10 things you need to know today: July 23, 2023


Spain to vote in national election that could move the country right

Spain is set to go to the polls on Sunday in an election that could cause seismic changes for both the Spanish people and the larger European Union. Current polls show that the country appears headed for a shift to the right, as the conservative Popular Party, led by Alberto Núñez Feijóo, has the support needed to oust Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez. However, the Popular Party doesn’t appear to have the support to capture an outright majority, meaning that Feijóo will likely have to turn to the far-right, nationalist Vox Party to help form a government. This would mark the first far-right surge in Spain’s government since the dictatorship of Francisco Franco in the 1970s.

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Russian strike damages historic cathedral in Odesa

A Russian missile strike on the Ukrainian city of Odesa on Sunday killed at least one person and left 22 others injured, officials said. In addition, six residential buildings were damaged by the attack. The Orthodox Savior and Transfiguration Cathedral, a historic Orthodox cathedral listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list, was also badly damaged. Officials described the cathedral as being destroyed and said the attack was a “war crime that will never be forgotten and forgiven.” Both people in the cathedral at the time of the attack reportedly survived, and workers were seen pulling an icon of the city’s patron saint out of the rubble. 

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National monument to be established honoring Emmett Till

President Biden will reportedly sign a proclamation establishing a national monument for Emmett Till, the 14-year-old Chicago boy whose 1955 murder in Mississippi helped spark the Civil Rights Movement. White House sources said that Biden will sign the proclamation this coming Tuesday, which would have marked Till’s 82nd birthday. The Emmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley National Monument will be created across three sites in Illinois and Mississippi. One will be located in the Chicago church where Till was mourned, the second will be in Graball Landing, Mississippi, near where Till’s body was discovered, and the third will be at the Sumner, Mississippi, courthouse where Till’s admitted killers were acquitted. 

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Elon Musk says Twitter is changing logo

Twitter owner Elon Musk said Sunday that the social media company will be changing its logo to an ‘X’ and doing away with the platform’s iconic bird symbol. Musk made the announcements in a series of tweets, with an initial tweet showing an ‘X’ graphic. He followed this up by tweeting that the company “shall bid adieu to the Twitter brand, and, gradually, all the birds.” This announcement comes after Musk changed Twitter’s parent company name to X Corp as part of a vision to reinvent the app. Twitter’s website says its bird logo is “our most recognizable asset,” and it remains to be seen if Musk stays true to his word regarding the change. 

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Texas A&M president resigns after controversy over journalism program

Texas A&M University President M. Katherine Banks resigned from her role Thursday amidst continuing controversy over the attempted hiring of a new journalism professor. In a letter to the school’s chancellor, Banks wrote that “the recent challenges….have made it clear to me that I must retire immediately.” Banks’ resignation comes after fallout from her attempt to hire professor Kathleen McElroy to lead the school’s journalism program. However, McElroy’s offer was rescinded soon after, and she told The Texas Tribune that this occurred because of her previous work on diversity, equality, and inclusion programs, telling the outlet she was “being judged by race, maybe gender.” Texas A&M said it is investigating the circumstances of the failed hire. 

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Cambodian strongman wins reelection after suppressing opposition

Elections took place in Cambodia on Sunday, where Prime Minister Hun Sen declared victory for himself and his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP.) However, counties around the world criticized the process, describing the election as neither free nor fair. The CPP notably suppressed any opposition to their power and Hun Sen faced no real opponents in the election. The EU, United States, and other Western countries refused to send election observers as the prime minister looked poised to extend his rule by force. Having been in power in various roles for the past 38 years, Hun Sen is one of the world’s longest-ruling leaders, and is seen as a significant autocrat in the region.  

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At least 27 dead in Indian landslide

At least 27 people have died and dozens more remain missing after monsoon rains caused a massive landslide in a western Indian village, officials said. At least 78 people remain unaccounted for as rescue workers continue to dig through the rubble. The landslide occurred this past Wednesday in the village of Irshalwadi, approximately 50 miles from Mumbai. Of the 48 homes in the village, at least 17 of them were totally or partially buried by rising mud and debris, officials said. Pramod Kumar Singh of the National Disaster Response Force told local news outlets that the hilly terrain created a “huge challenge of not being able to carry heavy equipment, which is why everything is being done manually.”

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Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp contacted by 2020 election special counsel

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) was contacted by special counsel Jack Smith concerning the investigation into former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election, a spokesperson for the governor said Friday. While the details remain unclear, Kemp becomes the latest official to be questioned by Smith, who is reportedly looking into a series of false electors put forth in battleground states who had allegedly claimed victory for Trump despite the fact that he lost their respective states. Following the election, Kemp’s office confirmed that Trump had called the Georgia governor to try and pressure him into overturning Biden’s victory in the state. Trump himself has received a target letter related to the investigation. 

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The 1975 cancels upcoming shows after same-sex kiss in Malaysia

British band The 1975 canceled their upcoming shows in Indonesia and Taiwan on Sunday after backlash over a same-sex kiss that occurred during a concert in Malaysia. The controversy was immediate after the band’s frontman Matty Healy kissed a bandmate on stage and also criticized Malaysia’s stringent anti-LGBTQ laws. Though Indonesia does not criminalize homosexuality as Malaysia does, the majority-Muslim country is still in significant opposition to LGBTQ rights, and The 1975 said that “due to current circumstances, it is impossible to proceed with the scheduled shows.” Malaysian officials also axed another festival that was set to feature The 1975 prior to their other concerts. 

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‘Barbie’ eyeing massive $155 million opening weekend

Warner Bros.’ “Barbie” is making a massive pink splash at the summer box office, and looks primed to have one of the best opening weekends of any film in the post-pandemic era. The film garnered around $70.5 million at the Friday box office, and is on track to end the three-day weekend with a total of $155 to $160 million. This type of return is usually not seen outside of tentpole superhero and sci-fi films, but the massive marketing and internet craze around “Barbie” has clearly paid off. The film is also competing with “Oppenheimer” at the box office, a Christopher Nolan-directed biopic that is also performing extremely well. 

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