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Monkeypox outbreak in US declared a Public Health Emergency
On August 4th, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra declared the ongoing monkeypox outbreak in the US a Public Health Emergency (PHE). Thursday's declaration is expected to free up additional funding and tools to combat the monkeypox outbreak across the country.
Autopsy results released in IA state park triple homicide case
On August 4th, the IA Department of Public Safety provided an update on the autopsy results of a triple homicide that occurred at the Maquoketa Caves State Park campground. On July 22nd, officials were notified of a triple homicide at the state park. Authorities found the bodies of three deceased victims along with one of the man who is suspected to be the perpetrator.
Former Puerto Rico Governor Wanda Vazquez arrested on bribery charges
On August 4th, former Puerto Rico Governor Wanda Vazquez Garced was arrested on alleged bribery charges related to the financing of her 2020 gubernatorial campaign. Garced, who was in office from 2019 to 2021, has been charged with conspiracy, federal programs bribery, and honest services wire fraud.
China launches series of live-fire military drills around Taiwan
On Wednesday, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and co left Taiwan after hailing its democracy, noting that their visit reinforced that the US "stands with Taiwan." Pelosi stated, "We came to Taiwan to listen to, learn from and show our support for the people of Taiwan, who have built a thriving Democracy that stands as one of the freest and most open in the world."
US & French Parliaments ratify Finland & Sweden’s accession to NATO
France's National Assembly voted 209-46 to ratify Sweden and Finland's NATO accession protocols. The process to ratify the two countries as NATO's newest members was officially launched in July; the legislative assemblies of all 30 NATO member states need to approve Finland and Sweden's membership bids.
Police arrest a man in connection with 12-year-old’s kidnapping in AL
On Monday, the police found a 12-year-old kidnapped girl walking along a rural road near Dadeville; the girl had escaped the abductor's house after being held captive for a week. According to the police, the 12-year-old "had broken braces from chewing out of her restraints." Officials noted that the girl was now in state custody.
The world reacts to Zawahiri’s death
On Monday, the US announced it had killed al-Qaeda top boss Ayman al-Zawahiri in Kabul in a CIA precision drone strike. A former Egyptian surgeon, Zawahiri, had a $25M reward on his head for his involvement in coordinating the September 11, 2001 attacks.
TX man sentenced to jail in connection with 2021 Capitol attack
On August 1st, the Justice Department announced that a TX man, Guy Wesley Reffitt, had been sentenced to 87 months (7.25 years) in prison for his actions "before, during, and after" the 2021 US Capitol attack. In March 2022, a DC jury found Reffitt guilty of two counts of civil disorder and one count each of obstruction of an official proceeding, entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a firearm, and obstruction of justice.
Nancy Pelosi & US Congressional delegation visit Singapore
On Monday, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and an accompanying Congressional delegation arrived in Singapore for a two-day visit, marking their first stop on their official Asia tour. The delegation met with several prominent officials, including Singapore's President Halimah Yacob, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, and Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan.
US kills Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in precision drone strike in Kabul
On August 1st, President Joe Biden announced that the US had killed Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri during a successful counterterrorism operation in Kabul, Afghanistan. Al-Zawahiri, an Egyptian surgeon-turned-militant, was one of the main plotters of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001 that claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 people in the US.