More Protests as Navalny Sentenced | Bezos to Step Down

1. Navalny Sentenced as More Supporters Arrested

Can they keep this contained? Before a Moscow court sentenced Alexei Navalny to 32 additional months in prison yesterday, the dissident blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin for his August poisoning and called his prosecution cowardly. After the verdict, following Navalny’s encouragement, several thousand demonstrators chanting “Russia without Putin” marched through the capital and St. Petersburg. Videos posted online showed police beating protesters, hundreds of whom were reportedly detained. The U.S. has demanded Navalny’s release, as well as that of thousands of protesters arrested yesterday and during recent weekend demonstrations across Russia.

Sources: WSJ (sub)Washington PostNBC

2. Two FBI Agents Die in Reported Child Porn Raid

In one of the FBI’s deadliest incidents, two agents were fatally shot and three others wounded Tuesday during a raid in South Florida. Agents Daniel Alfin and Laura Schwartzenberger died in the Fort Lauderdale suburb of Sunrise while executing a search warrant, which the FBI Agents Association said involved child pornography possession. The unnamed suspect, who the FBI said opened fire on the agents when they arrived, is believed to have killed himself. Two of the wounded agents have been hospitalized and are in a stable condition. Mourned by FBI Director Christopher Wray, the agents “exemplified heroism today in defense of their country.»

Sources: APCNN

3. Bezos Stepping Down as Amazon CEO

He’s got better things to do. Jeff Bezos, who became one of the world’s richest people building Amazon from an online bookstore into a $1.6 trillion global empire, announced Tuesday that he’ll step down as the company’s CEO later this year. He plans to focus on homeless charity Day One Fund, environmental nonprofit Bezos Earth Fund, his Blue Origin space flight company and his ownership of The Washington Post. He’ll also continue as executive chairman of Amazon’s board, while the new CEO will be Amazon Web Services head Andy Jassy, 53, who joined the company fresh out of Harvard in 1997.

Sources: CNBCReuters

4. Five Kids Killed in an Oklahoma Home

Police in Oklahoma arrived at a horrific crime scene Tuesday, finding five children, aged 1 to 9, and an adult with fatal gunshot wounds. The alleged gunman was reportedly leaving the Muskogee house where the victims were found. Police said he was holding a gun and officers fired at him and missed, before arresting him on first-degree murder charges. It’s unclear what happened but a local newspaper reported that the man killed was the brother of the suspect, Jarron Deajon Pridgeon, 25. Another shooting victim, reportedly the mother of the children, remains hospitalized.

Sources: CNNMuskogee Phoenix

5. Also Important …

China has blocked a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Monday’s military coup in Myanmar. Mexican authorities have arrested a dozen state police officers in the killing of 19 people, some of them Guatemalan immigrants, close to the U.S. border last month. And President Biden has criticized a $618 billion Republican pandemic relief proposal as insufficient, and is urging Democrats to advance their $1.9 trillion package instead.

Presidential Transition Update: House impeachment managers submitted their case against former President Donald Trump yesterday in an 80-page brief that argues he was “singularly responsible” for the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol. And Congressional Republicans plan to vote today on punishing QAnon-believing Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene by stripping her of committee assignments.

6. Today on ‘The Carlos Watson Show’

“Real housewife” Cynthia Bailey takes Carlos behind the curtain of the literal overnight fame that she earned on reality TV. The model and actress tells her story from being her school’s first Black homecoming queen to becoming one of Atlanta’s most recognizable faces. Find out the secrets to her success — and when the show drops by subscribing to The Carlos Watson Show on YouTube now.

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1. Hawks Give LeBron’s ‘Courtside Karen’ a Break

It’s part of the game, right? LeBron James says he’s missed interacting with fans, even with the woman he’s dubbed “Courtside Karen.” The L.A. Lakers superstar’s Monday altercation with fans ended with the woman, who’s seen on video dropping her mask to berate King James, and three others being ejected from the Atlanta Hawks’ home arena, among the first NBA venues to admit fans during the pandemic. But James said he didn’t think the Atlanta expulsions were warranted. The Hawks have investigated the matter and the heckler, who has apologized, will be allowed back to games along with her party.

Sources: Yahoo , CBSSporting News

2. Vaccine Shown to Slow Transmission in UK

“Absolutely superb.” That’s what Britain’s health secretary says about the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine’s ability to not simply prevent illness, but curb COVID-19’s spread. He’s referring to an unpublished study that shows, for the first time, a “substantial” effect on transmission. Another positive development as the world anxiously awaits limited inoculation supplies, is that Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, doubted when approved by federation regulators before trials were complete, seems to have passed with flying colors. A study of 2,100 people aged 60 or older published in The Lancet says it’s 92 percent effective — putting it on par with Pfizer and Moderna shots.

Sources: BBCAl Jazeera

3. The Fight for Dolphins — in Pakistan

It’s a tough neighborhood. One of the world’s rarest species of dolphin is named for the Indus River where they are found. The blind creatures struggle against damaging fishing practices, human attacks and pollution, OZY reports. It’s no wonder their numbers declined to just 1,200 dolphins 19 years ago. Despite those challenges, the population has jumped 50 percent since, thanks to conservationists who rush to aid these echolocation-navigating swimmers when they’re stuck or hurt. There are even dolphin ambulances. However, new threats such as dam projects and electrofishing could undo that progress, leaving these marine mammal guardians with plenty more work to do.

Source: OZY

4. China Unamused by ‘Wu-Han Clan’ Shirt

Not so diplomatic, eh? A T-shirt commemorating the Canadian Embassy’s effort to repatriate its nationals at the start of the pandemic has created a diplomatic uproar amid already strained Beijing-Ottawa relations. Images circulated on Chinese social media showed the shirt’s stylized W, made to look like rap collective Wu-Tang Clan’s logo, but not, as Canada’s foreign service declared, “intended to represent a bat.” China has been countering theories that COVID-19 started in Wuhan, where, as it has been hypothesized, the virus began spreading among humans after originating in bats. International experts now investigating such explanations in Wuhan would do well to make wiser wardrobe choices.

Source: NMEReuters

5. LA Landmark Sign Changed to ‘Hollyboob’

It was for a worthy cause. Or not. While a Los Angeles YouTuber told police she used tarps to change Los Angeles’ iconic “Hollywood” sign to read “Hollyboob” to raise breast cancer awareness this week, she also appeared anxious to send a message to Instagram for shuttering her account. Julia Rose, who publishes racier stuff elsewhere, was booted for instagramming nude photos. Whatever the motivation, hopefully the scenic prank, which netted Rose and her companions misdemeanor trespass charges, will actually call attention to breast cancer, which the World Health Organization said yesterday has surpassed lung cancer as the world’s most common malignancy.

Sources: HuffPostReuters