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5 things to know for July 30: Covid-19, immigration, climate, voting rights, Iran


By AJ Willingham, CNN

Amazon’s earnings dipped when Jeff Bezos stepped down as CEO earlier this month. Now it’s up to new CEO Andy Jassy to keep the company’s profits flying high. 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

The Delta coronavirus variant appears to cause more severe illness and spread as easily as chickenpox, and fully vaccinated people might spread it at the same rate as unvaccinated people. (Remember, vaccines don’t prevent all infections, and people can be asymptomatic carriers of the disease.) This dire information comes from an unpublished, internal CDC document. The agency is expected to release new data today that backs up its decision earlier this week to issue stricter mask guidance. The US averaged more than 66,000 new daily cases over the last week, according to Johns Hopkins University data — an average that’s generally risen since the country hit a 2021 low of 11,299 daily cases.

2. Immigration

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has signed an executive order directing state troopers to stop any vehicle if there is “reasonable suspicion” that it is being used to transport migrants released from the custody of US Customs and Border Protection. Abbott says it is a public health measure, and has repeatedly tried to link a rise in Covid-19 cases in the state to border crossings. However, Abbott has pushed back against other measures like mask mandates, vaccine requirements and testing for immigrants released from custody. Attorney General Merrick Garland has threatened action against Abbott’s order. At the border, frustration is growing amid immigration advocacy groups over federal immigration restrictions put in place at the beginning of the pandemic that haven’t been lifted under the Biden administration.

3. Wildfires

The long-running drought and oppressive heat that have been plaguing the western US for weeks have gotten even worse in recent days, intensifying wildfire risks and pushing temperatures to triple digits. Nearly half of California is currently suffering “exceptional drought,” which is the worst category designated by the US Drought Monitor. The Bootleg Fire in Oregon has been raging for almost a month, and was only 53% contained yesterday. The governors of California and Nevada are pleading with the government for more federal assistance to fight the heat and the blazes. Today, President Joe Biden will meet with seven governors from the region to discuss efforts to strengthen wildfire prevention, preparedness, mitigation and response efforts. They’ll also talk about increasing pay and hiring for some firefighters.

4. Voting rights

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi plan to meet with President Joe Biden to discuss moving forward on voting rights legislation. Several states have enacted or are trying to enact restrictive voting laws, raising the call in Washington to put some kind of federal protections in place. It would be a long row to hoe — little GOP support for the idea means a voting rights bill has virtually no chance of passing under the current 60-vote filibuster threshold in the Senate. The new wave of voting restrictions has been influenced by former President Donald Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was illegitimate. Currently, in Arizona, a controversial ballot review in the state’s largest county is being privately funded to the tune of $5.7 million — mostly from organizations tied to people aligned with Trump.

5. Iran

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says time is running out on negotiations with Tehran over the Iran nuclear deal. The Biden administration has been engaging in indirect talks with Iran with the goal of returning to the nuclear deal that Trump pulled the US from in 2018. He then applied a slew of sanctions that made it impossible for Tehran to reap any of the economic benefits the deal promised, and Iran in response began violating the terms of the agreement. However, Blinken says the talks can’t go on forever without eventually leading to diminished returns.


Woman posed as gemologist and swapped diamonds for pebbles in elaborate $5.8 million heist

It would have been impressive, actually … had she not gotten caught.

‘The Green Knight’ puts a dream-like spin on Arthurian legend

Weekend movie plans, made.

Fans are all ‘???’ about Fred Durst’s new look 

Who knew he had so much hair? And is that … a horseshoe mustache?!

McDonald’s is partnering with hip-hop artist Saweetie for its next celebrity meal

And they’re calling the sauce “Saweetie and Sour,” which is adorable.

The hard seltzer craze has come to an end as sales go flat

It’s the perfect solution for when you want an alcoholic beverage, but don’t want to taste the alcohol … or the beverage.


US gymnast Suni Lee won the Olympic all-around, extending the United States’ 17-year winning streak in the category. Lee is also the first Hmong American to compete in the Olympics. The Hmong people are an ethnic group that originate mainly in China and Southeast Asia.

Follow here for the latest Olympic news and highlights.


$40 million

That’s how much Melinda French Gates and McKenzie Scott have teamed up to give toward advancing the power and influence of American women over the next decade. The donation is being awarded to winners of the Equality Can’t Wait Challenge.


“God wanted me to be the way I am.”

Kenyan runner Maximila (Max) Imali. She is one of several women who have levels of testosterone that the International Association of Athletics Federations has deemed too high for some of the women’s competitions. But Imali and others are still fighting to regain a foothold in the sport they love. Learn more about her situation in this CNN interactive.


Check your local forecast here>>>


Just your type

LEGO has launched a cute typewriter set that looks and moves just like the real thing — once you put the more than 2,000 pieces together, that is. (Click here to view)

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