Biden’s Europe visit, infrastructure pivot, CMT Music Awards: 5 things to know Wednesday

Biden tries to rebuild diplomatic ties, confront Putin in European visit

President Joe Biden departs Wednesday on his first overseas trip in office, an eight-day blitz that will include meetings with key allies and one big adversary – Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Biden will attend the Group of Seven summit in Cornwall, England, then head to Brussels, Belgium, for a NATO summit and a meeting with European Union chiefs before sitting down with Putin in Geneva, Switzerland. The European leaders should find Biden more cordial than predecessor Donald Trump, who badgered NATO countries to increase their financial contributions and clashed with Europe on climate change, trade, and other issues.

  • Biden and Harris haven’t visited the US-Mexico border:Texas officials are mixed on whether they need to.
  • ‘High-level chess’:How Biden is navigating his relationship with Mexico’s President ‘AMLO’
  • Plans in peril? Manchin’s staunch opposition to ending filibuster puts Biden’s agenda in jeopardy

Joe Biden is heading to Europe for his first international trip as president to strategize with G7 democracies and other NATO allies before confronting Russian President Vladimir Putin about global issues during a meeting in Geneva. (June 7)

AP Domestic

House Democrats to begin drafting infrastructure legislation after Biden’s talks with GOP break down

House Democrats are poised to start drafting infrastructure legislation Wednesday, hours after President Joe Biden shifted negotiations on his infrastructure plan that would total about $1 trillion toward a bipartisan group of centrist senators after negotiations with six Republicans broke down. The legislation appears to be one of the “several paths” to Biden’s goal, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said. The breakdown in negotiations Tuesday came as the two sides failed to broker the divide over the scope of the president’s sweeping infrastructure investment and how to pay for it. As Biden reaches for a bipartisan deal, he has ramped up talks with a separate group of senators that includes moderate Democratic Sens. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia as well as Republican Sens. Mitt Romney of Utah, Rob Portman of Ohio and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana. According to Psaki, Biden plans to stay in contact with the senators by phone while he is in Europe. 

  • Biden offers to keep 2017 Trump tax cuts intactin infrastructure counteroffer to GOP
  • Key negotiating figures: What you should know about West Virginia Sens. Manchin and Capito
  • ‘The clock is ticking’:Democrats grow restless with Biden’s infrastructure talks

The U.S. funds infrastructure differently than a lot of other countries, relying more on state and local spending. Here's why it's faring so poorly.

USA TODAY

Minnesota Supreme Court to hear arguments in Minneapolis police officer’s murder case

The Minnesota Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Wednesday in the case of Mohamed Noor, a former Minneapolis police officer who was convicted of third-degree murder in the 2017 shooting death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, who had called 911 to report a possible sexual assault behind her home. Noor’s attorneys argue that a divided Minnesota Court of Appeals failed to follow legal precedents defining third-degree murder when it affirmed Noor’s conviction. The court’s decision has repercussions for another high profile police killing case as former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin was also convicted of third-degree murder, as well as second-degree manslaughter, for killing George Floyd. Civil rights attorney Ben Crump compared the Noor case to the incident with Kim Potter. The former Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, police officer has been charged with second-degree manslaughter in the April shooting death of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man. 

  • Fact check:Viral post misstates amount of money in Justine Damond family settlement
  • 2019 opinion piece: If Noor had been white, would he have been convicted?
  • More time in prison?Chauvin may face longer sentence after judge rules on aggravating factors in George Floyd’s death

The fiancé of Justine Damond, an Australian woman shot and killed by a Minneapolis police officer, told more than 200 mourners "it felt like a privilege" to love her. Don Damond spoke Friday night at a memorial held in southwest Minneapolis. (Aug. 11)

CMT Music Awards to celebrate  country’s biggest stars

Carrie Underwood, Gladys Knight, Chris Stapleton and Luke Bryan will perform at the CMT Music Awards Wednesday night (CMT, MTV, MTV2, Logo and Paramount Network, 8 p.m. ET.) Maren Morris and Miranda Lambert lead the field with four nominations apiece, including two each in top prize video of the year. Mickey Guyton, Kelsea Ballerini, Kane Brown and Little Big Town follow with three nominations each. Brown returns to host for a second year, joined by Ballerini, a first-time co-host.  Also, trailblazing country artist Linda Martell, 80, will be presented with the second annual CMT Equal Play Award, recognizing her legacy as one of country music’s first prominent Black female artists. In 1969, Martell became the first Black female solo country artist to perform on the Grand Ole Opry. 

  • Billboards supporting Morgan Wallenpop up in Nashville right before CMT Music Awards
  • ‘We all should be uncomfortable’:Maren Morris, Rissi Palmer discuss racism in country music
  • 2020 CMT Music Awards:5 highlights from a show in the ‘great outdoors’

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