5 things to know Thursday

5 things to know Thursday

FifthJan. 6 committee hearing to dig into Trump’s DOJ dealings

During its fifth hearing Thursday, the Jan. 6 House committee investigating the attack on the US Capitol will focus on another way former President Donald Trump allegedly tried to hold onto power: an attempt to appoint a Justice Department leader who was sympathetic to his election fraud claims. The committee’s chair, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said Tuesday the committee will present evidence about Trump’s attempt to engage the DOJ in his plan. Committee member Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., will present details about Trump’s plan to scramble the DOJ to appoint people who would support his bid to subvert the election results. Former Acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen, former Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue and Steven Engel, the former assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel, are all scheduled to testify. The hearing, which will begin at 3 p.m. ET, will be livestreamed on USA TODAY. Past hearings have been televised on C-SPAN and cable news networks.

Title IX turns 50: Colleges still not fulfilling landmark law’s promise

Fifty years ago Thursday, President Richard Nixon signed into law the Education Amendments of 1972, including Title IX, which required schools that receive federal funds to guarantee gender equity on campus. Initially introduced in hopes of getting more women into graduate schools, the law today is most commonly associated instead with athletics because of its seismic impact on women’s sports. It also has been cited in court cases to defend students from sexual harassment and assault, ensure the rights of transgender students and protect pregnant students from discrimination. Despite tremendous gains during the past five decades, many colleges and universities fall short, leaving women struggling for equal footing. USA TODAY’s “Title IX: Falling short at 50” exposes how top US colleges and universities still fail to live up to the landmark law.

Patsy Mink, first woman of color in Congress, to be honored with portrait at US Capitol

House leaders will unveil a portrait Thursday in the US Capitol of the late Rep. Patsy Mink, the first woman of color in Congress and the first Asian American woman elected to Congress. The Democratic congresswoman from Hawaii served for decades in the House and championed Title IX, which bans sex discrimination in education, including sports, in federally funded programs. She is also credited with advocating for women’s rights and social justice issues. The unveiling of Mink’s portrait comes amid a spike in anti-Asian hate incidents and crimes. Rep. Judy Chu, chairwoman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, said the portrait and a proposal to build a national museum of Asian Pacific American history and culture might help people better appreciate the contributions of Asian Americans.

As Ukraine bids for EU membership, leaders express optimism

Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Olha Stefanishyna, said Wednesday she’s “100%” certain all 27 European Union member nations will approve Ukraine’s candidacy for membership as early as Thursday, the first day of the EU leaders summit in Brussels . Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed similar optimism, calling it a “crucial moment” for Ukraine. Ukraine’s membership bid is the top order of business for EU leaders. The EU’s executive arm threw its weight behind Ukraine’s candidacy last week. Stefanishyna described the European Commission’s endorsement as “a game-changer” that had taken the ground out from under “the legs of those most hesitating.” Stefanishyna told The Associated Press she thinks Ukraine could be a member of the alliance within years, not the decades that some officials have forecast. “We’re already very much integrated in the European Union,” she said, adding: “We want to be a strong and competitive member state, so it may take from two to 10 years.”

NBA Draft welcomes league’s next stars

The professional journeys of many future basketball stars begins Thursday at the 2022 NBA Draft (8 p.m. ET, ESPN). The Orlando Magic hold the No. 1 pick after finishing last season with a 22-60 record and winning the NBA Draft Lottery last month. As recently as Monday, the Magic were still evaluating their options, with the team’s president, Jeff Weltman, saying it was “still early in the process.” The top candidates for the pick are well-known: Auburn’s Jabari Smith Jr. worked out for Orlando earlier this month, Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren met with the Magic last week and Duke’s Paolo Banchero has been working out with former Magic guard Mike Miller. After the Magic select their top player, the Oklahoma City Thunder pick second and then again at No. 12, giving them a valuable second lottery pick. Rounding out the top 5 are the Houston Rockets at No. 3, the Sacramento Kings picking fourth and the Detroit Pistons selecting fifth.

Contributing: The Associated Press

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