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5 things to know Wednesday

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President Biden to address efforts to curb gun violence

President Joe Biden will deliver remarks Wednesday on his administration’s efforts to curb gun violence. The speech comes as Republicans intend to seize on a surge of crime to attack Democrats in their bid to take back control of the House and Senate in the 2022 midterm elections. Specifically, public safety experts fear gun violence will worsen this summer, when it historically spikes with the arrival of warm weather. Biden’s renewed effort builds off an initial set of actions he took in April strengthening regulations on ghost guns, stabilizing braces that make firearms more lethal, and investing money in community violence intervention programs. The president has also supported additional funding for community policing.  

Waiting game in New York City’s mayoral race

With a new ranked choice voting system and absentee ballots still trickling in after polls closed in New York City’s mayoral race late Tuesday, it may take several weeks to determine the winner. Partial results showed Brooklyn Borough President and former police captain Eric Adams ahead of the pack. Entrepreneur turned political hopeful Andrew Yang has already conceded, as he trailed at 12% with 90% of the votes counted.  With more than 96% of the first choice preferences of early and in-person votes counted, Adams had 31%; former counsel to Mayor Bill de Blasio Maya Wiley had 22%; and former sanitation department head Kathryn Garcia had about 20%. Because no candidate won a majority of first-choice preferences, voters’ preferences will be redistributed in the ranked choice system, with the first batch of ranked choice results released next week. Adams would be the city’s second Black mayor if he wins. 

Democratic lawmakers need new path forward for voting rights legislation

Democrats will have to find a new way to pass voting rights legislation after the Senate failed to advance the For the People Act on Tuesday. The bill received 50 votes in the Senate, short of the 60 needed to overcome a GOP filibuster. Earlier in the week, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the Biden administration would continue its push to make voting more accessible. “This will be a fight of his presidency,” Psaki said, when asked what Biden had done to get the bill passed. The legislation aims to counter regulations that make it difficult to vote – especially among people of color. It includes provisions Democrats say would make it easier for people to register and cast their ballots such as expanding early voting and allowing for same-day registration.

Britney Spears set to make rare remarks at conservatorship hearing

In the most anticipated hearing in the case in years, Britney Spears is expected to address the court Wednesday in the ongoing battle over the conservatorship that has controlled her money and affairs for 13 years. If Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny does not make a last-minute decision to seal the proceedings, Spears will speak remotely in open court. The 39-year-old pop star has not been in total control of her finances and other important life decisions since 2008, after she suffered a mental breakdown. Her status has come under renewed scrutiny following the release of The New York Times’ documentary “Framing Britney Spears” and by the #FreeBritney movement. In recent court filings, Spears has sought a greater say over who runs the conservatorship, and has asked that her father James Spears, who had extensive power over her life and money for most of its existence, be removed.

NBA Playoffs continue with Eastern Conference Finals

The march to an NBA championship continues for two more teams Wednesday, as the Milwaukee Bucks and Atlanta Hawks face off in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Both the Bucks and the Hawks are coming off of taxing Game 7 road upsets in the last round, with Atlanta beating the Philadelphia 76ers and Milwaukee upending the Brooklyn Nets. The No. 3 seeded Bucks will return home to host the No. 4 seeded Hawks at 8:30 p.m. ET. In the regular season, Milwaukee took home wins in two of its three matchups with Atlanta. 

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