5 things to know for July 1: Trump Org, Bill Cosby, condo collapse, Covid-19, China

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1. Trump Organization

A grand jury in Manhattan has indicted the Trump Organization, the former President’s namesake company, and one of its top executives, people familiar with the matter say. The charges are related to alleged tax crimes tied to an inquiry into employee perks such as rent-free homes, car leases and bonuses. The indictment will likely be unsealed today. Trump himself isn’t expected to be charged, his lawyer said. The DA’s indictment would be the first to charge the Trump company with criminal conduct following several federal and state prosecutorial inquiries during his administration. CNN’s Stephen Collinson writes that the development is sure to have wider political consequences.

2. Bill Cosby

After three years in prison, Bill Cosby is a free man. Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court yesterday overturned his sexual assault conviction, saying that his due process rights were violated when he was charged and convicted. The disgraced actor once known as “America’s Dad” was sentenced to three to 10 years in state prison for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his home in 2004 — the first high-profile celebrity criminal trial of the #MeToo era. News of Cosby’s release came as a shock and betrayal for many of the women who accused him of assaulting them. Actress Phylicia Rashad, his “Cosby Show” costar and longtime friend, celebrated the decision.

3. Condo collapse

Rescue teams have been working around the clock to sift through the rubble of the Florida condo collapse, and reinforcements are being brought in. So far, 18 people — including two children — are confirmed dead, with 145 people still unaccounted for. Though there are still many unknowns, more details of what happened from witnesses and survivors are trickling in. Video recorded by a couple staying at a nearby hotel shows debris and gushing water in the condo’s parking garage minutes before it collapsed. Still, the investigation into the collapse is only just beginning, and experts say it will take months to determine what caused the building in Surfside to come crashing down.

4. Coronavirus

The more contagious, more aggressive Delta variant has now been detected in all 50 states and Washington, DC. Health experts predict there could be especially dense outbreaks in pockets of the US with low vaccination rates and low rates of prior infection, namely rural and Southern communities. Those fears are putting even more pressure on local and state leaders to vaccinate more people. Some officials are issuing new mask guidance, regardless of vaccination status. But one health expert warned that the federal government’s mask guidance should be more focused, instead of a “one-size-fits-all” approach.

5. China

The Chinese Communist Party turns 100 today, and China marked the anniversary with celebrations across the country. President Xi Jinping gave a strongly nationalist speech in which he called China’s rise inevitable and vowed that it would no longer be “bullied, oppressed or subjugated” by foreign countries. The Communist Party’s rise and continued monopoly on power has surprised critics, and it still faces big challenges, including a slowing economy, an aging population, a shrinking workforce and an increasingly united democratic West determined to counter China’s rise. Part of the reason it has survived is its ability to change during crucial moments and its awareness of the risks it faces, writes CNN’s Ben Westcott.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Donald Rumsfeld has died at 88

The architect of the Iraq war served as defense secretary for two Presidents.

Some Canadians aren’t feeling particularly patriotic this Canada Day

Pushback against celebrating the holiday has grown since the discovery of unmarked graves thought to contain the remains of Indigenous children.

A judge denied an earlier request to remove Britney Spears’ father as her co-conservator

The decision comes a week after the pop star’s bombshell testimony.

People have thoughts about IKEA’s ‘bisexual couch’

Those hands are certainly … a choice.

The Phoenix Suns made it to the NBA finals for the first time since ’93

And they have Chris Paul to thank.

TODAY’S NUMBER

15

The number of nations now part of the world’s largest weapons project after neutral Switzerland said it plans to buy dozens of US F-35 fighter jets. The family of interconnected, single-engine jets is to be used by the US and its allies and partners.

TODAY’S QUOTE

“She was not a follower. To the contrary, she did her own thing, and we all watched in wonder and tried to keep up.”

Designer Jack L. Carlson, on the late Princess Diana’s iconic style. She would have been 60 today.

TODAY’S WEATHER

Check your local forecast here>>>

AND FINALLY

The world of professional fingerboarding

Remember Tech Decks? Turns out people play with them on the pro level. (Click here to view.)