He’s no hawk, but for the second time since taking office U.S. President Joe Biden on Sunday ordered retaliatory attacks against Iran-backed militias. The airstrikes targeted the militia groups’ weapon storage facilities in Syria and Iraq and came after drone attacks against U.S. personnel in Iraq. Biden ordered a similar attack on Syria in February in response to rocket attacks in Iraq. The armed groups, under the umbrella of Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), vowed revenge saying the strikes had killed four of their militiamen. The attacks come as the Biden administration looks to restart nuclear talks with Tehran.
A Cuban couple married for 59 years, an Argentine surgeon, a sushi-loving 26-year-old. Those are just some of the individuals dead or missing after the collapse of a condo in Miami. Four days after the accident, the official death toll has climbed to nine, but hope is fading for pulling any more survivors from the rubble. More than 150 people remain unaccounted for, with rescue efforts encumbered by noxious smoke from a fire that burned until Saturday. Once search and rescue operations are over, a probe into the cause of what could be the deadliest accidental building collapse in U.S. history will begin.
3. Deadline Nears for Trump Organization to Avoid Charges
Can he trump the charges, or is it the end of the road for Teflon Don? U.S. prosecutors have given former President Donald Trump a Monday deadline to argue against criminal charges being filed against his family business. Any criminal charges would be the first brought by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance against the ex-president’s company and could bankrupt it. Trump has called the investigation a “witch hunt.” Prosecutors are reportedly probing whether Trump’s company gave misleading valuations of its properties to deceive tax authorities and lenders. They are also considering charging Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg.
4. J&J Agrees to $263M Payout to Avoid Opioid Trial
On the eve of a U.S. jury trial, Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay $263 million to settle an opioid lawsuit. The cases claiming the pharma giant mishandled the highly addictive painkillers were brought by the New York state attorney general and two Long Island counties and would have been the first opioid-related cases to go before a jury. The company has now stopped manufacturing the painkillers but is just one of many that have been beset by lawsuits over the drug crisis that has claimed almost 500,000 American lives. Pharmacy chain Walgreens Boots Alliance, distributor McKesson and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries still face legal cases.
Thousands of Afghans have fled Kunduz province amid fighting between the Taliban and government forces as the U.S. withdrawal deadline nears. The U.S. National Weather Service has issued a warning over a heat wave affecting parts of the Pacific Northwest and Canada. Singers H.E.R., Megan Thee Stallion and Chris Brown were some of the winners at the BET Awards this weekend, which honor Black excellence in entertainment and sport.
Coronavirus Update: U.K. Health Secretary Matt Hancock resigned over the weekend after revelations he had an affair with an aide in violation of COVID-19 regulations. South Africa has imposed new restrictions amid a third wave propelled by the delta variant that looks set to surpass the country’s previous two waves.
Welcome to the City of Angels! This week, The Carlos Watson Show will be coming to you from Los Angeles and offering in-person interviews for the first time. To celebrate this special week, we’ll be joined by L.A. Rams Head Coach Sean McVay, famed actors Anna Paquin and Lily Rabe, the record producer behind many of your favorite songs, Hit-Boy, and filmmaker Kevin Smith. Plus, get an intimate look at some of the cultural touchstones that make L.A. special. Subscribe now so you don’t miss a minute of one of the most exciting weeks of The Carlos Watson Show to date.
Black stories are often portrayed in extremes — as struggles or triumphs — but these stories do not represent the full richness of the Black experience. What about the inside jokes, hard conversations, honest gestures, family struggles and celebrations? To understand the Black experience, we need to see the whole truth. By enabling Black creators, P&G aims to widen the screen to widen our view to combat systemic bias in advertising and media. Our “Widen the Screen” initiative is an expansive content creation, talent development and partnership platform that enables and advocates for increased inclusion of Black creators across the advertising, film and television industries.
Oh deer! Two nude sunbathers were fined for breaking Sydney’s new coronavirus lockdown measures after they were startled by a deer while on the beach, ran into a nearby forest and got lost. They called for help and were rescued by a police helicopter. New South Wales police commissioner Mick Fuller told media the two men were fined a lot of doe — $760 each — adding: “It’s difficult to legislate against idiots.” Parts of the region are under stay-at-home orders after a surge in delta variant cases. The weird thing about the buck-naked bathers? It’s winter there and they were still wearing nothing Down Under.
2. Down the Tube: YouTube Blocks Uyghur Activists’ Videos
A human rights group has accused YouTube of removing videos it posted of testimonies from Uyghurs who say their families have been forcibly disappeared in China’s Xinjiang province. The group, Atajurt Kazakh Human Rights, is based in neighboring Kazakhstan and has been targeted by local authorities in the past, under what the activists believe is pressure from Beijing. Its videos have garnered over 120 million views, but on June 15 the channel was blocked for violating YouTube’s policies. YouTube said that was because some videos contained people holding up ID cards. The group is now moving the videos to another platform, Odysee.
3. Long COVID: Evidence of COVID Pandemic 20,000 Years Ago
History tends to repeat itself, the old maxim goes. That certainly seems to be the case with the COVID pandemic, which scientists now say isn’t unique to 2020, but in fact also happened more than 20,000 years ago in East Asia. The study, published on Thursday by Australian and US researchers, found genetic imprints of coronaviruses on the DNA of five different populations in Japan, China and Vietnam. Our ancestors were exposed to — and adapted to — coronaviruses millennia ago. Some groups also developed a beneficial mutation that helped protect them from the disease. The discovery may help predict future pandemics, the authors say.
4. He Won’t Be Silenced: Queer Valedictorian Goes Off-Script
America’s valedictorians are going rogue. Recently a Texan teen made headlines for her powerful pro-choice speech at graduation. Now an 18-year-old in New Jersey is in the news after throwing out his prepared speech to talk about his queer identity. Just one minute into Bryce Dershem’s valedictorian address, the school principal unplugged the microphone. Dershem said he froze, but buoyed by cheers from his peers he carried on: “because this is the exact kind of stigma that I want to fight against.” New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy praised Dersham, who is headed to Tufts in the fall, saying he had “spoken truth to power.”
5. Tour de France Faux-Pas: Police Seek Fan Following Pileup
Whoops. An over-zealous spectator with a huge cardboard sign caused a massive accident at the Tour de France on Saturday and is now being sought by police. The woman held up the placard reading: “Come on granddad-granny,” apparently for the TV cameras. German rider Tony Martin rode straight into it, causing a pileup around 29 miles from the end of the Brest-Landerneau stage. The woman is believed to have left the scene and police are now investigating the incident. Race organizers say legal action will be taken against her and warned other fans not to “risk everything for a photo or to get on television.”
We have been overwhelmed by the hundreds of emails we’ve received from readers since launching the “pupparazzi” contest. Today’s the final “Dog of the Day,” and we’re so sorry if your fur baby didn’t make it, all dogs are good dogs but we could only run so many. If you’ re feline left out, watch this space for our next contest, it’ll be purrfect.