First Thing: Trump broke law by refusing to stop insurrection, panel expected to say | US news

Good morning.

The January 6 committee is expected to argue that Donald Trump potentially broke the law when he refused to act to stop the attack by his supporters, according to two sources who spoke to the Guardian ahead of Thursday’s hearing.

The panel will hold its eighth public hearing on Thursday night, detailing the 187 minutes of the insurrection that tried in vain to disrupt the certification of Joe Biden’s election victory and left several people dead.

The committee is expected to argue that the former president could have called on national guard troops to restore order, or called his supporters off early on. Instead, he only reluctantly posted a tweet hours after top officials implored him to intervene.

The sources said the panel believes there is potential legal culpability for the former president. It is expected to argue that Trump’s inaction contributed to the lengthy battle between the US Capitol police and rioters.

  • Who will testify? Former White House aides who resigned shortly after January 6, Matthew Pottinger and Sarah Matthews, are expected to appear.

  • What laws may Trump have broken? The panel will show that he was “derelict in his duty” to protect Congress and may have also broken the federal law that bans obstructing an official proceeding before Congress.

Ukraine war forcing China to rethink ‘how and when’ it may invade Taiwan, CIA chief says

CIA director Bill Burns. Photograph: Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters

Russia’s “strategic failure” in Ukraine is affecting China’s calculations on how and when it may decide to invade Taiwan, the head of the CIA said on Wednesday, arguing Beijing has been “unsettled”.

Appearing at the Aspen Security Forum, the Central Intelligence Agency director, Bill Burns, downplayed suggestions that the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, could invade Taiwan after a key Communist party meeting later this year. He said that China will have likely seen in the war in Ukraine that “you don’t achieve quick, decisive victories with underwhelming force”.

China has also likely learned that it has to “control the information space” and “do everything.” [it] can shore up your economy against the potential for sanctions”, Burns said.

  • What does Beijing say? China’s ambassador to the United States, Qin Gang, accused the US of backing “independence” forces in Taiwan, maintaining that Beijing preferred “peaceful reunification”.

  • What is the US position? It is required to provide weapons to Taiwan for its self-defense under a 1979 law.

UK Conservatives brace for last round of leadership contest

Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak this morning
Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak this morning. Composite: George Cracknell Wright/LNP/Andy Rain/EPA

Conservatives in the UK are preparing for a “blue-on-blue dogfight” as Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss begin a six-week battle for the top job.

In the latest vote, the former chancellor, Sunak, won 137 votes from Tory MPs, while the foreign secretary, Truss, jumped into second place with 113 votes, kicking the previous rival Penny Mordaunt out of the race. Polling shows Truss to be the favorite among Conservative party members, who will ultimately decide who will be the next prime minister.

A Tory source said Truss had managed to successfully present herself as the Brexit champion, despite having voted to Remain in the EU. The pair have already clashed over tax and spending policy, despite both having served in Boris Johnson’s cabinet.

  • What next? The membership will vote next month to decide who will become prime minister in early September.

  • What does this membership look like? It’s about 160,000-strong, 97% white, with half aged over 60, and skewing male from southern England.

In other news…

The sun rises behind the landfall facility of Nord Stream 1.
The sun rises behind the landfall facility of Nord Stream 1. Photograph: Markus Schreiber/AP
  • Russia has reopened the Nord Stream gas pipeline after 10 days, restarting the flow of gas to Europe via Germany, but it remains uncertain if quantities will be sufficient to prevent an energy crisis this winter. The pipeline is currently only delivering 30% of its capacity, according to the head of Germany’s energy regulator.

  • Mario Draghi has resigned as Italy’s prime minister following failed attempts to save his coalition, paving the way to a snap election that could happen as early as September. He may be asked to remain in post as caretaker prime minister until a new government is formed.

  • Student homelessness in the UK is expected to increase because of the cost of living crisis, a report has warned. A survey by the National Union of Students in Scotland found that 12% of students had experienced homelessness while studying.

Stat of the day: Kylie Jenner’s 17-minute flight created one estimate ton of CO2 emissions

Private jets on the tarmac.
Private jets on the tarmac. Photograph: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Kylie Jenner has come under fire for taking a flight on her private jet that lasted a mere 17 minutes. The trip is estimated to have resulted in one ton of carbon dioxide emissions – a quarter of the average person’s annual output globally. While private jets are responsible for about 4% of all aviation emissions, they are five to 14 times more polluting than commercial planes as they carry such low numbers.

Don’t miss this: What lies behind the Indigenous suicide crisis

Children walk on a street on the first day of the year that the sun didn't rise above the horizon in Pond Inlet, Nunavut
Children walk on a street on the first day of the year that the sun did not rise above the horizon in Pond Inlet, Nunavut. Photograph: Bloomberg/Getty Images

Anthropologist Hugh Brody lived with the Inuit community in Canada’s far north for years in the 1970s. But he learned only later, when a spate of suicides devastated the community, of the epidemic of abuse that had taken place. “There is a thread of darkness running through these memories, intimations embedded in the stories that the people of Sanikiluaq shared with me. There was also a shocking reality that I failed to see,” Brody writes.

Climate check: Emergency is a legacy of colonialism, says Greenpeace

Protest against the Edmonton incinerator in Camden, London.
Protest against the Edmonton incinerator in Camden, London. Photograph: Vuk Valcic/SOPA Images/Rex/Shutterstock

The climate crisis “cannot be understood” without reference to British and European colonialism, a Greenpeace UK report has said, while people of color suffer disproportionately from its effects despite having contributed the least. Colonialism “established a model through which the air and lands of the global south have been … used as places to dump waste the global north does not want”, the report said.

Last Thing: Mysterious pink glow in Australian sky revealed to be from cannabis facility

The lights were in fact from the local Mildura cannabis plant owned by Cann Group.
The lights were in fact from the local Mildura cannabis plant owned by Cann Group. Photograph: Tammy Szumowsk

When residents of the northern Victorian town of Mildura saw a strange pink glow in the night sky, some believed the world was ending. Others may have suspected an alien invasion. It turned out to be slightly more mundane: the blackout blinds at a local cannabis growing facility had been left open.

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