5 things to know for July 8: Haiti, Covid-19, Trump, condo collapse, Colombia

Here is what you need to know
Originally Published: 08 JUL 21 06:22 ET

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1. Haiti

Haiti’s President Jovenel Moise was assassinated during an attack on his home yesterday morning, plunging a country already gripped by rising poverty and violence into further uncertainty. Four suspects connected to the attack were killed by police, and another two have been detained. Haiti’s ambassador to the US said the suspects were foreigners, and Haitian police are working to determine their nationalities. Haiti’s borders and international airport are closed, and martial law has been imposed since the attack. Acting Prime Minister Claude Joseph declared a state of siege in the country and is pleading with citizens to stay calm. Moise’s death comes amid deep political instability. Many key roles in Haiti’s government have been vacant and the parliament effectively defunct. Haiti’s opposition movement has long called for Moise to resign. It isn’t clear who will replace Moise in the coming months.

2. Coronavirus

The global coronavirus death toll has surpassed 4 million as threats from variants, low vaccination rates and spotty pandemic responses linger. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi dropped 12 members of his Cabinet in a reshuffle spurred by a devastating second coronavirus wave. The Modi administration has faced international and domestic criticism over its alleged lack of preparedness and chaotic vaccination program rollout. In the US, emerging data underscores the desperate need for more vaccinations. For example, every person who died of Covid-19 in June in Maryland was unvaccinated. And now that the Delta variant is spreading more, some experts are asking whether we should test vaccinated people for the virus — and whether vaccinated people should resume using masks in certain situations.

3. Donald Trump

Former President Trump is suing Facebook and its CEO, Twitter and its CEO, and YouTube and its parent company’s CEO after he was removed from the platforms this year. Courts have typically dismissed similar suits, and these are likely doomed from the start as well. Trump’s latest litigious effort coincides with some concerning comments tied to him and a high-profile supporter. A new book claims Trump once praised Adolf Hitler during a 2018 discussion with his White House chief of staff John Kelly; Trump has denied the comments. Meanwhile, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Trump ally, compared the White House’s vaccine push to Nazi-era “brown shirts,” weeks after apologizing for her comments comparing Capitol Hill mask rules to the Holocaust.

4. Condo collapse

Search efforts at the site of the Surfside, Florida, condo collapse transitioned from rescue to recovery last night, meaning there is virtually no likelihood of finding more survivors. The decision was made after determining “the viability of life in the rubble” was low, the Miami-Dade County fire chief said. At the time of the announcement, the death toll stood at 54, with 86 people “potentially unaccounted for.” As communities gather to mourn and pray, the question of how such a catastrophic event occurred still lingers. The top prosecutor in Miami-Dade County says she has formally tasked a grand jury with investigating the cause of the collapse — and is looking into ways to prevent such a tragedy from happening again.

5. Colombia

An international human rights group has accused Colombia’s security forces of applying “excessive force” in dealing with protesters amid ongoing unrest in the country. The report from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights specifically mentions nonlethal applications of force as a source of mutilation and injury. Protests broke out in April in the capital of Bogota in response to a controversial proposed tax overhaul to address the country’s economic recovery during the pandemic. Critics say the overhaul would have hurt the middle class. According to human rights organizations in Colombia, more than 70 people have been killed on the streets since the protests began, and Colombian President Ivan Duque has been accused of leading heavy-handed crackdowns against demonstrators.


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