LEADERS: Yesterday, Japan headed to the polls in parliamentary elections - just two days after former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was assassinated at a campaign stop. The results: the Liberal Dems (aka Abe’s party) and their coalition partners snagged enough seats in Parliament to form a two-thirds supermajority. Big deal, since this gives them the power to amend a clause in the Constitution that renounces war - opening the door for Japan to become a global military power. Meanwhile, the other day, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigned. So did dozens of members of his gov. Yes, really. This comes after a series of scandals, including Partygate and sexual misconduct allegations against a Conservative lawmaker Johnson promoted.
WORLD: Over the weekend, gunmen opened fire on three taverns in South Africa, killing at least 21 people and injuring dozens more. The three separate attacks took place hundreds of miles apart and don’t appear to be linked. The attacks have led to calls for stricter regulation of South African taverns. In other news, recently, Russian forces fired a series of rockets at an apartment building in the eastern Ukrainian town of Chasiv Yar, killing at least 15 people. Dozens of people could reportedly be trapped under the rubble. The Ukrainian gov called the strike “another terrorist attack” by Russia. On that note: WNBA star Brittney Griner just pleaded guilty to bringing hashish oil into Russia. The trial could continue for weeks or months.
USA: Yesterday, Stephen Bannon (as in one of Donald Trump’s closest allies) agreed to testify to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. You read that right. Bannon had previously shaken his head to testifying - risking two years in jail and large fines. But now, it looks like Trump has given Bannon the thumbs-up to talk to investigators. In other news, the other day, Prez Joe Biden signed an executive order aimed at protecting abortion rights. Think: it attempts to safeguard access to medication abortion and emergency contraception, protect patient privacy, boost the security of those seeking and providing abortion services…to name a few. Meanwhile, a new Arizona law would ban people from recording videos within eight feet of police activity. Cue concerns that this would cut back on transparency.