Here's the biggest news you missed this weekend

·5 min read

Swimmers collect USA's first medals on Day 2 of Summer Games

After getting shut out in the medal events on Day 1 of the Tokyo Olympics, Team USA broke through in a big way on Sunday. The first medals were awarded in swimming, with the Americans claiming six, led by Chase Kalisz’s gold in the men’s 400-meter individual medley. U.S. fencer Lee Kiefer became the first American woman to win an Olympic medal in individual foil. A gold medal, at that. In the gymnastics space, Simone Biles and the U.S. women looked far from the golden juggernaut they’ve been advertised to be. The Americans were second to Russia in qualifying Sunday, the first time since the 2010 world championships that they’ve failed to finish first in either qualifying or team finals at worlds or the Olympics. But Biles and the U.S. women can still win gold. Meanwhile, skateboarding and surfing made their debuts as official Olympic sports.

Chase Kalisz of the US swims in the Men's 400m Individual Medley at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 25, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/t)
Chase Kalisz of the US swims in the Men's 400m Individual Medley at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 25, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/t)

Pelosi names GOP Rep. Kinzinger to Jan. 6 riot committee

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday named Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois to the select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. “It is imperative that we get to the truth of that day and ensure that such an attack can never again happen," Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a statement announcing her decision. Pelosi's move comes after she rejected two GOP lawmakers – Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Jim Banks of Indiana – who she said would have undermined the integrity of the committee's work because of their earlier statements about the Jan. 6 attack, in which supporters of former President Donald Trump tried to stop the certification of Joe Biden's 2020 election as president. The committee is scheduled to hold its first hearing on Tuesday.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill.

Homes ablaze in California as Western wildfires rage

More than 22,000 firefighters were combating "extreme fire behavior" across the West on Sunday as homes burned and thousands of residents fled fast-spreading flames. The Dixie Fire in Northern California and the Bootleg Fire in southern Oregon were the most ravenous among at least 88 major wildfires raging across 13 states. On Sunday, more than 2,200 firefighters were struggling to contain the Bootleg Fire — 640 square miles of devastation ranking as the state's third largest fire in more than 100 years. More than 70 homes already have burned, and thousands more are threatened. Fire trucks and other resources were coming in from Arkansas, Nevada, Alaska and elsewhere to help battle the blaze.

Flames from the Dixie Fire consume a home in the Indian Falls community of Plumas County, Calif., Saturday, July 24, 2021. The fire destroyed multiple residences as it tore through the area.
Flames from the Dixie Fire consume a home in the Indian Falls community of Plumas County, Calif., Saturday, July 24, 2021. The fire destroyed multiple residences as it tore through the area.

Real quick

Robert Moses, famed civil rights leader, dies at 86

Robert 'Bob' Parris Moses, the architect of Mississippi's Freedom Summer and a famed leader of the civil rights movement, died Sunday at 86, according to the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee Legacy Project. Moses became a principal organizer of the Freedom Summer project in 1964 when hundreds of northern college students joined with local Black Mississippians to register African American voters and promote civil rights throughout the state. The Freedom Summer is notoriously linked to the Mississippi Burning murders of three civil rights activists who were working to register voters in Neshoba County.

'Dating Game Killer' Rodney James Alcala dies in prison while awaiting execution

A prolific serial torture-slayer dubbed “The Dating Game Killer” died of natural causes Saturday while awaiting execution in California, authorities said. Rodney James Alcala, 77, was sentenced to death in 2010 for five slayings in California between 1977 and 1979, including a 12-year-old girl, though authorities estimate he may have killed up to 130 people across the country. Alcala received an additional 25 years to life in 2013 after pleading guilty to two homicides in New York. He was charged again in 2016 after DNA evidence connected him to the 1977 death of a 28-year-old woman whose remains were found in Wyoming. But a prosecutor said Alcala was too ill to face trial in the death of the woman, who was six months pregnant when she died.

In this Jan. 7, 2013, file photo, convicted serial killer Rodney James Alcala appears in court in New York. Alcala, a prolific serial torture-slayer dubbed "The Dating Game Killer," died while awaiting execution in California.
In this Jan. 7, 2013, file photo, convicted serial killer Rodney James Alcala appears in court in New York. Alcala, a prolific serial torture-slayer dubbed "The Dating Game Killer," died while awaiting execution in California.

US going in 'wrong direction,' Fauci warns of COVID-19

The nation is going in the "wrong direction" and new coronavirus cases will continue to climb unless more Americans get vaccinated, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday. "Fifty-percent of the county is not fully vaccinated," President Biden's top medical adviser said on CNN's State of the Union. "That's a problem." The outbreak has been fueled by the extremely contagious delta variant, aided by a nationwide relaxation in mask and social distancing guidelines. And by the refusal by many Americans to get vaccinated, despite cajoling, mandates and giveaways. Fauci said the nation has the tools to alter dark predictions of surging U.S. deaths, repeating the oft-heard Biden administration mantra that the latest surge in cases is "really an outbreak among the unvaccinated." The U.S. has had more than 34.4 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and 610,800 deaths.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Lee Kiefer, Simone Biles, Nancy Pelosi, Olympics: Weekend's biggest news

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