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Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló resigns after 12 days of protests; the Trump administration has scheduled the first federal executions since 2003.


Power of the people

Bo Rader/Wichita Eagle/MCT via Getty Images
  • Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló has announced his resignation after 12 days of intense protests. [NBC News / Nicole Acevedo, Alex Johnson, and Gabe Gutierrez]
  • Rosselló had fiercely fought calls for his resignation, and instead said he wouldn’t seek reelection in 2020. That, however, wasn’t enough for protesters, and the governor finally gave in late Wednesday night, announcing he would step down on August 2. [Washington Post / Arelis R. Hernández]
  • Protesters had been calling for the governor’s resignation ever since the media leaked group chats of his that contained homophobic, sexist, and violent language. It doesn’t help that several of his officials have been under investigation on corruption charges. [NYT / Patricia Mazzei and Frances Robles]
  • Justice Secretary Wanda Vázquez will take Rosselló’s place until the elections in 2020. Although the secretary of state is traditionally next in line to succeed a governor, the position is currently vacant after Luis Rivera Marín resigned over his participation in Rosselló’s vulgar group chats. [Miami Herald / Bianca Padró Ocasio and Andres Viglucci]
  • The protests have made history: Not only were they the largest ever seen on the island, but it’s also the first time a governor has been pushed out of office without an election. [AP / Dánica Coto]
  • Even with Rosselló’s resignation, however, some fear the damage is already done. The lack of stability on the island could hinder its efforts to secure both disaster aid and statehood. [Vox / Alexia Fernández Campbell]
  • Despite these concerns, protesters are hopeful: Crowds filled the streets to celebrate a new future following Rosselló’s resignation announcement. [CNN / Nicole Chavez and Ray Sanchez]

Federal executions return after a 16-year absence

  • The Trump administration is bringing back federal executions for the first time in nearly two decades. [Vox / Catherine Kim]
  • US Attorney General William Barr ordered the Federal Bureau of Prisons on Thursday to resume capital punishment. Five prisoners, all convicted of murder and other charges, are scheduled to be executed in December 2019 and January 2020. [NBC News / Pete Williams and Daniel Arkin]
  • To put this in historical context: The death penalty was banned in 1972 then reinstated in 1988. The federal government, however, has only executed three people since 1988, the last time being in 2003. [CNBC / Tucker Higgins]
  • In a statement, Barr said the execution is a necessary step to deliver justice to the victims’ families. Experts, however, pushed back, saying that executions are an inhuman, cruel, and ineffective punishment. [NYT / Katie Benner]
  • Another change Barr announced is the lethal injection drugs used for execution. The government will swap out the traditional three-drug cocktail for a single drug, pentobarbital, that is slightly easier to obtain. [Guardian / David Smith]
  • The reality, however, is that most lethal injection drugs are getting harder and harder to acquire — which is one of the many reasons there’s been a decline in executions. Twenty-one states currently ban the death penalty. [Texas Tribune / Jolie McCullough]
  • Trump’s administration is also moving away from the growing international consensus against the death penalty. This is yet another move that further distances Trump from America’s traditional Western allies. [WSJ / Sadie Gurman and Jess Bravin]

Miscellaneous

  • Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard is suing Google for $50 million because the tech giant briefly suspended her campaign’s advertising account after the June debates. It’s the first time a presidential candidate has sued a major tech company. [NYT / Daisuke Wakabayashi]
  • A disturbing video of a girl with disabilities being attacked and laughed at went viral on Twitter. Three girls ages 13, 14, and 15 have been arrested as a result. [USA Today / Joshua Bote]
  • Juul, the e-cigarette maker, is under fire for its products’ popularity with teens. It doesn’t help that the company is being accused of advertising its product to ninth-graders as “totally safe” during a mental health and addiction seminar. [CNN / Arman Azad]
  • Are your apps safe? Android spyware — allegedly created by the Russian government as a surveillance tool — has been detected in fake apps that look just like Google Play, Pornhub, and other popular apps. [Forbes / Thomas Brewster]
  • Tinder’s traveler alert: The dating app will now notify users when they are in a country where same-sex relationships are outlawed or criminalized in an effort to protect its LGBTQ users. [NBC News / Gwen Aviles]

Verbatim

“Our people discovered that we have the power to change history. It’s going to be difficult to step on our people again because we’re tired of the abuse, of the stealing, of the injustice, of so many deaths. … This is just the beginning.” [Puerto Rican Jackmari Ortiz, 34, on Gov. Rosselló’s resignation]


Watch this: The violent rise of India’s cow vigilantes

In India, Muslims are being killed over cows. [YouTube / Johnny Harris and Christina Thornell]


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