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5 things to know for June 29: Condo collapse, coronavirus, SCOTUS, Myanmar, heat wave


By AJ Willingham, CNN

An NCAA panel voted to support an interim policy letting college athletes profit from their name, image and likeness until federal legislation — supported by a recent SCOTUS decision — or new rules are in place.

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. Condo collapse

Investigators are on the scene of the Florida condo collapse, trying to figure out how and why a portion of the building came down. A six-person team of scientists, structural engineers and a geotechnical engineer from the National Institute of Standards and Technology is conducting a preliminary investigation of the collapsed building’s materials, history and applicable building codes at the time it was built, the surrounding ground and other factors. Documents show condo owners were also facing assessments for about $15 million worth of repairs, with payments set to begin a week after the building’s deadly fall. The tragedy has raised haunting questions about building integrity that reach far beyond South Florida. Meanwhile, families are still holding out hope for good news in the agonizing rescue process. So far, 11 people have died and 150 remain missing.

2. Coronavirus

The threat of the Delta variant has some health officials rethinking Covid-19 measures, even among vaccinated people. Experts have said vaccines like those from Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech provide high amounts of protection against the variant, but some warn breakthroughs could become more likely if the virus becomes more prevalent. Already in Los Angeles County, officials have reinstated mask guidance for public indoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status. Other parts of the world are getting even stricter. South Africa has entered at least two weeks of lockdown to combat a third wave of Covid-19 linked to the Delta variant. About 10 million Australians, including residents in four of the country’s eight capital cities, are also under lockdown.

3. LGBTQ rights

The Supreme Court left in place a decision that allowed a transgender student to use the bathroom that corresponded to his gender identity. It is a victory for the LGBTQ community, which worried the conservative-leaning high court would reverse the lower court’s decision. The case originated in Virginia, and the ruling covers several states, which means students in those areas can use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity. The issue is unsettled in other states, and another appeal could conceivably make its way back to the Supreme Court. In related news, California announced it will ban state-funded travel to Arkansas, Florida, Montana, North Dakota and West Virginia over what it deems anti-LGBTQ laws recently enacted there.

4. Myanmar

The Myanmar military’s vise-like grip on power is creating difficult and unexpected conundrums. Staffers at Myanmar’s dozens of diplomatic posts around the world are faced with the choice of staying in their roles and being forced to represent the junta that has killed hundreds of pro-democracy protesters and locked up democratically elected leaders, or leave and risk placing themselves and their families in danger. A new report reveals the junta has such strong control over the country’s jade trade that it would be “nearly impossible” to buy the gemstone without enriching the generals and their allies. Myanmar produces about 70% of the world’s jade, worth billions of dollars and fueled in large part by demand in neighboring China.

5. Heat wave

The unprecedented heat wave in the US Northwest rages on, painting a harrowing picture of the kind of extreme temperatures the climate crisis will bring. Portland has set all-time high temperature records, topping out yesterday at 115 degrees. Seattle also reached a record high of 107 degrees. Outdoor venues and services have had to close, and at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, the US Olympic track and field trials were suspended Sunday due to extreme heat. Even more concerning, a lack of air conditioning in some major cities has exacerbated health concerns. Experts say the Pacific Northwest isn’t prepared for heat of this caliber.


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That’s how many unaccompanied minors US Border Patrol encountered along the southern US border in May. The tally is down slightly from April and March. The Biden administration is now preparing to close some emergency shelters for unaccompanied migrant children that were opened in haste to accommodate a surge of border crossings.


“I represent what they want. They want law, and they want order. And that’s what you want. That’s what this country wants.”

Former President Donald Trump, during a weekend rally in Ohio. Trump has been stoking enthusiasm among his supporters but faces a laundry list of new legal and personal challenges, including new allegations of misconduct in office and new challenges to his false claims of fraud during the 2020 election.


Check your local forecast here>>>


Chow down

As you set your Fourth of July shopping list, indulge in a history of the humble hot dog. (Click here to view.)

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