HEALTH: Around the world, coronavirus cases and deaths are starting to rise again after nine weeks of decline. The why: low vaccination rates, relaxed mask rules, and the delta variant - which the World Health Organization says will probably become globally dominant in the coming months. That’s beginning to be the case in the US, where the variant accounts for about 58 percent of all new coronavirus infections. In other news, Spain’s top court just ruled that last year’s strict coronavirus lockdown...was unconstitutional. You read that right. And meanwhile, recently, Brazilian Prez Jair Bolsonaro was hospitalized after waking up with severe stomach pains. He could face an emergency surgery.
COURT: Yesterday, a judge ruled that Britney Spears can hire a lawyer of her choice in the fight to end her conservatorship. During her time in court, Spears also asked that her dad be charged with abuse. This comes after the singer gave an emotional testimony in court last month alleging she’s been drugged, forced to work, and prevented from removing her IUD (which prevents pregnancy). Meanwhile, a new report from the Justice Dept’s inspector general says that the FBI botched its investigation into the accusations that Larry Nassar (aka the ex-doctor) sexually abused hundreds of female patients. As in at least 70 young athletes were abused by him between 2015, when the FBI first got word of the accusations, and 2016, when a police dept received a separate complaint.
DRUGS: Recently, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released preliminary stats on drug overdose deaths. The verdict? Deaths rose nearly 30 percent in 2020 to a record 93,000. Yes, really. They especially increased in the South and the West - and they were experienced disproportionately by young people. There’s also evidence the rise in deaths is related to the coronavirus pandemic. In other news, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer just proposed draft legislation that’d decriminalize marijuana at the federal level. Plus remove it from the Controlled Substances Act and start regulating and taxing it.