Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: July 4, 2021

Surfside search and rescue paused for demolition preparations, At least 29 killed in Philippines military plane crash, and more


Surfside search and rescue paused for demolition preparations

Search and rescue efforts were paused Saturday in Surfside, Florida, as crews began to prepare for the demolition of the remaining part of the Champlain Towers South condominium building more than a week after the structure collapsed, killing at least 24 people. More than 120 people remain unaccounted for, but no survivors have been found since the day of the collapse. Plans remain fluid when it comes to the precise timing of the demolition, but there is concern that Tropical Storm Elsa, which is expected to hit South Florida early next week could bring down the rest of the structure, endangering the search and rescue teams.


At least 29 killed in Philippines military plane crash

At least 29 people were killed on Sunday after a Philippines Air Force plane crashed while landing on Jolo Island. The Lockheed C130 Hercules, provided by the U.S. government earlier this year, was carrying 96 people, 50 of whom survived and were taken to a hospital, while 17 others are still missing. "A number of soldiers were seen jumping out of the aircraft before it hit the ground sparing them from the explosion caused by the crash," the Joint Task Force Sulu said in a statement, per Reuters. The soldiers were being deployed to their battalions in the southern Philippines as part of the country's fight against militants in the region. There is reportedly no indication the plane was attacked, though an investigation into the crash is not yet underway.


Trump holds rally in Sarasota

Former President Donald Trump hosted a rally in Sarasota, Florida, on Saturday night during which he addressed the recent fraud and conspiracy charges filed against the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg. "It's a terrible, terrible thing," Trump told his supporters, arguing that New York City prosecutors were engaging in misconduct. "They've mobilized every power of government to come after me, my family, my wonderful employees, and my company solely because of politics," he said. Aside from the indictment, Trump repeated false claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election. He also left the door open for a run in 2024, but again stopped short of a definitive answer.


Tropical Storm Elsa weakens

Tropical Storm Elsa weakened Sunday as it moves toward Jamaica and Cuba after hitting parts of the Dominican Republic and Haiti on Saturday night, the National Hurricane Center said. Maximum sustained winds have dropped to 65 miles per hour, but Jamaica and Cuba could still experience hurricane conditions later Sunday if Elsa strengthens again as it passes over warmer waters. After that the forecast gets murky, but the storm could bring heavy rain and strong winds to South Florida. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has issued a state of emergency for 15 counties.


Biden announces investigation into latest ransomware attack

President Biden on Saturday announced United States intelligence agencies will investigate the latest ransomware attack against Kaseya, an international software provider, that hit many businesses across the globe — in Sweden, for instance, the grocery chain Coop had to shut 800 stores after its cash register system stopped working. Huntress, a security company, alleges the ransomware gang REvil, which recently targeted the meat packer JBS, is behind the attack. REvil has links to Russia, but Biden said Saturday that "the initial thinking" is that the Kremlin was not behind the Kaseya strike, though he added, "we're not sure yet."


Police arrest 11 after interstate standoff with militia in Massachusetts

A section of Interstate 95 in Massachusetts was shut down on Saturday as police were locked in a standoff with a group of heavily armed men from a militia group known as Rise of the Moors for more than nine hours. Law enforcement arrested 11 of the men, and the situation eventually resolved "through a combination of negotiation and tactical measures," Massachusetts State Police Col. Christopher Mason said. The incident began around 1:30 a.m. on Saturday after a state trooper saw two cars pulled over on 1-95 with their hazard lights on and men refilling their gas tanks with their own fuel. The officer then realized they were wearing military-style uniforms and carrying guns. One of the members of the militia hosted a livestream on YouTube during the events, claiming the group was not hostile.


Rescue teams find survivors after landslide in Japan

Rescue teams have successfully pulled survivors from their buried homes on Sunday after a landslide struck Atami, Japan, on Saturday. Authorities said an elderly couple were among those rescued so far. Several people remain missing and two people have been confirmed killed. The mudslide occurred after days of torrential rain across central and eastern Japan, with Atami experiencing as much rainfall in three days as it usually does over the course of a typical July. The rain has continued during the rescue efforts, and risks of floods and landslides remain.


Vatican judge indicts 10, including cardinal

A Vatican judge on Saturday indicted 10 people, including Cardinal Angelo Becciu, for a series of alleged financial crimes. Pope Francis, as required by Church law, personally approved the court's decision to investigate and indict the 73-year-old Becciu, who faces charges of embezzlement, abuse of office, and bribery. The alleged crimes involve using charity money for personal investments in the fossil fuel industry in Angola and the purchase and sale of a "grossly overestimated"-priced property in London, among other things. Becciu, who was stripped of his rights and privileges as a cardinal last year just two years after being elevated by Francis, has maintained his innocence and claimed Saturday that he was the victim of a "conspiracy."


Tyson Foods recalls 8.5 million pounds of frozen chicken

Tyson Foods is recalling around 8.5 million pounds of frozen, cooked chicken products due to concerns of possible listeria contamination, the company and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Safety Inspection Service announced Saturday night. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also issued a food safety alert. It's not clear if the chicken is actually linked to a listeria outbreak that has caused three illnesses and one death, but Tyson is "taking this precautionary step out of an abundance of caution," Scott Brooks, the company's senior vice president, food safety and quality assurance, said in a statement. Each package of the recalled products has the establishment code P-7089, and a list of the retailers that sold them will be posted on the USDA website in the future, Tyson said.


Bucks defeat Hawks, advance to NBA Finals

The Milwaukee Bucks advanced to the NBA Finals on Saturday night after defeating the Atlanta Hawks, 118-107 in Game 6 of the East Conference finals. They did so without their star and two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo who was out with a knee injury. Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday led the way with 32 and 27 points, respectively. Atlanta's star Trae Young returned to the lineup for the first time since going down with an ankle injury in Game 3, but had a tough shooting night, finishing 4 for 17 from the field. Milwaukee is making its trip as a franchise to the Finals since 1974, and they'll look to capture their first title since 1971 when they square off against the Phoenix Suns. The seven-game series begins on Tuesday.


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