Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: July 11, 2021

Death Valley potentially ties record temperatures, Haitian first lady makes first public remarks since husband's assassination, and more


Death Valley potentially ties record temperatures

Death Valley, California, recorded high temperatures of 130 degrees Fahrenheit on Friday and 129.4 degrees on Saturday, potentially matching an all-time high from last year as much of the western United States deals with extreme heat. A 134-degree measurement in Death Valley in 1913 is officially considered the hottest recording in history by the World Meteorological Organization, but it remains up for debate. The recent 130-degree recordings were taken with "more reliable equipment," NPR notes. Either way, it can take more than a year to verify the measurements. Meanwhile, wildfires are spreading in Oregon, California, Nevada, and Arizona amid the heatwave.


Haitian first lady makes first public remarks since husband's assassination

Martine Moïse, the widow of former Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, who was assassinated last week, made her first public remarks since the attack as she recovers from her own injuries. "I am alive, thanks to God," Martine Moïse said in an audio message posted to her Twitter account Saturday. The recording was verified by Agence France-Presse. "In the blink of an eye, the mercenaries entered my home and riddled my husband with bullets … without even giving him a chance to say a word," she continued. "I am crying … but we cannot let the country lose its way. We cannot let his blood … have been spilled in vain." Martine Moïse was initially transported from her home to a Haitian hospital and was later flown to Miami, Florida, for more treatment.


Surfside death toll reaches 86

The death toll in the Champlain Towers South collapse in Surfside, Florida, climbed to 86 confirmed fatalities on Saturday, officials said. Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said 62 of the victims have been identified, while 43 people remain potentially unaccounted for, though search teams are no longer expecting to find any survivors. Recovery efforts are continuing at an "intense pace," Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said, and Levine Cava said the efforts will continue as long as crews remain safe.


G-20 agrees to back global minimum corporate tax plan

Finance ministers from the world's 20 largest economies met in Venice, Italy, on Saturday and agreed to support an international tax reform plan that would introduce a global minimum corporate tax rate of at least 15 percent. The long-term goal is to end global tax havens and "force multinational corporations to pay an appropriate share of tax wherever they operate," The New York Times writes. The G-20 meetings follow a previous breakthrough last week when 130 countries backed a framework for the new tax strategy, which, in addition to the minimum tax, would implement new rules that would force multinationals, including the likes of Amazon and Facebook, to pay taxes in countries where their goods or services are sold, even if they're not physically based there. Some countries with low tax rates, like Ireland, have not agreed to the plan.


Abiy's party wins Ethiopian election in landslide

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's ruling Prosperity Party won the country's elections in a landslide, taking 410 out of the 436 seats in parliament, the election board said Saturday. Abiy, subsequently, has secured another five-year term in office. There are concerns about the election's integrity, however, with opposition parties claiming that a government crackdown against their officials prevented them from preparing for the elections. Polls were not held in several areas because of security concerns and logistical problems, including the Tigray region, the site of a significant armed conflict. Another round of voting for the affected areas is scheduled for September, though no date has been set for Tigray, BBC notes.


China, North Korea promise to strengthen ties

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping affirmed their plan to strengthen ties between the two countries on Sunday, with Kim telling Xi in a message that it is the "fixed stand" of his government to "ceaselessly develop the friendly and cooperative relations" between Pyongyang and Beijing. In his own message, Xi said he hopes to "lead bilateral relations to unceasingly rise to new levels to the benefit of the two countries and their peoples." Per The Associated Press, North Korea has been expected to seek greater support from its longstanding ally amid economic hardship stemming from the coronavirus pandemic and U.S.-led sanctions.


8 arrested in aftermath of Bangladesh factory fire

Authorities in Bangladesh on Saturday arrested eight people over a factory fire that killed at least 52 people last week. Among those arrested were the chair and managing director of the Sajeeb Group, which owns the factory, Bangladesh's Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said. Khan described what happened to the workers as "murder." Investigations have reportedly found that the main exit of the factory was padlocked, trapping those inside, and there were reportedly several other safety violations at the site. Another investigation has also been launched into the use of child labor at the factory after children between 11- and 14-years-old were found to be working there.


Richard Branson set to fly to edge of space

Billionaire Richard Branson is scheduled to travel to the edge of space Sunday morning where he will be able to experience weightlessness and view earth from the spacecraft VSS Unity, which will be carried initially by a Virgin Galactic airplane. The plane is expected to release Unity about 8.5 miles above Earth, and Unity will then travel to an altitude of more than 50 miles on its own. Branson believes the flight will usher in an era of commercial space industry. Indeed, Jeff Bezos is planning to travel to space on board a Blue Origin rocket later this month, and Elon Musk's SpaceX is aiming to fly civilians into space later this year, as well.


England, Italy square off for European soccer championship

England and Italy will square in the final of the 2020 UEFA European Championship on Sunday at 3:00 p.m. ET on ESPN. The game will be held at London's Wembley Stadium. It's a significant moment for both teams. England's national soccer team hasn't reached the final of a major tournament since 1966, when they won the World Cup on their home soil. Meanwhile, a revamped Italy squad is looking to cap an impressive return to form after failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. Elsewhere in the soccer world, Argentina defeated Brazil on Saturday night to capture the 2021 Copa América title, giving Lionel Messi the first international trophy of his storied career.


Barty wins 1st Wimbledon crown, Djokovic seeks 20th Grand Slam title

Ashleigh Barty, the world's No. 1 women's tennis player, won her first Wimbledon crown on Saturday, defeating Karolina Pliskova, 6-3, 6-7, 6-3. It was the second Grand Slam win for the 25-year-old Australian, following her 2019 French Open victory. On the men's side, top-ranked Novak Djokovic is seeking to win his 20th Grand Slam title, which would tie him with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for the most all time. A victory would also give the 34-year-old Serbian his third major tournament trophy this year. His match with Matteo Berrettini is underway.


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