Haiti's in turmoil.
Yesterday, gunmen assassinated the Caribbean country's President Jovenel Moïse in his Port-au-Prince home. His wife, first lady Martine Moïse, was wounded and is in critical condition. Authorities killed four suspects and arrested two others hours later. They're believed to be well-trained killers who allegedly impersonated DEA agents to enter the home. Now, interim Prime Minister Claude Joseph's taken over the gov. He declared a "state of siege" – which allows things like putting the military and police in charge of security, closing borders, and banning gatherings. Joseph called for justice and peace. But Haiti's been far from calm for a long time.
Moïse, who took office in 2017, had been ruling by decree for over a year and refused to hold elections – prompting concerns of a dictatorship. Haitians took to the streets, angry over his alleged corruption and attempt to hold onto power. And accused him of mishandling the economy. Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world. And natural disasters like the 2010 earthquake haven't helped. An estimated 60% of Haiti's 11 million citizens live below the poverty line. All the political and humanitarian unrest has led to even more instability (think: escalating gang violence and kidnappings).
World leaders including from the UK and US have condemned the assassination. President Biden denounced it as "heinous." And said the US – which is Haiti's top aid donor – is ready to help "work for a safe and secure Haiti." The US Embassy in Haiti has closed amid security concerns. The UN could meet today to evaluate the situation. Meanwhile, some Haitians are apparently concerned because security forces are said to be understaffed and ill-equipped. In recent weeks, several officers have died as they've tried to bring order to the country.
Haiti is still suffering from the natural disaster that devastated its economy and plunged it into a humanitarian crisis. Now, the president's assassination amid political unrest has only added to the country's uncertainty.
Former President Trump. Yesterday, he sued Facebook, Twitter, Google (which owns YouTube), and the companies' CEOs for kicking him off their platforms. After the Jan 6 Capitol insurrection, the social media companies suspended Trump's accounts for violating their guidelines. Twitter banned him permanently. Now, Trump's fighting back, saying that if "unconstitutional" and "un-American" censorship can happen to him, it can happen to anyone. He called on the court to put an end to social media companies' "shameful censorship" by giving him back his open mic. It's the latest in Trump's battle with Big Tech platforms over censorship concerns. And comes days after a pro-Trump social media app, GETTR, launched. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube haven't responded.
Crystal ball says: Legal experts predict the lawsuit won't gain steam since private companies can decide what to allow on their platforms.
Samuel Luiz. On Saturday, the 24-year-old man was beaten to death in northwestern Spain. Luiz's friends said he was targeted for being gay and that the attackers shouted a homophobic slur. The attack happened outside of a nightclub. His death sparked nationwide protests and thousands denounced attacks on the LGBTQ+ community. Earlier this week, Spanish officials said they've arrested three people in connection with Luiz's death but are still investigating to see if this was a hate crime. The world's showing its solidarity online with hashtags #JusticiaParaSamuel and #JusticeForSamuel.
A conservative wave: Same-sex marriage has been legal in Spain since 2005. But many reportedly believe there's been a recent rise in homophobia as the country's far-right Vox party's gained popularity.
Surfside, Florida. Yesterday, officials announced search and rescue at the collapsed condo was over. Instead, they'd be moving toward the recovery phase since there's "no chance of life." Two weeks ago, a section of the 12-story condo collapsed. It came after a 2018 report flagging structural damage to the building. So far, 54 people have been confirmed dead, while 86 are still unaccounted for. Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava has praised the search and rescue teams from around the world. And officials are hoping this next phase will bring families some closure.
Delta. The highly contagious COVID-19 is now believed to be the dominant strain in the US. The most recent CDC data shows it's been responsible for more than half of new infections. And detected in all 50 states, the variant seems to also be putting up a fight against vaccines. One study from Israel found that the Pfizer shot is 64% effective against the variant – down from 94%. But it's still highly effective against preventing hospitalizations and severe illness. And health officials still say that getting fully vaccinated works better in the long run than playing the odds.
The Tampa Bay Lightning. Yesterday, the team won its third Stanley Cup after beating the Montreal Canadiens 1-0. Ice, ice, Bay-bee.
Skimm’d by Rashaan Ayesh, Maria del Carmen Corpus, Mariza Smajlaj, Clem Robineau, and Julie Shain
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