They alleged that an inmate has threatened her life, claiming that an additional 20 years’ incarceration “would be worth the money she’d receive for murdering Ms Maxwell”.

  • Joe Biden has signed an executive order aimed at stopping discrimination against transgender youth and ending federal funding for so-called conversion therapy for transgender youth. It comes amid the slew of anti-LGBTQI+ laws introduced in state legislatures over the past year.

Stat of the day: US will save 7.4m lives globally if it reaches net zero by 2050

Boy looking at solar panels

A total of 7.4 million lives worldwide will be saved over this century if the US manages to reduce its emissions to net zero by 2050, according to a landmark analysis. The research, by the Climate Impact Lab, found that just 10 states could save 3.7 million lives by achieving net zero, chiefly due to their high consumption of fossil fuels. Texas alone could save 1.1 million lives.

Don’t miss this: ‘I was willing to risk death’: five women on abortions before Roe

Trudy Hale, Sarah Thompson, Frans Moreland Johns, Barbara Lee and Carol Deanow

If the supreme court reverses Roe v Wade this summer as expected, those living in around 20 states in the south and midwest – will lose the right to abortion. Five women from across the US share their experiences of abortion in the pre-Roe v Wade era. “Often abortions are talked about as endings,” says the executive director of Grandmothers for Reproductive Rights, Kelli Wescott McCannell. “The women in our program have decades of life since their abortions that show what was made possible for them because of that abortion.”

Last Thing: can you scare yourself happy?

Daniel Lavelle explores an abandoned mill at night.

Fear is, apparently, said to be as beneficial for mental wellbeing as practising mindfulness. So naturally, writer Daniel Lavelle tries to pack in as much fright as possible into a few weeks. Here’s how he rates a series of thrills, from rollercoasters to spending midnight in the woods.

Sign up

Sign up for the US morning briefing

First Thing is delivered to thousands of inboxes every weekday. If you’re not already signed up, subscribe now.

Get in touch

If you have any questions or comments about any of our newsletters please email newsletters@theguardian.com

%d bloggers like this: