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In our news wrap Friday, a congressional oversight committee asked five major gunmakers for data on assault-style weapons used in mass shootings, Russia's gained more ground in Ukraine, Iranian forces seized two Greek tankers, President Biden addressed U.S. Naval Academy graduates, and Southern Baptist leaders released a previously secret list of pastors and church workers accused of sexual abuse.
In the day's other news: A congressional panel asked five major gun makers for data on assault-style weapons used in mass shootings.
In a letter, Democrat Carolyn Maloney, who's chair of the U.S. House Oversight Committee, said gun manufacturers continue to profit from the sale of weapons of war. She called for information on manufacturing, marketing and sales.
The National Rifle Association opened its national convention in Houston today, in the shadow of the killings in Uvalde and Buffalo. Former President Trump headlined the event. He rejected criticism of the gun lobby and of Republicans and called instead for a sweeping overhaul of school security and of mental health policies.
Donald Trump, Former President of the United States: We need to drastically change our approach to mental health. There are always so many warning signs. Almost all of these disfigured minds share the same profile.
Several hundred protesters rallied outside the convention site, and several Texas lawmakers canceled plans to speak. Republican Governor Greg Abbott opted to send a recorded message.
Russia's assault on Eastern Ukraine slowly gain more ground today. Pro-Russian rebels said they have captured a railway hub in the Donbass region. And two key cities face round-the-clock of bombardment. Ukraine's foreign minister said that his country is outgunned in a video he posted online.
Dmytro Kuleba, Ukrainian Foreign Minister:
The only position where Russia is better than us, it's the amount of heavy weapons they have. Without artillery, without multiple-launch rocket systems, we won't be able to push them back.
Ukrainian officials say shipments of Western arms have been delayed and that the Russians are using the time to step up their offensive.
President Biden told U.S. Naval Academy graduates today that they will have to defend democracy against the likes of Russia and China. The president addressed the academy's commencement in Annapolis, Maryland, and warned that Russia is trying to erase Ukraine's national identity.
President Joe Biden:
Attacking schools, nurseries, hospitals, museums, with no other purpose than to eliminate a culture, a direct assault on the fundamental tenets of rule-based international order. That's what you're graduating into.
Mr. Biden also said the Navy must defend freedom of navigation in the South China Sea against China's increasingly aggressive claims in the region.
New tensions are roiling the Persian Gulf after Iran seized two Greek tanker ships today. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard commandeered the ships. The Greek Foreign Ministry says helicopters landed on the vessels and that armed men took the crews captive. It followed the U.S. seizure of oil from an Iranian-flagged tanker off Greece.
Back in this country, U.S. Southern Baptist leaders have released a previously secret list of pastors and church workers accused of sexual abuse. The database includes more than 700 entries spanning the past two decades. The list first came to light in a scathing independent report last Sunday. It detailed how church leaders suppressed and mishandled abuse allegations.
In Oregon, Democratic Congressman Kurt Schrader, who was backed by President Biden, has lost his primary bid. Schrader is a centrist who has served seven terms. He was ousted by Jamie McLeod-Skinner in a big win for the party's left flank. A ballot printing issue had delayed the results for more than a week.
And Wall Street has finally ended a seven-week skid, with tech stocks and retailers leading the way and new data showing that inflation is moderating. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 575 points today to close at 33213. The Nasdaq rose 390 points, 3 percent. The S&P 500 was up 2.5. For the week, all three indexes jumped well over 6 percent. The S&P had its best showing since November of 2020.
Still to come on the "NewsHour": how businesses in New York's Chinatown are coping with COVID and anti-Asian harassment; David Brooks and Jonathan Capehart discuss this week's political news; and we remember the children and teachers who lost their lives during the elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
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