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5 things to know for July 26: Hunter Biden, UFOs, Economy, UPS, China

By Alexandra Meeks, CNN

(CNN) — Paris plans to bring back swimming in the River Seine after it was banned 100 years ago due to pollution. Clean-up efforts are underway to make use of the river during the 2024 Olympic Games, which will subsequently “pave the way for aquatic leisure,” city officials said.

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

1. Hunter Biden

President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden is set to plead guilty today to two federal tax misdemeanors for failing to pay taxes on time in 2017 and 2018. This is an unprecedented moment in American history: Never before has the son of the sitting US president walked into a federal courthouse and pleaded guilty to a crime. As part of the plea agreement, Justice Department prosecutors are expected to recommend a sentence of probation for the president’s son. He will also enter into a deal with prosecutors that would resolve a felony gun charge. While the investigation was ongoing, Hunter Biden fully paid his federal tax bill, along with interest and penalties, his lawyers said. A source told CNN the total bill was approximately $2 million.

2. UFOs

A House panel is holding a public hearing today on unidentified anomalous phenomena, also known as unidentified flying objects, or UFOs. Lawmakers on the House Oversight Committee’s subcommittee on National Security, the Border, and Foreign Affairs will hear testimony regarding UFO sightings from three individuals who previously served in the US military. Republican Rep. Tim Burchett of Tennessee said in a news release last week that the witnesses would “provide public testimony because the American people deserve the truth.” The hearing is the latest push by lawmakers, intelligence officials and military personnel working on UFOs to probe the issue on a national platform. Last year, the director of the office formed to focus on the sightings said the government is tracking more than 650 potential UFO cases.

3. Economy

The Federal Reserve is expected to announce another rate hike today, just one month after hitting pause on a historic spate of hikes meant to crush decades-high inflation. Financial analysts say the Fed could also hint at the possibility of another rate increase later this year even though inflation has steadily cooled in recent months. This could happen at the September or November meeting, or it’s also possible that this month could see the last hike of this cycle. While optimism is in the air, it remains to be seen what will transpire at the policy meeting today and in the months to come, since the economy has consistently defied expectations.

4. UPS

UPS and the Teamsters union, which represents 340,000 UPS workers, have reached a tentative deal on a new contract, potentially avoiding a nationwide strike. A labor stoppage could have started as soon as next week and crippled US supply chains, delivering a multibillion-dollar hit to the economy. Among the issues in the contract negotiations were air conditioning for delivery vans, demands for significantly greater pay — especially for part-time workers — and the closing of pay gaps between two different classes of UPS workers. The deal comes as the American labor movement has grown increasingly energized and empowered: many unionized actors, writers, nurses and teachers remain on the picket lines, and UPS workers and autoworkers have threatened walkouts.

5. China

China’s foreign minister Qin Gang was dramatically ousted on Tuesday after a monthlong unexplained absence. He was replaced by his predecessor in a surprising and highly unusual shake-up of the country’s foreign policy leadership. Qin, a trusted aide of Chinese leader Xi Jinping, had only been appointed foreign minister in December after serving as China’s ambassador to Washington. He was last seen in public on June 25. It is not clear if any disciplinary proceedings have been or will be taken against Qin. However, senior Chinese officials have disappeared from public view in the past, only to have it revealed months later by the ruling Communist Party’s disciplinary watchdog that they’ve been detained for investigations. Additionally, CNN’s reporting on the story triggered swift censorship across Chinese media, with the country airing color bars to replace the network’s coverage of the foreign minister’s disappearance.


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That’s how many times President Joe Biden’s dog, Commander, has been involved in biting incidents, according to US Secret Service email correspondence. The 22-month-old German Shepherd is receiving new training after White House personnel raised concerns about safety on the premises.


”The stakes just got higher.”

— Oceanographer Peter de Menocal, commenting on a new study that found a vital system of ocean currents could collapse within a few decades unless planet-heating pollution is substantially decreased. The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Current plays a crucial role in the climate system, helping regulate global weather patterns. Scientists say its collapse would have enormous implications, including much more extreme winters, sea level rises affecting parts of Europe and the US, and a shifting of the monsoon in the tropics.


Check your local forecast here>>>


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There is a lot of hype about the Metaverse — a space where the lines between the virtual and offline worlds are blurred. While major tech companies are investing big in the future of VR, some immersive experiences are becoming a haven for hate and harassment. Hear from experts about what needs to change to create a safer experience — particularly for women and girls.

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