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Happening Today: Pulse Nightclub, Puerto Rico, Comey, Heart Transplants, Tony Awards, Katy Perry

What to Know

  • Church bells will toll throughout the Orlando area as residents reflect on the 49 patrons killed during a massacre at a nightclub last year
  • New technology may revolutionize how heart transplant surgeries may change in the near future, NBC News reports
  • "Dear Evan Hansen," the touching, heartfelt musical about young outsiders, won the best new musical at the Tony Awards

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Services to Mark 1 Year Since 49 Killed in Orlando Gay Club

Church bells will toll throughout the Orlando area as residents reflect on the 49 patrons killed during a massacre at the gay nightclub Pulse in the worst mass shooting in recent U.S. history. Starting in the early hours Monday, and continuing almost 24 hours later, survivors, victims' families, city officials and central Florida residents will remember the victims with four services. The first service is closed to the public, and it's being held at the nightclub for survivors, local officials and club employees. It will overlap with the exact time that gunman Omar Mateen began firing shots — a little after 2 a.m. on June 12, 2016. It is followed by another midday service at the nightclub, and an evening gathering in the heart of downtown Orlando. A final, music-filled late-night service is being held at the nightclub. Mateen pledged allegiance to the Islamic State during the attack and was eventually killed by police during a shootout after a three-hour standoff. His wife, Noor Salman, is facing charges of aiding and abetting and obstruction in federal court, and she has pleaded not guilty to helping her husband.

D.C., Maryland Officials Promise 'Major Lawsuit' Against Trump

The attorneys general of Maryland and Washington, D.C., announced they plan to file a "major lawsuit" against President Trump, NBC News reported. Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh and D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine said they will make a formal statement Monday afternoon. While the attorneys did not disclose the focus of the suit, the Washington Post reported that the suit would allege Trump violated constitutional anti-corruption restrictions by accepting payments from foreign governments as president. The lawsuit would be the first related to Trump's business interests brought by government entities.

Puerto Rico Governor Upholds Statehood in Vote Hit by Boycott

Puerto Rico's governor is vowing to turn the U.S. territory into the 51st state after statehood won in a non-binding referendum hit by a boycott and low turnout that raised questions about the vote's legitimacy. Gov. Ricardo Rossello told a couple hundred supporters waving U.S. flags that he will soon create a commission to appoint two senators and five representatives to demand statehood from the U.S. Congress, which has to approve any changes to the island's political status. "The United States of America will have to obey the will of our people!" Rossello yelled to a crowd clutching U.S. flags and dancing to a tropical jingle that promoted statehood. But experts say it is highly unlikely a Republican-controlled Congress would acknowledge the results, let alone accept them because Puerto Rico tends to favor Democrats.

President Trump Calls James Comey “Very Cowardly”

President Trump called James Comey “cowardly” and said he thought any leaked information coming from the former FBI director could be “far more prevalent” than believed in his latest early morning Twitter jab, NBC News reported. “I believe the James Comey leaks will be far more prevalent than anyone ever thought possible. Totally illegal? Very 'cowardly!'” Trump tweeted. The tweet was the second social media lash out from Trump towards the fired FBI director since Comey’s dramatic testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee. It comes a day after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a letter that he would be appearing before the committee to answer questions raised by Comey’s recent testimony.

“Beating Heart in a Box” Promises Major Revolution in Medical Care

The most current method and technology available for heart transplants is an estimated 50 years old but new technology may revolutionize how heart transplant surgeries may change in the near future, reported by NBC News. The current method starts by having the organ taken out of the donor then it is flushed with a cold salt solution, which includes preservatives to keep the organ viable for transplant. It’s then put on ice and sent to a hospital where it is needed. But the new technique will allow donated organs to stay healthy outside of a human body for longer periods of time, so they can be sent farther distances to waiting recipients.

“Dear Evan Hansen” Cleans Up at Tonys, Wins Best Musical

"Dear Evan Hansen," the touching, heartfelt musical about young outsiders, has won the biggest theater popularity contestwinning the best new musical trophy at the Tony Awards along with five other statuettes, including best score, book and top actor honors for Ben Platt. The show came into the night as the second-leading Tony nominee but ended up on top, with a revival of "Hello, Dolly!" starring Bette Midler next with four Tonys. "Oslo," a three-hour meditation on diplomacy, was named best play. Midler took the best actress trophy and — to the amusement and cheers of the audience — refused to be played off, forcing the swelling orchestra into silence. "This has the ability to lift your spirits in these terrible, terrible times," she said of her show. "Dear Evan Hansen" came into the night behind "Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812" with 12 nominations, but that musical which dramatizes a 70-page slice of Leo Tolstoy's "War and Peace" stalled after winning just two technical awards earlier, for best set and lighting.

Katy Perry Opens Up on Livestream About Suicidal Thoughts

Katy Perry opened up about having suicidal thoughts during a marathon weekend livestream event. "I feel ashamed that I would have those thoughts, feel that low, and that depressed," she said on YouTube during a tearful session with Siri Singh from the Viceland series "The Therapist." The pop star has been livestreaming herself, filming her life for anyone with an internet connection to see. She's been doing yoga, hosting dinner parties, sleeping, applying makeup and singing, of course. The most revealing 60 minutes of the four-day "Katy Perry — Witness World Wide" event was her time with Singh. Perry told Singh she struggles with her public persona. In the past, she said, she has had suicidal thoughts. She talked about the challenge of being her authentic self while promoting her public image as she lives "under this crazy microscope."

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