Start your day smarter with the most important world news, plus intriguing and offbeat stories.
Your World. Bold & Bright
Start your day smarter with a dossier on the most important world news, rounded off with a shot of intriguing and offbeat stories. Like the president, you deserve no less.
Jul 01, 2022
President Xi Jinping touched down in Hong Kong. SCOTUS knocked down an environmental ruling but welcomed a new face to the bench. Putin promised to reopen the sea route out of Ukraine. And Delta staff hit the picket line ahead of the holiday weekend. All this and more in today’s PDB.
One Country, Two Systems
President Xi Jinping Swears In Hong Kong Chief Executive
It’s the Chinese leader’s first trip outside mainland China since the pandemic began and coincided with the 25th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong's rule from Britain to China. Xi swore in the city’s new chief executive, Beijing-backed John Lee, and used the opportunity to wax lyrical on the state of affairs in the “one country, two systems.” Under 2019’s national security law, crackdowns on pro-democracy activists, politicians and journalists have undermined Hong Kong’s autonomy from mainland China. “After much turmoil, people have learnt a painful lesson that Hong Kong cannot be disorderly, it cannot afford to be,” Xi said. (Source: The Guardian)
Day in Court
EPA Regulations Are Out, But Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson Is In
The Supreme Court struck down Environmental Protection Agency plans that aimed to reduce emissions from power plants. Experts fear the ruling will damage efforts to pass climate change legislation in the future, but others say it’s part of a decadeslong campaign to undermine the administrative state of the government. The court split 6-3, with progressives in the minority. Jackson, who was sworn in Thursday, will join those ranks during the court’s next term in October. She is the first Black woman on the Supreme Court’s bench, a seat that’s historically been the domain of white men, and replaces retiring Justice Stephen Breyer. (Sources: WaPo, NYT)
Putin Promises Indonesian Leader a Sea Route for Ukrainian Wheat
President Joko Widodo told media that Russian President Vladimir Putin will “provide security guarantees for food and fertilizer supplies from both Ukraine and Russia” after a meeting between the pair in Moscow. Widodo, who also met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy this week, hopes to be an intermediary between the two. Still, his priorities lie in securing essentials. Developing nations have been particularly hard hit by the invasion’s disruption on supply chains. “We are ready to fully satisfy the demand of agricultural producers from Indonesia and other friendly states for nitrogen, phosphate, potash fertilizers and raw materials for their production,” Putin said. (Source: Nikkei Asia)
Delta Strikes Throw Holiday Weekend Plans Up in the Air
Over 1,200 pilots and airline staff walked off the job Thursday at seven American airports, striking for higher pay, better conditions and job security. Air travel has been plagued by long wait times, delays and last-minute cancellations as demand surges. Pilot Reed Donoghue reminded travelers that staff often work overtime during busy periods, and a pilot shortage means Delta crew are on pace to fly more overtime hours by the end of this summer than in 2018 and 2019 combined. Contract negotiations with airline management have resumed after being temporarily halted when the pandemic hit the industry in 2020. (Source: NPR)
Here are some things you should know about today:
Mass killing. Ethiopia has blamed a militia formerly linked to an opposition group for the massacre of 338 people in the Oromiya region earlier this month, while human rights groups have called on the country to open its doors to a proper investigation. (Source: Reuters) Searching. Ruja Ignatova, the so-called “missing Cryptoqueen,” has been added to the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list after fleecing $4 billion from victims in a crypto scam. (Source: BBC) Woman’s work. The fight is on for the 142 female candidates on the ballot in Papua New Guinea’s elections on Monday. In five decades, only seven women have ever served in the 118-seat parliament, and zero since 2017. (Source: AFP)
Boom to Bust
New York No-Go for Crypto Bros, Environmental Agency Rules
A gas-fired power plant that mines for bitcoin goes against the state’s climate change commitments, New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation said as it ruled against renewing its permit. Crypto miners took ownership of the Greenidge Generating Station in Finger Lakes in 2020, upsetting locals worried about the environmental impact of the notoriously energy-hungry process. Shuttered plants across the state are being converted into mining hubs after China, the former home to much of the world’s bitcoin processing, booted out miners last year. The ruling is a blow to the nascent industry following weeks of crashing value in cryptocurrencies. (Source: The Verge)
Police Not Welcome at UK Pride After Bungled Investigation
Organizers behind London’s Pride march say uniformed police shouldn’t march in this year’s event following accusations of “institutional homophobia.” It comes after the independent police watchdog reopened its investigation into serial killer Stephen Port, who preyed on young gay men. Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said police failed to conduct a proper investigation into the 2014 murder of Anthony Walgate, which could have potentially saved the lives of subsequent victims. “We work hard to strike a balance between the very real and legitimate concerns from members of our community, and being as welcoming as we can,” Pride of London said. (Source: The Guardian)
Belgian Spaghetti, Made With Love (and a New World Record)
A winning date night. A housing association in Belgium hosted 433 couples at an expo center in Ghent for a meal to remember — spaghetti, to be shared between the partners ending with an “Italian kiss” à la Lady and the Tramp. Guinness World Records didn’t take this challenge lightly. In order to meet its strict requirements, each piece of spaghetti must not break between the pair until lips touch, and it must be eaten within 30 seconds. The Belgian lovebirds smashed the previous record of 125 couples simultaneously eating spaghetti and smooching, set in Paris. (Source: UPI)
Keeping the Peace
Busy Philipps Arrested in DC Pro-Choice Protest
While many celebrities showed their support for abortion rights on social media and in statements, Philipps, 43, went to Washington. Capitol Police arrested Philipps and other Planned Parenthood activists Thursday for blocking traffic around the Supreme Court a week after it overturned Roe v. Wade. The protest was “to let lawmakers but more importantly, the people who will be most impacted by this outrageous decision, know that we will not back down,” she said later on Instagram. “I'm doing this for you guys. I'm doing this for my kids, I'm doing this for my mom, I'm doing this for my grandma.” (Source: People)
Danish Police Raid Bahrain Cycling Team’s Rooms on Eve of Tour
It’s the second time the Bahrain Victorious team has been raided this week. Copenhagen police said they acted at the request of French prosecutors, but after having their homes searched on Monday before leaving for the tour, team members are wondering why they’re being targeted. They were also raided in France last year in connection to doping allegations, although no evidence was found. Bahrain Victorious said the cyclists “fully cooperated with all the officers’ requests” but felt the timing was “aimed at intentionally damaging the team’s reputation.” The Tour begins today in Copenhagen with two days of individual time trials. (Sources: Cyclingnews, AP)
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