Steve Bannon contempt trial, Uvalde report, MLB Home Run Derby: 5 things to know Monday

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Steve Bannon heads to contempt trial for defying Jan. 6 committee. Here’s a breakdown of his case.

Jury selection will begin Monday in the trial of former White House strategist Steve Bannon, who is charged with defying a subpoena from the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack. Bannon faces two counts of contempt for his refusal to appear for a deposition and another involving his refusal to produce documents, despite a subpoena from the House committee, which has held a series of hearings featuring damning testimony from former President Donald Trump’s administration officials. Bannon, 68, has argued that his testimony is protected by Trump’s claim of executive privilege. 

Uvalde school shooting report finds ‘systemic failures’ in law enforcement response

A Texas House committee investigating the Uvalde school shooting released a preliminary report that blamed multiple failures by those in positions of power – including nearly 400 law enforcers who converged on the scene – for not halting the massacre. Nineteen fourth graders and their two teachers were killed in the mass shooting on May 24. The preliminary report describes “systemic failures and egregious poor decision making”: how police disregarded department active-shooter training, how the school district did not adhere fully to its safety plan and how the shooter’s family did not recognize warning signs before the rampage. The report had swift fallout: Lt. Mariano Pargas, a Uvalde Police Department officer who was the city’s acting police chief during the massacre, was placed on administrative leave Sunday. Uvalde officials also released police body camera footage from seven Uvalde police officers who responded to the massacre. 

Fate of Parkland school shooter to be decided at trial

A 12-person jury and a Broward County, Florida, judge will set out to decide the fate of the 23-year-old gunman who killed 17 people inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in February 2018. Nikolas Cruz, who pleaded guilty to premeditated first-degree murder and attempted murder charges in October, faces either the death penalty or life in prison. A decision on the death penalty must be unanimous by the jury and Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer will have the final say. Opening statements are scheduled to begin Monday despite a push by Cruz’s defense team to delay the trial in light of recent mass shootings, which they argued could bias the jury. Testimony from more than 1,000 potential witnesses is expected to push the proceedings into late October.

‘National emergency’ in UK as historic temperatures forecast; wildfires rage in Europe

British authorities are advising people not to travel through subways in London on Monday, as an ongoing heat wave is expected to affect railways and might cause delays, in addition to fueling wildfires, causing heat-related deaths and breaking records in Western Europe. Authorities are issuing dire warnings, as temperatures may reach 104 degrees Fahrenheit in southern Britain, a region usually known for moderate summer heat, with July highs in the 70s. The heat poses a serious health risk, as people will need to take precautions to avoid heat-related illness. British authorities have described it as a “national emergency” and southern Britain is under an “extreme” heat warning for the first time on record. Extreme heat is also endangering the environment and homes on mainland Europe, with wildfires raging in Portugal, Spain and France.

MLB stars compete in home run derby

Eight of the best sluggers in baseball will compete in the MLB Home Run Derby Monday. Headlining the competition is New York Mets star Pete Alonso, who is seeking a three-peat after winning the last two contests in 2021 and 2019. (The 2020 Home Run Derby was not staged due to the COVID-19 pandemic.) Should he bring home another crown, Alonso will join Baseball Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. as the only three-time winners in the home run hitting exhibition. Rounding out the field are Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Kyle Schwarber, Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols, Nationals outfielder Juan Soto, Cleveland Guardians infielder José Ramírez, Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr., Seattle Mariners rookie outfielder Julio Rodríguez and Texas Rangers shortstop Corey Seager. 

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