🏳️‍🌈 Let the festivities begin

Pride Month is here. President Joe Biden met with Tulsa Race Massacre survivors. And a massive asteroid buzzed by Earth.

👋 Hey! It’s Laura. Here’s the news you need to know on this fine Tuesday.

But first, have I got a mollusk for y’all. 🤗 If you see a meatloaf wandering around, mind ya business. Meet the “wandering meatloaf” mollusk. It’s got iron teeth.

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🏳️‍🌈 Pride Month kicks off

If you’re seeing more rainbows lately, no need to adjust your dial: Tuesday’s the official start of Pride Month. The month of June marks a time of celebration and reflection for the LGBTQ community and allies. Here’s some history for you: Pride dates back to riots at Stonewall Inn in June 1969, led by Black transgender women. New York City police had raided the landmark bar in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, enforcing a law against selling alcohol to gay patrons. Thirteen people were arrested. Now, more than 50 years later, Pride is celebrated with street festivals, events and parties. While last year’s festivities were moved largely online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many 2021 celebrations will host a blend of virtual and in-person events as more Americans become vaccinated. 

  • 🏳️‍🌈 Pride flags go beyond the classic rainbow. Here’s what each one means.
  • 👯‍♀️ Here’s how to celebrate Pride 2021: Parades, in-person and online events.
  • 🗺 LGBTQ history: Visit these sites where history was made.

People celebrate as they take part in the 50th anniversary of the first Pride march on June 28, 2020 in New York City. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 parade was canceled. (Photo: Arturo Holmes, Getty Images)

Biden meets Tulsa Race Massacre survivors

One hundred years after a white mob burned “Black Wall Street” to the ground, killing and injuring an estimated hundreds of Black citizens and forcing thousands from their homes, President Joe Biden visited Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Tuesday to commemorate one of the bloodiest race massacres in U.S. history. Biden delivered remarks and spoke to survivors of the attack, who are now between the ages of 101 and 107. Only three remain. Ahead of the trip, the White House announced a slate of policies meant to promote racial equity, including a new interagency effort meant to combat housing discrimination, as well as new directives that will increase federal contracting with small, minority-owned businesses by $100 billion over the next five years.

  • Destroying Black Wall Street: An illustrated history of the Tulsa Race Massacre. 
  • 100 years after the massacre, entrepreneurs revive the spirit of Black Wall Street.
  • Community gathers to commemorate anniversary of Tulsa Race Massacre.

Tulsa Race Massacre survivor Viola Fletcher arrives to applause at the closing ceremony for the Black Wall St. Legacy Festival 2021, Monday, May 31, 2021.


What everyone’s talking about

  • ‘Stay home. We don’t need you.’: Wizards coach rips fan who ran onto the court during playoffs.
  • Student’s report of Hitler’s ‘accomplishments’ was displayed in an elementary school for weeks.
  • Starts June 8: Amazon’s Sidewalk feature will share your internet connection. Here’s how to opt out. 
  • ‘She thrives on attention.’: Mother of ‘dying’ Ohio girl accused of fabricating the whole story.

Florida governor OKs ban on transgender athletes in women’s sports

Seizing on a trend coursing through conservative states, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law Tuesday a controversial ban on transgender athletes participating in women’s sports at the high school and college levels. While DeSantis, a Republican, denied it was a factor, the measure was enacted on the first day of Pride Month. “We believe it’s important to have integrity in the competition, and we think it’s important they’re able to compete on a level playing field. You’ve seen what happens when you don’t have that,” DeSantis said. U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., called it “cruel legislation…creating an issue where one doesn’t exist.” When approved by the Republican-controlled state Legislature, lawmakers struggled to find any examples of transgender girls or women competing in Florida sports. The new law would require schools to have athletes compete according to their sex documented at birth, rather than gender identity. The law takes effect July 1.

  • A last-minute maneuver: Florida Legislature tacks amendment onto charter school bill, banning transgender women and girls from female sports teams.
  • ‘Changing the Game’: High school sports documentary shows the importance of transgender inclusion.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis responds to reporters’ questions Monday in Miami. (Photo: Carl Juste/Miami Herald via AP)

Real quick

  • ‘This is just the start.’: Descendant of a slaveholder donated a six-figure reparations payment.
  • Samples are back, baby: Free samples return at Sam’s Club and Costco after pausing amid COVID-19.
  • What we know about the plane crash that killed Christian dietitian Gwen Shamblin Lara.
  • Violence in Miami:  Search continues for three gunmen after a deadly concert shooting.
  • Bird flu alert: Could this man in China be the world’s first human with the H10N3 strain of bird flu?

Massive asteroid buzzes by Earth

It was about 4.5 million miles away, but an enormous asteroid whizzed by Earth in a relatively close encounter on Tuesday, according to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The asteroid, known as 2021 KT1, is about 600 feet, the size of the New York Olympic Tower or the Seattle Space Needle. The asteroid is classified by NASA as a “potentially hazardous object” because it is larger than 492 feet and within 4.6 million miles of Earth. Flying at a speed of 40,000 mph, the asteroid is not expected to make a direct hit, but NASA is keeping a close watch.

Approximate size of the asteroid 2021 KT1 (Photo: USA TODAY)

🛸 They’re not saying it’s aliens

But they’re not NOT saying it’s aliens. A government-sanctioned report on unidentified aerial phenomena could be released by the Pentagon and other federal agencies as soon as Tuesday. It will include information that cannot easily be explained, according to a former top national intelligence official. UFOs are often synonymous with aliens in pop culture, but those who study the phenomenon say they should be understood by their literal name: unidentified flying objects. Often, they may have mundane explanations like weather balloons or drones. But for now, some sightings don’t have accepted explanations. Last week, a UFO filmmaker shared a video clip depicting radar footage he claimed shows a swarm of unidentified flying objects near a Navy ship off San Diego almost two years ago.

Congress-sanctioned UFO report to detail unexplainable 'sightings all over the world' (Photo: U.S. NAVY)

A break from the news

  • 🚙 Thinking of buying a vintage camper? FUN. Keep an eye out for these red flags.
  • 🌈 Rock the rainbow: 40 brands that are giving back for Pride Month 2021.
  • 🥝 Make your heart stronger: The DASH diet could do more than treat high blood pressure.

This is a compilation of stories from across the USA TODAY Network. Want this news roundup in your inbox every night? Sign up for The Short List newsletter here.

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