10 things you need to know today: August 6, 2022
Indiana governor signs abortion ban, July jobs report significantly beats expectations, and more
Indiana governor signs abortion ban
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) on Friday signed into law a bill that bans nearly all abortions in the state with no gestational limit. The law includes exceptions for rape, incest, lethal fetal abnormality, or serious health risk to the pregnant woman. The rape and incest exceptions, which were hotly debated among Indiana Republicans, would not require a woman seeking an abortion to file a police report. In a statement, Holcomb struck a conciliatory note, praising the bill's "carefully negotiated exceptions" and promising an "open ear" to pro-choice Hoosiers. He also touted the legislation's "nearly $100 million in long overdue increased funding to support the health of our Hoosier mothers and babies."
July jobs report significantly beats expectations
The U.S. economy added significantly more jobs in July than expected. The Labor Department said Friday 528,000 jobs were added last month, whereas economists were expecting around 250,000. This was also up from 398,000 jobs added in June, a number that was revised in the latest report. The unemployment rate declined to 3.5 percent, the same level as in February 2020, before the pandemic began to shut down the economy. "Job growth was widespread, led by gains in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, and health care," the Labor Department said.
China escalates military drills, sanctions Pelosi over Taiwan trip
China continued air and sea military drills in waters near Taiwan on Friday and announced unspecified sanctions against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as tensions continued to escalate over her trip to the self-governing island, which Beijing considers part of its territory. Taiwan's Defense Ministry called the drills "highly provocative." Pelosi, wrapping up her Asia tour in Japan, said Friday in Tokyo that China cannot isolate Taiwan by preventing American officials from visiting the country. China, which doesn't want foreign governments to engage with Taiwan, said Pelosi's trip undermined its sovereignty.
Alex Jones must pay $45.2 million in punitive damages, jury decides
A Texas jury on Friday decided that conspiracy theorist Alex Jones must pay $45.2 million in punitive damages in a lawsuit brought by the parents of a child killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre. Jones falsely claimed that the mass shooting was a hoax designed to justify new gun control measures. "We ask that you send a very, very simple message, and that is: stop Alex Jones. Stop the monetization of misinformation and lies," Wesley Todd Ball, an attorney for the plaintiffs, told the jury Friday before they began deliberations.
Ukraine blames Russian shelling for damage to Russian-held nuclear plant
Ukraine's nuclear agency, Energoatom, said that Russian shelling on Friday had damaged a nitrogen-oxygen unit and a high-voltage power line at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. There was no radiation leak, but one of the site's six reactors had to be disconnected from the power grid, Energoatom said. Russia, which has controlled the Zaporizhzhia plant since early March, blamed the damage on a Ukrainian artillery strike.
GOP Rep. Dan Newhouse survives primary after voting to impeach Trump
Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.), one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, survived his primary after being declared the winner on Friday. Newhouse faced challenges from Trump-endorsed former gubernatorial candidate Loren Culp and former NASCAR driver Jerrod Sessler. In Washington, primary candidates from all parties compete on the same ballot, with the top two advancing to the general election. Newhouse led the pack with 25.5 percent of the vote. Democrat Doug White trailed him by just 140 votes, followed by Culp (21.1 percent), Sessler (12.1 percent), and four other Republicans.
Israeli airstrikes in Gaza kill 11, including Islamic Jihad leader and 5-year-old girl
Israel launched a series of airstrikes against targets in the Gaza Strip on Friday, killing 11 people. Palestine's health ministry said that among the dead was a 5-year-old girl, while a spokesperson for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) confirmed that one of the group's leaders had been killed. Israeli caretaker Prime Minister Yair Lapid said the strikes — known as "Operation Breaking Dawn" — were carried out following an "immediate threat" from PIJ after one of its leaders was arrested earlier in the week. PIJ responded by launching at least 100 rockets into Israel, most of which were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.
John Leguizamo slams decision to cast James Franco as Fidel Castro
Actor John Leguizamo took to Instagram Friday and Saturday to slam the casting of James Franco as Cuban revolutionary and dictator Fidel Castro in the upcoming independent film Alina of Cuba. "How is this still going on? How is Hollywood [not only] excluding us but stealing our narratives as well? No more appropriation Hollywood and streamers! Boycott! This F'd up!" he declared, adding that he had no personal animus against Franco. The Super Mario Bros. actor followed up on Saturday. "Latin exclusion in Hollywood is real! Don't get it twisted! Long long history of it! And appropriation of our stories even longer! Why can't Latinxers play Latin roles?" he wrote.
Amazon to buy Roomba maker for $1.7 billion
Amazon will buy Roomba maker iRobot for $61 a share, or $1.7 billion in total, the companies announced Friday. "Customers love iRobot products — and I'm excited to work with the iRobot team to invent in ways that make customers' lives easier and more enjoyable," said Amazon hardware devices chief Dave Limp. In addition to the popular robot vacuum, Amazon is also buying iRobot's trove of data, which includes digital maps of users' homes. This announcement comes just weeks after Amazon purchased healthcare provider One Medical for $3.9 billion.
Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson break up after 9 months together
Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson broke up earlier this week, according to sources close to the former couple. "Part of the reason they split was because of their busy schedules," one insider said. "They both travel all the time and it was hard." The two began their relationship in October 2021 in the midst of Kardashian's divorce from rapper Kanye West, to whom she had been married since 2014. That divorce is still "moving ahead," another source said.