Home » Britain goes to the polls and millions under Fourth of July heat warnings: Morning Rundown

Britain goes to the polls and millions under Fourth of July heat warnings: Morning Rundown

Britain goes to the polls and millions under Fourth of July heat warnings: Morning Rundown

President Biden is privately torn between defiance and acceptance after a seismic shift in his political standing within his own party, sources say. A consequential election is underway in Britain. And a federal agency plans to cull hundreds of thousands of one owl species to save another. 

Here’s what to know today.

Biden is privately torn between defiance and acceptance amid calls to step aside

As the fallout from last week’s debate performance persists, President Joe Biden has vacillated between acceptance and defiance in the face of a major loss of confidence in him within his own party, four people familiar with the matter said. 

Sources say that in some discussions, Biden has acknowledged that the blowback from his debate performance may grow too large to overcome. But in other conversations, he has been dismissive of the idea that he might walk away from his re-election campaign. 

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Publicly, the president insists he has no plans to drop out of the race. “I am not leaving,” Biden said on an all-hands call with campaign staffers, according to a campaign official. “I’m in this race to the end, and we’re going to win.”

Biden has begun engaging with leaders in the Democratic Party over the past few days as anxieties in the party escalate. Two Democrats in Congress have so far called on him to step aside. Some of Vice President Kamala Harris’ allies have expressed support for her if she were in a position to take the lead. And former President Barack Obama’s counsel during a phone call this week didn’t sit well with Biden. 

Some of Biden’s strongest support has emerged from his family, who have privately pointed fingers at some of his longtime aides and discussed whether two people who were involved in debate prep should be fired. 

Read the full story here. 

Read more 2024 election coverage: 

Voting begins in pivotal British election

Millions of Brits will vote today in an election that could bring a changing of the guard to the country’s highest public office. Leading up to the election, voters signaled a deep dissatisfaction with what they see as a stagnant economy and broken public institutions like the crumbling National Health Service, sewage-filled rivers and expensive, delay-ridden railways.

Conservative Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who has led the country since 2022, has been trying to coax his Conservative base to turn up at the ballot box, but Sunak’s campaign has been beset by scandals, PR failures and allegations of insider betting. He’s being challenged by opposition Labour leader Keir Starmer, who identifies as a socialist, and Nigel Farage, who leads the right-wing Reform UK party and is an ally of former President Donald Trump.

Here’s what to know about Britain’s potentially historic election.

Millions under Fourth of July heat warnings as thousands evacuate from wildfire spreading in Northern California

A wildfire in northern California forced evacuations in one town as firefighters work to contain the blaze that ballooned to 3,568 acres with 7% containment as of last night, according to Cal Fire. The Thompson Fire broke out Tuesday morning in Oroville, about 65 miles north of Sacramento. The cause of the fire is under investigation. See the latest on the Thompson Fire.

The fire coincides with a heat wave sweeping much of the country — and after a few areas endured their hottest June on record. Excessive heat warnings are in place for millions across California and southern Nevada, plus parts of Arizona, Washington and Oregon. Excessive heat and humidity is also forecast from Nashville to New Orleans, but relief is expected tomorrow.

How to stretch your dollar at the gas pump this July Fourth

Summer travel is in full swing. Nearly 77 million people will be on the move this holiday week, marking a new record that exceeds pre-pandemic totals, according to AAA. And they’re traveling cheaper than they did this week last year. AAA data shows a gallon of gas costs an average of $3.51, which is 2 cents cheaper than both last month and last year. 

While a 2-cent-per-gallon decrease might not feel like much relief, there are a few other ways to cut down on costs at the pump. Business and economy reporter J.J. McCorvey explains how you can stretch your dollar, through grocery store memberships, credit card rewards and handy app recommendations. Read the full guide.

Hurricane Beryl charges on path toward Cayman Islands

Hurricane Beryl lashed Jamaica with strong winds before the Category 4 storm pulled away on a path that will take it near the Cayman Islands, officials said. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 140 mph as its center skirted the southern coast of Jamaica yesterday afternoon, the National Hurricane Center said. Beryl is forecast to pass through Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula tomorrow, but its path to the U.S. is still uncertain. In Texas, Gov. Abbott said the state is ready to deploy resources in case tropical weather reaches the U.S. Gulf Coast. Here’s the latest.

Plans to cull 450,000 barred owls to boost a close relative

A juvenile barred owl in Kirkland, Wash.
A juvenile barred owl in Kirkland, Wash.Wolfgang Kaehler / LightRocket via Getty Images

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working to prevent the extinction of the spotted owl — but to ensure their survival, the agency will have to kill another species. In a final plan released this week, the agency is proposing to kill as many as 450,000 barred owls over 30 years. Barred owls are not native to the West Coast, and they’re slightly larger and reproduce faster. Despite opposition from some animal welfare activists and Washington state’s top public lands official, USFWS stressed that the window to protect spotted owls is closing

Paris 2024: For some Paris-bound athletes, sports are their side hustle

2024 Team USA Media Summit - Portraits Canyon Barry basketball
Mike Coppola / Getty Images file

Former college basketball star Canyon Barry has a bachelor’s degree in physics and a master’s in nuclear engineering and keeps plenty busy with his 9-to-5 job. But he’s also getting ready to compete for Team USA in the men’s 3×3 in Paris. And he’s not the only working athlete heading to Paris — fencer Kat Holmes is in medical school, and sprint canoe gold medalist Nevin Harrison works weekends at a San Diego bar. See what other jobs some Olympic-bound athletes have.

More Olympics highlights: 

🏊🏾 In 1992, Anthony Nesty became the first Black male swimmer to win an individual gold medal at the Olympics. His new role has him making history once again. 

Politics in Brief

Menendez case: Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey declined to testify in his federal bribery trial, explaining that he believes the government “failed to prove every aspect” of the case. Closing arguments in the trial are expected next week.

Justice Department: Some ex-DOJ officials who served under Donald Trump fear the Supreme Court immunity ruling made it easier for him to weaponize the department and attack his foes.

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Staff Pick: The group heading to the movies the most often

The characters Joy and Anxiety from a scene in Inside Out 2
Disney / Pixar via AP

The summer blockbuster season is heating up. But as much as I love movies, I can’t find the time to regularly head to the theater. Latino audiences are loyal cinema-goers, though, with the highest per capita annual film attendance. That love for film stems from family traditions — and comes with a desire to pass that passion on to their kids, Latino movie buffs told NBC News intern Isabel Yip. And in an industry that is under increasing pressure from streaming platforms and labor strikes, such devotion may be one secret to Hollywood’s success. — Elizabeth Both, associate platforms editor

NBC Select: Online Shopping, Simplified 

July Fourth is made for beaches, barbecues… and shopping! REI and Amazon are having big sales, but they’re not the only ones. Check out NBC Select’s Deals page for the latest and best Independence Day sales updated in real time.

Sign up to The Selection newsletter for hands-on product reviews, expert shopping tips and a look at the best deals and sales each week.

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