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July 1 - July 7: Week in Review

Record-Breaking High Temperatures: The Earth's average temperature set new unofficial records on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday for the hottest day on record.


Monday saw a global average of 62.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Tuesday saw a global average of 62.9 degrees Fahrenheit. On Wednesday, the global average temperature remained at 62.9 degrees Fahrenheit. The seven-day period that ended Wednesday saw a daily average that was 0.8 degrees Fahrenheit higher than any week in 44 years of record-keeping. Read more at Associated Press.


Government Contact with Social Media Operators Limited by Federal Judge: A federal judge in Louisiana issued an injunction that forbids multiple government agencies and administration officials from meeting with or contacting social media companies for the purpose of "encouraging, pressuring or inducing in any manner the removal, deletion, suppression or reduction of content containing protected free speech." Read more at Associated Press.


Biden Authorizes Shipment of U.S. Cluster Bombs to Ukraine: President Biden has authorized a shipment of cluster bombs to Ukraine as the Ukrainians are reportedly running out of ammunition.


The highly controversial bombs are banned by more than 120 countries due to their unpredictability and inaccuracy that often lead to large amounts of civilian casualties.


Cluster bombs can be fired from the ground, marine vessels or from the air. They are fired as a singular unit. Mid-flight, the bomb opens to release a collection of smaller bomblets. The bomblets then fall to the ground. While most detonate immediately, some can remain active for months or even years after being launched if they do not detonate upon their initial landing.


Reactions from U.S. congressmen have been largely mixed, with some Democrats being the harshest critics labeling the move as alarming and a terrible mistake.


Between 1964 and 1973, the U.S. dropped an estimated 250 million cluster bomblets in Laos. It is estimated that at least 78 million of those bomblets remained unexploded after impact. 50 years after the conflict ended, 13 of Laos's 15 provinces remain contaminated by unexploded bombs that could be triggered at any time by a farmer working in the fields or a dog digging in the backyard that unknowingly triggers a buried bomblet. Between 1968 and 2008, 50,000 people were killed or injured as a result of these unexploded bomblets. Read more at BBC News and Institute for Policy Studies.


Chicago Hit With Historic Flooding: The Chicago metropolitan area was met with historic rainfall and flooding on Saturday and Sunday with the worst flooding occurring on the west and southwest sides of Chicago. Chicago-O'Hare Airport received 3.35 inches of rain, which surpassed the previous daily record of 2.06 inches received on July 2, 1982. Read more at Weather.gov.


Israel's Military Operation in West Bank: Israeli forces killed at least 10 people and injured about 100 others in a two-day operation in the Palestine-occupied West Bank city of Jenin, marking the largest military operation in the region in more than 20 years.


Israeli officials declared the operation as an extensive counterterrorism effort that was designed to strike terrorist infrastructure.


Jenin deputy mayor Mohammed Jarrar stated that homes and infrastructure were destroyed with electricity and water being cut off from a refugee camp.


President Biden noted that Israel had a right to protect their sovereignty, while Egyptian officials condemned it as an act of aggression. Read more at Reuters & CNN.


Afghan Man Who Aided U.S. Forces Murdered in Washington, D.C.: Nasrat Ahmad Yar spent much of his adult life working with the U.S. military in Afghanistan before escaping to the U.S. in search of a better life for his wife and four children. On Monday night, Ahmad Yar was shot and killed while in his car in Washington, D.C.


Surveillance video captured the sound of a single gunshot and four young men running away from the area, but nobody has been arrested yet.


Ahmad Yar had been working as a ride-share driver to care for his family and had even sent money back to Afghanistan to help family and friends in his native country.


He worked with the U.S. military for about a decade as an interpreter among other jobs.


Ahmad Yar is the father of four kids ranging from 15 months to 13 years old. The family first settled in Pennsylvania and moved to the D.C. area after one of his friends was robbed. Read more at Associated Press.


Mass Shootings in US: This week, Gun Violence Archive reported a total of 26 mass shootings resulting in 141 victims injured and 24 victims dead.


First Drug to Slow Alzheimer's Progression Receives FDA Approval: The FDA granted full approval for the first experimental drug that was designed to slow the spread of Alzheimer's. The drug, Leqembi, was created by Eisai and Biogen and has been found to have modest success at slowing the disease's progression in clinical trials by delaying cognitive decline by 27% over 18 months.


The drug currently costs $26,500, but the organization estimates that it will cost between $8,900 and $21,500 once production ramps up.


Over 6 million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with Alzheimers, and the number is expected to more than double by 2050. Read more at Axios.



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