- 1. At least 21 civilians dead after Russia strikes near Odesa
- 2. Kentucky man charged after shootout that left 3 cops dead
- 3. Google will delete location history for visits to abortion clinics
- 4. Biden to award Medal of Freedom to Simone Biles, John McCain, and 15 others
- 5. New York lawmakers move to restrict concealed carry and add abortion rights to state constitution
- 6. Airlines face latest test in July 4th weekend rush
- 7. TikTok announces plan to protect users' data security
- 8. Tractor-trailer used in deadly smuggling attempt passed through checkpoint
- 9. WNBA star Brittney Griner's trial starts in Russia
- 10. Pope cancels visit to Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, citing health issues
1. At least 21 civilians dead after Russia strikes near Odesa
Rescue workers began searching in the rubble of destroyed buildings in Serhiivka, Ukraine, on Friday, after Russian missile explosions killed at least 21 civilians, including children, and injured at least 38. Serhiivka is located on the Black Sea coast about 50 miles southwest of the port of Odesa. The explosions there marked one of the deadliest attacks on civilians since the Russian invasion began in February. Yevhen Yenin, Ukraine's deputy minister of internal affairs, said Russia's "aim is to scare the Ukrainian people and put an end to our resistance. But the effect is the opposite. We will never surrender. This is our land."
2. Kentucky man charged after shootout that left 3 cops dead
A Kentucky man was charged Friday with several counts of murder of a police officer, attempted murder of a police officer, and assaulting a service animal. Lance Storz, 49, reportedly opened fire on police Thursday night as they attempted to serve a domestic violence warrant, killing three officers and a K9 and wounding three officers and a civilian. The officers who died in the shootout have been identified as Capt. Ralph Frasure and Officer Jacob Chaffins of the Prestonsburg Police Department and Deputy William Petry of the Floyd County Sheriff's Department. The K9 killed was a two-year-old Belgian Malinois named Nelson.
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3. Google will delete location history for visits to abortion clinics
Google announced Friday that it would delete location data for users' visits to abortion clinics as well as to "particularly personal" locations such as domestic violence shelters, counseling centers, cosmetic surgery clinics, and fertility centers. "If our systems identify that someone has visited one of these places, we will delete these entries from Location History soon after they visit," senior Google executive Jen Fitzpatrick said in a blog post. This announcement comes as abortion rights advocates raise concerns that location data and data from menstrual tracking apps could be used by police when investigating whether an illegal abortion has taken place.
4. Biden to award Medal of Freedom to Simone Biles, John McCain, and 15 others
The White House announced Friday that President Biden will award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to 17 people, some posthumously. The recipients include gymnast Simone Biles, former congressmember Gabby Giffords, Khizr Khan, soccer star Megan Rapinoe, actor Denzel Washington, former Sen. Alan Simpson, civil rights advocate Raúl Yzaguirre, Brigadier General Wilma Vaught, civil rights organizer Diane Nash, Father Alexander Karloutsos, civil rights attorney Fred Gray, former University of Texas at Brownsville president Julieta Garcia, Catholic social justice leader Sister Simone Campbell, and the nurse who received the first COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S., Sandra Lindsay. Biden will also posthumously award Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, Sen. John McCain, and longtime AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka.
5. New York lawmakers move to restrict concealed carry and add abortion rights to state constitution
New York lawmakers moved to restrict where concealed firearms can be carried and to enshrine the right to an abortion in the state constitution during an extraordinary legislative session that stretched from Thursday into Friday evening. "We're not going backwards," Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) said. "They may think they can change our lives with the stroke of a pen, but we have pens, too." This session came in response to a pair of Supreme Court decisions announced last week. One struck down a New York law that prevented people from obtaining concealed carry permits due to a general desire for self-defense, while the other returned the issue of abortion to the states.
6. Airlines face latest test in July 4th weekend rush
Airlines that have struggled with canceled and delayed flights over the last two holidays face a fresh test of their ability to handle crowds as travelers flock to airports over the Fourth of July weekend. Air travel has rebounded to near-pre-pandemic levels. Thunderstorms caused sporadic disruptions in the days before the weekend rush. American Airlines had to scrap 8 percent of its Tuesday and Wednesday flights, according to FlightAware. United Airlines canceled 4 percent.
7. TikTok announces plan to protect users' data security
Video sharing app TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, will delete all U.S. users' protected data from its servers and rely entirely on servers controlled by Oracle, the company said in a letter Friday. TikTok told a group of Republican senators who raised concerns about the app that, under current policies, China-based employees "can have access to TikTok US user data" but that this access is subject to "robust cybersecurity controls and authorization approval protocols." Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr has urged Apple and Google to remove TikTok from their app stores, citing concerns that Americans' user data could fall into the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.
8. Tractor-trailer used in deadly smuggling attempt passed through checkpoint
The 18-wheeler used in a human-smuggling attempt that left 53 people dead inside its sweltering trailer traveled through an inland U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint with 73 migrants inside. A U.S official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it wasn't immediately clear whether the vehicle was stopped or passed unimpeded through the checkpoint on Interstate 35, 26 miles northeast of the border city of Laredo, Texas. Four suspects have been arrested in connection with the tragedy.
9. WNBA star Brittney Griner's trial starts in Russia
U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner's trial started Friday in a Russian court. Griner, who plays for the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury, was arrested on drug smuggling charges after Russian authorities accused her of trying to carry cannabis vape cartridges through security in a Moscow airport. She could face 10 years in prison if convicted. Griner was detained in February, less than a week after Russia invaded Ukraine. Her wife, Cherelle, has said Griner is "a political pawn," and called for President Biden to negotiate her release.
10. Pope cancels visit to Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, citing health issues
Pope Francis announced in a video message released Saturday that he was canceling a planned trip to South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) due to severe knee pain. The pope has been publicly using a wheelchair for the past two months. "My dear Congolese and South Sudanese friends, words at this time are not enough to convey the closeness I would like to express to you and the affection I feel for you. I would like to say to you: do not let hope be stolen from you!" Francis said. This announcement comes amid speculation that the pontiff may be preparing to resign.
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