In today’s newsletter: Wildfire smoke from Canada sticks around in the Northeast. A former Trump White House official is subpoenaed in a Jan. 6 investigation. And a family mourns a father and son killed in a Virginia shooting.
Here’s what to know today.
Another day of air quality concerns shrouds the Northeast
Can you believe New York City looked like this yesterday? Smoke from Canada’s wildfires blanketed the city and much of the Northeast, resulting in a seemingly apocalyptic orange haze and leaving the city with the world’s worst air quality.
The scent of burned ash also floated in and caught residents off guard. “It is really strange,” Brooklyn resident Katie Schaller said. “It does feel like we’re in California or somewhere that had wildfires.”
In remarks yesterday, Gov. Kathy Hochul called the situation a “health and environmental crisis” and urged New Yorkers to limit their time outdoors.
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Those hoping for a reprieve today won’t be getting it. Poor air quality is here for another day, forecasters predicted. And it’s not just New York. Major metro areas, including Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., have all experienced unhealthy air for all groups, the National Weather Service said.
New York Emergency Management Commissioner Zachary Iscol said yesterday that residents should expect an air quality health advisory to “remain in place for the next few days.”
Still, some relief might not be far off. Forecasters expect winds could shift after today and push smoke farther west into the interior Northeast and the Ohio Valley tomorrow. Follow along for the latest updates.
What to know about the smoke and air quality concerns
- Is it safe to exercise outdoors? The short answer is no: “It’s like swimming in polluted water.”
- Wildfire smoke has been drifting over the U.S. for the past month. These maps show its path.
- For better or worse, smoky skies aren't new in the West. Here are tips from people from California to Montana on how to breathe a little easier.
Steve Bannon subpoenaed in Jan. 6 investigation
A federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., has subpoenaed former Trump White House official Steve Bannon in connection with special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into Jan. 6 and Donald Trump’s efforts to stay in office, according to two sources familiar with the matter. The subpoena, for documents and testimony, was sent out late last month.
The Washington grand jury is one the federal grand juries investigating the former president. A separate grand jury in Miami heard testimony yesterday about Trump’s handling of classified documents.
Residents sound off on Florida woman accused of killing her neighbor
Susan Louise Lorincz, the white woman charged with fatally shooting her neighbor, Ajike “AJ” Owens, who is Black, had a history of harassing area children and using racial slurs against them, neighbors said.
The shooting last Friday night happened after police said Lorincz had “engaged in an argument” with Owens’ children, who were playing in a nearby field. During the argument, Lorincz threw a skate at Owens’ 10-year-old son and later swung an umbrella at him and his sibling. Police say Owens then knocked on Lorincz’s door multiple times, and Lorincz fired one shot through the door, hitting Owens in the upper chest.
“Everybody in this neighborhood has feuded with this lady over our children,” neighbor Phyllis Wills said about Lorincz. Other residents echoed that sentiment, recalling the times they said Lorincz recorded their children, taunted them with slurs, called the police and waved guns at them — just for being kids.
Virginia shooting victims were a father and son
Renzo Smith and his wife swelled with pride as they watched their 18-year-old son, Shawn Jackson, receive his high school diploma, on Tuesday. Both parents were wearing shirts with Jackson’s face on it — custom-made for the ceremony. But the celebration was cut short when Smith and Jackson were fatally shot shortly after the ceremony.
Now, family members are left processing the tragedy. “We’re trying to be as strong as possible,” Jackson’s aunt said. “This is all I can say at this time.”
Police have released more details about the shooting, including the suspect’s name and a possible motive.
Federal child labor investigation expands
An investigation into Guatemalan children working in the U.S. in violation of child labor laws has expanded to include meatpacking and produce firms that have allegedly hired underage migrants in at least 11 states, two senior officials said. The companies under scrutiny operate across the country in locations from Virginia to Colorado.
NBC News reported earlier this year that the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department were trying to determine whether a human smuggling scheme brought migrant children to work for multiple companies in the meatpacking sector nationwide. Here’s what we know about the expanded investigation.
▼ Today’s Talker
A Pride Month drag show in Florida moved…
… to an indoor venue, a decision that was made as the state debated — and eventually passed — a measure targeting drag performers. Elsewhere in Florida, parade participants will have to adhere to a “minimum dress code,” and another city canceled its annual Pride event altogether. Organizers in Tennessee and Montana, where new legislation also passed, are scrambling to make last-minute changes, too. LGBTQ Pride Month celebrations had become, for the most part, family-friendly events, but organizers say planning them is becoming more complicated.
▼ Politics in Brief
Jan. 6 riot: Jay Johnston, an actor who appeared on “Bob’s Burgers” and “Arrested Development” was arrested in California and charged in connection with the attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Student loan debt: President Biden vetoed Republican-sponsored legislation that sought to block his administration’s plan to provide student loan debt relief.
Debt deal fallout: House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said no votes would be held for the rest of the week, hours after conservative hard-liners blocked several bills from moving forward for the second straight day.
▼ Staff Pick
The push to reshape Oregon, literally
There have been many efforts over the years by counties in the West to leave one state and become part of another. They almost always fail. But in eastern Oregon, voters in 12 counties were close to approving proposals that would start the process to break away and join Idaho. Reporter Alicia Victoria Lozano found that what’s happening in Oregon is representative of the ever-deepening rural-urban divide in the U.S. — Amanda Covarrubias, news editor
▼ In Case You Missed It
Satellite images show the scale of the Ukraine dam destruction
Fox News told Tucker Carlson’s lawyers that the former star anchor has breached his contract with the network.
Global soccer icon Lionel Messi announced he will join Inter Miami in Major League Soccer, rejecting an offer from Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia.
A former probation officer and his wife spent decades trying to help a convicted killer in Texas — and wound up dead.
Actress Shannen Doherty revealed that the breast cancer she has been battling for the past several years has spread to her brain.
Michigan legislators are considering measures to address the educational crisis affecting foster youths, nearly a year after NBC News exposed problems in the system.
▼ Select: Online Shopping, Simplified
Friendly reminder: Father’s Day is less than two weeks away. If the father figure in your life is notoriously hard to shop for, we’ve put together a gift guide to give you some ideas, like bluetooth portable speakers, fitness watches, pizza ovens and even a cornhole set.
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