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Biden to meet with senators on infrastructure deal

President Joe Biden will meet with a group of bipartisan Senators who say they have reached an agreement in principle with the White House on a $1.25 trillion infrastructure plan. Included in the package is $579 billion in new money – less than the $1 trillion Biden first demanded, but far more than initial proposals from GOP senators. The sticking point has been how to pay for the massive transportation infrastructure package. While Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., noted there was a “long list” of ways to pay for it, most of those details have yet to be released and may still need to be worked out. Still, the agreement is expected to win approval from lawmakers in both chambers eager to address the country’s infrastructure and also show that both sides can still forge bipartisan consensus in a Congress that’s become increasingly partisan. 

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Pete Buttigieg is in Tennessee to learn how the closure of the Interstate 40 bridge connecting that state and Arkansas has affected freight movement since it was shut down more than three weeks ago when a crack was found in the span. (June 3) AP Domestic

Teamsters to vote on ramping up Amazon union efforts

One of the largest unions in the United States will vote Thursday on whether it will make organizing workers at Amazon a top priority. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which represents 1.4 million workers, will introduce a resolution at its annual meeting that would make helping Amazon workers to attain a union contract a key goal. Critics have accused Amazon of overworking its employees and denying them adequate wages and safety measures. However, workers at an Amazon warehouse in Alabama overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to unionize in April. But if the resolution passes, a special division would be set up and dedicated to Amazon employees, the Teamsters said. 

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Andy Jassy is the head of Amazon Web Services and will be replacing Jeff Bezos to become the company’s next CEO in Q3. Here’s what you need to know. USA TODAY

Simone Biles, other US gymnasts look to qualify for Olympics

More than 35 gymnasts are in St. Louis, Missouri, for the U.S. Gymnastics Trialsfor a chance to qualify for the Olympics. At the center of the competition will be four-time Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles, but her World Champions Centre teammate Jordan Chiles should also be on spectators’ must-see list as she competes for her first Olympic berth. In the men’s competition, two-time Olympian Sam Mikulak is looking to return to the Games, while new national champion Brody Malone aims to make his first Olympic team. For the purposes of Olympic qualifying, there are six spots on the women’s team – four team competitors and two individuals – and five on the men’s team. Jade Carey has already accepted one of the two available individual spots on the women’s team. 

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Japan’s capital Tokyo is gearing up to host the Olympic Games in 30 days on Wednesday, with preparations well underway at various venues across the city and also in Yokahama. (June 23) AP Domestic

Strawberry supermoon will light up the night sky

Sky watchers will be in for a treat Thursday when the full strawberry moon graces the night sky across the world. June’s full moon is called the strawberry moon because it signaled to some Native American tribes that it was time to gather ripening strawberries, the Old Farmer’s Almanac says. But don’t expect it to be strawberry red: Astronomers say it more likely will be orange or yellow. It’s also the fourth and final supermoon of 2021, when the moon looks somewhat bigger and brighter since it’s a bit closer to the Earth than usual.

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The nickname is connected to the ripening of strawberries during this time of year in certain parts of North America. Video Elephant

Hong Kong’s last pro-democracy newspaper, Apple Daily, closes

Hong Kong’s sole pro-democracy newspaper will publish its last edition Thursday. The Apple Daily was forced to shut down after five editors and executives were arrested and millions of dollars in its assets were frozen as part of China’s increasing crackdown on dissent in the semi-autonomous city. The newspaper was founded by tycoon Jimmy Lai in 1995 — just two years before Britain handed Hong Kong back to China — and was initially a tabloid known for its celebrity gossip. The Apple Daily grew into an outspoken voice for defending Hong Kong’s freedoms not found on mainland China.While pro-democracy media outlets still exist online, it was the only print newspaper left of its kind in the city.

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The paper began printing a million copies of its final edition Wednesday evening after authorities froze its assets. Video Elephant

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