“The search of former president Trump’s home is a very serious matter. We do not know what evidence the FBI was seeking at Mar-a-Lago, but we do know that obtaining a search warrant requires a judge to have determined there is probable cause to believe there is evidence of a crime at the location being searched, and is unprecedented in the case of a former U.S. president. We also know that the National Archives discovered months ago that the former president mishandled classified documents by removing them from the White House to his Florida home, and that there have been numerous reports of his mishandling classified material while in office. The bottom line is this: tonight’s news reaffirms that in our American democracy, no one is above the law. That includes Donald Trump, even if his behavior often suggests he believes otherwise.”
About People For the American Way People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and build a democratic society that implements the ideals of freedom, equality, opportunity and justice for all. We encourage civic participation, defend fundamental rights, and fight to dismantle systemic barriers to equitable opportunity. Learn more: HERE.
As we surpass the midway point of 2022, it’s safe to say this year has been nothing short of earth-shaking. From the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the landmark ruling in Roe v. Wade, to the devastating number of mass shootings that have struck the United States, 2022 has been full of alarming headlines. Let’s take a look at some of the most prominent stories for the month of July.
Heatwaves in Europe
Recently, many countries in Europe, such as Britain, Italy, France, Spain, Germany have experienced unusually high temperatures, with local highs reaching 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius), which caused numerous wildfires.
Forest fires also broke out in many parts of Italy. One of the fires threatened to cut power and water to parts of the northeastern city of Trieste.
Meanwhile, the homes in Winnington, England were also damaged by the local fire. Some residents say they lost everything in the fire.
Scientists warn that extreme heat is exacerbated by climate change, making heat waves more intense and frequent and that the dry weather is likely to fuel wildfires.
Shinzo Abe dies from two gunshots
On July 8th, former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe suffered a terrorist attack while giving a speech in Nara city. Although Shinzo Abe had been hospitalized soon after being shot, the local fire department reported that he stopped cardiopulmonary function immediately after falling to the ground.
The incident occurred at around 11:30 a.m. local time as Abe made a speech in front of about 30 people near a subway station in Nara city, where he was campaigning for a liberal Democratic Party candidate in the upper house election. An unidentified man shot Abe from his back around 3 meters away. The Nara fire department said Abe lost consciousness, breath, and heartbeat after falling to the ground. Sixty-seven years old Abe was taken by helicopter to a hospital for emergency treatment and declared dead at 5:03 p.m. local time. The Japan Fire and Disaster Management Agency later confirmed that Abe was shot in the left chest and the right side of the neck.
The suspect was arrested at the scene. According to Japanese media reports, the suspect is a man called Tetsuya Yamagami, 41 years old, a resident of Nara. He confessed to killing Abe with his homemade weapon and holding a grudge against a specific religious group. According to Tetsuya Yanagami, he attacked Abe in the end because his original target, one of the leaders of that group, was not there, and Abe was tied to that religious group.
At the end of June, US President Joe Biden signed a gun safety bill, almost one month following the catastrophic Uvalde elementary school massing shooting. The bill entails granting “groups [the ability] to petition courts to remove weapons from people deemed a threat to themselves or others.”
Other details of the bill include halting individuals that have been convicted of domestic abuse to own a gun, as well as increasing background checks on individuals from the ages of 18-to-21-years-old pursuing to purchase a gun.
Jayland Walker murdered in police shooting
25-year-old Jayland Walker was shot dead in a car/foot pursuit after he was stopped by police officers for traffic and equipment violations in Akron, Ohio. Recent video footage from the bodycams of officers involved in the pursuit and on the scene have just been released, and protests have undergone seeking justice surrounding the confrontation.
The chase began when Walker left the scene of a traffic stop on June 27. In the video footage release to the public, narration speaks that “a sound consistent with a gunshot can be heard,” with officers thinking that the noise came from Walker’s car.
After officers continued to pursue Walker, he stopped his car and began to run, while tasers were used to attempt to halt him. Akron Police Chief Stephen Mylett stated that after this, Walker “stopped and quickly turned towards the pursuing officers.” Walker was shot then, pronounced dead at the scene, unarmed.
While the shooting is under investigation, it has been revealed that a medical examiner found that Walker endured around 60 gunshot injuries from officers. Protests have undergone since Walker was killed, continuing to raise more awareness to the scarce gun control in the United States.
9 dead amongst weekend of Chicago shootings
Amidst the holiday weekend of the 4th of July, an array of shootings took place in Chicago, Illinois. A fatal shootout took place on the evening of July 1, and more shootings continued throughout the weekend. The devastating array of shootings left 9 dead and around 57 people suffering gunshot injuries.
Highland Park Fourth of July parade shooting leaves at least 6 dead
A gunman disrupted the Highland Park Fourth of July parade in Illinois this Independence Day. The shooting left an estimated 6 people dead with other two dozen suffering injuries from the catastrophe. The suspected gunman is allegedly a white man between the age of 18- to 20-years-old, and has not been identified yet.
Ukraine news : the latest Russian invasion update
Russia claims to have destroyed a mercenary deployment point in Mykolaiv. Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, Igor Konashenkov, said in his morning war report that the Russian Aerospace Forces attacked this place with high-precision weapons.
Player Brittney Griner’s desperate letter of help to Joe Biden
The WNBA player has been detained in Russia since February and she is accused of carrying cartridges with hashish oil when she was going to take a plane and could face a sentence of 10 years in prison. Brittney wrote to the president of the United States, Joe Biden, and asked for his help to get out of the Russian prison and return to her home as soon as possible.
Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker break the silence on the recent hospitalization of the drummer of Blink 182
The couple wanted to post their opinions about Barker‘s recent hospitalization on their verified social media accounts. “I went in for an endoscopy Monday feeling great,” Barker posted in a note posted on her Instagram stories. “But after dinner, I developed excruciating pain and have been hospitalized ever since.”
Travis explained that during his endoscopy, he had “a very small polyp removed right in a very sensitive area, usually handled by specialists, which unfortunately damaged a critical pancreatic drainage tube.” “This resulted in severe pancreatitis that was life-threatening,” he added. “I am very, very grateful that with the intensive treatment I am now much better.”
Copenhagen: At least 3 dead and several injured in a mass shooting in a shopping mall that occurred this Sunday in Denmark
Prime Minister, Mette Frederiksen, assured that the authorities continue to investigate what happened. “Denmark was hit by a cruel attack on Sunday night. Several were killed. Even more were injured,” she said.
What is known about the attacker? A 22-year-old man was arrested in connection with the attack. On the morning of this Monday (July 4th), the Danish capital’s police chief, Soeren Thomassen, declared that his department does not believe that the attack was a terrorist event and assured that the suspect has a history of mental health problems.
Egypt: closes its beaches in the Red Sea due to a series of shark attacks
The Egyptian authorities closed several beaches on the Red Sea coast due to the death of two tourists due to different shark attacks. The regional governor said one of the victims was a 68-year-old Austrian woman whose arm was ripped off by a shark while she was swimming near the city of Hurghada.
It is rare for sharks to attack people in the Red Sea, but this year, there have been several incidents involving tourists.
British Airways cancels more than 1,000 summer flights from Gatwick and Heathrow
BA will cancel more than 1,000 additional flights this summer from Gatwick and Heathrow as staff shortages continue to affect its operations. More than 100,000 travelers planning to visit popular holiday destinations such as Spain or Portugal will be affected, although British Airways will mainly reduce routes with multiple daily departures.
Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin breaks his silence after being denounced for domestic violence
Through a statement shared on Twitter, Ricky Martin assures that the accusations are “completely false” and that he will face the process responsibly. As it is a case under the Law for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, the Puerto Rico police have not revealed the name of the complainant.
As it is a case under the Law for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, the Puerto Rico police have not revealed the name of the complainant. In this way, his identity has been the subject of numerous speculations. As stated by the Puerto Rican newspaper El Vocero, the order indicates that Ricky Martin and the person who has denounced him were together for seven months and separated two years ago.
The measure aims to “address the current situation with extraordinary means and powers, with relief interventions and assistance to the affected population and restore the functionality of public and strategic services and strategic network infrastructures”, the Italian Government has revealed in a statement picked up by the transalpine press.
Australia’s largest city, Sydney, is affected by flooding
The floods in Sydney affect more than 30,000 inhabitants. Besides, mountainous seas and wild weather along the New South Wales coast thwarted plans to salvage a wrecked cargo ship with 21 crew members. Emergency crews carried out 100 rescues overnight Tuesday of people trapped in cars on flooded roads or in flooded houses in the Sydney area, State Emergency Service manager Ashley Sullivan said.
According to the local authorities, the incident happened shortly after midnight when a group of men armed with rifles and 9-millimeter pistols entered the bar. They shooted at the customers, causing 12 people dead at the scene and 2 more were cleared dead after being sent to the hospital. Police said that the suspects are still on the run.
Days of torrential rain have caused waterways to overflow and dams to overflow, producing a fourth flood emergency in 16 months in parts of the city of 5 million people.
We are facing one of the biggest events of the summer, and many fanatics of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are eager to know how many surprises they will discover within it. Who knows! Perhaps there is not room for so many, at least if we look at the supposed length of the film that would have been leaked by some of the American theater chains, and that would leave us with the shortest Marvel movie since 2018. Are you ready to watch it? Coming soon in cinemas.
UK government crisis
The mismanagement of the scandals of the celebrations in the Coronavirus pandemic and in the ranks of his party knocked down the prime minister. On Wednesday, Boris Johnson continued to fight to stay in power as prime minister, in turn sacking cabinet minister Michael Gove after his government was rocked by a wave of ministerial resignations.
In a statement to Parliament on Wednesday, Sajid Javid, a British Conservative Party politician, said after his resignation that “the problem starts from the top and that is not going to change.”
10-year-old rape victim travels across state lines to undergo abortion
One of the most shocking and prominent stories that broke the internet amidst the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade involves a 10-year-old rape victim. The young girl was refused the ability to have an abortion in her home state of Ohio. While she was six weeks and three days pregnant, this exceeded the ban in Ohio to perform an abortion at six weeks.
In Ohio, a child abuse doctor referred the victim to an obstetrician-gynecologist in Indiana to perform the procedure. She then traveled to undergo the practice, where the abortion ban had not been implemented. The Supreme Court’s decision shifted the rules on abortions in Ohio, where previously abortions were not banned until later in a pregnancy.
James Caan dies at the age of 82
James Caan, the actor who played Sonny Corleone in The Godfather has died. The American actor died on the night of July 6, as reported by his relatives on Twitter. “The family appreciates the love and condolences and asks that their privacy continue to be respected at this difficult time.”
Brittney Griner pleads guilty to drug charges in Russia
WNBA Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner has been stuck in Russia since February of 2022. Griner was at the Sheremetyevo International Airport when officials found small units of hashish oil in her belongings. Once discovered, she was taken into custody immediately, facing up to 10 years in prison in Russia for “large-scale transportation of drugs,” though her cartridge contained less than one gram of the marijuana concentrate.
Amongst the travesty, Griner appeared in trial this month with images of her handcuffed being posted all over social media. She has pleaded guilty to her charges, seemingly in hopes of returning to the US quicker. Griner sent a handwritten letter to the President of the US Joe Biden expressing her concern and fear for her freedom. Segments of the heart wrenching letter were released to the media by Griner’s representatives.
“As I sit here in a Russian prison, alone with my thoughts and without the protection of my wife, family, friends, Olympic jersey, or any accomplishments, I’m terrified I might be here forever,” Griner expressed.
She continued to the president, stating, “I realize you are dealing with so much, but please don’t forget about me and the other American Detainees. Please do all you can to bring us home. I voted for the first time in 2020 and I voted for you. I believe in you. I still have so much good to do with my freedom that you can help restore. I miss my wife! I miss my family! I miss my teammates! It kills me to know they are suffering so much right now. I am grateful for whatever you can do at this moment to get me home.”
With no way to measure how long Griner could be held in Russia, her teammates and supporters have taken a stand to urge for her release. As a Black, LGBTQ WNBA player, many have questioned the treatment of Griner. Her coach presented this point, stating, “If it was LeBron, he’d be home, right? […] It’s a statement about the value of women. It’s a statement about the value of a Black person. It’s a statement about the value of a gay person.”
The chain (Vkusno i Tochka) that replaces McDonald’s in Russia runs out of fries due to the sanctions for the war in Ukraine
Vkusno i Tochka (Delicious and Point), the fast food chain that took over McDonald’s restaurants in Russia in June is now facing a growing shortage of French fries due to Western sanctions against the Russian capital, according to RBK TV reported.
Balenciaga showcases celebrity models at Paris Fashion Week
Kim Kardashian, Dua Lipa, Naomi Campbell, Nicole Kidman become the stars of the Balenciaga fashion show.
Balenciaga’s Fall 2022 Couture Collection fashion show transformed celebrities into the best ambassadors of the firm. Paris has become the center of fashion in recent days, because of Haute Couture Week. The great opportunity has brought together the most recognized faces in the sector, and amazing everyone with one of the most surprising Balenciaga fashion shows to date.
Kim Kardashian, the brand’s muse, melted into a striking black dress. She showed off the same color Naomi wore, but with a more voluminous design. Dua Lipa dazzled in a yellow one-shoulder dress, while Nicole triumphed in a mopped, long, metallic design.
The stars were able to parade through the impressive Balenciaga salons wearing the latest haute couture collection from the house, becoming the protagonists of the event and fashion week in the Parisian city. In this new Balenciaga collection, a common thread between the technological future and the past was seen, where a tribute was made to the work of the founder of the house. “It starts in the future and then sinks into the past, in the Infanta dresses that later became the origin of the house,” said Balenciaga designer and creative director Demna Gvasalia.
These uncovered faces, some of them world-famous, contrasted with the mannequins whose faces the creative director of the ‘Maison’ wanted to cover with black enameled polyurethane helmets, made by the Mercedes design team that made it impossible to identify those who they paraded
During these days, we have also been able to enjoy the designs of other major brands such as Chanel, Giorgio Armani, or Christian Dior. Although without hesitation, Balenciaga has overseen shaking up the ‘fashion’ universe at fashion week in Paris.
Oprah Winfrey’s father, Vernon Winfrey, passes away
At 89 years-old, Vernon Winfrey passed away after battling cancer. His daughter, Oprah Winfrey, released a statement via Instagram, where she stated, “Yesterday with family surrounding his bedside I had the sacred honor of witnessing the man responsible for my life, take his last breath, […] We could feel Peace enter the room at his passing.”
Big Brother 24 premieres
The 24th season of CBS’ Big Brother premiered on July 6 with an all-new cast. 16 contestants entered the Big Brother house, where they’re in for a summer full of game play, strategy, and challenges, all while making life-transforming memories. Who will conquer the competition and take home the $750,000 prize? We can’t wait to see!
Ukraine: 15 killed and 24 trapped by Russian missile
On July 10, a Russian missile hit eastern Ukraine and destroyed part of an apartment building, killing at least 15 people and making 24 buried beneath the debris.
“The search and rescue operation continues,” according to Pavlo Kyrylenko, the governor of Donetsk Oblast, “We have more proof of Russia’s crimes, that they shell residential areas of any community, whether it’s close to the front lines or not.”
Ukraine has accused Russia of launching a bunch of missiles to its cities in recent weeks, targeting civilians. Even though Russia denied the accusation, the army kept attacking population centers like Mariupol, Kharkiv and Severodonetsk.
South Africa: Mass shooting kills at least 15 at a bar
According to the local authorities, the incident happened shortly after midnight when a group of men armed with rifles and 9-millimeter pistols entered the bar. They shooted at the customers, causing 12 people dead at the scene and 2 more were cleared dead after being sent to the hospital. Police said that the suspects are still on the run.
France will deport any foreigner who has committed a serious crime
Under current French regulations, anyone who arrived in France before the age of 13 cannot be expelled. Although, the French government is studying the possibility of facilitating the expulsion from the country of “any foreigner who has committed serious acts”, lifting the age restrictions in this regard, according to Gérald Darmanin, the Minister of the Interior.
The Euro against the Dollar
The European currency reaches its lowest level in 20 years against the dollar. The euro and the dollar, both currencies, have been less than a cent from reaching exactly the same value, when the euro hovered around $1,007 last Monday, down almost 15% since the start of the year. This has been caused by different serious reasons. While the fear in the markets of an economic recession in Europe increases, in a context of growing uncertainty about the continuity in the supply of Russian gas and high inflation.
Brad Pitt’s Bullet Train to premiere in August
August 3 marks the date for the release of all-new film Bullet Train. Directed by David Leitch, Brad Pitt stars as Ladybug, an unlucky assassin determined to do his job peacefully after one too many gigs gone off the rails. Fate, however, may have other plans, as Ladybug’s latest mission puts him on a collision course with lethal adversaries from around the globe—all with connected, yet conflicting, objectives—on the world’s fastest train.
The Bachelorette 19 premieres with two leads
ABC’s The Bachelorette promised to be another one of the “most shocking seasons ever” when they named two women as the lead(s) of the popular reality dating series. After making it to the final three of Season 26 of The Bachelor, Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia went through a shocking double breakup.
The pair was named the first set of double bachelorettes at the season finale of their original show. Season 19 of the show will now follow their journey to find love. Navigating how to date 30+ men side by side, the season premiered on July 11. Both Gabby and Rachel will travel the world dating a pool of men, hoping to leave engaged and in love!
US President Biden visits Israel and Saudi Arabia
US President Joe Biden made his tenth visit to Israel this summer. Many believe that at the forefront of Biden’s agenda was to tackle negotiations regarding oil production in Saudi Arabia. Others sincerely hoped Biden will tackle the issue of Iran gaining more nuclear weapons.
Uvalde elementary school shooting footage shows law enforcement lacking action
Footage from one of the deadliest mass shootings that the US has endured this year was released. Original video clips from the Robb Elementary School mass shooting that left 21 dead are lightly edited to eliminate identity and sounds of children screaming. The footage was published by the Austin American-Statesmen newspaper just days before family victims were scheduled to watch the footage.
The video shows the gunman crashing a car before shooting at two individuals who responded to the accident. Continuing, footage shows the gunman entering the school carrying his weapon. After he enters the school, a child comes around the corner where he watches the gunman enter another classroom and open fire, to which he runs away in horror.
The most outraging element of the leaked footage reveals officers lack of response to the incident, though they arrived at the scene 77 minutes before shooting the gunman dead. The lack of action from the officers has enraged the community and nation on a widespread scale. Uvalde County Commissioner Ronald Garza stated, “They just didn’t act. They just didn’t move, […] I just don’t know what was going through those policemen’s minds that tragic day, but … there was just no action on their part.”
POLAND: The ashes of more than 7,000 victims of a Nazi extermination camp have been located
The Polish country lost 17% of its population during World War II. An excavation carried out at the site of the former Nazi extermination camp in Soldau, near the city of Dzialdowo, has uncovered 17 tons of ashes which, according to researchers, indicate that at least 7,000 people were cremated there.
The number of victims has been calculated according to the weight of the ashes, Karol Nawrocki, president of the Institute of Historical Memory, has expressed, since a human corpse corresponds to around two kilos of ashes.
Ivana Trump dies at 73
Ivana Trump dies at the age of 73, the first wife of Donald Trump and the former US president has announced it on his social network (Truth Social). The businesswoman was the mother of three of the former president’s children and she was crucial in building his real estate empire. They divorced in 1992, long before Donald Trump entered politics.
Ivana Trump passed away at her Manhattan apartment on July 14. This has been announced by Trump himself on the Truth Social network and who has not indicated the causes of her death.
Greenwood Park Mall shooting leaves four dead
A shooting broke out at the Greenwood Park Mall, in which a gunman killed three and injured two. The unidentified gunman was, too, shot dead by an armed 22-year-old man. Greenwood Police Chief Jim Ison released a statement about the catastrophic event, stating that, “This has shaken us to our core. This isn’t something that we have seen here in Greenwood before. It is absolutely horrendous and our thoughts and prayers are with those loved ones hurting tonight.”
UK undergoes record heatwave
As wildfires spread around Europe, the UK endured scorching, record-breaking temperatures. The UK’s previous leading temperature of 101.7 degrees in July 2019 was estimated to be exceeded on July 18 with predictions of 105 degrees. The heatwave sent the UK into a “Level 4” heat warning which can be defined as a “national emergency.”
FRANCE: Shooting on a terrace of a bar in Paris
One person dead and four injured in a shooting with a Kalashnikov against the terrace of a bar in Paris. The events occurred around 21:30 pm on Popincourt Street. According to the Europe 1 channel, a “Kalashnikov-type” long weapon has been found. “Two individuals got out of a vehicle and shot two individuals sitting on the terrace of a bar,” specified the Paris police headquarters. The main hypothesis of the investigation is a reckoning.
Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck marry in Las Vegas
Actor Ben Affleck and singer Jennifer Lopez got married this Saturday (July 16) in a small family ceremony in which the two children of the singer and her mother have been present. Jennifer Lopez has confirmed the news with a statement. “We did it. Love is beautiful. Love is kind. And it turns out that love is patient. 20-year patience.”
“Exactly what we wanted. Last night we flew to Las Vegas, queued for a license with four other couples, all making the same trip to the wedding capital of the world,” added the singer.
Japan: At Least 30 Endangered Green Sea Turtles Found With ‘Bleeding’ Neck Wounds
At least 30 endangered green sea turtles were found Thursday (July 19) with neck injuries near the remote island of Kumejima in southern Japan’s Okinawa prefecture. Police began investigating the case last Friday after the sea turtles were found at low tide. Some of these were barely breathing and others were bleeding. They had wounds around their necks caused by what appeared to be a blade.
US House passes bill that defends gay marriage rights
After the Supreme Court overturned the landmark decisioning in Roe v. Wade, Justice Clarence Thomas suggested that other milestone rulings needed to be looked at again, like Obergefell v. Hodges, the ruling that established gay marriage rights. In response to this, the US House of Representatives passed a bill that would ensure protection of equal marriage rights.
The bill passed by a vote of 267-157, and would ensure “federal protections for gay marriage and prohibits anyone from denying the validity of a marriage based on the race or sex of the couple.” Now, the bill will be reviewed and voted on by the Senate.
World Health Organization warns that global cases of COVID-19 have doubled in the last six weeks
Infections have reached their maximum peak in the first week of July. So the impact of omicron increased and created the seventh wave of the disease: From about three million weekly cases to six million currently, warned this Wednesday (July 2) the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
“An increase in cases means that there may be more hospitalizations and deaths in the coming weeks,” Tedros Adhanom mentioned at a press conference, noting that most of the current infections seem to belong to the omicron variant, “for now the most contagious known,” he added.
US President Biden tests positive for COVID-19
For the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, US President Joe Biden tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday July 21. It was reported that he took Paxlovid for his symptoms which included a cough, runny nose and overall exhaustion.
Flight cancellations and delays in Germany due to Lufthansa strike
As the airline warned on its website this Monday (July 25) there will be delays and cancellations of flights in Germany due to the Lufthansa strikes this Wednesday (July 27). The warning strike will start at 3.45am and end at 6am this Thursday (July 28), the German Verdi union said in a statement. The German union orders a 9.5% salary increase for Lufthansa ground staff, with a minimum of 350 euros per month for one year.
Police officers in Mexico City seize 1.5 tons of cocaine bound for the West Coast of the US.
Mexican police seized 1.5 tons of cocaine headed for the west coast of the United States, Omar Garcia Harfuch, Secretary of Citizen Security, published on Tuesday (July 26), describing it as “the largest seizure of cocaine in the capital.” During a press conference, Omar commented that the cocaine has a value of up to US$20 million and added that after reaching its final destination it would be worth “almost twice as much, in Los Angeles.”
Red Hot Chilli Peppers announce new album: “Return of the dream canteen”
Selena Gomez chose a Versace design with which she looked like a real princess on her 30th birthday
The actress welcomed her 30th birthday last Friday, July 22. She held a party for her birthday surrounded by family and friends. For this important occasion, the protagonist of her outfit was the elegant dress that she wore from the luxury brand Versace.
The dress is made in a pale peach tone with short sleeves and a delicate tulle that covered Selena’s bodice and neckline. Added to this are the transparent details from the height of the thigh to the end that dragged a few centimeters. To give her dress more prominence, the actress added some hoop earrings and tied her hair up in a high ponytail. There is no doubt that Selena Gomez chose an elegant ‘look’ to welcome her 30 years.
The Latin Grammy 2022 will be held on November 17 in Las Vegas
Another Nicaraguan opposition leader sentenced to 10 years in prison
In Masaya (Nicaragua), an opposition leader from the department of Masaya, Yubrank Suazo, was sentenced this Wednesday (July 27) to 10 years in prison for a crime committed in spreading false news and national integrity, the Nicaraguan Center reported on its social platforms. of Human Rights (Cenidh).
Nicki Minaj advances the release of her new song “Freaky Girl“
The musical return of the rapper after her motherhood is being as successful as we remembered. Nicki was for years the artist who released the most video clips and songs in a calendar year and this year she has returned to her origins by introducing what will be the fifth song of 2022. Its release will be on August 12 under the title of “Freaky Girl.”
Beyoncé releases new album RENAISSANCE
REINAISSANCE was released as Beyoncé’s latest studio album on Friday July 29. The album platforms the reignited dance genre infused with elements of disco, house, and pop music. The icon released the album’s first single “BREAK MY SOUL” earlier in the year, taking the industry by storm.
US President Biden and China’s Chairman, Xi Jinping had their first virtue summit on November 15th. This summit was set towards the improvement of bilateral cooperation but there was no concrete action after three and a half hours of the conference.
The summit had its focus on a wide range of issues, including human rights, climate change, and the economy. However, among all the topics, the future of Taiwan has been one of the major focuses of the globe.
Since the uncertainty of the global pandemic and political concern, Xi has canceled all his traveling plans since January 2020. The two leaders have spoken through telephone twice this year, nevertheless this time they were intended to lead a more exhaustive discussion of the previous issues.
Although the summit was taken place virtually, the place was carefully selected. Xi along with his allies was at the East Hall in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Biden and his team were at the Roosevelt Room at the White House.
During the conference, each side has mentioned their dispute which concerns them the most. While the disservice has been deeply rooted which offered little room for compromise. Although Xi called Mr. Biden “my old friend” at the beginning of the summit and used a metaphor that compared the two superpowers to ships that navigate together in the ocean’s wind, under the water, there is disagreement and conflict which is hard to be resolved.
Spotlight focus: Taiwan Affairs
Taiwan affairs are always the most significant issue among China and US. The White House and Xinhua News Agency, the mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, have individually quoted Biden and Xi’s speeches, which demonstrated their respectively different opinions.
While on the other hand, Xinhua News Agency quoted Biden as saying, “The U.S. government is committed to pursuing the long-term and consistent one China’ policy and does not support Taiwan independence.
Despite the fact that Xi Jinping always mentioned Taiwan in the past, This time his words are tougher, and more sounds like a warning. He warned that “Taiwan independence” is “very dangerous. It is playing with fire, and you will burn yourself if you play with fire.” He emphasized that the one-China principle and the three Sino-US joint communiqués are the foundation of China-US relations.
Seek common ground while reserving differences
It is impossible to solve the enormous divisions that occur among the world’s two superpowers through just one meeting. While the virtual summit between Xi Jinping and Joe Biden obviously has removed the concern whether China-US would spiral into a new Cold War. The relationship is rebounding from the Trump era which there was a great misunderstanding. Cooperation of the world is urgently needed, since the COVID pandemic, economic recession, and climate crisis.
Although there is dissension in many ways, the communication was structural and honest, The fact that the summit has taken place for almost four hours is a clear sign that both leaders are putting a great amount of effort to achieve substantive and constructive results. They showed a strong desire to eventually find a way to reach a consensus. And Biden in his word said that we need to have “commonsense guardrails” and prevent the China-US competition from “veering into conflict”.
It seems as though only months or weeks pass nowadays between environmental global crises. While heat waves, floods, and the like are by no means novel, the twenty-first century has undoubtedly seen an unrelenting torrent of environmental disasters. In the past week alone, a record-breaking heat wave in the Pacific Northwest left nearly one-hundred dead, two separate oil fires burning on the surface of the ocean in both the Gulf of Mexico and the Caspian Sea, and innumerable small fires blazing across the West Coast following Fourth of July celebrations.
The heat wave in the Pacific Northwest impacted Oregon the most, with a total of 95 heat-related deaths on Sunday alone. Temperatures throughout the state reached a record-high of 117 degrees, leaving those without air conditioning or access to a cooler environment the most vulnerable. The Oregon government attempted to mitigate the effects of the heat wave by offering numerous cooling centers and even air conditioners to those at risk of harm.
Of course, the June heat wave that struck the Pacific Northwest was not unusual, nor will it be an outlier in the future by any means. In talking about the heat wave, Oregon Governor Kate Brown most succinctly stated, “This is a harbinger of things to come.” Other Oregon officials echoed this sentiment, with Public Health Director Jessica Guernsey writing the following in a press release for the heat wave: “This tragic event is almost certainly a glimpse into the future for Multnomah County, Oregon, the nation and the world. The impacts of climate change with heat waves, severe winter weather, wildfires, floods, and other rippling effects are happening now and will happen with more frequency for the foreseeable future.”
And while these sentiments are hardly prescient, on the other coast of the United States, a similar heat wave scorched the Northeast. While likewise record-breaking in its own right, the intensity of the East Coast’s heat wave does not come close to matching the Northwest’s. And still, a heat advisory was issued in New York City, and Boston and Philadelphia both issued heat health emergencies.
Of course, this past week was only one of the first weeks of summer, and more heat waves and heat related disasters are likely ensuing. Another heat wave warning has been issued for this coming weekend in California, from the desert to the Bay Area. California also has yet to enter its own “fire season,” which annually typically sees a handful of newsworthy fires that continue for several weeks, ravaging local communities and habitats.
This does not, however, mean that there is a lack of fires. This past Fourth of July weekend saw a marked increase in human caused wildfires. Already under a fire warning, California alone has seen hundreds of fires in the past several days as a result of holiday celebrations gone awry.
And all this is without mentioning the current drought plaguing the West Coast. From 2012 to 2016, California experienced its worse drought in over a millennium. The current drought finds many questioning the future of many essential Californian industries, such as farming, which will undoubtedly affect the largest economy in the United States.
Though one may be curious about the origin of these disasters–namely the drought and heat waves–one needs to look no further for evidence than the two oil fires on the high seas this past week. The fires, one in the Caspian Sea and one in the Gulf of Mexico, were both caused by oil explosions. The former is said to have been caused by the eruption of a “mud volcano,” or possibly a mud volcano interacting with a nearby gas field. They are still investigating the cause of this fire.
The fire in the Gulf of Mexico, however, was solely and indubitably man caused. A gas leak from an underwater pipeline by Mexico-owned gas company Pemex saw the inferno come about just off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. A Mexican official has stated that there was no spillage, but there is still no explanation for the blaze.
Given all this, and the increased quantity of these sorts of events yearly, one can only wonder what a solution might be, and if such a solution is even plausible. And as each new catastrophe arises, it seems as though they are becoming normalized, with no action taken besides Twitter outcry. Beside merely pointing fingers at each other and pushing the onus of the responsibility around, the multibillionaires, their corporations, and the government ought to be able to do something.
Of course, it’s not as simple as expecting those groups to fix these global issues, as it is wholly a worldwide effort. As trite as it might seem, solutions to global issues require the actions of whole global populations. But besides recycling, eating with the environment in mind, and similar small (yet important) actions, what is the average person to do? Still, corporations such as Amazon are allowed to pollute and produce millions of pounds of plastic waste annually without consequence. Furthermore, former president Donald Trump once pulled out of the Paris Agreement in the name of America’s economic interests.
And so, just as Robert Frost once pondered if the world would end in ice or fire, the answer to his question seems to be becoming most clear now. As economies and profits seem to be more important than humanity’s future, the world will continue to burn, oceans will continue to rise, and people will continue to die. And as is true with many great problems, the issue is easy to see and difficult to solve–whether humanity will rise to its challenge is another issue entirely.
Have you ever dreamed of taking seat in the Oval Office, starring on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, or joining the Ghostbusters crew? With Madame Tussauds, what may have seemed impossible is now in fingertips reach. The wax museum hosts five floors of interactive, celebrity wax figures. Positioning the heart of New York City in Times Square, guests of Madame Tussauds wax museum are surrounded by star-struck fun. 360 Magazine visited the wax museum and had a VIP experience with by our favorite figures.
There are several different zones for interactive experiences at Madame Tussauds. In “Walk the Catwalk” guests will be coached by model Alessandra Ambrosio to embrace their best catwalk. Guests can even get their catwalk video recorded to share their strut online. Practices your poses with Heidi Klum and perfect your smize with Tyra Banks. What better place to practice your model moves than In the Fashion Capital of the World?
New York is also known, of course, for the city’s spectacular Broadway productions. Guests can become a part of the interactive, behind-the-scenes journey of exploring the most iconic Broadway shows. Whether you want to follow in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s footsteps and compose Broadway music scores, style the cast’s wardrobe, or act and sing your heart out, you can play your part at Madame Tussauds’ New York Broadway experience. Don’t miss your curtain call on this exciting opportunity.
If you’re looking for a more action-packed experience, be sure to visit Madam Tussaud’s Marvel exhibit! Save the world and rescue humanity alongside your favorite superheroes including The Hulk, The Hulk Buster, Captain America, Thor, Nick Fury, Iron Man, and Spiderman. This interactive Marvel experience lets guests develop their Spidey-senses and get closer to their favorite heroes than ever before.
After you’re done assuming your role as Captain America in the Marvel zone, get ready to use your powers in the Faceoff with King Kong zone. Featuring the largest animatronic in New York City, Madame Tussauds-in collaboration with Legendary Pictures and Warner Brothers-invites guests to battle King Kong. Guests will begin their daring adventure on the infamous Skull Island, in which they must evade jungle creatures and unearth iconic artifacts from the film. Along their voyage, guests will be accompanied by a new, wax figure of Captain James Conrad before battling the beast. The eighteen-foot tall, multi-sensory animatronic head of King Kong is sure to leave guests in awe and terror. Hear King Kong’s roar and unearth the secrets of skull island with this ferocious exhibition.
If you’re looking for more thrilling spooks, check out Madame Tussaud’s Ghostbusters zone. In honor of the return of the loved franchise, the museum has built a specialty experience inspired by the 2016 film. Escapade along the eerie, underground NY subway tracks and explore the dark basement of a haunted mansion while keeping your eyes peeled for ghosts and goblins galore. Beware of several spooks along the way as you bust ghosts and meet stars such as Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Melisa McCarthy, and Kristen Wiig. Fans of the franchise can even take a spin on the Ecto-2.
Another star-studded zone Madame Tussauds offers is MTNY Studios exhibit. Whether you’ve dreamed of being a celebrity on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, forecasting breaking news alongside Michael Strahan, or reporting on the weather with Al Roker, you can be the TV star you’ve always wanted to be.
Finally, the last zone Madame Tussaud offers is the Oval Office experience. Get up close and personal with influential leaders of the past and present, like Barack Obama and George Washington. Instead of reading about history in a textbook, experience making history in-person alongside your favorite politicos.
Besides the museum’s seven interactive zones, there are also two riveting experiences: the Marvel 4D Film, and the Coney Island Carnival Carnage 7D Game.
With Marvel’s 4D experience, guests can feel a part of the movie with 3D film technologies including experiential sensory effects. Viewers are put in the middle of the action when viewing this incredible 4D film. Feel the wind and water, and even smells the same scents at the same time as your favorite heroes in the movie.
Guests are invited to face their greatest nightmares in the Coney Island Carnival Carnage Game. This 7D, multi-sensory experience invites guests to shoot lasers at enemies, ride carnival attractions, and spin the Wheel of Misfortune–all while running from killer clowns. This adrenaline-packed nightmare promises a rich gaming experience that may keep you awake at night–that is, if you can escape.
All of Madame Tussauds’ zones and experiences allow guests to get up more close and personal with their favorite Hollywood celebrities and figures than ever before. Madame Tussauds is available for group visits, school visits, corporate events, and even birthday parties. We went on a Friday afternoon, and had a blast exploring the five stories of experiential fun. The figures we found most lifelike were Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus. All three figures of Michael Jackson impressed us, and we loved seeing his evolution through time. Our favorite zone was Ghostbusters– the subway set mirrored NYC’s own actual subways, which felt both surreal and cinematic. Those interested in visiting Madame Tussauds can visit this website for ticket purchase and further details. The wax museum is currently operating at reduced capacity and is following all COVID-19 protocols.
President Biden Raises Refugee Admission Cap to 62,500 People
In a move to reverse former President Donald Trump’s stricter admission cap on refugees, President Biden has raised the admission cap to 62,500 people in the next six months. Originally, Trump had administered a cap on 15,000 refugees. At first, Biden said he would stick to this figure, but changed his stance after receiving condemnation from Democrats on Capitol Hill. In a statement issued by the White House addressing this political reversal, Biden commented “This erases the historically low number set by the previous administration of 15,000, which did not reflect America’s values as a nation that welcomes and supports refugees.” The New York Times says that Biden’s statement acknowledged how Trump’s budget and staffing cuts during his presidency makes it more unlikely to handle resettling 62,500 refugees within the coming year. In his statement, Biden admitted “the sad truth is that we will not achieve 62,500 admissions this year,” he said. “We are working quickly to undo the damage of the last four years. It will take some time, but that work is already underway.”
Pfizer Vaccine to be Administered to Adolescents
The availability of the Pfizer vaccine is soon to more accessible to millions more Americans. The FDA is said to authorize the use of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine for adolescents aged 12-15 by early next week. Pfizer has recently released trial results in which show their vaccine to be at least as effective for adolescents as it is for the adult population. If granted access, the CDC will likely meet the following day to review the clinical trial data and announce public health recommendations for adolescent vaccinations. Over 100 million adults have already been vaccinated, and with the Pfizer vaccine becoming available to millions more, the level of public immunity is forecasted to rise, and the number of deaths and hospitalizations are to drop.
In order to target vaccinations to younger Americans, Biden announced on Tuesday that mass vaccinations sites would shift to more local settings. He also stated his goal of vaccination 70% of Americans by July’s Independence Day. To those who are unvaccinated, Biden plead: “This is your choice. Its life and death.” On Tuesday, the Biden Administration announced that tens of millions more Americans need to get vaccinated before the rate of the coronavirus will be low enough to return to normalcy.
Subway Overpass Collapse Results in the Death of 23 People
Late Monday night in Mexico City, the collapse of a subway overpass–and subsequent fall of an active train car– resulted in the deaths of 23 people. Dozens of more victims are suffering injuries. The accident occurred on Line 12, one of the newer tracks in Mexico’s subway system. The subway system has been plagued by safety concerns from the public after a severe earthquake in 2017. Over 70 people were transported to the nearby hospitals, most of them delivered to Belisario Dominguez Hospital. Mexico’s fire fighters, military, and forensics department all arrived on scene to aid in the rescuing and recovery of the accident’s victims. Currently, Line 12 will remain closed as authorities investigate the harrowing accident. The Mayor of Mexico City, Claudio Steinbaum, spoke to reporters on Tuesday morning: ” At this moment, we can’t speculate about what happened. There has to be a deep investigation, and whoever is responsible has to be held responsible.”
Derek Chauvin Files for New Trial Regarding Murder of George Floyd
The trial of the police officer involved in the killing of George Floyd, Derek Chauvin, was found guilty of one count of second-degree murder, one count of third-degree murder, and one count of second-degree manslaughter by Judge Peter Cahill. However, Chauvin’ lawyer, Eric Nelson, is now claiming that Chauvin’s rights were violated during the trial since Judge Cahill refused a change of venue regarding where the trial was help. As a result of such, Nelson claims that the pre-trial publicity deprived Chauvin of a fair trial. NPR reports that Nelson also has cited “prosecutorial and jury misconduct; errors of law at trial; and a verdict that is contrary to law.” In Nelson’s file motion that requests another trial, he argues that the court “abused its discretion” because of the nationwide publicity of the high-profile trial. Due to the mass publicity of the trial, Nelson says that the defense’s expert witnesses and jury felt “threatened of intimidated, felt race-based pressure during the proceedings.”
NPR reports that according to Nelson’s file motion, the court abused its discretion by:
When it failed to sequester the jury for the duration of the trial, or in the least, admonish them to avoid all media
When it permitted the State to present cumulative evidence with respect to use of force
When it failed to order that a record be made of the numerous sidebars that occurred during the trial
When it submitted instructions to the jury that failed to accurately reflect the law with respect to second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and authorized use of force
NPR’s Carrie Johnson reports on how infrequently officers are called to conduct while in uniform, “Some studies show only seven police officers since 2005 have been convicted of murder for their actions on the job. That’s even though about 1,000 or 1,100 people a year die at the hands of police.” The way in which Derek Chauvin’s initial trial ended was a long-awaited plea for justice that many Americans felt finally acknowledged and held accountable the perpetrators of police violence and systemic racism in the nation. Ultimately, it is up to Judge Peter Cahill to decide whether to open trial again for Chauvin.
Facebook’s Suspension of Donald Trump Continues
Since the Capitol insurrection on January 1, Facebook has suspended Trump’s usage of the platform. The length and permanence of the suspension has been hotly debated lately, especially since Facebook doesn’t have a standard policy or punishment regarding indefinite suspensions. On Wednesday, a team of journalists, activists, and lawyers upheld the social media company’s ban of Trump. Their discussion ended any immediate return of Trump to the platform, and sparked debate concerning freedom of speech online. Facebook’s Oversight Board cited their reasoning for banning Trump in January, stating that Trump “created an environment where a serious risk of violence was possible. At the time of Mr. Trump’s posts, there was a clear, immediate risk of harm and his words of support for those involved in the riots legitimized their violent actions.” After Facebook reviews its action, Trump may be able to return to the platform later down the line. Other social media giants, including Twitter and YouTube, also locked Trump’s accounts after the Capitol chaos. Trump has responded to the rulings with agitation, stating that “free Speech has been taken away from the President of the United States because the Radical Left Lunatics are afraid of the truth.” The New York Times reports that Facebook responded to their ruling in a statement, stating that the company is “‘pleased’ that the board recognized that its barring of Mr. Trump in January was justified. It said it would consider the ruling and ‘determine an action that is clear and proportionate.’”
Liz Cheney May Be Sequestered from G.O.P.
Rep. Liz Cheyney has received backlash from Republican lawmakers in the GOP party due to her public criticisms of former President Donald Trump. After Trump’s insurrection at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, she voted to impeach him from office. This vote to impeach Trump increased tensions between Cheyney and the members of the GOP leadership and other Republican lawmakers. Notably, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy questioned Cheyney’s ability to carry out her position in office, stating “I have heard from members concerned about her ability to carry out the job as conference chair, to carry out the message. We all need to be working as one if we’re able to win the majority.” At the Conservative Political Action Committee, Cheyney was asked if Trump should speak at the conference. She replied, “I’ve been clear in my views about President Trump and the extent to which following Jan. 6 I don’t believe that he should be playing a role in the future of the party or the country.” While her party oppositions have landed Cheyney in controversy, Sen. Mitt Romney tweeted on Tuesday, recognizing her honesty and dedication to her stance: “Every person of conscience draws a line beyond which they will not go: Liz Cheney refuses to lie.”
Olympians And Officials to Be Offered Pfizer Vaccine
The International Olympic Committee announced on Thursday that, in an effort to quell public safety concerns, athletes and official will be offered the Pfizer vaccine before arriving in Japan. Through utilization of domestic inoculation programs, vaccines are to be administered to patients in their home countries. However, there is no requirement for athletes, coaches, officials, or others attending the game to be vaccinated. So far, approximately only 1% of Japan’s residents have been fully vaccinated, according to The New York Times’ database. In a statement put out by the International Olympic Committee, it was notes that “any additional doses delivered by Pfizer and BioNTech will not be taken out of existing programs, but will be in addition to existing quotas and planned deliveries around the world.” Hopefully, the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer will bring celebration, instead of crisis.
“While previous Republican administrations tried to break government, Donald Trump tried to break democracy. He did this boldly and brazenly, by attacking elections, and he did it less boldly but no less brazenly, by working alongside Mitch McConnell to take over the unelected branch of government that sets the rules for all the others: the federal judiciary. That branch is now stuffed with conservative ideologues masquerading as jurists.”
Making the case that there is no progressive future without a serious fight to reclaim the judiciary from the grips of conservative judges, Mystal evaluates whether Biden can fix the courts that Trump broke: Happily, there is a solution, and that solution is to expand the lower courts.
Congress has used its constitutional authority throughout history to expand the federal judiciary. Historically, these lower court expansions were bipartisan: As the country grows in population, so does the number of lawsuits. Adding judges is just a thing we used to do to keep the judiciary running smoothly. But since 1990, when the last judgeship bill was passed, the US population has grown by a third; the number of district court cases has grown by 38 percent; and the number of cases involving a felony defendant has grown by 60 percent. The number of judges has not changed.
“I absolutely believe that if Trump had won reelection and McConnell had hung onto the Senate, Republicans would be working on court expansion right now,” writes Mystal. “There just aren’t a lot of vacancies left in the federal judiciary. Republicans can always find some casus belli for stacking the courts with conservative judges. The only question is whether Democrats will ever realize there’s a war, and they’re losing it.”
“To balance out decades of inequity, Biden’s judicial appointments shouldn’t ‘look like America;’ they should overrepresent the kinds of Americans routinely excluded by Republican administrations,” he continues. “You can’t balance a seesaw by standing in the middle when an elephant is sitting on one side.”
Read the full cover story here. Mystal, who covers the courts, the criminal justice system, and politics for The Nation, has also recently reported:
For one of the first times in memory, police are testifying against one of their own. But will it lead to an actual conviction?
ABOUT Elie Mystal
Elie Mystal is The Nation’s justice correspondent—covering the courts, the criminal justice system, and politics—and the force behind the magazine’s monthly column, “Objection!” He is also an Alfred Knobler Fellow at the Type Media Center. A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, Mystal was previously the executive editor of Above the Law and a former associate at Debevoise & Plimpton. He’s a frequent guest on MSNBC and Sirius XM.
Founded by abolitionists in 1865, The Nation has chronicled the breadth and depth of political and cultural life from the debut of the telegraph to the rise of Twitter, serving as a critical, independent, and progressive voice in American journalism.
Brit Award and Ivor Novello award-winning songwriter, plus platinum-selling, chart-topping artist Tom Odell today releases his new single “monster v.2” via Sony Music UK/RCA Records. Listen/Watch“monsters v.2.”
Odell’s fourth studio album, monsters, will be released June 25th. Pre-order HERE and find track listing below.
After a dark period of mental health stalked most of his 2018 and 2019, Odell wrote his way through it, eventually letting down his guard and pouring his feelings into new music that became his brand new album monsters. The album feels like both a daring creative rebirth and a solidifying of Odell’s strengths.
Last week, Tom released a stripped down version of the song and video titled “monster v.1.” CLASH described it “rustic and intimate…A song developed out of distaste, anxiety and personal responsibility, ‘monster v.1’ is a plea to better oneself despite pain. The video is starkly personal and filmed by Odell himself at home. Presented as personal diary tapes, “monster v.1” feels like watching someone’s most confidential moments of mental turbulence.” Watch the video/listen HERE. Tom debuted “monster” with a stripped down performance on The Graham Norton Show – Watch Here.
Last month, Odell premiered the album’s first single “numb” via BBC Radio 1 “Hottest Record In The World” with an accompanying video filmed in Tom’s home in England and directed by Tom Odell & Joseph Delaney. Watch it HERE.
“monster v.2” is the perfect companion track to follow “numb”–with the confrontational chorus (“you’re just a monster and I’m not scared”), lyrics initially inspired by Trump, and more specifically climate change activist Greta Thunberg’s staring down the former U.S. president at the UN Climate Summit in 2019. The song’s meaning soon morphed into something more abstract. The song became a self-help mantra for Odell’s ongoing battle with anxiety. Tom also releases a video today for which Tom’s fans sent in clips of what the word ‘monster’ meant to them.
Tom explains: “in 2019, my anxiety got so bad that I had to stop making music for a while. There was a period when it felt like I couldn’t leave the house without having a panic attack. I wrote this song, ‘monster’ about trying to overcome my struggles with those mental health problems. The more I’ve begun to speak about this subject, the more I’ve realized so many people are going through the same thing. I asked my fans to show me what the word ‘monster’ meant to them, and I thought I was just gonna make a 30 second video for Instagram or something, but the first time we put all the clips together I cried. It was so moving to see people being so vulnerable, so I scrapped the whole other music video I had made for the song and ended up going with this as the main music video, as it was so good. I think it’s one of the most powerful videos I’ve ever been involved with.”
Odell has been working as a musician in the public eye since he was 21 when his self- penned debut album Long Way Down, earned him a UK number one album, top 10 single (the epic “Another Love” which propelled him to global notice) as well as the coveted Brit Award. A masterful performer, Tom has appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, The Graham Norton Show,Late Late Show with James Corden, Late Night with Seth Meyers and so many more.
Now, 30, it’s clear to Tom that the whirlwind around his debut kick started a work ethic that eventually became an obsession. It reached an apex in September 2019 when Odell, fresh off touring his album Jubilee Road, left his home in London and went straight to LA to start writing the next album. “Then this chronic anxiety that I’d had for a couple of years just got worse.” Odell woke up one morning “and I couldn’t do any more music.” He knew something had to change. In the end he flew back home, went straight to his parent’s house and slowly got better.
Odell turned that challenging experience into this new album. He also realized his broader lyrical horizons needed to be matched by a musical expansion, with a lot of the songs on the album–created alongside songwriter Laurie Blundell and producer Miles James–leaning into a more electronic, bedroom pop sound that Odell has steadily become obsessed with over the last few years. This newfound love of DIY electronic pop chimed with the pandemic’s arrival and Odell crafted songs in a more threadbare way with instruments he had at hand, like Moog synths. It was a move underpinned by both necessity and a desire to explore. Eerie synths and head-rattling beats augment the sound. While his new music is at times weighty, there is a lightness of touch that means Odell is able to pull off pop’s greatest trick of hiding sadness in the melodies. In this strangest of times, this new music represents the start of chapter two in Odell’s ongoing musical journey.
Tom Odell has enjoyed over 2.6 billion streams, three UK top 5 albums including the platinum-selling, chart-topping Long Way Down; two UK top 10 singles, a 2013
Brit Award for Critic’s Choice and was awarded the prestigious Ivor Novello award for Songwriter of the Year.
Tom Odell recently announced live dates for his UK 2022 “the monsters tour.” Tickets are available at Gigs and Tours, Ticketmaster and AXS. *Fans pre-ordering the album (vinyl, cd, cassette and more) on Tom’s official website will guarantee first access to tickets.
The House of Representatives has voted to impeach President Donald Trump for the second time in his four-year term as president, which started in January of 2017. He is the third president to be impeached and the first president ever to be impeached more than once. This second impeachment comes shortly after the riots in the capital last week on January 6th, 2021. Trump is being impeached on the charge of “incitement of insurrection’’ because of the statements he made on January 6. He told his supporters to “fight like hell” because the Democrats were stealing the election. You can watch the speech here. During the riots, Trump supporters carrying a variety of racist and white supremacist paraphernalia swarmed the Capitol and forced their way into the building to stop the count of electoral votes. The riot caused the deaths of at least five individuals, including a Capitol police officer.
Because of the insurrection, Democrats pushed for Vice President Mike Pence to enact the 25th amendment, which he could use to declare Trump unfit to serve as president and remove him from office. Republicans blocked this move. U.S. Congressmen David N. Cicilline (RI-01), Ted Lieu (CA-33), and Jamie Raskin (MD-08) introduced the article of impeachment to the House of Representatives on the morning of January 11, 2021. The article of impeachment is co-sponsored by 211 members of Congress according to Cicilline’s press release. You can read the full article of impeachment here. On January 13, 2021, the House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump with a 232 to 197 majority. 10 Republicans voted to impeach, more members of the president’s party than in any prior impeachment.
Impeachment does not mean removal from office; impeachment is adjacent to an indictment. The difference in American law is that indictment applies to criminal charges, while impeachment is the accusation of misconduct in a political setting. Any civil officer in the United States can be impeached. In the case of the President or Vice President, the first step is the introduction of the article(s) of impeachment in the House of Representatives. After the article(s) of impeachment are introduced to the House, the House then votes on each article of impeachment, and if any pass by a simple majority, more than 50%, the articles will be tried in front of the Senate. During the Senate trial, the chief justice of the Supreme Court presides over the Senate trial, the Senate body functions as the jury, a committee of House representatives, called “managers,” act as the prosecution, and the president and his or her lawyers act as the defense. All articles of impeachment are argued on the Senate floor, then are voted on by the Senate body to either convict or acquit; to convict, there must be a two-thirds majority. Only two presidents, Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson, were impeached and reached the Senate trial, both were acquitted. Despite an extensive impeachment investigation, Richard Nixon was never impeached because he resigned.
Yesterday, January 13, 2021, the House voted to impeach Trump with only six days until the inauguration of Joe Biden. It is highly unlikely that Trump will be removed from office before the end of his term as president. The Senate is not set to be in session until January 19, 2021, and neither Democrats nor Republicans benefit from rushing the trial to be any sooner as this Senate trial will be a lengthy process that requires preparation from both the prosecution and the defense. Despite Trump losing the support of some members of his party, it is unclear how likely it is that Trump will be convicted because, even Mitt Romney, who voted to impeach in the first impeachment, has implied he is unsure that this is the right way to go. Many Republicans may hesitate to vote to convict because of the 74 million people who voted for Trump; these are the people who control whether Republicans will be reelected in the future. The main person who could cause a possible shift is Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader. If McConnell chooses to vote to convict Trump, other members of the Republican party may do the same. McConnell released this statement on January 13 saying that “there is simply no chance that a fair or serious trial could conclude before President-elect Biden is sworn in next week.”
Trump has been silent since besides releasing this video condemning violence and has not acknowledged the second impeachment. He has been banned from social media, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitch, and Snapchat. Along with these bans, the tech industry has made broad statements against this recent violence. Apple and Google have removed the app Parler from their app stores. The app was used by Trump supporters and white supremacists to communicate and coordinate the attack on the Capitol. Further, Amazon Web Services, which hosted the app, has cut off its service to Parler on the premise that it violated its terms of service. One feature of the app was that users could upload a photograph of their government-issued ID or driver’s license to become a “Verified Citizen.” The app lost the support of its security services, which protected user data, leaving it vulnerable to hackers who stole the data and turned it over to the FBI to be used to identify terrorists present at the riot. Read more about it here. Additionally, there are accounts publicly identifying people in photographs from the riots on platforms including Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. Federal officials are identifying and arresting individuals who were at the event.
The riots have caused many security changes in Washington D.C. and state capitals across the U.S. as Joe Biden’s inauguration grows closer and threats of further violence continue to spread online. These changes include the resignation of the U.S. Capitol Police chief, Steven Sund, increased police and national guard presence in Washington D.C. and the implementation of high security barriers around the Capitol building. Many D.C. businesses inside of the security perimeter are already making changes in preparation for the inauguration. Some are boarding up their windows in preparation for possible protests while others are preparing to serve guests who come to D.C. for the inauguration. In response to various local, state, and federal officials asking people not to travel to Washington, D.C., Airbnb has canceled all reservations in the Washington, D.C. metro area during the inauguration week, according to this press release. Some hotel chains in the city have stated that they will be hosting guests; as of now, nothing has been done to prevent this.
The events in this article, including the Senate trial, the consequences of the riots, and the coming inauguration, are all ongoing.
January 3rd marked the commencement of the 117th Congress and the swearing of its newest members. For many, it marked the beginning of a new dawn. One that will be followed by the inauguration of TIME’s People of the Year, President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. They will replace President Trump on Inauguration Day on January 20th. Yet several other remarkable individuals were elected this year and sworn in a bit earlier, solidifying the 117th Congress as the most diverse in American history. One of these representatives is a freshly elected Ritchie Torres, a 32-year-old politician serving the 15th congressional district in the Bronx, New York. Torres is the first openly gay Afro-Latino man elected to Congress, and one of two gay Black men that will serve in the 117th Congress, a distinction he shares with fellow New Yorker Mondaire Jones. 360 Magazine had the opportunity to sit down with Torres to discuss the story of his life, the issues he considers vital, as well as pick his brain for his thoughts on current events.
“I am a product of the Bronx,” Torres says of his childhood, “I spent most of my life in poverty.” Ritchie Torres was raised by a single mother, one of three children, in the Throggs Neck neighborhood of the East Bronx. He recalls the difficulty his mother had raising a family on minimum wage in the 1990s, as well as the awful conditions of the public housing he grew up in. Torres recollects these experiences with the soft yet fluid countenance that marked his speech throughout 360’s conversation with him. He floats between topics and memories with ease.
He recalls, with a rich sense of irony, the construction of Trump Golf Links as a child. “My life is something of a metaphor. I grew up right across the street of what became Trump golf course and actually something funny, is when the golf course was undergoing construction, it unleashed a skunk infestation. So, I often tell people I’ve been smelling the stench of Donald Trump long before he became President.” His own situation, compared with the government subsidized construction of the Trump Golf Links, deeply unsettled Torres’ image of society. He says collectively of his youth, “Those experiences shape not only who I am as a person, but as a public official.”
Such injustices prompted Torres to seek to become “The change that you wish the see in the world,” he says, quoting Mahatma Gandhi. He named public figures such as Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, Ted Kennedy as role models. He got his start as a housing organizer and eventually took the leap of faith to run for public office, becoming New York’s youngest elected city official at age 25. He had “No ties to the machine. No ties to the dynasties of Bronx politics, but I was young and energetic. I knocked on thousands of doors,” he claims that kind of face-to-face contact won him that election. Torres then became the first LGBTQ+ official elected from the Bronx.
“I think it has several implications,” he says when asked what this early accomplishment meant to him. “I mean, first, we are all products of our identities and our lived experiences. Right? Who we are as people shapes what we do as policy makers. It is important to have LGBTQ policy makers in the room where decisions are being made. A wise person once said, ‘If you don’t have a seat at the table, then you are probably on the menu.’” Referring to his 2020 election win, he says “My election means that LGBTQ people of color, in particular, will have a seat at one of the most powerful tables, the United States Congress.” He calls the reality of his election both empowering and normalizing. “I am a symbol of possibility.”
“I met Mondaire for the first time four years ago,” Torres says of Mondaire Jones, U.S. representative of New York’s 17th congressional district. “I remember when I met him for the first time, we had a conversation about the lack of LGBTQ representation of color in New York state politics. And I never imagined that four years later, he and I would become the first openly LGBTQ Black members of United States Congress.”
Congressman Torres recognizes that his path, though marked with accomplishments, has not been one of only highs. Torres stands apart as a public official on the national stage who is open about the lows of his life and his struggles with mental health. When asked why he chooses to be so transparent, he says “I felt a deep sense of obligation to speak openly about my own struggles with depression in order to break the silence and shame and stigma that surrounds mental health.” He seeks to evolve, not perpetuate, the current ideas surrounding mental health. He hopes to show that “there is a way forward” out of difficult moments, which for him were struggles with substance abuse, the loss of a friend, and moments when he considered taking his own life. But seven years later, Torres was elected to city council. “I would not be alive today, much less a member of the United States Congress, were it not for mental health care which saved my life.” He aspires to send a message that “Recovery is possible. You can take an antidepressant, as I do every day, and find normalcy and stability” and achieve feats like being elected to Congress.
The 117th Congress is slated to be the most diverse in history. Torres says of this reality, “I think American is increasingly becoming a multi-racial, multi-ethnic inclusive democracy. We are witnessing the collapse of politics as an old voice network. I am part of a new generation of young leaders every bit as diverse as America itself. Congress is becoming what it always should have been, a miniaturization of America itself.”
Torres acknowledges the year 2020, monumental in many ways, as harrowing for his Bronx community. “COVID-19 has been a catastrophe for the city and the country, and the South Bronx has been the epicenter of COVID-19. The South Bronx had the highest rate of COVID-19 morbidity and mortality during the peak of the pandemic. And just as destructive as COVID-19 itself were the deeper inequalities that were brought to light.” He argued that the coronavirus exposed the deeper health inequalities, racial inequalities, and class inequalities laid bare by the pandemic.
These issues are at the forefront of Torres’ mind in thinking of his work as a legislator. When asked what he saw as the first step to rectifying the rampant racial injustice in the United States, he answered “the first thing is to bring greater accountability to policing in America,” an argument familiar to many Americans following the deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd and their ensuing protests. As the Black Lives Matter movement swept the nation with greater momentum than ever before, cries for justice and defunding the police became common across the country’s cities. “Where there is no accountability, there will never be an end to police brutality” Torres says, being especially critical of qualified immunity in the United States.
Torres heads to Congress as a man with a mission regarding many issues. He himself declares “My great passion is affordable housing,” reflecting a long journey working continually in the housing sphere. He seeks to secure far greater funding for public housing in New York City and to expand the Section 8 program. The Section 8 program, also known as the Housing Choice Voucher program, created by an act in 1978, provides assistance to eligible low- and moderate-income families to rent housing in the private market. Torres says, “For me the surest way to stimulate the economy is to put money in the pockets of struggling families.” In order to do that, he believes the solution is an expanded child tax credit, which he describes as the single largest tax expenditure in America, yet he finds fault with a system that is “so regressive that it excludes a third of American families. Particularly the poorest families in America.” Torres’ passion shines through when he discusses the subject, detailing how this solution could slash childhood poverty by 40% in the span of the year. He calls its potential an absolute “game changer.”
Without question, affordable housing and tax reform are the first issues Torres hopes to address after being sworn in to the 117th Congress on January 3, 2020. “For me, the central mission of my life is to fight poverty in America. Racially constructed poverty in America. The South Bronx is said to be the poorest district in America and if we can make progressive policies work in the South Bronx, we can make them work anywhere.”
360 Magazine also had the opportunity to discuss a variety of current issues with Congressman Torres, one of which being the then impending Senate run-offs in Georgia. Following races too close to call in November 2020, Republican incumbent David Perdue is facing a challenge from Democrat Jon Ossoff. Additionally, GOP appointee Kelly Loeffler is defending her seat against Democrat Reverend Raphael Warnock. The election is vital because it will determine which party will control the Senate. “The stakes are supremely important,” Torres says of Georgia. “As long as Mitch McConnell refuses to bring critical bills to the floor for a vote, there is a limit to what we can accomplish. For me, Mitch McConnell is the single greatest obstruction on the path to progress. Winning those two seats in Georgia are essential.”
Regarding the impending mayoral race in his home of New York City, as well as early polls that display former Presidential candidate Andrew Yang as the frontrunner, Torres is coy. “The mayor’s race is wide open. Anyone who claims to have it figured out is lying.” He goes on to affirm “It is full of more than one credible candidate.”
“To be clear, I never announced that I wasn’t going to be in the squad.” Torres says, referring to ‘The Squad‘ of United States Congress, composed of Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a fellow New Yorker, Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib. With new young progressive politicians like Torres joining the fray, claims of expanding membership are common. Torres, along with the aforementioned Mondaire Jones, as well as Congresswoman Cori Bush, Congresswoman Marie Newman, and Congressman Jamaal Brown are commonly referred to as impending members.
Instead, Torres clarifies, “I would never issue an announcement that I would not be a part of something. That would be an odd thing to do. Whenever I’m asked about the squad, I simply state that I’m my own person and I prefer to be judged on the basis of my own story and my own record, on my own terms.” He goes on to assert he is willing to work with “anyone and everyone in the service of delivering to the people of the South Bronx. That is my highest priority.” Torres is clear in this declaration that he is willing to work with more conservative members of his own party or the Republican party in hopes of progress.
On a future in politics, Torres affirmed his intent to serve the people in the moment and to “let the dice fall where they may” regarding the future. When asked what wisdom he would impart to a younger generation, Congressman Torres says “We are all only as strong as the support we have in our lives and be grateful for the supporters you have. The friends and family. I would not be here today if not for the friendship of people who believed in me more than I believed in myself. Know who those people are and value them and be grateful for them.”
Update as of 1/14/21, Congressman Ritchie Torres has formally endorsed former presidential candidate Andrew Yang for mayor of New York City. This comes just a day after Andrew Yang announced his campaign in a video titled ‘Why I’m Running,’ which features Torres in it.