Biden’s busy weekend: G-7 summit and a meeting with Queen Elizabeth

Saturday will be Day Two of the Group of Seven summit in Cornwall, England. The gathering is first in-person meeting of the leaders from the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom since the start of the coronavirus crisis. One key topic on the agenda will be addressing the root causes of the COVID-19 pandemic on a global level. The bigger subtext expects be China as several important issues surrounding the most populous nation in the world likely will dominate discussions Saturday. On Sunday, after the conclusion of the summit, President Joe Biden and his wife, first lady Jill Biden, will visit Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle. The meeting won’t be a state visit, but a more informal courtesy. Queen Elizabeth, 95, has been meeting occupants of the White House since 1951, the year before she became queen, when she spent time with President Harry Truman. Biden is the 13th U.S. president she has met. 

Ceremony will mark 5th anniversary of the Pulse massacre in Florida

The 49 victims who were massacred in a mass shooting on June 12, 2016 at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Florida, have been honored this week with a community run, a museum exhibit, a mass yoga session, a gay chorus performance and a street dance party. The tributes will culminate with a remembrance ceremony Saturday, the fifth anniversary of the tragedy, the nation’s deadliest mass shooting at the time. Dozens of survivors of the massacre, family members of those who died and first responders were invited to a ceremony on the grounds of the Pulse nightclub, south of downtown Orlando. The site has been turned into an interim memorial lined with photos of the victims and rainbow-colored flowers and mementos. The ceremony will take place several days after the U.S. Senate passed legislation designating the grounds where Pulse stood a national memorial.

Netanyahu’s fate on the line in tension-filled Israel vote

Israel’s parliament will vote Sunday on whether to end Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12-year tenure as prime minister and usher in a “change coalition” that includes hardline factions, centrists and an Arab party, the first ever in an Israeli government. “It’s happening!” Yair Lapid, the leader of a centrist party and chief broker of the coalition deal, tweeted when the vote was scheduled. But the outcome remains uncertain as Netanyahu and allies campaign to derail the odd-bedfellows alliance. The vote will unfold after days of heightened tensions, daily protests and threats of violence against those seeking Netanyahu’s ouster. For Netanyahu, the stakes could not be higher. The vote would not just relegate him to an opposition figure. It would also increase his legal jeopardy as he battles corruption charges in an ongoing criminal trial.  

Day of Action demonstrations call attention to lessons on race, racism

On Saturday, groups in more than 22 cities are organizing Day of Action rallies and other events to protest legislative efforts to restrict the scope of classroom conversations about race. Many teachers have endeavored to incorporate lessons on topics ranging from the Tulsa race massacre to the Chinese Exclusion Act. But conservatives across the country are alarmed by how, exactly, teachers are adding nuance to discussions of race and racism in U.S. history classes. In Arkansas and more than a dozen other states, lawmakers have introduced or passed new laws to curtail or re-direct the tone of those lessons.

A Westminster Dog Show unlike any other

For the first time, the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show For the first time, the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show will not take place at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Instead, the 145th iteration of the event – the second-oldest continuously held sporting event behind the Kentucky Derby – begins Saturday at Lyndhurst, a National Trust for Historic Preservation property, in Tarrytown, New York. The event ends Sunday with the naming of the 2021 Best in Show. Dogs to watch include Siba, a 4-year-old Standard Poodle that captured the 2020 Best in Show title and Daniel, a golden retriever that won the sporting group and the hearts of many viewers last year. The event is not open to spectators due to New York State COVID-19 regulations. Groups and Best in Show will be televised live on Fox on Sunday (7:30 p.m. ET). 

Contributing: The Associated Press

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