ABUSE: Over the past few years, lots of former Boy Scouts have lobbed sex abuse accusations at scoutmasters and other leaders. Think: over 84,000. What was also being lobbed at the Boy Scouts of America (aka the BSA): lawsuits. So yesterday, the BSA reached an $850 million settlement with those victims. It’s the largest settlement in a child sexual abuse case in US history. Not a typo. This comes after the BSA filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In other news, the wealth management firm that was set to act as co-conservator of Britney Spears’ financial dealings just asked to ditch the arrangement. The biz says it originally thought Spears was willingly in the conservatorship, but learned otherwise after the singer’s testimony last week.
DEMOCRACY: ICYMI, lately, people have been taking to the streets in Eswatini (formerly known as Swaziland) to demand democratic reforms and accuse King Mswati III (who’s ruled the kingdom for about 30 years) of repression. Some have barricaded roads and set fire to buildings, many of which have ties to the royal family. In response, the gov’s imposed a nightly curfew, while soldiers have reportedly been assaulting people believed to be protesters. Meanwhile, the US Supreme Court just upheld voting restrictions in Arizona. It’s a major blow to Dems and voting rights activists. And in other US news, the Justice Dept is pausing federal executions, reversing a Trump-era decision that led to a resurgence of the practice.
DISASTERS: The death toll from the extreme heat in the Pacific Northwest just keeps rising. See: nearly 100 deaths in Washington and Oregon alone have now been linked to the record-breaking temps. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, the African Union special envoy tasked with efforts to get coronavirus vaccines for the continent is not happy with the European Union and COVAX (as in the global vaccine-sharing initiative). Hint: he said “not one dose, not one vial, has left a European factory for Africa.” Yes, really. FYI, the continent has the lowest vaccination rate in the world, with just 1 percent of Africans fully vaccinated against the virus. While we’re on the subject: the World Health Organization just warned everyone that Europe is at risk of a new wave of the virus. Because, the delta variant and increased socializing.