US News

Summer officially began at 12:24 a.m. ET Wednesday, but as the Southwestern United States bakes in a heat wave, the season may already feel like a long and sweltering slog there.

The mercury hit 119 degrees Fahrenheit in Phoenix on Tuesday, 117 in Las Vegas and 121 degrees in Palm Springs, Calif.

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to take up an appeal over electoral districts in Wisconsin after a lower court ruled that the state's Republican-drawn map constitutes an "unconstitutional partisan gerrymander."

It's the first time in more than a decade that the nation's highest court will take up the issue of partisan gerrymandering, or drawing voting districts with the aim of strengthening one political party.

Some conservatives have seized on Wednesday's shooting of Republican Rep. Steve Scalise and three others as the latest example of what they see as rising political violence from the left. Fox News' Sean Hannity accused Democrats of "dehumanizing" Republicans, and the right-leaning Washington Times ran an editorial by a Tea Party activist that called leftist protests "the first skirmishes of the second American civil war."

The first time Jake Freed rode a skateboard long-distance, it was because he ran out of gas.

He was stuck outside of Yuma, Ariz., in the middle of summer. Without any other options, the military veteran pulled out his skateboard and road 11 miles into town.

"I was surprised how quick I got there and how effortless it was," the 34-year-old former aviation mechanic tells NPR. "I got a new light in me and started to wonder how far I could really go."

The director of Michigan's Department of Health and Human Services, Nick Lyon, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and misconduct in office over the Flint water crisis. Both are felonies in Michigan.

The state's chief medical executive, Dr. Eden Wells, will be charged with obstruction of justice. Four other officials, including the former Flint emergency manager and former director of public works, were also charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Updated at 10:15 p.m. ET

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana has undergone surgery and will need further operations, after being shot by a man who opened fire with a rifle on an early morning baseball practice for Republican members of Congress in Alexandria, Va. Scalise was the most seriously injured of four victims of the shootings.

The U.S. Supreme Court has struck down a federal law based on what the justices called "stunning stereotypes" — among them that most men care little about their children born out of wedlock.

Under the law, a child born abroad to an unwed American mother automatically becomes a U.S. citizen if the mother previously lived in the U.S. for a period of at least one year.

In contrast, the child of an unwed father can't become a U.S. citizen unless the father has lived in the U.S. for a continuous period of five years, two of them when he was over the age of 14.

America's sprawling elections infrastructure has been called "a hairball" — but as people in Silicon Valley might ask, is that a feature or a bug?

Then-FBI Director James Comey touted it as a good thing — "the beauty of our system," he told Congress, is that the "hairball" is too vast, unconnected and woolly to be hacked from the outside.

Updated at 1:40 p.m. ET

A few days ago, based on her apparent Instagram account, Reality Winner was prepping vegan meals and thinking about her weightlifting goals. Now she's in jail, awaiting prosecution on charges of mishandling classified information.

Winner is the first person accused of leaking classified information to be charged with a crime under the Trump administration. The 25-year-old National Security Agency contractor, who is also an Air Force veteran, is accused of orchestrating the latest bombshell leak from the NSA.

Updated at 9 p.m. ET

Russia's military intelligence agency launched an attack days before Election Day on a U.S. company that provides election services and systems, including voter registration, according to a top-secret report posted Monday by The Intercept.

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