Happening Today: Sean Spicer, Health Bill, Heat Waves, Carrie Fisher, Rob Gronkowski - NBC New York

Happening Today: Sean Spicer, Health Bill, Heat Waves, Carrie Fisher, Rob Gronkowski

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Forecast for Tuesday, June 20

    Chris Cimino's weather forecast for Tuesday, June 20.

    (Published Tuesday, June 20, 2017)

    What to Know

    • Sean Spicer is seeking to take on a more strategic role that would give him a limited presence in the daily press briefings

    • Deadly heat waves are bigger killers than previously thought and they are going to grow more frequent, according to a new study

    • Carrie Fisher's autopsy report shows the actress had cocaine in her system when she fell ill on a plane last year

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    Spicer Expected to Take Less Public Role, Sources Say

    White House press secretary Sean Spicer is seeking to take on a more strategic role that would give him a limited presence in the daily press briefings that have made him a prominent face of the Trump administration. A senior administration official and three people familiar with the potential changes said Spicer has discussed taking a more senior communications role at the White House. The three people said he has reached out to possible successors at the podium and as communications director. The people spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss internal deliberations before a final decision is made. The people warned that no decision has been made and, as with all things involving President Trump, the situation could change. Major staffing shake-ups have been a constant subject of conversation at the White House, but have failed to materialize in recent weeks, aside from the departure of communications director Mike Dubke in early June.

    4 Family Members Detained After Champs-Elysees Attack, Officials Say

    Four family members of a man killed after ramming his car into a police convoy on Paris' Champs-Elysees are in custody. The Paris prosecutor's office said the four were detained overnight in the anti-terrorism investigation into Monday's attack. Police officials said the man was on police radar for ties to radicalism, and the prime minister confirmed that the man had a gun permit. Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on BFM television that the permit was initially issued before the attacker was flagged to authorities. The man set off a fiery blast when he drove his car packed with arms and explosives into police. No one else was hurt in the incident on one of Paris' busiest shopping districts. The Champs-Elysees reopened overnight.

    Democrats' Motions, Speeches Knock GOP Health Bill for Secrecy

    They threatened to slow the Senate's work with procedural motions. They forced the chamber's top Republican to swat aside reasonable sounding requests, like holding committee hearings. And they delivered speech after speech after speech. Democrats used all those tools to try drawing attention to the Senate GOP's secretive effort to craft a bill scuttling President Obama's health care law and push it through the chamber by next week's end. Their largely symbolic effort was likely to have little or no impact on how Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell handles the measure. Yet Democrats were hoping it would have at least two effects — scare off Republicans wavering over whether to back the measure, and show liberal activists that Democrats are aggressively trying to thwart the legislation, even though they lack the votes to derail it.

    Too Hot to Handle: Earth's Killer Heat Worsens, Study Shows

    Killer heat is getting worse, a new study shows. Deadly heat waves like the one now broiling the American West are bigger killers than previously thought and they are going to grow more frequent, according to a new comprehensive study of fatal heat conditions. Still, those stretches may be less lethal in the future, as people become accustomed to them. A team of researchers examined 1,949 deadly heat waves from around the world since 1980 to look for trends, define when heat is so severe it kills and forecast the future. They found that nearly one in three people now experience 20 days a year when the heat reaches deadly levels. But the study predicts that up to three in four people worldwide will endure that kind of heat by the end of the century, if global warming continues unabated. The study comes as much of the U.S. swelters through extended triple-digit heat.

    Cocaine Among Drugs Found in Carrie Fisher's System, Coroner Says

    Carrie Fisher's autopsy report shows the actress had cocaine in her system when she fell ill on a plane last year, but investigators could not determine what impact the cocaine and other drugs found in her system had on her death. The report released states Fisher may have taken cocaine three days before the Dec. 23 flight on which she became ill. She died four days later. It also found traces of heroin and MDMA, which is also known as ecstasy, but that they could not determine when Fisher had taken those drugs. The findings were based on toxicology screenings done on samples taken when the "Star Wars" actress arrived at a Los Angeles hospital. Coroner's officials ruled Fisher died from sleep apnea and a combination of other factors. A news release mentioned drugs were found in Fisher's system, but it did not provide details.

    Patriots Star Rob Gronkowski Racks Up $102K Bar Tab

    New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski reportedly racked up a $102,000 bar tab while partying at a Flo Rida concert at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut over the weekend. TMZ published a photo of what it said was Gronkowski's receipt, showing that he and his 20-person posse went through: 160 bottles of champagne, 16 bottles of Grey Goose, 45 orders of Maker's Mark, 24 shots of Jim Beam Fire and three bottles of Don Julio 1942 at the Shrine nightclub. It is unclear who footed the bill, but its authenticity was confirmed, Shrine representatives told TMZ. Gronkowski is reportedly a friend of Flo Rida, who was performing at the club. He can be seen in a Facebook video posted by Shrine Foxwoods dancing around shirtless, posing with Flo Rida.

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