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Five Cuban Generals Have Died Recently, Sparks Discussion and Speculation

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Critics suggest the deaths that occurred between July 19 and 26 are due to Cuba’s current COVID-19 spike.

What We Know:

  • Within nine days, Cuban state media announced that five generals passed away. These generals were Armando Choy Rodriguez, Eduardo Lastres Pacheco, Ruben Martinez Puente, Marcelo Verdecia Perdomo, and Agustín Peña Pórrez. The men, aged 58-87, served in the military under the communist regime and were considered war heroes. Despite their reputation on the island, the government has not released the causes of their deaths.
  • Cubans on the island and exiles wonder what happened to those generals. Many believe that a majority of their deaths come as a result of the pandemic. On August 1, Cuba reached 9,747 new coronavirus cases and 2,845 deaths. The Cuban government aims to slow the spread down by enforcing tight restrictions and creating their own COVID-19 vaccine. However, they have been unsuccessful, especially as more and more Delta variant cases pop up.
  • Florida Senator Marco Rubio mentioned the oddity behind the deaths in a series of tweets. Rubio mentioned that high-ranking military officials faced “some incredibly bad luck lately,” reporting the deaths of Lastres Pacheco, Martinez Puente, Verdecia Perdomo, and Peña Pórrez. When Cuba revealed that Choy Rodriguez died, he called the issue “very strange.”

  • The deaths also come weeks after islanders took to the streets to protest the regime on July 11. Among the several reasons for the protests include Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel’s ignorance on reducing the number of cases. Cuba elected not to join the World Health Organization (WHO)’s COVAX agency, which would have provided them coronavirus vaccines. Instead, officials chose to continue work on creating their own form of immunization. In addition, Cubans experience a hard time when trying to receive medical assistance in hospitals due to unsanitary or inaccessible medical supplies and a crumbling health system.

Since July 11, several human rights organizations and countries have condemned the Cuban government for its behaviors towards its citizens. U.S. President Joe Biden also sanctioned military leaders and began looking for ways to provide help in the form of internet access and remittances to the island.

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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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