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Photo: Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Multiple groups led by Native American activists plan to protest President Trump’s July 3 Independence Day celebration at Mount Rushmore National Memorial, AP reports.

Why it matters: Activists believe the monument is a desecration of land stolen from Native Americans used to celebrate leaders who were hostile to Indigenous people.

  • The planned protest and the heightened attention on Mount Rushmore come during a national reckoning over the symbolism of monuments.
  • Some Native American activists believe the memorial is as reprehensible as the Confederate monuments being removed or torn down around the country.

What they're saying: Oglala Sioux president Julian Bear Runner told the Sioux Falls Argus Leader that Trump failed to consult tribal leaders about his visit to the Black Hills, which the Oglala Sioux consider part of their Great Sioux Reservation and land that was never formally ceded to the United States.

  • Bear Runner said he also believes Mount Rushmore should be "removed."
  • "I don't believe it should be blown up, because it would cause more damage to the land," he said. "Removed but not blown up."
  • South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) tweeted last week that "The men on Mt. Rushmore helped make America the greatest country in history. They weren't perfect; nobody is. But we should learn from their example and work together to accomplish their dreams for our country."
  • Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) introduced a bill in the House of Representatives last week that would prohibit federal funds from being used to alter the faces of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, according to the Leader.

The big picture: Noem pushed for the return of an Independence Day fireworks display for Trump's visit. It will be the first pyrotechnical display at the site since 2009.

  • National fire experts said the return of the display "is ill-advised" because of fire danger.
  • The Black Hills National Forest has experienced abnormally dry conditions recently, which increases the risk of wildfires.

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Updated 5 hours ago - Technology

A dark view of the future of autonomous weapons

A still from the video "If Human: Kill ( )." Image: Future of Life Institute

A new short film warns of the coming risks posed by the development and proliferation of lethal autonomous weapons.

Why it matters: Drones with the ability to autonomously target and kill without the assistance of a human operator are reportedly already being used on battlefields, and time is running out to craft a global ban of what could be a destabilizing and terrifying new class of weapon.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus variant surveillance varies widely by state — Omicron cases confirmed in 5 U.S. states America probably won't lead the effort to understand Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Moderna loses patent battles tied to COVID vaccine — Pfizer could have vaccine data for children under five by end of 2021, CEO says.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate — Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come.
  4. World: WHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming — Germany approves new restrictions for unvaccinated people.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Updated 11 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Prosecutors charge parents of Michigan school shooting suspect

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The parents of a 15-year-old accused of killing four students and wounding seven other people at a Michigan high school have been charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter, according to court documents.

The latest: Lawyers for James and Jennifer Crumbley told the Detroit News they are "returning to the area to be arraigned," after law enforcement officials announced a search for the Crumbleys had been initiated.