SINEMA, DEMOCRATS REACH DEAL
Arizona’s Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, the last remaining Democratic holdout, said she will “move forward” on the Inflation Reduction Act after party leaders make changes on tax provisions including one addressing the “carried interest loophole.” Now, along with the earlier endorsement from Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Senate Democrats are poised to pass sweeping investments in energy and climate programs, extend health care subsidies and ease prescription drug prices, fulfilling a key component of President Joe Biden’s economic agenda
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., has signed on to the Inflation Reduction Act. [AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File]
BRITTNEY GRINER SENTENCED
WNBA star Brittney Griner has been sentenced to nine years of jail time in a Russian penal colony after being convicted of smuggling cannabis into the country. The sentence comes after a grueling and highly publicized trial that played out against the backdrop of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The U.S. has pressed Moscow for Griner's release, but the Biden administration has so far declined to confirm if a new prisoner-exchange proposal is in the works.
Brittney Griner listens to the verdict in a Russian courtroom Thursday.
Brittney Griner listens to the verdict in a Russian courtroom Thursday. [Evgenia Novozhenina/Pool Photo via AP]
BREONNA TAYLOR SHOOTERS CHARGED
Two years after the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor, four former and current police officers have been charged with federal crimes relating to her death. The officers shot Taylor during a "no-knock" raid on her apartment in Louisville, Ky., sparking a wave of protests. Her name became a rallying cry for those calling for police reforms across the U.S.
ALEX JONES MUST PAY
Conspiracy-monger Alex Jones has been ordered to pay more than $4 million in compensatory damages to the family of a 6-year-old victim of the Sandy Hook school shooting. Jones spread widespread misinformation, claiming the mass killing was a hoax and causing listeners to go after victims' families. An Austin, Texas, jury will still decide how much the Infowars host will have to pay the family in punitive damages.
It's official. Monkeypox is now a national public health emergency, according to the White House. The designation will open the door to more government resources to address the outbreak as well as increased access to health care for those suffering from the virus. It also allows the CDC to better share data and support emergency hospital services. Usually, public health emergencies last 90 days, but they can be extended.
Let's hope extending this emergency isn't necessary.
A pharmacist holds a vial of Monkeypox vaccine in West Hollywood, Calif. [AP Photo/Richard Vogel]
NEW CYBER ESPIONAGE TACTICS
As social platforms get more sophisticated identifying cyber criminals, perpetrators are getting smarter at avoiding getting caught. Meta’s latest quarterly report on adversarial threats detailed new tactics, including how one group used an Apple developer system created for beta testing apps to send out links to download malware, and how one troll farm recruited people off the street to work a seven-day-a-week job posting Russian propaganda.
FLIGHT CANCELED? GET A REFUND
With the way things are going at American airports, travelers might want to consider a different mode of transportation to reach their destinations. But if Democratic lawmakers have their way, major airlines will be held accountable for extensive delays and cancellations. Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., introduced the Cash Refunds for Flight Cancellations Act, which would require airlines to provide cash refunds or vouchers for canceled and significantly delayed flights. Right now, airlines often skirt refunds by offering vouchers that come with terms and conditions.
We call on Congress to expand in-flight snack options now!
'ABOVE-NORMAL' HURRICANE SEASON
Hurricane season is officially here, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says conditions point to an "above-normal" 2022. To put that in perspective, that's roughly 14-20 named storms, 6-10 hurricanes and 3-5 major hurricanes. The peak season usually stretches from August through October, so keep an eye on the weather forecasts, and heed Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo’s warning to "remain vigilant" as the storms start rolling in.
SENATE PROPOSES CRYPTO BILL
After a series of high-profile scams, frauds and crashes, almost everyone can agree that crypto could use some long overdue regulation — but the question of which government agency should take on the job has hampered progress for years. Now, a bipartisan Senate bill aims to finally settle the question, handing the reins to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission rather than the Securities and Exchange Commission. While the bill has broad support from the industry, some say the CFTC isn't right for the job.
Now maybe crypto regulations won't be so cryptic.
STRONG CANNABIS DEMAND
On the back of a strong second-quarter earnings report, Green Thumb Industries CEO Ben Kovler told Cheddar News that he anticipates continued demand from cannabis consumers in spite of macroeconomic pressures. For the quarter ending June 30, Green Thumb Industries reported $254.3 million in revenue, a jump of 14.6% year-over-year and 4.8% sequentially, much of which Kovler attributed to growth in the New Jersey and Illinois markets.
Here’s the latest buzz on the weed industry. (Groan.)
WHAT TO STREAM: It's going to be a hot one this weekend, folks, so crank up your air conditioners and check out this weekly roundup of streaming options.
WHAT TO LISTEN TO: From so-called feral girls to coastal grandmas, Michelle Castillo caught up with Spotify host and storyteller Lea Palmieri to chat about the latest in music and podcasts.
SANDMAN PRIMER: We know the lore might not be necessary for enjoying a good comic book adaptation. But in the case of "The Sandman," a deeply weird fantasy series from the legendary Neil Gaiman, some background might help you get settled into the new series that's dropping today on Netflix. Here's a quick-and-dirty primer on the history of the comic book.
Tom Sturridge, who stars as Morpheus/Dream in Netflix’s "The Sandman," attends a panel at the San Diego Comic-Con last month. [Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP]
Here's Cheddar News' rundown of the last 24 hours of entertainment news, including "Batgirl" directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah’s response to Warner Bros.' decision to shut down production.