Monday Sunrise Briefing: Jan 6. insurrection, revisited

Here are three news events - Republicans on panel investigating Jan. 6 insurrection, Summer Olympics, and the ADA anniversary - from this past weekend (while you may have been paddle boarding or making peach ice cream, and enjoying an offline life). Also, what to look for in the news this week.

AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File
In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, rioters wave flags in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi named a second Republican Sunday to a panel investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection that interrupted Congressional certification of Joe Biden’s presidential election. On Tuesday, four police officers are expected to testify before the panel. Police provide the “moral center of gravity of the whole investigation,” Rep. Jamie B. Raskin (Md.), one of seven Democrats on the  committee, told the Washington Post. With most Republicans still loyal to former president Donald Trump, and many downplaying the severity of the Jan. 6 attack, there is little bipartisan unity on this subject. House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) has threatened to retaliate against Republican members who participate in the panel. Rep. Liz Cheney (Wy.) says the investigation is about holding those accountable. To date, some 550 people have been charged with crimes. 

2. Olympian excellence. You expect China, Russia, and the US to do well at the Olympics. But unexpected gold can offer the most inspiring victories. For example, 18-year-old Tunisian Ahmed Hafnaoui was the surprise gold medalist Sunday, swimming in lane 8 in the men’s 400 freestyle. Early Monday (Tokyo time) Australian Ariarne Titmus won the big showdown with U.S. star Katie Ledecky (Monday Tokyo time) in the 400-meter freestyle event. Australian swimmers also set a new world record for the 4x100 freestyle relay.The NBA-packed U.S. basketball team lost (against France) for the first time in 17 years and the dominant U.S. women gymnasts stumbled in the qualifying round of team competition, but hope to rebound by Tuesday’s finals. As of Sunday, China leads the Tokyo Summer Olympics in the total medal count, followed by the US. But host nation Japan is close behind with 5 golds (three in judo, one each in skateboarding, and swimming). For decades, female gymnasts have worn bikini-cut leotards. But on Sunday, the German team instead wore unitards that stretched to their ankles, sending a message against sexualization of women in gymnastics.

3. Celebrating fairness. Today is the 31st anniversary of the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA), the landmark civil rights law for America’s largest minority. As navigators of a world largely not designed for them, disabled people are often problem solvers. Their experiences and resilience often contain keys to creating a more livable and equitable society for every one. Over the past year, the Monitor has explored various aspects of this community, including videos on the unexpected accessibility of remote work, a pioneering journalist creating accessible news, the disability housing crisis, and a revolutionary touch-based language evolving among DeafBlind people.

REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko
Members of the Russian Olympic Committee battle Argentina in volleyball at the Tokyo Olympics. The World Anti-Doping Agency ruled Russian athletes can only compete at the Olympics as neutrals. The sanction followed a coverup of Russia's state-sponsored doping scandal.

Look Ahead

MONDAY, July 26

Justice watch. Jury selection begins in the federal trial of four former Minneapolis police officers in the death of George Floyd, alleging the officers violated Mr. Floyd's constitutional rights. In a state trial, Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder and sentenced last month to 22.5 years in prison. 

Friends and allies. U.S. President Joe Biden is scheduled to host Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi for talks on Iraq’s military needs in the ongoing fight against the Islamic State and to formalize a timeline for ending the U.S. combat role.

Olympian efforts. The new Olympic sport of skateboarding holds its inaugural competition for women, in the street event. Men’s cross-country mountain biking begins. There are 21 medal events scheduled.

TUESDAY, July 27

Olympics watch. Russia leads going into the women's team finals in gymnastics. Women’s cross-country mountain biking begins. The gold medal match in softball. American swimmer Katie Ledecky faces her busiest night as she is scheduled to race in her longest and shortest events: the 200-meter freestyle and the historic debut of the women's 1,500 free. There are 22 medal events scheduled. 


Monitoring inflation. U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell holds a news conference following two days of economic policy meetings.  

Olympics watch. Synchronized diving concludes with the men's 3-meter springboard final. The gold medal match in men's rugby sevens is scheduled to be held. There are 23 medal events scheduled.


Live music with restrictions. The four-day Lollapalooza music festival starts in Chicago. Attendees must have proof of Covid-19 vaccination or a negative test. 

Olympics watch. There are 17 medal events scheduled.

FRIDAY, July 30

Humans in space. Boeing is scheduled to make another attempt to send its crew capsule to the International Space Station, after botching the first test flight without astronauts in 2019.

Music on demand. Pop star Billie Elilish debuts her second full-length album, “Happier than Ever”

Art imitates life. The anticipated film “Stillwater” opens. Actor Matt Damon stars as Bill Baker, an oil rig worker from Oklahoma, who tries to help his daughter, who’s been falsely imprisoned in France for murder. The movie is loosely based on the true story of Amanda Knox. 

Olympics watch. The first tennis gold medal of the Tokyo Olympics is awarded in men's doubles. There are 20 medal events scheduled.


Olympics watch. Amid the 25 medal scheduled events, the Olympic swimming competition concludes with five more gold medals up for grabs. The women's singles gold medal in tennis is also expected to be determined. Finals of men’s and women’s BMX racing. 

Empathy Watch

Courtesy Matt Zigler
Thanks to the ingenuity and empathy of Potomac, Maryland students, Jeremy King can take his baby boy out for a stroll.

At first glance, Matt Zigler teaches kids how to build things. But his classes are really about how to build empathy and innovation. 

"The goal of the class each year is to pick a person or an organization that we can design and build something for, go through a sort of empathy-driven process to understand what it is that they really need,” Mr. Zigler told Fox News. Mr. Zigler teaches at the Bullis Innovation & Technology Lab at the Bullis prep school in Potomac, Maryland.  One of his high school classes just won two awards for designing and building a device enabling people in wheelchairs to push a baby stroller.

They wanted to help one of their teachers, who just had a baby. “One of the things that we really couldn’t find was a way to enjoy walks with our son, ” Chelsie King told NBC’s WRC-TV in Washington, D.C.  Given the challenge, the students produced two designs.  For one model, the students took an infant car seat and attached it directly to the wheelchair. For the other, the students connected the wheelchair to an existing stroller, "so you could actually push the stroller in front of you," Mr. Zigler said.

“The first time we were able to take it out into our neighborhood, just the three of us, it was amazing,” Mrs. King said. “So, it was a match made in heaven with what we needed and with what Matt does in his classes."

The instructions to build the models were posted online to help others facing similar obstacles. 

Hidden Gem

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

How Book Dash nurtures South Africa’s young readers

Sneak preview

In tonight’s Daily Edition, watch for our story about the army of family and friends who prepare an Olympian. 

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

  1. Meet the young mom who became the face of Belarus’ democracy movement
  2. Olympics have lockdown aura. But the narrative isn’t locked in.
  3. Hopes and fears: Why Cuban protesters rally American left and right
  4. For these young sisters, a period of family, love, and sacrifice
  5. Comedies usually reward cynicism. Then came ‘Ted Lasso.’

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