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The Week 2022 July 11- July 17

July 11

Leaked Uber files suggest company used covert tech to thwart raids
Leaked documents suggest Uber used a “kill switch” and other covert technology to prevent European regulators from examining the ride-hailing company’s business practices as it challenged taxi services around the world, according to more than 124,000 documents known as the Uber files that were leaked to Britain’s The Guardian. During this period, The Washington Post reported Sunday, Uber faced raids so frequent that it provided a Dawn Raid Manual to instruct employees how to react if authorities arrived, with directives such as “Move the Regulators into a meeting room that does not contain any files” and “Never leave the Regulators alone,” the Post reported. [The Guardian, The Washington Post]
AuthorJoel Mathis
Are vasectomies the future of family planning?
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AuthorPeter Weber
What the abortion decision could mean for midterm Democrats
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July 12

Biden hails gun-safety law as a start
President Biden delivered a speech on gun violence Monday, saying mass shootings have turned once safe places in the country into “killing fields.” The remarks came as Biden marked Congress’ passing of the first major piece of gun-safety legislation in 30 years. Biden called the law “an important start” but said the nation must “galvanize this movement because that‘s our duty to the people of the nation” after the mass shootings at a Buffalo, New York, grocery store, and an Uvalde, Texas, elementary school. Biden’s remarks were interrupted by Manuel Oliver, father of one of the victims in the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. “You have to do more!” Oliver shouted. [CNN]
Biden administration says federal law outweighs state abortion bans in emergencies
The Biden administration will require health-care providers to offer abortion services if necessary to save the life of a mother, the Department of Health and Human Services said Monday. The guidance said the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act defines emergency medical conditions under which those involved in the procedure would be protected even in states where abortion is banned. Those conditions include “ectopic pregnancy, complications of pregnancy loss, or emergent hypertensive disorders, such as preeclampsia with severe features,” the department said. On Sunday, Biden said he was considering declaring an abortion-related public health emergency in the wake of the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide. [Reuters]
Judge declines to delay Bannon’s contempt trial
A federal judge on Monday refused to delay the criminal contempt trial of Steve Bannon, a one-time strategist and longtime ally of former President Donald Trump. Bannon faces trial next week for defying a subpoena to testify to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack by Trump supporters aiming to block Congress from certifying Trump’s election loss to President Biden. Bannon, who helped push Trump’s bogus claim that the election was stolen from him, had said he would challenge the subpoena, but his lawyer sent the committee a letter over the weekend notifying that Bannon was willing to cooperate, in a bid to delay the trial. If convicted, he could face up to two years in jail, along with fines. [The Associated Press]
Jan. 6 committee hearing to focus on far-right extremist groups
The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack is scheduled to hold its next public hearing on Tuesday to examine ways in which then-President Donald Trump and leading supporters sought help from far-right extremists to pressure lawmakers into overturning Trump’s loss to President Biden in the 2020 election. The hearing is expected to focus on efforts to prevent Biden from taking office by blocking the certification of his victory. A committee aide said the hearing will look at the role of right-wing extremist organizations including the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers in the Jan. 6 riot, and the impact of Trump’s Dec. 19, 2020, tweet telling supporters: “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!” [The Washington Post]
Home-sale cancelations surge
Home-sale cancelations surged in June to the highest rate since the start of the coronavirus pandemic as rising mortgage rates and high inflation prompted more potential homebuyers to get cold feet. Just under 15 percent of sale agreements under contract on existing homes were canceled in June, according to a new report by Redfin. That is the highest rate since a brief pause in sales in early 2020. Cancelations were 11 percent a year ago. The average rate on the popular 30-year fixed mortgage was about 3 percent at the start of 2022. It briefly jumped to 6 percent and now stands around 5.75 percent, according to Mortgage News Daily. [NBC News]
Now is the time to help your child recover lost skills
If your child fell behind educationally, socially, or emotionally during the pandemic, summer is a great time to recover lost ground, writes Sara Novak in Fatherly. “Educational opportunities over the summer make a big difference, and they don’t have to be expensive or time-consuming,” writes Novak. Math can be incorporated into baking, shopping, or board games. And plenty of libraries offer summer reading challenges, which offer a fun and low-stakes way of boosting literacy skills. Seek out plenty of opportunities for your child to spend time with other kids. If a social problem arises, don’t rescue them from the awkward circumstance — help them to navigate it on their own. And utilize the summer to rebuild family connections that were strained or weakened during the pandemic. Family rituals — Friday game night, or taco Tuesdays — “can go a long way in giving kids a sense of belonging.” [Fatherly]
Japan holds private funeral for Abe
Family, friends, and foreign dignitaries gathered Tuesday for a private funeral honoring former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was assassinated last week. Crowds lined the streets around Zojoji Temple, and members of the public placed flowers and notes at a memorial outside. Abe was Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, serving from 2006 to 2007 and from 2012 to 2020, and he remained influential after he left office. His governing Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner won a landslide victory in Sunday elections for the upper house of Japan’s parliament. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida stressed the need for unity after Abe’s assassination, allegedly by a man using a homemade gun. The killing shocked a nation where gun violence is rare. [CNN, NPR]

July 13

Sri Lankan president flees country as protests intensify
Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the country on Wednesday following months of protests demanding his resignation, which peaked with the recent storming of his official residence. Rajapaksa, 73, flew on an Air Force plane to the Maldives, said Colonel Nalin Herath, a spokesperson for Sri Lanka’s defense ministry. The president appointed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to serve in his place while he is “overseas.” Wickremesinghe suggested on Saturday that he also would go, but so far he’s still on the job despite protester demands for his ouster. Sri Lanka is currently in the grips of its worst economic crisis ever — complete with months of severe food, medicine, and fuel shortages— and government mismanagement has only made things worse. [The New York Times]
U.S., allies work to cap Russian oil price
The United States and its allies are working on capping the price of Russian oil to deprive Moscow of revenue it needs to finance its invasion of Ukraine, The Associated Press reported Tuesday. The allies have imposed waves of sanctions to damage Russia’s economy, but Moscow’s main revenue-maker, oil, is helping the country withstand the bans. European allies are following the U.S. in a move to stop using Russian oil by the end of this year, which could reduce the supply of oil and push prices as high as $200 per barrel. The U.S. and other powerful nations plan to establish a buyer’s cartel to control the price and limit it. [The Associated Press]
IEA: Oil crisis showing signs of easing
The oil supply crisis is starting to ease as slowing economic growth decreases demand, and sanctions against Russia over its war in Ukraine dent production less than anticipated, the Paris-based International Energy Agency said Wednesday. The IEA reduced its demand forecast for the rest of 2022 and for 2023. The news came after historically high crude prices hurt economic growth and burdened consumers, fueling inflation. At the same time, U.S. and Canadian producers led an increase in global output. These factors contributed to a decline in oil prices. International benchmark Brent crude fell 7.1 percent on Tuesday to $99.49 per barrel, a low point since Russia invaded Ukraine in February. The price increased early Wednesday by 1.1 percent to $100.54 a barrel. [The Wall Street Journal]
AuthorCatherine Garcia
The biggest ‘bombshells’ of the latest Jan. 6 hearing
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AuthorGrayson Quay
The debate over Biden’s executive order on abortion
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Liz Cheney says Trump tried to contact Jan. 6 witness
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) revealed at Tuesday’s hearing of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack that former President Donald Trump attempted to contact a witness in the panel’s investigation. “After our last hearing, President Trump tried to call a witness in our investigation, a witness you have not yet seen in these hearings,” Cheney, the vice chair of the committee, said. “That person declined to answer or respond to President Trump’s call, and instead alerted their lawyer to the call. Their lawyer alerted us. And this committee has supplied that information to the Department of Justice.” Last week, the panel shared that a Trump ally had reached out to a witness and said Trump was monitoring the hearings and reading transcripts. [The Associated Press, The Washington Post]

July 14

Mary McLeod Bethune becomes 1st Black leader featured in Capitol statuary hall
Officials unveiled a statue of Mary McLeod Bethune at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, making her the first Black American represented in the National Statuary Hall collection. Bethune’s statue represents the state of Florida, and replaces one of Confederate Gen. Edmund Kirby Smith. The change was set up under a state law signed by then-Gov. Rick Scott (R) in 2018. Smith’s likeness was removed last year. Bethune, a civil rights activist and presidential adviser, founded the Daytona Literary and Industrial Training School for Negro Girls, which later became Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach. There are statues in other parts of the Capitol honoring other Black Americans, including statues of Frederick Douglass and Rosa Parks, and busts of Martin Luther King Jr. and Sojourner Truth. [The Washington Post]
Inflation jumped to 9.1 percent in June
The U.S. consumer-price index jumped a more-than-expected 9.1 percent in June, marking an acceleration from the 8.6 percent inflation rate in May, the Labor Department reported Wednesday. The June pace was the fastest since November 1981. Surging prices for gasoline, which increased 11.2 percent from the previous month, helped drive the increase, as did rising rents and food prices. Core prices, which exclude volatile fuel and food prices, jumped by 5.9 percent last month compared to a year earlier, just behind May’s 6.0-percent increase. The hot inflation reading supported expectations that the Federal Reserve will make another rare three-quarter percent interest rate increase at its July meeting as it tries to cool the economy and bring down inflation. [The Wall Street Journal]
Euro falls below 1-to-1 exchange rate with U.S. dollar
The euro briefly fell below parity with the U.S. dollar for the first time since December 2002 on Wednesday, as Russia’s invasion in Ukraine, uncertain Russian energy supplies, and rising recession risk increase pressure on Europe’s common currency. The last time the euro was at or near a one-to-one exchange rate with the dollar was in the early years of its existence. So far this year, its value has fallen more than 11 percent against the dollar, which has gained against most currencies. In foreign-exchange markets, “1.00 is probably the biggest psychological level around,” analysts at the Dutch bank ING said in a note to clients. The euro is shared by 19 European countries. [The New York Times]
Biden starts trip by saying U.S. committed to Israel’s security 
President Biden, starting a four-day tour of the Middle East, said in Tel Aviv that the United States remains committed to Israel’s security. Biden is seeking to bolster Israel’s ties with Arab nations and focus on Iran as a common enemy. “We’ll continue to advance Israel’s integration into the region and the relationship between the US and Israel is deeper and stronger in my view than it’s ever been,” Biden said. He was received by Israeli President Isaac Herzog and caretaker Prime Minister Yair Lapid, and opted for fist-bumping rather than shaking hands during a red-carpet welcome, in an expression of concern about rising COVID cases. Biden will visit Saudi Arabia after he leaves Israel. [The Guardian]
Ex-Oath Keeper says U.S. came ‘very close’ to civil war on Jan. 6
Former Oath Keepers spokesperson Jason Van Tatenhove told CNN on Wednesday that the nation was on the brink of a civil war when a mob of then-President Donald Trump’s supporters attacked the Capitol in a failed attempt to block the certification of Trump’s 2020 election loss to President Biden. “We came very, very close to having a civil war kick off on Jan. 6,” Van Tatenhove said. He said the members of the Oath Keepers and other far-right extremist groups had a “military mindset” when they went to the Capitol. Van Tatenhove testified Tuesday before the House select committee investigating the insurrection, where he described the the Oath Keepers as a violent militia. [CNN, The Hill]
Heat wave triggers wave of wildfires in Europe
An unusual heat wave authorities have blamed on climate change is fueling wildfires across parts of Europe. Hundreds of firefighters on Wednesday struggled to contain blazes in Portugal, Spain, Croatia, southern France, and all the way on the other end of the Mediterranean in Turkey. Portugal’s Civil Protection commander André Fernandes said multiple fires forced more than 600 people to evacuate their homes. Two people — one civilian and one firefighter — suffered serious injuries and another 120 had to seek medical treatment. Portugal is expected to see temperatures as high as 115 degrees Fahrenheit on Thursday, and 96 percent of the country is in “extreme” or “severe” drought. [The Associated Press]

July 15

Inspector general: Secret Service deleted Jan. 5-6 text messages
The Secret Service deleted text messages from Jan. 5 and 6, 2021, after the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General requested them for its review of the handling of the attack on the Capitol by a mob of former President Donald Trump’s supporters, the watchdog said this week. The messages were deleted during “a device-replacement program” despite the inspector general’s request that the Secret Service retain and hand over the texts, according to a letter to the leaders of the of the House and Senate Homeland Security committees obtained by ABC News. U.S. Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a Thursday statement that any suggestion the service intentionally deleted the texts is inaccurate. [ABC News, The Washington Post]

Trump's minions

Oath keeper/oath breaker


Biden, Israel pledge to keep Iran from getting nuclear arms
President Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid on Thursday signed a joint pledge to keep Iran from getting nuclear weapons. Biden aims to get Iran to rejoin the nuclear deal brokered by the Obama administration, and reiterated this week that using force is a “last resort,” signaling a split with Israel. The pledge states that the U.S. is “prepared to use all elements of its national power to ensure” Iran doesn’t acquire nukes. Lapid said that warning is crucial, as “the only way to stop a nuclear Iran is if Iran knows the free world will use force.” Iran denies it is trying to develop nuclear weapons. Biden meets with Palestinian leaders on Friday before continuing his Middle East trip with a visit to Saudi Arabia. [Reuters]
Texas sues Biden administration over abortion guidance
The Texas attorney general filed a lawsuit Thursday over new Biden administration guidance warning health workers and hospitals that refusing to treat patients seeking an abortion could put them in legal jeopardy or disqualify them from participating in Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal programs. The suit argues that the policy “forces hospitals and doctors to commit crimes and risk their licensure under Texas law,” and violates the rights of doctors not to participate in terminating a pregnancy. The Biden administration argues the guidance is simply “meant to remind folks of their federal obligations when they take federal funding,” a senior Health and Human Services Department
Sri Lanka’s exiled president resigns after protests
Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa officially resigned Thursday after intensifying protests drove him into exile, first in the Maldives and now in Singapore. Rajapaksa, 73, left the country before dawn on Wednesday to escape public anger over the island nation’s economic collapse. His ouster has set off a full leadership struggle after decades of rule by his family dynasty, which until recently also held the positions of prime minister and finance minister. The economic breakdown Rajapaksa presided over has left Sri Lanka unable to repay its foreign debt or import the fuel and food the country needs, sending prices for staples like rice doubling compared to a year ago. [The Washington Post]

July 16

Biden promises ‘strong executive action’ after Manchin blows up climate deal
President Biden on Friday said he would take “strong executive action” to “tackle the climate crisis and strengthen our domestic clean energy industry.” This statement came one day after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) pulled out of a climate deal that had been in the works for more than a year and had been specifically tailored to meet Manchin’s demands. Democrats were furious. Former Obama adviser John Podesta said Manchin had cemented his legacy as “the one man who single-handedly doomed humanity.” Manchin signaled on Wednesday that he might withdraw from the deal over concerns that new climate spending could exacerbate the ongoing inflation crisis. [The New York Times]
Ivana Trump’s death was an accident, medical examiner says
The New York City medical examiner’s office said Friday that Ivana Trump, who was married to former President Donald Trump from 1977 to 1992, died accidentally from blunt impact injuries to her torso. Other sources have reported that she fell down the stairs at her Manhattan home. The Czech-born skier, who became a successful businesswoman and a fixture of New York society, died Thursday at the age of 73. The three children she had with Trump — Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric — described her in a joint statement as “an incredible woman — a force in business, a world-class athlete, a radiant beauty and caring mother and friend.” [Politico, The Associated Press]
Jan. 6 committee subpoenas Secret Service to obtain erased text messages
The Jan. 6 committee on Friday issued a subpoena after Homeland Security Inspector General Joseph Cuffari told committee members that the Secret Service had erased text messages from Jan. 5 and Jan. 6, 2021. Cuffari said he had been told that the messages were erased “as part of a device-replacement program.” In a letter to Secret Service Director James M. Murray, committee chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) ordered Murray to produce “the relevant text messages” by July 19. [NBC News]

July 17

Biden fails to secure oil and regional security commitments at Arab summit
President Biden on Saturday told a summit of Arab leaders that the United States “is invested in building a positive future of the region, in partnership with all of you,” though he failed to secure commitments for increased oil production or for a regional security alliance — including Israel — to counter the threat of Iran.  Biden also insisted that the U.S. will not “walk away” from the Middle East “and leave a vacuum to be filled by China, Russia, or Iran.” [The Guardian, Reuters]

Federal judge blocks Biden admin directives on transgender school bathrooms and athletes
Outlets reported Saturday that a federal judge had temporarily blocked a Biden administration directive allowing employees and students to use school bathrooms matching their gender identities. The directive also allowed transgender student athletes to play on sports teams that matched their gender identities. Judge Charles Atchley Jr. of the Eastern District of Tennessee, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, sided with 20 Republican attorneys general, who argued that the directive made it impossible for them to enforce state laws. Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor, one of the plaintiffs, said in a statement Saturday the ruling was “a major victory for women’s sports and for the privacy and safety of girls and women.” [Fox News, Reuters]
Ukrainian cargo plane carrying explosives crashes in Greece
A cargo plane operated by private Ukrainian carrier Meridian crashed over northern Greece on Sunday, killing all eight crew members. The plane, an Antonov An-12BK, was flying from Serbia to Jordan with the ultimate goal of delivering a load of Serbian mines and other weapons to Bangladesh. The flight crew reported issues to Greek aviation authorities and attempted an emergency landing at an airport in Kavala but crashed about 25 miles west of the airport. Onlookers reported that the plane was on fire as it crashed and that explosions could be heard coming from the site of the wreck for two hours after the plane went down. [The Washington Post, Fox News]
Wildfires ravage France and Spain as heat-related deaths soar
Firefighters on Sunday continued to battle blazes across France and Spain as a European heat wave caused a spike in heat-related deaths. Fires in southwestern France have displaced around 14,000 people, and Spain’s National Defense Department has deployed “the majority” of its fire-fighting aircraft to combat more than 30 forest fires across the country. Between July 5 and July 9, Spain recorded 25 deaths due to high temperatures. That number soared to 237 for the 5-day period between July 10 and July 14. Major wildfires are also raging in Hungary, Croatia, and Crete. [The Associated Press]

Published by Guestspeaker

A joint effort of several authors who do find that nobody can keep standing at the side and that “Everyone" must care about what is going on in today’s world. We are a bunch of people who do not mind that somebody has a totally different idea but is willing to share the ideas with others and to be Active and willing to let others understand how "today’s decisions will influence the future”. Therefore we would love to see many others to "Act today".

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