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A sign seeking information about Mollie Tibbetts on Aug. 24, 2018 in Brooklyn, Iowa. Photo: KC McGinnis/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

Jury selection starts today for the trial of Cristhian Bahena Rivera, who is accused of killing Mollie Tibbetts, a 20-year-old University of Iowa student whose disappearance drew weeks of international attention in 2018.

Why it matters: The trial will be one of the most closely watched in recent Iowa history.

  • Republicans, including former President Donald Trump, used the case during the 2018 midterm elections as a way to paint a picture of an unsafe country if undocumented immigrants enter the U.S.

Case details:

  • Bahena Rivera was charged with first-degree murder after he led officials to Tibbetts' body on Aug. 20, 2018.
  • He told detectives he saw her running and chased after her, but became angry when she threatened to call the police. From there, he said he "blocked his memory," but later found her body in his trunk, and hid it in a cornfield.
  • His defense attorneys have argued that most of the evidence against Bahena Rivera should be suppressed because officials failed to properly give him his Miranda Rights prior to an 11-hour interrogation, according to the Register.

Timeline: Jury selection is taking place today and Tuesday at the Davenport convention center. Opening remarks could start Wednesday, the Register reports.

What to watch for: Details have been scarce regarding the motivation behind the murder and the weapon used to kill Tibbetts.

How to watch: Court TV and Law and Crime Network will broadcast the trial. Local outlets are likely to follow suit.

Worthy of your time: Read this 2019 Washington Post story of how Tibbetts' mom, Laura Calderwood, chose to care for the 17-year-old son of Mexican immigrants after her daughter's death.

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Go deeper

Attempting to reform gig work via co-ops

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Ride-hailing service The Drivers Cooperative recently debuted in New York City, claiming that its lack of VC funding would result in better driver pay and lower passenger costs.

Why it matters: TDC’s approach is a direct rebuke to the venture capital-fueled gig economy model.

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Conservative cleric Raisi elected Iran's president

Raisi gives a press conference after voting. Photo: Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty

Hardliner Ebrahim Raisi easily won Friday's presidential election in Iran, recording 62% of the vote with more than 90% of ballots counted.

Why it matters: Currently the head of Iran's judiciary, Raisi is a close confidant of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and has the support of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). His victory solidifies him as a leading candidate to succeed Khamenei, though Friday's low turnout speaks to the disillusionment of many Iranian voters.

Juneteenth forces U.S. to confront lasting impact of slavery economy

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Corbis, Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group/Long Beach Press-Telegram via Getty Images

Juneteenth, a once-obscure commemoration of emancipation of enslaved people in Texas, has transformed into an annual reminder about how slavery robbed Black Americans of generational wealth.

Why it matters: That lack of generational wealth still denies Black families the economic security that many white families take for granted.

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