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Prime-time Jan. 6 hearing, House contraception vote, Italian leader resigns: 5 things to know Thursday

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 7/21/2022 Editors
Former deputy national security adviser Matthew Pottinger departs after President Donald Trump awarded the Medal of Honor to Army Sgt. Maj. Thomas P. Payne in the East Room of the White House, Sept. 11, 2020, in Washington. © Andrew Harnik, AP Former deputy national security adviser Matthew Pottinger departs after President Donald Trump awarded the Medal of Honor to Army Sgt. Maj. Thomas P. Payne in the East Room of the White House, Sept. 11, 2020, in Washington.

Former Trump aides to testify during prime-time Jan. 6 hearing

The Jan. 6 committee is scheduled to wrap up its hearings for the summer on Thursday during prime time. After seven hearings outlining the machinations of former President Donald Trump, his aides and staffers to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, the panel will put its focus on how Trump spent his time on Jan. 6, 2021. Reps. Elaine Luria, D-Va., and Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., will lead the hearing. Two ex-Trump aides who resigned due to the attack are expected to testify. Sarah Matthews, who was deputy press secretary, quit the day of the attack. Her statement said she was "honored" to serve in the Trump administration, but was "disturbed" by that day's events. Matthew Pottinger, who was deputy national security adviser, typed his resignation letter that night because of the delay in deploying the National Guard, according to the book "Betrayal," by ABC News' Jonathan Karl. Pottinger told the committee a Trump tweet calling then-Vice President Mike Pence a coward prompted him to resign. 

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House Democrats move to protect contraception from the Supreme Court

The right to use contraceptives would be inscribed into law under a measure Democrats are pushing through the House, their latest campaign-season response to worries that a conservative Supreme Court that's erased federal abortion rights could go further. The House planned to vote Thursday on the legislation and send it to the Senate, where its fate seemed uncertain. The bill explicitly allows the use of contraceptives and gives the medical community the right to provide them, covering "any device or medication used to prevent pregnancy." The push underscored that Democrats are latching onto their own culture-war battles to appeal to female, progressive and minority voters by casting the court and Republicans as extremists intent on obliterating rights taken for granted for years. The House voted last week to revive a nationwide right to abortion, with every Republican voting no. The House voted Tuesday to keep same-sex marriage legal, with 47 Republicans joining all Democrats in backing the measure.

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Ex-officer faces sentencing for his role in George Floyd's death

One of four ex-officers from the Minneapolis police department convicted of violating the rights of George Floyd is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday. Prosecutors asked a federal judge to sentence Thomas Lane to between 5¼  and 6½ years in prison for his role in the restraint that killed Floyd on May 25, 2020. Lane’s attorney is seeking 2¼ years. Lane and two other officers were convicted in February of depriving Floyd of his right to medical care as the Floyd was pinned under then-Officer Derek Chauvin's knee for 9½ minutes while handcuffed and facedown on the street. Lane held Floyd's legs. The two other officers were also convicted with failing to intervene to stop Chauvin, but Lane, who asked twice if they should turn Floyd on his side, did not face that charge. 

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Italian Premier Mario Draghi resigns after his government implodes

Italian Premier Mario Draghi tendered his resignation to President Sergio Mattarella Thursday after key coalition allies boycotted a confidence vote, signaling the likelihood of an early election and a renewed period of uncertainty for Italy and Europe at a critical time. Mattarella, who had rejected a similar resignation offer last week, "took note" this time and asked Draghi's government to remain on in a caretaker fashion, the president's office said. Draghi's government of national unity imploded Wednesday after members of his uneasy coalition rebuffed his appeal to band back together to finish the legislature's natural term and ensure implementation of the European Union-funded pandemic recovery program. Italian newspapers on Thursday were united in their outrage at the outcome, given Italy is dealing with soaring inflation and energy costs, Russia's war against Ukraine and outstanding reforms needed to clinch the rest of the EU's 200 billion euros in recovery funds.

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World Health Organization meets to discuss state of monkeypox outbreak

The World Health Organization is meeting Thursday to decide whether the outbreak of monkeypox should be considered a public health emergency of international concern, which could lead more resources to be devoted to fighting the disease. Nearly 1,500 Americans have been infected with monkeypox since early May, and the federal government is working to provide additional vaccines to stem the widening outbreak, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said at a news conference. A two-dose vaccine called Jynneos is available, but there is not enough for everyone at risk who wants protection.  

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Contributing: The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Prime-time Jan. 6 hearing, House contraception vote, Italian leader resigns: 5 things to know Thursday

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