Gymnasts seek $1 billion from FBI; Calls to act after deadly shootings; American tied to Islamic State pleads guilty; Seals and Crofts co-founder dies | Top headlines for June 7 & 8, 2022

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Published Jun 7, 2022, 7:25 PM

Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles and dozens of other women who say they were sexually assaulted by Larry Nassar are seeking more than $1 billion from the FBI for failing to stop the now convicted sports doctor.

There’s no dispute that FBI agents in 2015 knew that Nassar was accused of assaulting gymnasts. But the agents failed to act, leaving Nassar free to continue to target young women and girls for more than a year. Individual lawsuits could follow the tort claims filed Wednesday.

Claimants include Biles, Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney, all Olympic gold medalists. An email seeking comment was sent to the FBI. In remarks to Congress last year, FBI Director Christopher Wray acknowledged major mistakes.

The House panel investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol will open a prime-time hearing Thursday with a focus on far-right extremists who broke into the building that day. Those set to testify include a documentary filmmaker, Nick Quested, who recorded members of the far-right Proud Boys as they stormed the building.

The committee is also expected to hear testimony from a U.S. Capitol Police officer, Caroline Edwards, who was seriously injured that day. In announcing the witnesses, the committee said it will present previously unseen material and provide the American people an initial summary of its findings.

Moderna says its experimental COVID-19 vaccine that combines its original shot with protection against the omicron variant appears to work. COVID-19 vaccine makers are studying updated boosters that might be offered in the fall.

San Francisco residents voted overwhelmingly to recall progressive District Attorney Chesa Boudin in a heated campaign that divided Democrats over crime, policing and public safety reform in the famously liberal city.

Recall backers cheered the results as proof that San Franciscans wanted change in a chaotic DA's office. But Boudin remained defiant to supporters, saying the movement for justice would continue and blaming his loss on billionaire Republicans.

Boudin was a first-time political candidate who narrowly won office in November 2019 as part of a national wave of progressive elections. The mayor will appoint his replacement, but Boudin could also run again in November.

The NHL Eastern Conference Final between the Rangers and Lightning is now matched at two games apiece, the Yankees became the first major league baseball team to reach 40 wins, the Angels fire their manager, then lose their thirteenth straight game, and Tiger Woods says he is pulling out of next week's U.S. Open. 

The son of an 86-year-old woman killed in the racist Buffalo mass shooting is calling on Congress to act against domestic terrorism. Garnell Whitfield, Jr., whose mother was the oldest of the 10 Buffalo victims, challenged senators at a hearing Tuesday.

He told them: “What are you doing? You were elected to protect us.” The emotional testimony came against the backdrop of intensifying Senate negotiations on a gun safety bill.

The proposals are gaining traction, but also raising concerns from Democrats and some advocacy groups who are pushing senators to do more, faster, to stem the tide of mass shootings across the nation.

Academy Award–winning actor Matthew McConaughey offered an emotional call on Congress to “reach a higher ground” and pass gun control legislation. In a roughly 22-minute speech at the White House on Tuesday, McConaughey, a Uvalde, Texas, native, offered a full-throated exhortation for a gridlocked Congress to pass gun reforms that can save lives while not infringing on Second Amendment rights.

McConaughey used his star power to make an argument for legislation in a fashion that the Biden administration has not been able to by offering a clear connection to the small Texas town and offering vivid detail of the sheer loss of the 19 children and two teachers gunned down in last month's mass shooting.

An American woman who prosecutors say led an all-female battalion of Islamic State militants in Syria has pleaded guilty in a case that a prosecutor called a first-of-its-kind in the United States.

Allison Fluke-Ekren broke down sobbing after admitting in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia on Tuesday to conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. The charge carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence.

Her guilty plea resolves a criminal case that came to light in January after Fluke-Ekren was brought to the U.S. to face accusations that she led an Islamic State unit of women and young girls and trained them in the use of automatic rifles, grenades and suicide belts.

The United States and its Asian allies have flown dozens of fighter jets over waters surrounding the Korean Peninsula in a show of force as their diplomats discussed a coordinated response to a possibly imminent North Korean nuclear test.

The flights came as U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman traveled to Seoul for discussions with South Korea and Japanese officials over the gathering North Korean threat and warned of a “swift and forceful” counter response if the North proceeds with a nuclear test explosion.

While Washington has vowed to push for stronger sanctions if North Korea conducts a nuclear test, prospects for robust punitive measures are dim with a divided U.N. Security Council.

Russia claims to have taken control of 97% of one of the two provinces that make up Ukraine’s Donbas, bringing the Kremlin closer to its goal of fully capturing the eastern industrial heartland of coal mines and factories.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu says Moscow’s forces hold nearly all of Luhansk province. And it appears that Russia now occupies roughly half of Donetsk province, according to Ukrainian officials and military analysts.

Advanced DNA technology helped detectives link the cases of six women to a man accused of being the “pillowcase rapist” for a string of rapes back in the 1980s. Robert Koehler is currently jailed in Miami-Dade County, where he faces charges for assaulting a woman in the early ’80s as well.

Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony said Tuesday that Koehler may have committed 40 to 45 rapes, terrifying victims by breaking into their homes at night. He allegedly used a pillowcase or other fabric to cover his face — or their face — before assaulting them, tying them up and stealing items from their homes.

Some cancer patients can safely skip radiation or chemotherapy after surgery. That's according to two new studies exploring shorter, gentler cancer care. Researchers are looking for ways to precisely predict which patients can avoid unneeded treatment to cut down on harmful side effects and unnecessary costs.

One study used a blood test to determine which colon cancer patients could skip chemotherapy after surgery. The other study suggests some low-risk breast cancer patients can omit radiation after lumpectomy.

The findings were discussed at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, which is wrapping up Tuesday in Chicago.

The Department of Homeland Security says a looming Supreme Court decision on abortion, an increase of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border and the midterm elections are potential triggers for extremist violence over the next six months.

DHS said Tuesday in the National Terrorism Advisory System bulletin that the U.S. was in a “heightened threat environment” already. It’s the latest attempt by DHS to draw attention to the threat posed by domestic violent extremism.

That's a shift from alerts about international terrorism that were a hallmark of DHS following its creation after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Jim Seals, who teamed with fellow musician “Dash” Crofts on such 1970s soft-rock hits as “Summer Breeze,” “Diamond Girl” and “We May Never Pass This Way Again,” has died at age 80.

His death was announced Tuesday by several people including John Ford Coley, who had formed the ‘70s duo England Dan and John Ford Coley with Seals’ older brother Dan.

Seals and Darrell George “Dash” Crofts were Texas natives who had known each other since they were teenagers and had previously been in the Champs. They formed Seals and Crofts in the late 1960s.

Target is canceling orders from suppliers, particularly for home goods and clothing, and it’s slashing prices further to clear out amassed inventory ahead of the critical fall and holiday shopping seasons.

The actions come after a pronounced spending shift by Americans, from investments in their homes to money spent on experience like travel, and nights out for dinner and other pre-pandemic routines. Shoppers are also focusing more on non-discretionary items like groceries as inflation makes them more selective.

That’s a change that arrived much faster than major retailers had anticipated. The speed at which Americans pivoted away from pandemic spending was laid bare in the most recent quarterly financial filings from a number of major retailers.

Graeme McDowell says he accepts it is “incredibly polarizing” to join the Saudi-funded rebel golf tour. He even offered a reason why, citing the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

McDowell says, “Take the Khashoggi situation. We all agree that’s reprehensible. Nobody is going to argue that fact.”

The Saudi sovereign wealth fund is providing the hundreds of millions of dollars in sign-on fees and prize money that is enticing players away from the established tours and jeopardizing their participation in the majors and Ryder Cup. The head of the fund is accused of masterminding Khashoggi's murder.

Authorities have announced a summer crackdown on crime in certain areas of Detroit. They're pledging to take felons who are caught with guns to federal court where prison sentences typically are longer than in state court.

U.S. Attorney Dawn Ison says her prosecutors will focus on the city’s 8th and 9th precincts and swiftly make decisions on charges. They'll work closely with Detroit police and federal agents. Ison says, “As temperatures rise, so does violence.” Ison says recent mass shootings in the U.S. are "horrible.”

But she says urban violence still eclipses mass shootings. An 11-year-old girl was dancing at her grandmother’s house when she was killed by stray gunfire from outside the home.

—The Associated Press

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