Up First briefing: Extreme heat; pandemic fraud; Supreme Court election theory ruling

The Southern U.S. is under an extreme heat advisory, a federal watchdog reports potential major fraud in pandemic aid, the Supreme Court rejected the independent state legislature theory, and U.N. representatives criticize the treatment of prisoners at Guantánamo.

Heat advisory: Record-breaking temperatures are affecting cities in Texas, with at least nine heat-related deaths reported.
* Residents have experienced 100-degree temperatures for over three weeks.

Pandemic aid scrutiny: Around $200 billion of the $1.2 trillion federal aid provided to businesses during the pandemic may have been fraudulent.
* The Office of the Inspector General claims the urgency of providing pandemic aid may have made it easier for scammers to secure loans.
* Senior advisor to Biden, Gene Sperling, suggests the $200 billion figure might decrease once cases are examined more thoroughly.

Court ruling: The Supreme Court has rejected the independent state legislature theory in a 6-3 decision.
* Advocates of the theory argued for giving state legislatures more authority over federal elections; the court’s ruling ensures state courts and constitutions can still uphold voting rights.

Guantánamo Bay concerns: U.N. investigator Fionnuala Ní Aoláin found that detainees at the Guantánamo Bay Detention Center are still facing “cruel, inhuman, and degrading” treatment.
* After the first official U.N. investigation into Guantánamo Bay, Ní Aoláin suggests the site should be closed, citing “near-constant surveillance, forced cell extractions, [and] undue use of restraints”.

View original article on NPR

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