tl;dr

  • DNC email leak, Philadelphia convention
  • Florida shooting, Texas crash
  • Continued violence in Germany
  • Continued purge in Turkey
  • Attack in Japan
  • Verizon buys Yahoo
  • First round-the-world solar-powered flight
  • ALS gene identified

USA

Debbie Wasserman Schultz (DWS) announced that she will resign from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) over a new Democrat email scandal. (The allegedly neutral organization had members colluding to support Hillary Clinton while attacking her rivals, instead of supporting all candidates equally.) More than 19,000 emails and attachments from the DNC were released by Wikileaks on July 23rd, containing a lot of information. Several media outlets are deflecting from the email controversy by blaming Russia (in a twisted revisit of the McCarthy era) and refusing to cover the email content itself. Some Democrats seem to believe that floating conspiracy theories will make people forget evidence of DNC corruption.

  • President Obama’s response to the DWS resignation was “For the last eight years, Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz has had my back. This afternoon, I called her to let her know that I am grateful… for accomplishing the shared goals we have had for our country.”
  • Hillary Clinton’s response was “… I am glad that [Debbie] has agreed to serve as honorary chair of my campaign’s 50-state program to gain ground and elect Democrats in every part of the country, and will continue to serve as a surrogate for my campaign nationally, in Florida, and in other key states. I look forward to campaigning with Debbie in Florida and helping her in her re-election bid.”

The Democratic National Convention took place in Philadelphia (July 25-28). Hillary Clinton officially became the Democrat nominee for president. She formally accepted the party’s nomination Thursday, “the final night of the Democratic convention, setting up a general election fight against Republican Donald Trump.” (The Hill) “Hillary Clinton becomes the first woman in US history to be nominated for president by any major party” (BBC) (Side note: People say “major party” because Victoria Woodhull was the first woman to run for president, in 1872.) Although ‘unity’ was a theme pushed during speeches, the convention was very much in disarray at times. Democrats staged protests and walk-outs. These moments of discord were not publicized by most media outlets – the only information about them was often from Twitter videos or individual journalists.

Two people were killed and 17 were wounded in a shooting at a Florida nightclub (ClubBlu, Fort Myers). Three people were taken into custody. The motive isn’t clear, but doesn’t seem to be linked to terrorism. A security guard from the club believes the shooting stemmed from a dispute.

A hot air balloon crashed in central Texas, killing everyone on board – at least 16 people.

Germany

A Syrian man attacked a group of people with a machete in Reutlingen, killing one woman and injuring two others. He was detained by police, who said the attacker had been charged with assault in the past. No indications of terrorism, although some media sources are reporting that the murdered woman was pregnant.

An explosive device went off in Ansbach, killing one (the bomber) and injuring 11. A video found on the bomber’s phone shows him pledging allegiance to ISIS, who of course claimed responsibility for the attack. The Syrian man had psychiatric problems including previous suicide attempts. German authorities say he was supposed to be deported.

Turkey

Authorities issued warrants against 47 journalists, continuing Erdogan’s purge. Turkish airlines have fired 211 staff. Dishonorable discharges have been issued for some military members – 149 generals, 1099 officers, and 436 junior officers.

Turkey then ordered the closure of 3 news agencies, 16 television stations, 23 radio stations, 45 newspapers, 15 magazines, and 29 publishers.

Turkish authorities are investigating people who believe the coup was a hoax or otherwise planned by Erdogan. “Since the failed coup, many people have alleged on social media that the armed uprising… was orchestrated by the government. Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said anyone who suggests the attempted coup was staged was probably involved in it themselves and would face investigation. The threat came amid a wave of detentions, firings and suspensions of public sector workers.” (Independent)

Japan

“At least 19 people are reported to have been killed and another 26 injured after a man went on a rampage with a knife at a Japanese facility for disabled people in the early hours of Tuesday. […] According to police in Sagamihara a man turned himself in at a police station about two hours after the attack.” (The Guardian)

technology and health

Verizon is buying Yahoo for $4.83 billion. Yahoo will be merged with AOL, which Verizon purchased for $4.4 billion in 2015. Some of Yahoo will remain, keeping stakes in Alibaba and Yahoo Japan, but the company remnants will change its name.

“Solar Impulse 2 plane lands in Abu Dhabi, completes first round-the-world solar-powered flight.” (AP)

“…researchers part of Project MinE’s global gene sequencing effort, funded by The ALS Association through ALS Ice Bucket Challenge donations, have identified a new ALS gene, NEK1, which now ranks among the most common genes that contribute to the disease, providing scientists with another potential target for therapy development. This was the largest-ever study of familial (inherited) ALS, [and] involved contributions from over 80 researchers in 11 countries…. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.” (ALSA)