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  • Writer's pictureBreanna Crossman

Weekly News Blast | Jul. 4-10

Key events from the week of July 4.

1. July 4 parade shooting leaves seven dead, dozens wounded.

A shooting during a July 4 parade in Highland Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, left seven dead and at least 30 injured. The gunman, Robert E. Crimo III, had a history of mental illness, according to authorities. Possessing a large collection of rifles, Crimo purchased the weapons under the age of 21, and was sponsored by his father for a Firearm Owners Identification Card (FOID), which is necessary to acquire firearms in Illinois. During the deadly shooting, Crimo used a rifle “similar to an AR-15” to kill or injure 45 people from a business’s roof.

“There are no words for the kind of evil that shows up at a public celebration of freedom, hides on a roof and shoots innocent people with an assault rifle,” Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker said in wake of the shooting. “It is devastating that a celebration of America was ripped apart by our uniquely American plague.” Crimo was taken into police custody a few hours after the tragedy and was held without bail. In a court hearing on July 6, prosecutors presented the voluntary statement given by Crimo that included his confession to the crime. Crimo has been charged with seven counts of first-degree murder, and prosecutors claim they will file more charges.

The shooting in Illinois comes in the wake of several mass shootings across America, including the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, that left 21 dead, and a racially-motivated shooting in Buffalo, New York that left ten dead. Since the shootings, President Joe Biden has signed into law federal gun safety legislation, and the Senate advanced bipartisan gun-control legislation that would advance background checks and crack down on illegal gun trafficking. However, it remains unclear what direction the American government will take on regulating semi-automatic rifles commonly used in mass shootings as midterms approach.

2. Georgia grand jury subpoenas former Trump campaign lawyers and allies.

Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, Cleta Mitchell, Kenneth Chesebro, Jenna Ellis, and other key members of former President Donald Trump’s legal team and advisors have been subpoenaed by a Fulton County special grand jury investigating criminal interference in Georgia’s 2020 elections. Fulton Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney, who is overseeing the special grand jury, filed and signed the subpoenas which stated all who were subpoenaed were “a necessary and material witness” to the investigation. The special grand jury is tasked with determining whether any state laws were broken during former President Trump’s campaign to “find votes'” and overturn the election results in Georgia. Potential crimes include “the solicitation of election fraud, making of false statements to state and local governmental bodies, conspiracy, racketeering, violations of oath of office,” and others.

Witnesses from Georgia have also been key in the ongoing House January 6 insurrection investigation, as Trump’s insistence on “finding votes” and disrupting the Electoral College certification of the state’s votes occurred primarily in Georgia. Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, has already testified before state legislative panels in 2020, stating, “You cannot possibly certify Georgia in good faith.” The subpoena for Giuliani states that he “possesses unique knowledge concerning communications between himself, former President Trump, the Trump campaign, and other known and unknown individuals involved in the multistate, coordinated efforts to influence the results of the November 2020 election in Georgia and elsewhere.”

All of the subpoenaed individuals have declined to comment on the ongoing investigation or their involvement in certifying the Georgia election results.

3. Elon Musk terminates $44 billion Twitter deal.

Billionaire tech mogul Elon Musk retracted his $44 billion dollar offer to purchase Twitter on July 8, according to a letter sent by his lawyer on his behalf. However, Twitter Board Chair Bret Taylor stated that the company plans to pursue legal action instead of terminating the agreement and wants to close the deal with the previously agreed-upon price. Twitter sued Elon Musk in the Chancery Court in Delaware, and the court will decide whether Musk is obligated to purchase the company.

Elon Musk plans to end his $44 billion deal with social media company Twitter. (Akshar Dave/Unsplash)

In their suit, Twitter wrote, “Musk refuses to honor his obligations to Twitter and its stockholders because the deal he signed no longer serves his personal interests. Must apparently believes that he―unlike every other party subject to Delaware contract law―is free to change his mind, trash the company, disrupt its operations, destroy stockholder value, and walk away.” Musk cited Twitter’s slow communications, lack of organization, and changes in the stock market that impacted his wealth as his reasons for exiting the deal. Per the legal agreement Musk signed with the company, if either party breaks off the deal, they are required to pay $1 billion to the other party.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has questioned Musk’s motives in ending the deal, while Twitter stock has tanked upon news of Musk’s termination of the purchase.


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