Thursday, July 25, 2024

5 things to know for July 11: Biden’s health, Power outages, Gaza, ‘Rust’ movie shooting, NASA | CNN

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Costco is raising membership fees for the first time since 2017. The hikes, which go into effect on September 1, are part of a larger effort to crack down on membership moochers and boost revenue for the warehouse chain.

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President Joe Biden will face a major test today when he holds an unscripted news conference at the NATO summit in Washington, DC. It comes after his poor debate performance left an indelible impression on many voters who are seriously questioning the president’s mental fitness for another term. Some Democratic donors are also holding back big checks as the party continues to wrestle with the path forward. On Wednesday, actor George Clooney, who had been among Biden’s biggest supporters and donors in Hollywood, took the step of publicly calling for him to bow out of the race. “We are not going to win in November with this president,” Clooney wrote in a New York Times opinion piece, adding that some lawmakers he has spoken with privately shared this view. Clooney said the country deserves to hear from other politicians who could potentially replace Biden at the top of the ticket.

More than 1.3 million homes and businesses across southeast Texas are still without power after Beryl slammed into the Gulf Coast as a Category 1 hurricane on Monday. Countless families have lost food in their warming fridges while many stores are still closed, leaving local authorities scrambling to distribute food to underserved areas. Heat-related medical emergencies are also spiking in Houston as 90-degree temperatures blanket parts of the state, city fire chief Samuel Peña said. Senior care facilities and residents who rely on electric medical devices are particularly at risk as power outages stretch through at least the end of the week.

The Israeli military has expanded its evacuation order to the whole of Gaza City after sending tens of thousands of Palestinians fleeing from several of the city’s neighborhoods earlier this week. Israel’s latest directive threatens to intensify the plight of already displaced communities after more than 250,000 residents were urged to head to “safe zones” further south since Sunday, a UN office said. Meanwhile, the Biden administration is allowing a shipment of 500-pound bombs to be sent to Israel after it was paused more than two months ago. The initial decision to halt a shipment of both 2,000-pound and 500-pound bombs was due to US concerns about Israel using the heavy munitions — specifically the larger 2,000-pound bombs — in their Rafah operation. One shipment of the 2,000-pound bombs remains on hold.

A look inside the floating hospital helping Gaza’s ‘invisible victims’

Opening statements in the involuntary manslaughter trial of actor Alec Baldwin began Wednesday, nearly three years after cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was fatally shot on the New Mexico set of the Western film “Rust.” Prosecutors accused Baldwin of violating the “cardinal rules of firearm safety” by pointing a gun at a person and pulling the trigger. The defense team, on the other hand, said the gun was deemed “cold,” meaning it had been checked and was safe. Baldwin has pleaded not guilty and has maintained he did not pull the trigger after the prop gun that discharged was later found to be loaded with a live bullet. If convicted, the actor could face up to 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine.

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‘He was an actor, acting’: Hear the opening statements from Alec Baldwin’s ‘Rust’ shooting trial

The two NASA astronauts piloting the historic Starliner mission spoke favorably Wednesday about the vehicle that carried them to the International Space Station — despite a string of issues that have delayed its return indefinitely. The crew has been in space for more than a month, much longer than the weeklong stay initially expected. NASA and Boeing have said that the fresh wave of issues affecting this flight should not prevent the spacecraft from ultimately bringing astronauts Suni Williams and Butch Wilmore safely home. NASA has not named an expected time frame for their return to Earth but insists the crew is not “stuck” in space.

Two epic matches set for Sunday
England and Spain have earned spots in Sunday’s Euro 2024 final. Later that day, many fans will also tune in to the last Copa América 2024 face-off between Argentina and Colombia.

A soccer shakeup
Gregg Berhalter has been fired as the head coach of the United States men’s national soccer team following the squad’s Copa America elimination.

Man stopped at customs with 100 live snakes down his pants
Officers in China caught a man trying to smuggle dozens of snakes through customs by stuffing them into his pants. See photos of the bizarre incident.

Ellen DeGeneres is ‘done’ after her Netflix special
The former talk show is ready to step out of the public eye after her Netflix special releases later this year.

Kevin Costner film pulled from theater schedule
The next film in Kevin Costner’s ambitious western movie franchise “Horizon” has been postponed.

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That’s how many weeks remain until the 2024 Olympic Games kick off in Paris. The mayor of the city said she will soon dive into the River Seine in a bid to show its suitability for swimming events despite ongoing pollution concerns.

“AI isn’t just a tool; it’s a transformative force that can disrupt industries, challenge norms and create opportunities where none existed before.”

— Moroccan influencer Kenza Layli, after she was crowned the world’s first AI beauty pageant winner. Notably, Kenza Layli is entirely generated by artificial intelligence, from her striking appearance to her buzzword-filled acceptance speech.

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Growing coral faster on land, in a race against time

Growing coral on land, in a race against time
Coral reefs are dying at an alarming rate as climate change drives ocean temperatures to record-breaking levels. See how one company is growing coral faster on land to save some marine species from extinction.

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