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Hunter Biden found guilty on federal gun charges; Philly’s tribute to Marian Anderson

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Today's top stories

A federal court has convicted President Biden's son, Hunter, on felony gun charges. The jury found him guilty on two counts ofmaking false statements about his drug use on paperwork required for purchasing a gun and one count of illegal possession of a firearm by a drug user or addict.

Hunter Biden, President Biden's son, departs from the J. Caleb Boggs Federal Building on Monday in Wilmington, Del., after jurors began deliberations in his trial on felony gun charges.
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Hunter Biden, President Biden's son, departs from the J. Caleb Boggs Federal Building on Monday in Wilmington, Del., after jurors began deliberations in his trial on felony gun charges.

  • 🎧 Prosecutor David Weiss said the case was not about addiction but about the illegal choices Hunter Biden made. Still, NPR's Ryan Lucas says Hunter's addiction struggle was "the central feature of the trial." He tells Up First that Hunter's family was in the front row of the courtroom every day and was often brought to tears by the testimony. The judge did not set a sentencing date yesterday for the gun conviction. In a separate case in California, the president's son now faces nine counts related to his failure to pay federal taxes on millions in income.


The House is expected to vote today to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress. Republicans say the Justice Department has defied subpoenas to turn over audio recordings of an interview prosecutors conducted last year with President Biden as part of an investigation into how Biden handled classified documents after he served as vice president.

  • 🎧 While the Justice Department has provided transcripts of the interview, Garland says handing over the audio would make it harder for prosecutors to interview people in the White House in the future, NPR's Carrie Johnson reports. She says the odds are low that anyone will hear those tapes before the election. She adds that Garland has some legal protection and points to two other attorneys who were held in contempt: Eric Holder and William Barr.


A federal judge has blocked a 2023 Florida law that bans gender-affirming care like puberty blockers and hormone replacement therapy for transgender minors. U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle ruled the law was unconstitutional. The ruling states that while Florida could regulate these "safe and effective" treatments, it couldn't deny them — especially since treatment with those medications is approved for cisgender patients. Florida has vowed to appeal the ruling. Here's how the Florida ban came to be and what comes next. (via WUSF)

Today's listen

 Damage to mall and vegetable markets in Ramallah after IDF soldiers raided the market the week before.
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NPR
Damage to mall and vegetable markets in Ramallah after IDF soldiers raided the market the week before.

Palestinians in Ramallah, the West Bank's largest city, face a different kind of war. Before Oct. 7, Israeli raids were mainly in nearby villages and refugee camps. Now, they are hitting the city center. A recent raid at a central vegetable market caused a devastating fire. Many Palestinians feel trapped and threatened as they watch Gaza and navigate the increased military presence and number of checkpoints. 

  • 🎧 NPR's Hadeel Al-Shalchi talked to locals about their daily lives and their outlook on the future. Listen to her dispatch from the city here.

Deep Dive

People wait in line to vote in Georgia's 2022 primary election in Atlanta.
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AP
People wait in line to vote in the Georgia's primary election on May 24 in Atlanta. Political divides in the U.S. seem deeper than ever, but one of the few shared sentiments right now from voters of all stripes is the desire for something different.

Top Republican leaders are backing a new House bill that would require U.S. citizens to show proof of citizenship when registering to vote in federal elections. Republicans say they want to address the rare and illegal practice of non-U.S. citizens casting ballots for federal races. A new report raises concerns that this push could put the votes of millions of eligible voters at risk:

  • About 1 in 10 U.S. adult citizens — 21.3 million people — say they either don't have or can't quickly find citizenship documents. The findings, first shared with NPR, also reveal differences by race, ethnicity, and political affiliation. 
  • Most states use social security or driver's license numbers to check citizenship. Federal law requires states to accept an applicant's sworn statement about citizenship.
  • The survey found that requiring proof of citizenship would disproportionately affect historically underrepresented groups. But Michael Hanmer, a professor of government and politics, says the impact would be wide-reaching. He questions the political reasons behind the bill since "there really aren't problems with fraud." 
  • This bill is not expected to become law in this Congress. However, Republican state lawmakers have made similar proposals in New Hampshire. The Republican National Committee is involved in a legal fight over similar requirements in Arizona, which a federal judge has blocked for now.

3 things to know before you go

Marian Anderson arrives in London in 1952. On June 8, the Philadelphia Orchestra named its main performance hall in her honor.
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Marian Anderson arrives in London in 1952. On June 8, the Philadelphia Orchestra named its main performance hall in her honor.

  1. The Philadelphia Orchestra has renamed its concert hall in honor of hometown legend Marian Anderson. The American contralto broke racial barriers when she became the first Black singer to perform at New York's Metropolitan Opera.
  2. It's a tradition in many Indigenous coastal communities in Western Alaska to throw a party for a young member who has hunted their first seal. Over the years, these "throwing parties" have expanded to celebrate a variety of firsts, including graduations, weddings and births.
  3. Mary Fran Lyons was undergoing chemotherapy in 2003. While she was having lunch at the mall, a woman walked up to her and told her she'd be ok. She says the experience with this unsung hero made her believe in angels.

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