Skip to content

First Thing: UK PM Boris Johnson to quit after extraordinary cabinet mutiny | usnews

Buenos dias.

The UK prime minister, Boris Johnson, has been forced to resign as Conservative leader after an unprecedented standoff with his own cabinet that triggered dozens of resignations following criticism over his government’s handling of a series of scandals, the latest surrounding alleged sexual misconduct by a deputy chief whip.

A delegation of senior cabinet ministers, including the new chancellor, Nadhim Zahawi, the home secretary, Priti Patel, and the transport secretary, Grant Shapps, personally urged him to resign. After the Northern Ireland secretary, the minister for tech and the recently appointed education secretary were among the latest to quit on Thursday, he relented.

The 24 hours that brought Johnson’s leadership into question – video report

Downing Street issued a statement saying: “The prime minister will make a statement to the country today.” Johnson is expected to deliver it from No 10 before lunchtime in the UK and reportedly wants to stay on as PM until a new Tory leader is chosen.

Biden planned to nominate anti-abortion lawyer to judge

A group of abortion rights activists hold up signs outside the White House in Washington DC on 4 July. Photograph: Nathan Howard/Getty Images

Joe Biden intended to nominate a conservative lawyer who has previously defended anti-abortion legislation, Chad Meredith, to a federal judgeship.

The office of Kentucky’s governor, Andy Beshear, has shared emails confirming the plans that were part of a reported deal with the Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, to avoid holding up the US president’s other judicial nominations.

But after the supreme court released its decision to overturn Roe v Wade, ending the federal right to abortion access, the nomination was not announced. Biden had already faced criticism over not defending abortion rights strongly enough.

  • ‘If the president makes that nomination, it is indefensible.’ Meredith has not yet been nominated to the federal bench, and it is likely doing so would set off a brutal internal battle within the Democrats.

Outrage after latest mass shooting suspect obtained weapon despite record

Lucy Barajas hugs Elvia Toledo, the niece of Nicolas Toledo
Lucy Barajas hugs Elvia Toledo, the niece of Nicolas Toledo, who was killed during Monday’s Highland Park Fourth of July parade, during a vigil on 6 July. Photograph: Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

The weaknesses of US gun control laws are in the spotlight again following the Highland Park mass shooting on the Fourth of July in which the alleged gunman was allowed to legally buy weapons despite multiple alarming prior encounters with law enforcement.

Local authorities in September 2019 declared Robert Crimo a “clear and present danger” to the Illinois state police after he threatened to kill his family. Police briefly confiscated weapons from his house from him, yet three months later he successfully applied for a gun license at the age of 19. An emergency call was also reportedly made in April 2019 after the gunman had attempted suicide.

Before the massacre, Highland Park already had relatively strict gun laws by US standards. But the tragedy shows they still fell well short.

  • US mass shootings are getting deadlier and more common, analysis shows. The last five years have seen more mass shootings than any other comparable time span dating back to 1966, with 31 massacres from 2017 through 2021, compared with 24 from 2012 through 2016.

DoJ sues Arizona over voting law requiring citizenship proof

A polling office in Tempe, Arizona.
A polling office in Tempe, Arizona. There are tens of thousands of voters in Arizona who are only allowed to vote in federal elections. Photograph: Matt York/AP

A new Arizona law that requires voters to provide proof of citizenship for presidential elections, among other new restrictions in the red state, is being challenged by the Department of Justice, which says the measure is a “textbook violation” of a federal law meant to protect voters.

The challenged measure was signed into law by the Republican governor, Doug Ducey, in March. It requires anyone who wants to vote in a presidential election, or vote by mail in any election, to provide proof of citizenship.

This is in opposition to a 2013 supreme court ruling but some see the law as an attempt to get the US supreme court to reconsider its 2013 decision. The court has become significantly more conservative since then.

In other news…

  • The world’s wealthiest man, Elon Musk, fathered two children in 2021 with Shivon Zilis, an executive at his artificial intelligence company Neuralink, new court documents show. Zilis reportedly gave birth weeks before Musk and singer Claire Boucher had their second child through a surrogate.

  • A rural Georgia monument that some conservative Christians have criticized as satanic and that others have called “America’s Stonehenge” was bombed before dawn yesterday in an attack reducing one of its granite panels to rubble.

  • Brazil’s meat plants could be putting pregnant workers at risk, health experts have said. Rates of maternal disorders appear higher than in any other employment sector, with thousands of women suffering as meat exports hit record highs.

  • The United States Soccer Federation has confirmed it has suspended the coaching license Brad Evans after a Guardian investigation into alleged sexual misconduct by the former University of Toledo head coach.

Stat of the day: US water likely contains more ‘forever chemicals’ than EPA tests show

hand with glass of water
‘The EPA is doing the bare minimum it can and that’s putting people’s health at risk,’ said Kyla Bennett, policy director at the advocacy group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. Photograph: Yothin Sanchai/Getty Images/EyeEm

A Guardian analysis of water samples from around the US shows that the type of water testing relied on by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is so limited in scope that it is probably missing significant levels of PFAS pollutants.

The undercount leaves regulators with an incomplete picture of the extent of PFAS contamination and reveals how millions of people may be facing an unknown health risk in their drinking water.

The Guardian found that seven of the nine samples collected showed higher levels of PFAS in water using the test that identifies markers for PFAS, than levels found when the water was tested using the EPA method – and at concentrations as much as 24 times greater, Tom Perkins writes.

Don’t miss this: psychologists find hunger and emotions link

People eating food at a table
Don’t skip lunch: the research suggests that hunger does negatively affect emotions during daily life. Photograph: Dmitry Shironosov/Alamy

In one of the first studies to explore how hunger affects emotions as people go about their daily lives, psychologists have confirmed widespread suspicions in a finding that goes some way to confirming that the more hungry people feel, the more angry – or hangry – they become .

Writing in the journal Plos One, the psychologists describe how hunger was associated with stronger feelings of anger and irritability and lower levels of pleasure. “It turns out that being hangry is a real thing,” said the study lead, Prof Viren Swami, a social psychologist at Anglia Ruskin University.

Climate check: why US may be headed for a summer of mega-fire

A burning house
Wildfires are expected to increase in several US states over the coming months. Photograph: Marc Piscotty/Getty Images

Fire activity is expected to increase in several US states over the coming months, according to a newly released outlook from the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), with parts of the Pacific north-west, northern California, Texas, Hawaii and Alaska forecast to be among those hardest hit by fire conditions in the months ahead.

It comes after an explosive spring that unleashed major wildfires from the US south-west to Alaska. The amount of acreage burned by this point in the year has eclipsed previous years, standing at roughly 220% higher than the 10-year average. In New Mexico in April, a blaze that started as a controlled burn escaped containment before it spread quickly and burned for months, consuming swaths of land and hundreds of homes and other buildings, Gabrielle Canon reports.

Last Thing: inside the secret world of tennis umpires

Italy's Lorenzo Sonego remonstrates with the umpire at Wimbledon 2021.
Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego remonstrating with the umpire at Wimbledon 2021. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images

There have been a string of acrimonious, high-profile incidents this year in which players have openly criticized officials, sometimes with obscenities. Tennis umpires, like officials in other sports, are not allowed to explain their decisions in press conferences or on social media. But journalist William Ralston was granted exceptional access to many of the profession’s most experienced officials.

Mohamed Lahyani, a Swede who is one of the longest-serving umpires on the ATP tour, told him that criticism of umpires is becoming more intense and personal – even as technology reduces the margin for error in tight calls. The challenge is how to be strong and passive at moments like this. “If the player comes to you and says, ‘What the fuck are you doing,’ we can’t say, ‘I am just doing my fucking job,’” said the Brazilian umpire Carlos Bernardes.

sign up

First Thing is delivered to thousands of inboxes every weekday. If you’re not already signed up, subscribe now.

Get-in-touch

If you have any questions or comments about any of our newsletters please email newsletters@theguardian.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.