Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: July 9, 2022

World leaders react to Abe assassination, Elon Musk tries to back out of Twitter deal, and more

1

World leaders react to Abe's assassination

Monarchs, presidents, and prime ministers around the world paid tribute to former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after he was assassinated Friday. Queen Elizabeth II said Abe's "love for Japan, and his desire to forge ever-closer bonds with the United Kingdom, were clear." King Abdullah II of Jordan called Abe a "great leader" and a "true friend." President Biden said the long-serving prime minister's death was "a tragedy for Japan and for all who knew him." Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky offered his "deepest condolences." Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared Saturday a national day of mourning for Abe, while Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese hailed him as "a giant on the world stage."

2

Elon Musk tries to back out of Twitter deal

Elon Musk is trying to cancel his $44 billion deal to buy Twitter, according to a letter sent to the social media company on Musk's behalf on Friday. The letter alleges that Twitter breached the terms of the merger agreement by failing to provide accurate data on the number of spam and bot accounts on the platform. Therefore, the letter continues, Musk plans to exercise his "right to terminate the Merger Agreement and abandon the transaction contemplated thereby." Shares of Twitter dropped 4.8 percent in after-hours trading when news of Musk's letter broke. Twitter board chair Bret Taylor said the company will pursue legal action to prevent Musk from backing out.

3

U.S. adds better-than-expected 372,000 jobs in June

Labor Department said Friday the U.S. added 372,000 jobs in June, while the unemployment rate stayed the same at 3.6 percent. "Notable job gains occurred in professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and health care," the Bureau of Labor Statistics said. It was seen as a solid number, especially because experts were predicting closer to 250,000 jobs would be added for June. In May, the U.S. added 384,000 jobs.

4

Sri Lankan protesters storm president’s home

Protesters stormed the residence of Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Saturday amid ongoing protests against a government struggling to deal with the country's economic crisis. Rajapaksa, whose family has dominated Sri Lankan politics for much of the past two decades, was reportedly evacuated from the presidential residence the previous day. Sri Lanka is facing severe shortages of fuel, food, and medicine. Foreign exchange reserves, which could be used to buy these essentials from other countries, have dried up entirely.

5

NYC is 'epicenter' of monkeypox outbreak as cases surge

Monkeypox cases are surging in New York City after health officials reported that 141 residents tested positive for the orthopoxvirus on Wednesday, the genus to which the disease belongs. The virus spreads by way of skin-to-skin contact with infected individuals, including — though not exclusively — through sex. Symptoms of the virus are similar to the flu, and often involve a fever along with painful lesions on the body that turn into scabs over the weeks. Across the U.S., there have been at least 605 cases, almost 20 percent of them in New York City. City officials believe that the recent 50 percent uptick in cases stems from June's Pride month celebrations

6

Biden signs executive order aimed at safeguarding abortion rights

President Biden on Friday signed an executive order aimed at protecting access to abortion and other reproductive health care services now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned. Per the administration's fact sheet, the order "builds on the actions" the White House has already taken by protecting access to abortion and contraception; guarding patient privacy; promoting safety and security for patients, providers, and clinics; and coordinating federal efforts to safeguard reproductive rights. In more specific terms, the order directs Health and Human Services to expand access to abortion pills, fortify birth control coverage under Obamacare, and organize free legal services for those that have been criminally charged for seeking out or providing an abortion.

7

Use of most ballot drop boxes banned by Wisconsin Supreme Court

In a 4-3 ruling on Friday, the Wisconsin Supreme Court voted to prohibit most absentee voter ballot drop boxes in the state, a decision conservatives hailed as a victory. The court's conservative majority ruled that state law requires an absentee ballot be either returned by mail, or delivered to the local election office by the voter. The ruling did not mention whether someone voting absentee by mail must put his or her own ballot in the mailbox. The new requirements arrive just over a month out from the state's Aug. 9 primary, where state Gov. Tony Evers (D) and Sen. Ron Johnson (R) are both seeking re-election.

8

Canadian telecom company restores service after 19-hour outage

Rogers Telecommunications, a Canadian telecom giant, said late Friday that its network was beginning to recover after a 19-hour outage disrupted service for millions of Canadians across the country. Ontario and Quebec were especially hard hit. Families and businesses that relied on Rogers found themselves unable to access banking services or even make 911 calls. "Today we let you down. We can and will do better," Rogers President and CEO Tony Staffieri said in a statement.

9

Steve Bannon targeted by 'swatting' incident as Trump considers waiving executive privilege

Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon was "swatted" on Friday when someone made a 911 call claiming that someone had been shot at Bannon's Washington, D.C., home and that the gunman was still inside. Heavily armed police arrived and blocked off several streets near the Capitol and Supreme Court, but the situation was soon resolved. This incident comes as former President Donald Trump reportedly considers waiving his claim of executive privilege for Bannon, which could clear the way for the former Breitbart head to testify before the Jan. 6 committee. Bannon is awaiting trial on contempt of Congress charges after refusing to respond to the committee's subpoena.

10

Morton's defends Kavanaugh's 'right' to 'eat dinner' without being 'harassed' by protesters

Morton's Steakhouse defended Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in a statement published Friday after abortion rights protesters forced Kavanaugh to leave the Morton's in downtown Washington, D.C., via the back door on Wednesday. Protesters gathered outside the restaurant and demanded that the manager kick Kavanaugh out. The justice, who cast a vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, reportedly finished his meal but left without ordering dessert. Morton's said in a statement that Kavanaugh and the other patrons "were unduly harassed by unruly protestors" and that politics "should not trample the freedom at play of the right to congregate and eat dinner."

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