Cuba In The News.

Cuba Crackdown

At least 80 people were arrested yesterday as the Cuban government cracked down on widespread anti-government protests. Among those detained were popular human rights activist and opposition leader José Daniel Ferrer and poet Amaury Pacheco.

The arrests come one day after thousands took to the streets across the country (map here) in what were the largest demonstrations in Cuba since the 1959 Communist revolution. The country’s mostly state-controlled economy shrunk by 11% last year, with its tourism industry collapsing amid the pandemic and a poor harvest for sugarcane, one of Cuba’s main exports. At the same time, the country’s COVID-19 caseload has skyrocketed, hitting almost seven times the US average on a per capita basis.

Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel accused the US of instigating the unrest.

Western Wildfires

Southern Oregon’s Bootleg Fire grew to at least 153,000 acres yesterday, burning through part of the state’s Fremont-Winema National Forest for the seventh day. The blaze is almost one-quarter the size of the Long Draw Fire in 2012, Oregon’s largest wildfire in the past century. The fire, whose perimeter stretches 87 miles, was 0% contained as of this morning. Separately, the River Fire in central California has burned through 9,000 acres and was 10% contained as of this morning.

The flames come as western and southwestern states grapple with the latest in a series of heat waves. Death Valley, California, recorded the hottest daily low temperature in US history Sunday at almost 108 degrees, while Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport tied its all-time high temperature Saturday at 117 degrees.

The heat comes two weeks after temperature records fell across the Pacific Northwest and western Canada. A recent analysis suggested the intensity of the previous weather pattern — a phenomenon known as a heat dome — may be linked to a weakening summer jet stream.

Texas Walkout

Democratic state legislators in Texas staged a walkout yesterday in an effort to delay consideration of an election and voting reform bill. Their absence means the state’s House chamber won’t have a quorum — the minimum number of lawmakers required to be present in order to hold a vote. At least 59 lawmakers traveled en masse to Washington, DC, to advocate for a federal voting rights bill.

The move comes after Gov. Greg Abbott (R) convened a special congressional session to consider a slew of proposals that also included border security and abortion rights. The regular May session ended similarly, when Democrats walked out to stall a vote on the same legislation. Lawmakers must remain out of the state for nearly a month to run out the clock on the special session.

See an overview of the election and voting reform bill here (along with the full text here).

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DON’T MISS THE BOAT

We all know those stock picks: the ones that got away. We thought and thought about making the investment, then decided against it. Next thing you know, it’s doubled in value.

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Returns as of 7/8/21

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IN THE KNOW

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Cedric the Entertainer tapped to host 2021 Emmy Awards, which return with a limited in-person audience after the 2020 ceremony was mostly virtual (More) | Emmy nominations to be unveiled this morning (11:30 am ET) (More)

> “Night Court” star Charlie Robinson dies at 75 due to cardiac arrest and cancer (More) | Drake Bell, former star of Nickelodeon’s “Drake and Josh,” sentenced to two years of probation on child endangerment charges (More)

> New York Mets’ Pete Alonso wins his second straight Home Run Derby (More) | See preview of tonight’s MLB All-Star Game (7:30 pm ET, Fox) from Coors Field in Denver (More)

Science & Technology

> US health regulators add warning to the label of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine regarding Guillain-Barré syndrome after roughly 100 cases of the disease were self-reported out of 12.8 million shots administered; scientists said the data were suggestive but insufficient to establish a clear link (More)

> Researchers demonstrate the first precision breeding of sugarcane using CRISPR gene-editing, potentially allowing the growth of crops tailored to specific local environments (More) | Want to learn more about CRISPR? Check out our 1440 curated resource page (More)

> Amazon receives regulatory approval for radar-based sensors that monitor user sleeping habits by detecting motion throughout the night (More)

Business & Markets

Brought to you by The Ascent

> Virgin Galactic shares trade up in premarket trading after Richard Branson’s successful Sunday voyage, but shares drop 17% on the day after company announces $500M stock sale (More) | Tesla CEO Elon Musk testifies in Delaware court in shareholder lawsuit over $2.6B acquisition of SolarCity (More)

> Public filings show Trump Organization removed CFO Allen Weisselberg as an officer from some of its subsidiaries, following indictment on alleged tax evasion scheme (More)

> Flipkart — the “Amazon of India” — raises $3.6B at a $37B valuation (More)

From our partners: This new credit card is a reward-seeker’s dream, offering 2% cash back on all purchases (no more tracking categories) and a generous sign-up bonus. The Ascent’s independent team of experts is calling it one of the market’s best all-around cards. Learn more today.

Politics & World Affairs

> Army Gen. Austin “Scott” Miller steps down as the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan nears an end; Miller was the longest-serving commander of the US mission in the country (More)

> Officials identify Christian Emmanuel Sanon, a Florida-based doctor, as one of the alleged masterminds behind the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse; Sanon reportedly believed he would be installed as president (More)

> Florida peninsula grapples with a red tide; an estimated 110 tons of dead sea life has been collected near the St. Petersburg area from toxic algae bloom (More) | What are red tides? (More)

IN-DEPTH

The Big Faint

The Ringer | Claire McNear. In 2004, then 13-year-old Akshay Buddiga shot to viral fame after fainting during the finals of the national spelling bee. But Buddiga rebounded — almost literally — nailing the word “alopecoid” and entering American pop culture lore. (Read)

Simulation City

The Verge | Andrew Hawkins. What’s the best way of training autonomous vehicles to drive without risking real-world accidents? For Google’s sister company Waymo, the answer was to construct an entirely virtual world. (Read)

IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED

In partnership with The Motley Fool

Missing your chance on a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation doesn’t have to be the end of the road. While their recommendations average 606% overall, sometimes the second recommendation for select stocks is where you could tap into big returns.

Take, for example, Netflix (up 29,110% since the second recommendation), Amazon (up 1,970%), and Apple (up 2,538%). And today, The Motley Fool has three more Double Down recommendations, free for Stock Advisor members.

Returns as of 7/8/21

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ETCETERA

How Google search results vary around the world.

Medieval French coins found in Poland — maybe?

Hero journalist navigates hard seltzer festival.

Northrop Grumman wins a contract to build homes orbiting the moon.

South Korea regulates slower workout music in gyms.

Tampa Bay Lightning dent the Stanley Cup (literally).

Seriously, stop dumping pet goldfish in lakes!

An amazing history of failed startups.

Clickbait: Drug dealers pitching ethically sourced cocaine.

Historybook: Julius Caesar born (100 BCE); First World Cup takes place in Uruguay (1930); HBD Sir Patrick Stewart (1940); RIP artist Frida Kahlo (1954); Live Aid concert raises more than $125M for Africa famine relief (1985).

Medium.com, www.nypost.com, Prezi, Manhattan College, Nimbus Magazine, Twitter, “The Gathering”, Hal Linden, Metropolitan Playhouse, “An American Clock”, “Shiavana”, Beckett Theater, Broadway.

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