Your Daily Brief

July 7th, 2022

Good morning, and happy Thursday! Today is World Chocolate Day, and before you celebrate the most delectable of days, here’s what we have for you:

Today’s Highlights

  • Man accused of killing rapper Nipsey Hussle found guilty of first-degree murder
  • FDA temporarily lifts ban on Juul e-cigarettes
  • Sri Lanka declares bankruptcy
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Man accused of killing rapper Nipsey Hussle found guilty of first-degree murder

A man named Eric R. Holder Jr. was found guilty yesterday of murdering rapper Nipsey Hussle three years ago in South Los Angeles.

Holder was an acquaintance of the late Hussle (born Ermias Asghedom), who was shot and killed in the parking lot outside of his Marathon clothing store in Los Angeles on March 31, 2019. According to Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney John McKinney, Holder and Hussle had known each other since childhood and were members of the Rollin 60s Neighborhood Crips gang.

During the trial, McKinney said that Holder had a conversation with Hussle outside of the store on the day of the rapper’s death, and was angered when Hussle accused him of working with law enforcement as an informant. Holder then returned to the store about ten minutes later with a gun, McKinney said, and multiple witnesses claim they saw him walk up and open fire at Hussle.

Holder was charged with one count of first-degree murder, for which the jury found him guilty. He was also charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder for two others injured in the shooting, though the jury lessened the charges, finding him guilty of two counts of attempted voluntary manslaughter. He is scheduled to be sentenced in September and faces a maximum of life in prison.

FDA temporarily lifts ban on Juul e-cigarettes

The Food and Drug Administration temporarily paused its order banning Juul from marketing and selling its e-cigarettes in the U.S. market.

Last month, the agency rejected Juul’s applications to continue selling its e-cigarettes and ordered Juul to pull those products from the United States market. Juul appealed the decision, and a federal court issued a temporary stay on the ban while the company goes through the appeals process.

When the FDA first issued the ban in June, the agency wrote that Juul provided “​​insufficient evidence to assess the potential toxicological risks” of using its products, and failed ​​to “demonstrate that marketing of the products would be appropriate for the protection of the public health.” However, in a statement posted to Twitter yesterday, the FDA said that the agency has “determined that there are scientific issues unique to the Juul application that warrant additional review."

During the appeals process, Juul is still able to market and sell its e-cigarette products on the U.S. market.

Sri Lanka declares bankruptcy

As Sri Lanka’s financial situation worsens, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has officially declared the country bankrupt.

After its foreign exchange reserves fell to record lows and inflation levels near 60%, ​​the country is experiencing its worst financial condition in 70 years. In May, Sri Lanka defaulted on its debt for the first time in the country’s history as an independent nation. On Sunday, Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera said the country had less than one day’s worth of fuel left, and since then, the nation’s currency and fuel reserves have run out.

To help extend fuel reserves, the government has taken measures such as shutting down schools, asking people to work from home, and limiting fuel to only essential services. Yesterday, Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa revealed that he had asked for credit support from Russian President Vladimir Putin to help import fuel.

Meanwhile, the country has run out of money to pay for other essential imports including food and medicine, leaving millions of Sri Lankans to deal with shortages and struggling to purchase those products.

Around the Globe

  • A funeral was held for the 21 teenagers who died of still-unknown causes in a bar in East London, South Africa
  • Chinese company BYD (backed by Warren Buffet) overtakes Tesla to become the world’s largest electric car maker in terms of deliveries–though most of BYD’s cars are plug-in hybrids using gas engines for supplemental power, while Tesla makes fully electric vehicles
  • Over 870 prisoners escaped a Nigerian prison following a raid on the facility; the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack, and over 440 inmates are still missing

On the Homefront

  • Former President Trump’s White House counsel Pat Cipollone has agreed to testify before the January 6th committee in a closed-door, videotaped interview
  • The national average for gas prices has dropped below $5 per gallon, according to data from AAA
  • The Electra Fire about 50 miles southeast of Sacramento, California has forced thousands of residents to evacuate their homes; the wildfire is believed to be sparked by either fireworks or a barbecue on the Fourth of July

Glitz and Games

  • 22-year-old Alexander “AJ” Jennings who worked as a stand-in for Chase Stokes on the Netflix series Outer Banks was killed by a hit and run accident near Charleston, South Carolina
  • Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino has signed a 5-year contract extension with a targeted pay of $30 million per year if metrics are reached
  • Carlos Santana collapsed on stage during a concert late Tuesday night due to a combination of dehydration and heat exhaustion; the guitarist said he is recovering and “taking it easy”

Money Moves

  • Major indexes in the stock market recovered but stumbled later in the day to close slightly above neutral (Dow +0.23%, Nasdaq +0.35%, S&P 500 +0.36%)
  • Walmart will begin imposing fuel and pickup collection surcharges on some of its suppliers next month to account for rising fuel and transportation costs
  • Cryptocurrency broker Voyager files for bankruptcy after the collapse of Three Arrows Capital, which defaulted on a loan provided by Voyager one week ago

Tip & Tricks

  • Binge Watch: Check out the first-look trailer for David O. Russell’s new film Amsterdam, featuring Taylor Swift, Rami Malek, Chris Rock, and others
  • Chow Down: Get fancy-schmancy with this recipe for creamy Tuscan chicken (*chef’s kiss*)
  • Go Deep: Find out why droves of teenage boys are wearing suits to movie theaters as part of the “GentleMinions” trend
  • Nerd Out: Read about a new ​​study that has ruled out a popular explanation behind the existence of dark matter called the “axion-like particle cogenesis” model
  • Say What: “I’m not trying to be, like, any spokesperson for recovery or anything like that. I, myself, am just going through it and figuring it out,” Noah Cyrus said when talking about her Xanax addiction and road to recovery
  • Hot Goss: Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk had twins last November with one of his top executives, Shivon Zilis; Musk now has nine known children
  • Life Hack: Wearing green on camera makes you appear smaller while wearing yellow makes you appear larger

Question of the day

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Looking Back…

On July 7th, 1898, the United States Congress annexed Hawaii through a joint resolution signed by President William McKinley; the islands went on to become a U.S. territory in 1900 and a U.S. state in 1959.

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