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5 things to know for July 7: El Paso, Alzheimer’s, Trump, Titan sub, Cable car rescue

By Alexandra Meeks, CNN

(CNN) — The tourist who apparently carved his name into a wall of Rome’s 2,000-year-old Colosseum has sent an apology letter to Italian authorities. However, many offended people across the globe insist a “sorry” will not suffice for damaging one of the world’s most precious monuments. Pending an investigation, the alleged perpetrator could face a hefty fine and more than two weeks in jail, reports say.

Here’s what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.

1. El Paso shooting

The gunman who killed 23 people and wounded 22 others at a Texas Walmart is expected to be sentenced today. For the past two days, survivors and relatives of victims of the August 2019 shooting in El Paso faced the man who carried out one of the deadliest attacks targeting Latinos in modern US history to deliver their impact statements. The 24-year-old gunman nodded “yes” Thursday when asked by the son of a victim if he was sorry for the massacre, but displayed no emotion. Prosecutors have recommended he receive consecutive life sentences for 90 federal charges, including hate crimes and firearms offenses.

2. Alzheimer’s

The FDA has granted full approval to the first Alzheimer’s drug proven to slow the course of the memory-robbing disease. The drug — known as Leqembi — received accelerated approval in January based on evidence that it clears amyloid plaque buildups in the brain that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease. However, the drug has not been widely used because it costs $26,500 annually before insurance coverage. Now, with the latest approval, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said it will expand coverage of the drug, broadening access for people with early forms of the disease.

3. Trump

A growing number of GOP presidential candidates are hitting the campaign trail months before the first nominating contest to boost their fundraising efforts. Former President Donald Trump’s campaign has raised $35 million in the second quarter of 2023, a Trump campaign official told CNN this week. The figure nearly doubles the $18.8 million he raised in the first quarter of this year as his team continues to aggressively fundraise off of the former president’s legal troubles. Meanwhile, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ campaign raised $20 million during the second fundraising quarter, the campaign announced Thursday. Filings from several other candidates will be released later this month through the Federal Election Commission.

4. Titan sub

OceanGate — the owner of the Titan submersible that imploded during a voyage to the Titanic last month — announced Thursday it has suspended its exploration and commercial operations. The Titan sub was about 1 hour and 45 minutes into a dive to the Titanic located about 12,500 feet below the ocean’s surface when it lost contact with its mother ship on June 18. Titan’s failure to resurface sparked a massive international search. Four days later, officials confirmed the sub had suffered a “catastrophic implosion” killing all five people on board. The company’s CEO, Stockton Rush, was among those who perished in the disaster.

5. Cable car rescue

A rescue operation is underway to help at least 70 people that became trapped overnight on one of the world’s highest cable car systems. Officials were called to respond to a technical failure that affected the Quito Cable Car in Ecuador, according to local officials. The cable car, also known as the Telefériqo, runs through the sky along a power line nearly 13,000 feet above sea level. The ride travels over an 18-minute journey that offers a view of the Quito cityscape and the surrounding mountains, its website says. Dozens of emergency workers, including paramedics, high mountain teams and aerial drone units, are assisting with the rescue efforts.


US employment report due today
The Bureau of Labor Statistics will release its monthly report today on the nation’s hiring activity. Economists expect the report will show that the US labor market has added jobs for 30 consecutive months. Approximately 339,000 jobs were added in May and more than 1.5 million jobs have been added across the US this year, Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows.


Margot Robbie isn’t breaking character with her Barbie press looks
Pink, pink, and more pink. The actress and her stylist have fully committed to delivering some of Barbie’s iconic looks.

The Eagles announce ‘final’ tour dates after 52 years as a band
Fans are getting excited to belt “Hotel California” one last time with the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers.

VW to test self-driving tech in retro-styled electric Microbuses
In a few years, you may see these iconic VW buses back on the road! The automaker said it plans to launch some commercial services in 2026.

Powerful images from environmental photography prize show challenges and hope
These striking photos took home prizes at the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation’s Environmental Photography award.

Snakes may comfort each other when stressed, new study finds
Much like humans, it appears that reptiles rely on their friends to stay calm.


Which city lit up the world’s largest spherical structure this week?

A. Dubai
B. Las Vegas
C. Tokyo
D. Singapore

Take CNN’s weekly news quiz here to see if you’re correct!


That’s how many companies have received warnings from federal agencies to stop selling cannabinoid-infused snacks that look similar to popular food brands. The FDA and the FTC said children, and maybe even some adults, could easily confuse these delta-8 THC products — packaged to look like Sour Patch Kids, Doritos, Gushers, Jolly Ranchers, Cheetos, Nerds Ropes and Oreos — for the real thing.


“Competition is fine, cheating is not.”

— Twitter CEO Elon Musk, tweeting criticism Thursday of Meta’s new rival app Threads as it gains traction. Twitter is now threatening to sue Meta over allegedly hiring former Twitter employees during the development of Threads. Meta spokesperson Andy Stone flatly dismissed the allegations. “No one on the Threads engineering team is a former Twitter employee — that’s just not a thing,” he said.


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The incredible school for adaptive surfers
These surfers are breaking waves — and expectations. (Click here to view)

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