U.S. declares health emergency over monkeypox outbreak; WNBA’s Griner convicted at drug trial, sentenced to 9 years | Hot off the Wire podcast

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The U.S. declared a public health emergency to bolster the federal response to the outbreak of monkeypox that already has infected more than 6,600 Americans. The announcement frees up federal funding and resources to fight the virus which may cause fever, body aches, chills, fatigue and pimple-like bumps on many parts of the body.

China says it has conducted “precision missile strikes” in the Taiwan Strait as part of military exercises by its navy, air force and other departments in six zones surrounding the island. Japan says it protested to China after five of the missiles landed inside its Exclusive Economic Zone. The drills were prompted by a visit to the island by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi this week.

A judge in Russia convicted American basketball star Brittney Griner of drug possession and smuggling. She was sentenced to nine years in prison in a politically charged case that could lead to a high-stakes prisoner exchange between Washington and Moscow.

The federal government has filed civil rights charges against four Louisville police officers over the drug raid that led to the death of Breonna Taylor. She was a Black woman whose fatal shooting in Kentucky helped fuel the racial justice protests that rocked the nation in 2020.

Jurors in the trial of Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz have toured the still-bloodstained building where he murdered 17 people four years ago. The 12 jurors and their 10 alternates were bused to Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Thursday along with the judge, prosecutors and Cruz’s attorneys. Cruz wasn’t present.

Toyota’s profit fell nearly 18% from a year earlier in the April-June quarter as a semiconductor shortage that has slammed the industry dented production at Japan’s top automaker. Toyota officials apologized Thursday to customers who have been waiting for their cars after putting in orders.

Robinhood Markets is cutting about 23% of its workforce because fewer users are trading on its app amid the tumult hammering stock and cryptocurrency markets.

More Americans applied for jobless benefits last week as the number of unemployed continues to rise modestly, though the labor market remains one of the strongest parts of the U.S. economy. Applications for jobless aid for the week ending July 30 rose by 6,000 to 260,000 from the previous week’s 254,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

Dr. Meredith Grey will be cutting back her workload next season on “Grey’s Anatomy.” Series star Ellen Pompeo is set to appear in eight episodes of the hospital drama, about a third of the usual per-season number.

In a highly unusual move that has rattled Hollywood, Warner Bros. axed the “Batgirl” film planned for HBO Max, opting to shelve the $90 million film as the reorganized studio revamps its approach to streaming and DC Comics films.

A suspect mistakenly released from a Los Angeles County jail where he was being held on suspicion of shooting Lady Gaga’s dog walker and stealing her French bulldogs has been recaptured. The county Sheriff’s Department says James Howard Jackson, 19, was arrested Wednesday nearly five months after he was released from jail while awaiting trial “due to a clerical error.”

Chrissy Teigen and her husband John Legend are expecting another child nearly two years after the couple suffered a pregnancy loss. Teigen made the announcement Wednesday on Instagram where she posted two photos of her baby bump.