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Cubans Hold Candlelight Vigil Outside White House to Commemorate Island’s 26th of July Events, Urge Biden to Do More

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A caravan of Cubans from across the country left early Sunday morning to America’s capital; their goal was to gather outside the White House once more and stay overnight.

What We Know:

  • Demonstrators in Washington, D.C. stood outside and held a candlelight vigil to commemorate Cuba’s historic 26th of July events. On that date in 1953, Fidel Castro attempted his first political overthrow of President Fulgencio Batista. His revolutionary soldiers conducted an attack on the Moncada military barracks in Santiago de Cuba.
  • Although the event ended in his arrest, it symbolized the first time a group challenged Batista’s leadership, and also garnered him more support from the Cuban people. Once released from jail in 1955, he used this failed coup to create the 26th of July Movement, which helped him successfully take over Cuba in 1959. The communist party celebrates this date each year, but to Cubans against the government, it symbolizes oppression.
  • Cuban-Americans did the vigil outside the White House as a way for President Joe Biden to see they want him to do more for the island. Demonstrators held signs calling for military intervention and internet access restoration. Others asked the U.S. and more countries for a “humanitarian intervention” in which they ensure supplies and equipment will directly go to Cuban citizens. Recently, Biden sanctioned Cuba’s military leader and the Black Wasps for human rights violations. The United States additionally joined twenty other countries in condemning Cuba’s government. However, Cuban-Americans emphasized it is not what the island needs.
  • Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar of Miami joined the candlelight vigil as well. Salazar has made it a priority to pressure Biden into taking more action on the island. Her fellow politicians, such as Carlos Gimenez, Mario Diaz-Balart, Rick Scott, and more, joined her later Monday morning. The group went on stage and called for the U.S. President to do everything in his power to speak out against the communist regime and to bring internet to Cuba. The political figures also sent a letter to Biden after the event asking for a meeting to discuss concerns.

“The White House can do two things, rally the international community and turn on the Wi-Fi,” said Salazar.

  • After elected officials spoke, the crowd moved to the Cuban Embassy and Lafayette Park. Although protesters held a permit that allowed them to stay all day at Lafayette Park, the Secret Service asked them to leave at around 2 p.m. citing security concerns about the president’s meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi. Once the meeting concluded at 3:30, demonstrators continued their fight for their homeland.

The Cuban-Americans’ fight follows the islanders’ historic fight against the 62-year communist regime on July 11. Despite facing jail time or death, citizens throughout Cuba’s municipalities took to the streets to demand governmental change. Since then, many on the island have disappeared or been unjustly incarcerated, but continue to fight for their independence.

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Entertainment

Former NFL Champ Nate Burleson joins CBS Mornings

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Former NFL player Nate Burleson has officially made his hosting debut on the newly branded morning talk show, CBS Mornings.

What We Know:

  • It was announced earlier this month that Burleson would replace Anthony Mason. Previously Mason joined Gayle King and Tony Doukoupil as host of the former CBS This Morning.  The show was rebranded in tandem to the relocation of their set to Times Square and Burleson joining the cast.
  • Since 2017, former NFL player Burleson has been the host of Good Morning Football on the NFL Network and has served as an analyst on The NFL Today on CBS. Burleson will continue his role on The NFL Today.

  • Burleson is the second former NFL player to join a network morning TV show, with Michael Strahan playing a major role as a co-host on ABC‘s Good Morning America.

Burleson credits Michael Strahan as the ‘blueprint’ for his career path, explaining, “He’s one of those individuals that I took a liking to once I retired because he rewrote the blueprint. I don’t want to say that he is the blueprint, because there has been plenty of players that have transitioned out of the game into TV. There have been African American men and women before him that have done the same thing, but he is a guy that has shown me the lay of the land, especially being a transplant from the West Coast to now New York.”

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Crime

Classes canceled at Howard University as US Government investigates ransomware cyberattack

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Howard University officials along with leading cyber experts are trying to assess what has been compromised in an active ransomware, cyberattack on the HBCU campus. Officials have deemed the attack criminal.

What We Know:

  • Monday, the university issued a statement to faculty and students that “the service disruption was caused by a ransomware cyberattack against the university.”
  • Classes have been canceled for Tuesday and Wednesday. Students have been notified that online and hybrid classes will remain canceled and only essential staff will be allowed on campus. All in-person undergraduate, graduate, professional, and clinical experiential courses will resume as scheduled on Wednesday.
  • A ransomware attack can be triggered by simple, everyday activity. Opening a unintended link inside of can lead to a cyberattack.  Computer, tablet and phone users are encouraged to change their passwords and security questions regularly.

Howard University is home to several notable high profile Black alumni such as Chadwick Boseman and Phylicia Rashad.

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Headlines

Polo G Reportedly Arrested in Los Angeles on Concealed Weapon Charge

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Polo G was arrested on in Los Angeles on Monday, TMZ reports.

What We Know:

According to the outlet, Polo G was arrested after police allegedly found a concealed firearm on the Hall of Fame rapper, which TMZ points out is a felony. The supposed discovery of the firearm occurred when a vehicle Polo G was a passenger in was stopped.

It’s currently unclear why the vehicle was pulled over in the first place but it was reported that a male juvenile was also detained during the stop.

Polo was similarly arrested while he was in Miami for his Hall of Fame album release party. The arrest, which took place back in June, resulted in the rapper getting hit with charges of of battery on a police officer, resisting arrest with violence, and criminal mischief. The rapper was also a passenger in a vehicle at the time of that arrest.

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