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5 things to know for June 21: Iran, Saudi Arabia, Plain View Project, India, Sudan

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Posted: Jun 21, 2019 10:50 AM
Updated: Jun 21, 2019 10:50 AM

Duke's Zion Williamson was the No. 1 pick in last night's NBA draft, and the first thing he did was thank his mom.

Here's what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door. (You can also get "5 Things You Need to Know Today" delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)

1. US and Iran

President Trump ordered military strikes against Iran and then abruptly called them off at the last minute. The operation was in its initial stages, with ships in position and planes in the air, when the order came to stand down, The New York Times reported. It's not clear why the President changed his mind or whether the attacks may still happen. Tensions with Iran escalated after the Iranians shot down a US drone. Iran policy hardliners in the administration and some GOP lawmakers have pushed for a military response, but Democrats have warned Trump not to take actions that could lead to the start of a war.

2. US arms sales

Some Republican senators joined their Democratic colleagues in voting to block $8.1 billion in arms sales to Gulf nations -- including Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The bipartisan lawmakers wanted to express their continued displeasure with how the Trump administration has handled its response to the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a journalist and critic of the Saudi regime. The administration last month bypassed Congress on the arms sales by declaring an emergency. Despite the Senate vote, it looks like the sales will happen. Though the measure passed, it fell far short of the two-thirds support needed to override an expected veto from the President.

3. Facebook and police

Seventy-two police officers in Philadelphia have been pulled off the streets and put on administrative duty after a watchdog group published screenshots of what it says are offensive comments the law enforcement officers posted on Facebook. The online database from the Plain View Project contains images of more than 5,000 social media posts and comments by more than 3,500 current and former police officers in eight US jurisdictions, the group says. CNN has not independently confirmed that the posts were made by officers. Police departments in Dallas, St. Louis and Lake County, Florida, are also investigating allegations their officers posted hateful or racist remarks.

4. India water crisis

A serious water crisis has developed in Chennai, India's sixth largest city. Four reservoirs that supply the city have nearly run dry, and millions of people are running out of usable water. Chennai is going through a major drought and only yesterday got its first major rainfall of the year. Government officials have resorted to trucking water into the city's neighborhoods. In Coimbatore, another southern Indian city dealing with water scarcity, at least 550 people were arrested during a protest over the shortages. The situation reflects an ongoing nationwide crisis as a fatal heat wave sweeps across India, and cities from Mumbai to Delhi face dwindling water supplies.

5. Sudan

Is Sudan's protest movement over? It took a big hit after a paramilitary unit opened fire on demonstrators on June 3 in the capital city of Khartoum, killing at least 118 people. But many who were there say the horrors of that day were much worse. The number of dead is much higher, the demonstrators say, and troops allegedly raped female protesters in an attempt to break the movement. Women have been a huge part of the protests -- accounting for up to 70% of demonstrators, by some estimates -- and many have been threatened with sexual violence.

Protesters still want a peaceful transition of power after President Omar al-Bashir was removed from power in an April coup. But a Transitional Military Council set up after al-Bashir's removal vows to run the country for a couple years. There have been no demonstrations in the capital since the crackdown, but a couple hundred people protested Wednesday in Omdurman, the country's second-largest city.


Gone but not forgotten

When the show "Riverdale" returns this fall, it won't forget about Luke Perry. He'll be honored in the season premiere.

Off-the-field problems

Carrie Underwood, NBC and the NFL have all been sued by some songwriters who claim the "Sunday Night Football" song was plagiarized.

Split season

Major League Baseball could be headed back to Montreal. Sort of. The Tampa Bay Rays may split their home games between Canada and Florida.

Have it all to yourself

If you think Peru's Machu Picchu is simply overrun with tourists, you might want to check out Colombia's "Lost City," which hardly anyone visits.

'It was all a dream ...'

You can now rent the childhood home of the late rapper Notorious B.I.G. And like all things in Brooklyn these days, there have been some upgrades.


Quiz time

This person was named the best real-life hero at the MTV Movie & TV Awards.

A. Ruth Bader Ginsburg

B. Chris Evans

C. Sonia Sotomayor

D. Megan Rapinoe

Play "Total Recall," CNN's weekly news quiz, to see if your answer is correct.


"They all left and are in Idaho. I don't have a way of contacting him."

Peggie Boquist, the wife of Oregon GOP state Sen. Brian Boquist. He's one of a group of Oregon Republican lawmakers who left the state to block the legislature's work on a cap-and-trade climate bill. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, has ordered the state police to bring them back to the capital.



The number of people who signed a petition started by a Christian organization calling for Netflix to pull the show "Good Omens." But the show, about an angel and a demon teaming up to save the world, streams on Amazon Prime.



He's a hugger

It's been a long week. If you could use a hug, Franzie the cat is willing. (Click to view.)

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