Monday Sunrise Briefing: Is an Iran nuke deal close?

Here are two news events - nearing an Iran nuclear deal and French elections - from this past weekend (while you may have been honoring Dad or playing pickle ball, and enjoying an offline life). Also, what to look for in the news this week.

EU Delegation in Vienna/Handout via REUTERS
Ambassador of the Permanent Mission of the People's Republic of China to the United Nations, Wang Qun, waits for the start of talks on reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in Vienna, Austria June 20, 2021.

A deal to restore the landmark 2015 agreement to contain Iranian nuclear development could be just a month away. A Russian official at the latest round of talks between Russia, China, Germany, France, Britain and Iran, said Sunday a deal was close, but an agreement will need political leaders to make some choices. He expects a final round of talks in about 10 days and said they could finalize negotiations by mid-July. The talks occurred as Iranian voters Saturday elected a new president,  Ebrahim Raisi, the former hard-line judiciary chief. President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan told CNN’s “State of the Union,” Sunday that the election was unlikely to affect nuclear negotiations because Iran's supreme leader wants the deal restored. Sounding like his predecessor, Israel's new Prime Minister Naftali Bennett Sunday slammed Iran's newly-elected president and called on world powers to “wake up” to the perils of returning to a nuclear agreement with Tehran.

2. France’s far-right falls short. It played like a dress rehearsal for next year’s French presidential election. That is, candidates ran on national (not local) issues in Sunday’s regional elections. But voters weren’t impressed: Turnout was low. Marine Le Pen’s far-right party stumbled, French President Emmanuel Macron's centrists crashed, and the day was won by incumbent conservatives. Ms. Le Pen called it “a civic disaster.” It was also an embarrassment for Mr. Macron, whose nascent Republic on the Move party had hoped to establish a regional foothold for the first time but failed. Exit polling showed the conservative Republicans party, which currently runs seven of  France's 13 regions, won the most overall votes Sunday, at between 27-29%. A second round of voting will be held on June 27. 

AP Photo/David Zalubowski
A Father's Day message. Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Tyler Kinley sends thanks via a message on his sleeve during a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday, June 20, 2021, in Denver.

Look Ahead

MONDAY, June 21

Democracy watch. Ethiopian voters are scheduled to choose their lawmakers in national elections despite a raging war in the Tigray region.

TUESDAY, June 22

NYC leadership race. Voters cast their ballots to choose (via ranked choice) the top primary challengers to run for mayor of New York City. Crime is the No.1 issue

FRIDAY, June 25

Justice watch. Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is scheduled to be sentenced after his conviction for the murder of George Floyd. Prosecutors are seeking a 30-year sentence while Mr. Chauvin’s defense team is asking that he receive probation and time served. 

Insurrection consequences. A 49-year-old Indiana grandmother is expected to become the first to be sentenced out of nearly 500 people facing federal charges in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. Anna Morgan-Lloyd is pleading guilty to a single misdemeanor charge.

Generosity Watch

Nathan Adams of Tonawanda, N.Y., recently started a lawn mowing business. He quickly became known in his neighborhood as “The Lawn Kid.” But after the 14-year-old’s grandfather passed on, he wanted to do something special to honor the man - an Army and National Guard vet - he loved. He gave himself a goal of mowing the lawns of 50 veterans, for free. Every mowing also includes edging and weed whacking. Nathan’s well on his way to reaching his goal. As of June 12, he’d completed six lawns, and had 18 more lined up."He wanted to find a way to honor my dad and make him proud and this is his way of saying thank you to the veterans," Angel Adams, Nathan's mom told WKBW-TV in Buffalo, N.Y.  "There's always a way to put good into the world when it seems like there's so much bad going on," she said. 

Hidden Gem

Murr Brewster
A pair of chickadees became seasonal occupants of a nesting box near the author’s home years ago. It had long been her dream to befriend a wild bird.

Start your week with a recent story that inspired Monitor readers:

My little chickadee: I know what he likes me for. But is it love?

Sneak preview

In tonight’s Daily Edition, watch for our story about why the U.S. tax code favors the rich, for now. 

Finally, check out the Monitor’s selected stories from Friday's subscription-only Daily Edition:

  1. As Kamala Harris’ portfolio grows, so does the scrutiny
  2. Standing in for US, Egypt flexes its Mideast muscles
  3. COVID origins: Why is the lab leak hypothesis getting a fresh look?
  4. With prints and playing cards, painter puts Black art in people’s hands
  5. ‘On Juneteenth’: A Black historian reflects on Texas and emancipation

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