10 things you need to know today: July 11, 2023

Biden meets with King Charles III, Turkey agrees to back Sweden's NATO bid, and more

King Charles III and President Joe Biden walk side by side
Joe Biden met with King Charles III at Windsor Castle
(Image credit: Chris Jackson / Getty Images)

1. Biden meets with King Charles III, Rishi Sunak ahead of NATO summit

President Biden on Monday had his first meeting with King Charles III since his coronation, with the pair discussing how to combat climate change. Biden was in London ahead of this week's NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, and had tea with Charles at Windsor Castle, where he applauded the "rock solid" relationship between the U.S. and U.K. Earlier, Biden met with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and they discussed the U.S. giving Ukraine cluster munitions for its fight against Russian forces. The U.K. signed a convention against the weapon, but Sunak told Biden he understands why he decided to provide the munitions to Ukraine. This was "a difficult choice for the U.S.," Sunak's spokesperson said, and it was "forced on them by Russia's war of aggression."

The Guardian

2. Turkey agrees to back Sweden's NATO bid

In a reversal, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed on Monday to support Sweden's bid for NATO membership. Over the last year, Erdogan blocked Sweden from joining NATO, claiming the country provides refuge for people tied to the Kurdistan Workers' Party, which Turkey considers a terrorist group. As part of the agreement to get Turkey's backing, Sweden will push to get the European Union to reduce trade barriers with Turkey and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will appoint a NATO counterterrorism coordinator. "This is a historic day," Stoltenberg said. President Biden also praised the turnaround, saying he looks forward to Sweden becoming "our 32nd NATO ally."

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

The Washington Post

3. Tuberville's military promotions block leaves Marines without confirmed leader

For the first time since 1910, the U.S. Marine Corps doesn't have a Senate-confirmed leader. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) has been blocking senior military nominations since December to protest the Pentagon policy that covers travel costs for service members seeking abortions while stationed in states where the procedure is banned. Gen. David Berger stepped down as commandant of the Marine Corps on Monday, and without a permanent successor in place, Gen. Eric Smith will serve as acting commandant. Tuberville defended his actions, telling CNN's Kaitlan Collins on Monday that with Republicans being the minority in the Senate, "the only power we have is to put a hold on something." According to Pentagon Deputy Press Secretary Sabrina Singh, as of Friday, Tuberville has blocked 265 nominations.


4. Israel protests block highways as Netanyahu revives Supreme Court bill

Protesters took to the streets in Tel Aviv and other cities across Israel on Tuesday for a day of "disruption and resistance" against a renewed push by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's hard-right nationalist-religious coalition government to weaken the Supreme Court in a series of judicial overhauls. Israel's Knesset gave initial approval Monday to a bill that would strip the Supreme Court's power to block "unreasonable" decisions by the government, ministers or elected officials. The bill, part of a larger package of "reforms," requires two more votes before becoming law. Massive protests and a general strike in March persuaded Netanyahu to pause the judicial overhaul, but talks on moderating the bills collapsed in June. Police had arrested at least 42 people before noon, as protesters blocked major highways and promised to expand the demonstrations.

Reuters CNN

5. Study: Nearly 62,000 people died in 2022 European heatwave

During the heatwave that engulfed Europe over the summer of 2022, nearly 62,000 people died of heat-related illnesses, according to a study published Monday in the journal Nature Medicine. The deaths occurred between May 30 and Sept. 4, researchers said, with the elderly and women particularly harmed; the heat-related mortality rate was 63% higher in women compared to men, and the death toll was highest for people 65 and older. Italy had the most deaths, at 18,000, followed by Spain with around 11,000 and Germany with roughly 8,000. To calculate the number of heat-related deaths, researchers created epidemiological models based on temperature and mortality data collected in 35 European countries between 2015 and 2022.


6. Thousands of Los Angeles hotel workers walk off job to strike

Thousands of members of the Unite Here Local 11 union participated in a second wave of strikes on Monday near the Los Angeles International Airport, walking out of eight major hotels. The union represents 32,000 service workers in Southern California and Arizona, and has been in contract negotiations since April, calling for better wages and benefits. Unite Here Local 11 asked for a raise of $5 an hour now, as well as an annual raise of $3 an hour for the next three years, but no deal was reached by the time contracts expired on June 30. The union's first strike was held over Fourth of July weekend, with thousands of service workers walking out across Los Angeles and Orange counties. Union officials told the Los Angeles Times they do not have an end date for the current strike, and more are scheduled for later this week at other hotels.

The Los Angeles Times

7. Florida ocean temperatures hit mid-90s amid record heatwave

Surface ocean temperatures around parts of Florida hit the mid-90s over the weekend, and water temperatures off Johnson Key came close to 97 degrees Monday evening. Florida is also sweltering under a record-shattering heat dome that has kept heat index temperatures hitting 100 degrees and higher for the past 30 days. "The water is so warm you really can't cool off," said National Weather Service meteorologist Andrew Orrison. The warmer coastal ocean water, also prevalent in other parts of the Gulf of Mexico and the Southwest Atlantic, is keeping Florida hotter and more humid, bleaching coral reefs and increasing the chances of devastating hurricanes later in the summer.

The Associated Press The Washington Post

8. Top suspect in transformative 1982 Tylenol cyanide murders dies

The top suspect in a rash of unsolved 1982 murders in Chicago involving cyanide-laced Tylenol capsules died at his home in Massachusetts on Sunday, police said Monday. The laced Tylenol, which killed seven people over three days, led to a panicked nationwide recall and an overhaul of over-the-counter drug safety rules, including the introduction of tamper-resistant packaging. James W. Lewis, 76, was charged and convicted of attempted extortion after he confessed to sending Tylenol maker Johnson & Johnson a letter demanding $1 million to "stop the killing," and he gave the FBI a detailed account of how the killer might have put cyanide inside the painkiller capsules. But while he spent 12 years in prison for extortion, he denied poisoning the capsules and was never charged in the murders.

The Associated Press The Washington Post

9. Threads hits 100 million sign-ups

Threads, Meta's Twitter competitor, hit 100 million sign-ups over the weekend, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced Monday, less than a week after its launch. Zuckerberg said it is "mostly organic demand," as the company hasn't "turned on many promotions yet." Twitter does appear to be taking a hit — online activity tracker SimilarWeb found that on the first two full days Threads was available, Twitter traffic was down 5% compared to the same two days of the previous week. Looking at year over year numbers, traffic was down 11%. Twitter said that in June, it had about 535 million monthly active users. Threads users must also have an Instagram account, and Meta said the platform has more than 2 billion monthly users.

The Wall Street Journal

10. Northwestern fires football coach after hazing revelations

Northwestern University fired head football coach Pat Fitzgerald on Monday after an independent investigation corroborated disturbing reports of "sexualized" hazing, university President Michael Schill said in a statement. "The hazing we investigated was widespread and clearly not a secret within the program, providing Coach Fitzgerald with the opportunity to learn what was happening." Fitzgerald, a former star linebacker at Northwestern and the winningest football coach in school history, told ESPN on Monday he had "no knowledge whatsoever of any form of hazing" and has retained an attorney to "take the necessary steps to protect my rights in accordance with the law." A former football player described a hazing ritual called "running" to The Daily Northwestern in an article published Saturday.

USA Today The Washington Post

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.