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5 things to know for July 7: Coronavirus, election, Supreme Court, Hong Kong, police

Here’s what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.

(You can also get “5 Things You Need to Know Today” delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)

1. Coronavirus

2. Election

Despite the pandemic, President Trump is employing a reelection strategy of divisive rhetoric with inflammatory speeches, tweets and statements. He recently condemned NASCAR’s decision to ban the Confederate flag and called to preserve statues of Confederate generals who took up arms against the US, among other claims that American history is under attack. The President is pinning his hopes for another four years on the idea that his silent majority of voters in rural parts of swing states and in the suburbs will respond to his warnings, writes CNN’s Stephen Collinson. But his support among well-educated voters is eroding — and recent national and district-level polls suggest that voters souring on Trump could turn on Republican congressional candidates, too.

3. Supreme Court

The Supreme Court dealt a major blow to the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline. Though the justices cleared the way for many pipeline projects to proceed while environmental reviews are done, they ruled that the Keystone XL Pipeline must still undergo the lengthy permitting and regulation process. That would force major delays and could jeopardize the existence of the pipeline itself, pending the outcome of the 2020 election. Trump has moved to advance the pipeline, but Joe Biden has pledged to rescind the permit if he wins. Separately, the Supreme Court ruled that states can punish members of the Electoral College who break a pledge to vote for a state’s popular vote winner in presidential elections. The case comes just as election season is heating up.

4. Hong Kong

Concerns about censorship are growing in Hong Kong, after schools were ordered to remove books and teaching materials that could violate the sweeping national security law imposed by China. The move came on the same day police were given expansive new investigative and surveillance powers over Hong Kong and its citizens as they carry out operations related to the security law. That law dramatically broadens the powers of local and mainland authorities to investigate, prosecute and punish dissenters. It’s been met with fierce resistance in some parts of the city. In light of these events, the popular social media app TikTok announced it would leave Hong Kong. Separately, the US is considering banning Chinese social media apps, including TikTok, as tensions between Washington and Beijing grow.

5. Police

Protests are ramping up in Phoenix again after officers shot and killed a man in a parked car during a July 4 incident captured on bystander video. The video shows police threatening to shoot the man before firing a barrage of bullets into the vehicle. Police said the man was armed with a handgun, although his sister disputes that. The fatal shooting comes as protesters nationwide have been demonstrating against police violence. Meanwhile, Georgia’s governor declared a state of emergency and activated as many as 1,000 National Guard members, citing “weeks of dramatically increased violent crime and property destruction” in Atlanta. The governor’s statement says more than 30 Georgians were wounded by gunfire over the holiday weekend, including an 8-year-old girl and four others who died.


Charlie Daniels has died

The country music star, best known for the hit “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” was 83.

These sports teams could be next to change their names

The Washington Redskins and the Cleveland Indians aren’t the only ones under pressure.

A woman who allegedly coughed on a baby no longer has her school district job

Let’s all agree to not cough on babies … or anyone else, for that matter.

Chinese authorities confirm a case of bubonic plague in Inner Mongolia

As if the world hasn’t been through enough this year.

An Italian glacier is turning pink

Unfortunately, “watermelon snow” is not as fun as it sounds.

Meet the ‘tiny bug slayer,’ an ancient relative of giant dinosaurs

You’d think the ancestors of dinosaurs would sound a bit more formidable.



That’s the square footage of a Breonna Taylor mural painted in a historically Black neighborhood of Annapolis, Maryland, over the Fourth of July weekend.


“There’s so much uncertainty. It’s very frustrating. If I have to go back to Mexico, I am able to go back, but many international students just can’t.”

Valeria Mendiola, a 26-year-old graduate student at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. She’s among the international students in the US who may either have to leave or risk deportation if their universities switch to online-only courses.



A small pup gets a grooming

Find a cuter video out there, we dare you. (Click here to view.)

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