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Biden Meets with Cuban-American Leaders, Imposes More Sanctions

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President Joe Biden hosted several Cuban leaders at the White House on July 30, such as Manny Diaz, Yotuel Romero, and Sen. Bob Menendez, among others.

What We Know:

  • The President of the United States held this meeting to discuss how his administration responded to Cuba’s July 11 protests. Biden felt pressure from Cuban-American citizens and politicians who held protests across the nation and capital, urging him to do more for the island. More specifically, the exile community wants the President to begin by restoring internet access to islanders and intervening with the military.
  • Prior to the meeting, the Biden Administration continued imposing sanctions against Cuban officials on July 29. Through the use of the Global Magnitsky Act, the Treasury Department punished two Cuban police force officials, Oscar Callejas Valcarcel and Eddy Sierra Arias, and the Policia Nacional Revolucionaria of the Cuban Ministry of the Interior. Doing so freezes their assets and blocks them from entering the United States.
  • In the Treasury Department’s statement, officials wrote they sanctioned Callejas Valcarcel and Sierra Arias for attempting to suppress “peaceful, pro-democratic protests.” When demonstrations began on July 11, Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel urged police, military, and communist supporters to stop protestors “by any means possible;” since then, over 500 islanders have been arrested or gone missing. Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control Andrea M. Gacki declared the Treasury would also continue to call out those who facilitate the Cuban regime’s involvement in serious human rights abuse.”
  • Furthermore, Biden promised Cuban-Americans he would continue sanctioning Cuban officials unless he sees some “drastic change” in the government, which he does not expect. Additionally, he asked the Treasury and State departments to report ways to send remittances to Cuba without governmental interference in a month. Alongside this, Biden is working on a plan to provide wireless communications to the island and bolster staff at Havana’s U.S. Embassy.
  • The Biden Administration sanctioned Cuba’s military leader General Alvaro Lopez Miera, and the Black Wasps before these sanctions. In addition, the U.S. joined twenty other countries in condemning Cuban leaders for human rights violations.

After some push, the United States is actively working to help Cubans become independent.

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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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