Tropical Storm Alberto floods Texas coast and Biden's debate prep: Morning Rundown

Updated

The first named storm of the hurricane season slams Texas and Mexico. A deceptive video of President Biden goes viral on big platforms despite fact-checks. And the world’s oldest wine has an odd taste.

Here’s what to know today.

First tropical storm of hurricane season causes flooding in Texas

Storm Alberto, the first named tropical storm of the hurricane season, was located approximately 305 miles south-southeast of Brownsville, Texas and formed earlier today in the Southwestern Gulf of Mexico.  (Brandon Bell / Getty Images)
Storm Alberto, the first named tropical storm of the hurricane season, was located approximately 305 miles south-southeast of Brownsville, Texas and formed earlier today in the Southwestern Gulf of Mexico. (Brandon Bell / Getty Images)

Tropical Storm Alberto, the first named storm of the hurricane season, has strengthened slightly as it comes close to making landfall this morning on Mexico’s Gulf coast, threatening rainfall of up to 20 inches there, as well as flooding and heavy rain in Texas, officials said. The storm is large, with winds of tropical storm force extending out 460 miles.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for the northeastern coast of Mexico, as well as the Texas coast from the mouth of the Rio Grande up to San Luis Pass, which is near Houston. High winds and as much as 10 to 15 inches of rain are expected in Corpus Christi.

Gov. Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration for 51 Texas counties “to ensure Texans and at-risk regions have the resources and personnel needed to respond to this storm,” he said in a statement.

The National Weather Service said moderate coastal flooding was observed across the Texas Gulf coast. 

How Biden is getting ready for his first debate with Trump

Donald Trump and Joe Biden. (Julio Cortez / AP)
Donald Trump and Joe Biden. (Julio Cortez / AP)

There has been a trend of incumbent presidents losing or performing poorly in their first re-election debate, one that Biden hopes to buck when he and former President Donald Trump square off next week in Atlanta.

Jimmy Carter in 1980, George W. Bush in 2004 and Barack Obama in 2012 were perceived to have faltered in the first debate with their opponents, illustrated in public opinion polls. “Every president thinks, ‘I know how to run a presidential campaign because I won one a few years ago,’” said Samuel Popkin, who played Ronald Reagan during Carter’s preparations.

The first Biden-Trump debate holds a unique place in history, not only because of its unprecedented early date, but also because it will be the first time that two candidates who have held the Oval Office will face off.

The Biden campaign has previewed the president’s debate preparation by noting that Biden “has gotten increasingly punchier in recent remarks about Trump and plans to carry that theme through to the debate.”

Family of taekwondo instructors saves Texas woman from sexual assault

Family of taekwondo instructors saves Texas woman from sexual assault. (@SheriffEd_HCSO via X)
Family of taekwondo instructors saves Texas woman from sexual assault. (@SheriffEd_HCSO via X)

The piercing scream, like a sound from a horror film, triggered taekwondo instructor Simon An to draw on his years of martial arts training.

Simon and his mother, father, sister and brother, each with a fourth-degree black belt, run the Yong-in Taekwondo dojo in Katy, outside Houston. They initially ignored the sounds, assuming they came from employees playing around in their break room. But then a piercing “final scream” prompted the family into action, An said.

He and his family ran to the store and opened a door. There they found a man on top of a young woman with his hands “in [in]appropriate places” as she attempted to fend him off, An said. An’s father, Hong, yanked the attacker away by his shirt and pinned him to the ground. An’s sister, Hannah, grabbed the girl and rushed her out of the room while An and his brother helped subdue the attacker.

The Harris County Sheriff’s Department has credited An and his family with saving the young woman from a sexual assault. “By utilizing their training and discipline, they managed to stop the assault and hold him,” Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said in a series of posts on X.

New Louisiana law requires Ten Commandments to be displayed in public school classrooms

A display of the Ten Commandments in “large, easily readable font” will be required in Louisiana public classrooms under a bill signed into law by Republican Gov. Jeff Landry on Wednesday.

The law describes the Ten Commandments as “foundational documents of our state and national government.” The displays will be paired with a statement describing how the Ten Commandments “were a prominent part of American public education for almost three centuries,” and must be in place in classrooms by the start of 2025.

Civil liberties groups announced that they planned to challenge the Louisiana law in court, saying it “violates the separation of church and state and is blatantly unconstitutional.”

World’s oldest wine was discovered — with an unexpected extra ingredient

Archaelogists in southern Spain have uncovered what is believed to be the oldest liquid wine in the world. (Juan Manuel Román / Journal of Archaeological Science)
Archaelogists in southern Spain have uncovered what is believed to be the oldest liquid wine in the world. (Juan Manuel Román / Journal of Archaeological Science)

The world’s oldest wine was discovered at a Roman burial site in Spain, and one thing is clear — it definitely had body.

For roughly 2,000 years, the wine has been held in a glass funeral urn along with the cremated ashes of a man and a gold ring inside an ancient mausoleum, according to new analysis by a team of scientists.

The tomb’s “conservation conditions were extraordinary; fully intact and well-sealed,” one of the report’s authors said, adding that this had “allowed the wine to maintain its natural state” centuries later.

Politics in Brief

Soccer ad blitz: The Biden campaign is aiming to reach millions of Latino voters watching the Copa América soccer tournament with a 30-second spot airing in swing states.

Viral video: Misleading videos and false claims that Biden wandered off aimlessly from the G7 conference continued to go viral on Google, X and other Big Tech platforms despite debunkings and fact checks.

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Staff pick: Ukraine’s 2nd city relieved by Biden’s shift on U.S. weapons

A woman passes a bus in central Kharkiv on June 12, 2024. Behind, the Kharkiv city hall displays a banner reading
A woman passes a bus in central Kharkiv on June 12, 2024. Behind, the Kharkiv city hall displays a banner reading

Earlier this year, Russian forces advanced in the northeast of Ukraine as support for Kyiv had begun to waver in Washington, with the Biden administration a lone holdout among the country’s allies in not sanctioning the use of Western-supplied weapons in Russian territory. But that changed at the end of last month, when the president secretly made a U-turn. That shift has allowed Ukrainian units to start pushing back against Moscow’s soldiers and it’s also coincided with the beginning of summer.

With the weather warming up and the skies now clearer over Kharkiv — Ukraine’s young, creative second city — many residents are able to breathe, carry out some repairs and even enjoy a trip to the beach. For others, though, the frequent whine of air raid sirens and the remaining threat of bombardment are a constant worry.

NBC News’ Yuliya Talmazan captures the mood as citizens balance relative calm against the backdrop of a long war.David Hodari, editor

NBC Select: Online Shopping, Simplified

Summer is here, and that means cookouts while your favorite music plays. NBC Select editors tested a range of Bluetooth speakers for the occasion, and they’ve shared their favorites, along with advice on what to look for when buying a new one. Plus, they compiled a list of 7 of the best soundbars to enhance your post-dinner movie nights.

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