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WEDNESDAY - 06/24/20
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 “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
—Nelson Mandela

Welcome to Bullet Points by News Bling where we give you a well-rounded dose of bias-free news in the fewest words possible so you can start your day smart. Here's what's blinging today... 🧐
 

POLITICS 🏛️

Former DOJ prosecutor to testify about political influence in Roger Stone case 

  • Aaron Zelinsky, one of four prosecutors who quit the Roger Stone case earlier this year, plans to tell the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that he and his colleagues were pressured to give Stone “a break” because of his relationship with President Trump
  • In his official statement, Zelinsky alleges that after Stone was convicted in November 2019 of lying to Congress and intimidating a witness, Justice Department leaders asked prosecutors to “water down” and “distort the events” for Stone’s sentencing
  • Federal prosecutors initially recommended a prison sentence of 87 to 108 months, but senior leaders at the Justice Department, including Attorney General Barr, scaled back the recommendation to 40 months 

WORLD 🌎

Saudi Arabia announces limits on Hajj pilgrimage 

  • In a statement from the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, officials state only a limited number of people “who already reside in Saudi Arabia” will be able to perform Hajj, which is scheduled to start at the end of July
  • The decision was made in efforts to limit the spread of coronavirus. Previously, Saudi officials had suspended visits to Mecca and Medina for the Umrah pilgrimage, which can be performed anytime

Background information: The Hajj is one of Islam’s most important requirements, with millions making the pilgrimage annually to Mecca two months and 10 days after Ramadan ends
 

US 🦅

Trump plans to issue executive order protecting statues and historical monuments

  • On Tuesday, President Trump stated that anyone caught vandalizing or destroying monuments will be arrested and face up to ten years in prison, reinforcing the 2003 Veterans' Memorial Preservation Act
  • His announcement comes a day after protestors attempted to take down a statue of former president Andrew Jackson located across from the White House. Following the death of George Floyd, demonstrators have targeted several statues to protest the United States’ history of racial injustice

TECH 📱

Amazon announces $2 billion investment in sustainable technologies 

  • As a part of its Climate Pledge Fund, Amazon announced on Tuesday that it will invest in companies across a number of industries building “sustainable and decarbonizing technologies” to help the company reach its commitment to be carbon neutral by 2040
  • This announcement arrives as Amazon faces growing pressure from employees to address its significant environmental impact. In response, CEO Jeff Bezos recently pledged $10 billion of his own assets to fight climate change

SPORTS ⚾️

MLB announces modified 2020 season

  • Major League Baseball has reached an agreement with the players association to play a 60-game season starting with a modified version of “spring” training on July 1st. The regular season was supposed to begin on March 26, but postponed due to coronavirus
  • Implementing health and safety protocols, the league plans to finish its regular season by the end of September and will have a postseason featuring the usual number of ten teams 
  • Negotiations were previously stalled when the league and players failed to agree on the length of the season and the financial compensation players would receive 

BUSINESS 💰

Segway will end production of iconic scooter

  • China-based firm Ninebot, which acquired Segway in 2015 from Dean Kamon, will halt production of the Segway PT (personal transporter) on July 15
  • The self-balancing two-wheeler was marketed to revolutionize city transport back when it launched in 2001, but has only managed to sell about 140,000 units in nearly 20 years

EXTRA BLING ✨

  • Science 🧬. Scientists study the impact of humans on wildlife during lockdown
  • Social Media 📱. Twitter announces employees will be given day off on Election Day
  • Coronavirus 🦠. China to begin coronavirus human vaccine trials overseas 
  • Television 📺. 30 Rock removes episodes containing blackface from streaming sites 
  • Funny 😂. Escalators can be good fun—even if you’re a pigeon


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