“I stand in solidarity with Black women and allies across the country in defense of our constitutional right to vote,” said Rep. Joyce Beatty, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, who was arrested yesterday. Beatty had been demonstrating for voting rights with activists on Capitol Hill, and police bound her hands with zip ties as she was led away. “You can arrest me. You can’t stop me,” the Ohio Democrat tweeted afterwards. Beatty is calling for the passing of the For The People Act and other measures that are stalled in Congress, and an end to the filibuster. (Sources: NYT, Washington Post)
2. Outgoing Angela Merkel Bids Farewell to ‘Dear Joe’
“Dear Joe.” That’s how German Chancellor Angela Merkel referred to President Joe Biden on what was likely her last visit, as chancellor, to the White House yesterday. Biden in turn called the German leader “a great friend.” The warm atmosphere was in stark contrast to Merkel’s meetings with former President Donald Trump, and both sides affirmed their commitment to democracy in the face of challenges from Russia and China. Merkel, who was seen by many as a bastion against rising populism elsewhere, leaves office in a few months. Germany is set to hold elections on September 26, and her Christian Democratic Union is ahead in the polls. (Sources: BBC, AP)
3. Germany, Belgium Hit by Devastating Flooding
While in Washington, Merkel also expressed sympathy for those in Germany affected by catastrophic flooding. More than 80 people have died, and authorities say the death toll is likely to climb as hundreds are presumed missing. The deluge has also affected neighboring Belgium, where at least 12 people have died. Water levels in the Rhine River are rising and there are now fears a dam in Rhine-Sieg county could burst, with authorities evacuating several villages in the area. Tens of thousands of homes in the area were without power. The heavy rains are due to a low pressure system and are forecast to continue. (Sources: AFP,The Guardian)
4. He’s No Chicken: Lindsey Graham Fights for Chick-fil-A
An unlikely player just entered the chicken sandwich wars — and the culture wars. Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham yesterday vowed to “go to war” for Chick-fil-A after students from Notre Dame University objected to the chain opening on campus, as the company has donated to anti-LGBTQ groups in the past. “I hope we don’t have to, but I will go to war for the principles Chick fil-A stands for,” Graham tweeted. “Great food. Great service. Great values.” Luckily Graham doesn’t have to don military fatigues, Notre Dame has announced the Chick-fil-A will open on campus next year after all. (Sources: Washington Post, The Wrap)
5. Also Important …
Lebanon’s Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri has resigned after failing to form a government and amid an economic crisis. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa says authorities are going after “the instigators” of riots that devastated the country this week. And Haiti has denied current government officials were involved in assassinating President Jovenel Moïse.
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Today on ‘The Carlos Watson Show:’ Superstar model Heidi Klum stops by with her Making the Cut co-star Tim Gunn to share all the gossip about why they left Project Runway to start their own show on Amazon. Plus, Heidi reveals how she feels about her daughter following in her footsteps in the modeling industry — and why she and Tim have effectively been ‘married’ for 17 years. How did Tim Gunn go from classroom teacher to backstage consultant to on-air talent … all after the age of 50? Watch now to find out.
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It can read your mind. A stroke patient who was silent for more than a decade is now able to “speak” after researchers implanted a device in his brain that uses computer algorithms to translate its electrical activity. The electrodes were implanted over the area of the brain that controls speech and attached to a computer which records the man’s brain activity as he watches individual words on a screen and imagines saying them aloud. Scientists could accurately identify what he was “saying” almost 76% of the time. They now hope to expand the vocabulary and translate words into sound not text. (Sources: CNN, WSJ (sub), NPR)
2. Teen Set to Become Youngest Ever Person to Travel to Space
That’s one major “scheduling conflict.” An anonymous person who paid $28 million to fly to space with billionaire Jeff Bezos cited that as the reason they’ve pulled out of the Blue Origin trip. Bezos has replaced them with 18-year-old physics student Oliver Daemen. Blue Origin said Daemen “has been fascinated by space, the Moon and rockets since he was four,” though it was unclear how much his father, Somerset Capital Partners CEO Joes Daemen, paid for the ticket. The teen will be the youngest person to go to space, in the company of the oldest, 82-year-old Wally Funk, when the trip launches on July 20. (Sources: BBC, NBC)
3. Turn That Frown Upside Down: 1500s Painting Restored
Give us a smile, love! That’s obviously how a 19th century art restorer felt when they touched up a glum Dutch female vegetable seller and gave her a smile. A conservation project in the U.K. has now restored the woman’s original dour expression to the unsigned painting, possibly by16th century artist Joachim Beuckelaer. “There was an awful lot of overpainting on it too, so it wasn’t the beautiful object it could be,” conservator Alice Tate-Harte said. It’s now gone on display in England the way it was originally painted for the first time in centuries. (Sources: The Guardian, Yahoo!news)
4. Gillian Anderson Ditched Bras in Lockdown, Forever
A lot of us changed how we dressed during the pandemic. Out went the skinny jeans, replaced by elastic-waisted leggings and track pants. Many a fashion magazine has been asking nervously lately if we’ll ever go back. Gillian Anderson won’t, she’s channeling a 1960s bra-burner, and says she’s done with the things for good. “I don’t wear a bra anymore ... I can’t,” the X-Files star said, adding that her preferred wardrobe consists of track pants and a hoodie. She might have to dress up for the Emmys in September though, she’s been nominated for her role as Margaret Thatcher in Netflix series The Crown. (Sources: Glamour, People)
5. Team USA’s Beal Out of Olympics, in COVID Protocols
Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal won’t be going to Tokyo. The basketball player was supposed to take part in the Olympics later this month but has now been placed under coronavirus protocols at a training camp in Las Vegas, as has forward Jerami Grant. Team USA said it was likely Grant would still make it to the Games. Coach Gregg Popovich said he felt awful for Beal who’s dreamed of going to the Olympics “since he was a little kid.” The U.S. men’s team heads to Tokyo on Monday and their first game is against France on July 25. (Sources: Washington Post, ESPN)
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