Boris Johnson, Highland Park Confession, and Human Hibernation Everything you need to know for the day in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Thursday, July 7, and we're covering a potential change in leadership in Britain, a confession in the Highland Park shooting, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].



Johnson Set to Resign

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reportedly set to resign today, after facing pressure from a number of lawmakers and ministers within his own party to step down. Johnson has faced a string of recent scandals, including having attended government-led social gatherings held during the COVID-19 lockdowns and the promotion of a senior lawmaker despite sexual misconduct allegations. 


Johnson survived a no-confidence vote last month, barring him from another vote for a year. However, observers say he faced the possibility of another vote following threats from a group backbench Conservatives. Known as the 1922 Committee (see 101), the group is scheduled to hold an election Monday for a new executive before deciding whether to change the rules to bring forward another no-confidence vote. If the rules are changed, at least 15%, or 54, of the Conservative Party's 359 lawmakers would need to submit a letter of no confidence.


See a list of potential candidates to replace Johnson here.

Highland Park Suspect Confesses

The suspect charged with carrying out a mass shooting during Fourth of July festivities in Highland Park, Illinois, confessed to the attack yesterday, officials said. The 21-year-old gunman also told police he initially fled in the aftermath to nearby Wisconsin, where he contemplated a second attack in Madison before reversing course for unspecified reasons.


Monday's shooting left at least seven dead and 46 others injured. Officials recounted at least two police encounters with the attacker in recent years, both in 2019, including one in which more than a dozen knives were confiscated after threats made against family members. Reports suggest the weapon used, a semi-automatic rifle, was purchased legally online in 2020. 


The shooter faces seven counts of first-degree murder, with more charges expected. See a list of the victims here.

Mass Funeral in South Africa

Officials in South Africa held a mass funeral yesterday for a number of young residents who were mysteriously found dead in a bar near the city of East London. More than a thousand people mourned the teenagers, 12 girls and nine boys, aged 13 to 17, who died inside the Enyobeni tavern nearly two weeks ago.


Hundreds of underaged students were in attendance after a Facebook post promised a party celebrating the end of midyear exams. Survivors said they smelled a mysterious gas, such as tear gas or pepper spray, followed by a stampede to escape from the two-floor tavern's one door. The cause of the deaths remains unclear; forensic pathologists have suggested the deaths were likely caused by poisonous gas and not by a stampede. See photos from the funeral here.


President Cyril Ramaphosa called for the legal drinking age to be raised from 18 to 21 while delivering the eulogy, citing similar tragedies in Khayelitsha in 2015 and Durban in 2000.

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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with The Ascent

> Gunman found guilty of first-degree murder in 2019 fatal shooting of rapper Nipsey Hussle (More


> Netflix announces "Stranger Things" spin-off from the show's creators (More) | UK antitrust officials investigate Microsoft's $68.7B acquisition of gaming giant Activision Blizzard (More)


> President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris speak with Cherelle Griner, wife of WNBA star Brittney Griner, amid trial in Russia, which resumes today (More)

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Science & Technology

> FBI and British intelligence issue rare joint warning against Chinese espionage, particularly around efforts to steal Western firms' technology and intellectual property (More)


> New study suggests many insects have the molecular mechanisms and other physiological components that allow them to experience the subjective feeling of pain (More)


> Scientists discover the universe's earliest known quasars formed via cool jets of dense gas less than 1 billion years after the Big Bang; study resolves a longstanding mystery in astrophysics (More) | What are quasars? (More)

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close higher (S&P 500 +0.4%, Dow +0.3%, Nasdaq +0.4%) as minutes from June’s Federal Reserve meeting show commitment to reducing inflation (More)


> Grubhub partners with Amazon to offer its Prime customers perks, including free deliveries; Amazon also has the option to acquire a stake in Grubhub’s parent company (More)


> Shares of video game retailer GameStop up over 5% in after-hours trading after announcing 4-1 stock split (More)

Politics & World Affairs

> Ukrainian officials urge more than 350,000 residents to evacuate as Russia prepares for an assault on the country's eastern Donetsk region (More) | See updates on the war here (More)


> Former White House counsel Pat Cipollone agrees to testify before the House Jan. 6 committee (More) | Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to challenge subpoena in Fulton County, Georgia, probe into former President Donald Trump's efforts to challenge the 2020 election results (More)


> Dutch police fire shots at farmers protesting proposals to limit nitrogen emissions, with no injuries reported; protestors say new rules will require livestock reductions and force some farms to close (More)



Follow the Leader

Atavist | Leigh Baldwin, Sean Williams. The story of Rainer Sonntag, a Communist spy who fueled a neo-Nazi movement that still plagues Germany today. (Read)

The Mysteries of Human Hibernation

CNET | Jackson Ryan. A multiyear search attempts to explain one of the most extreme cases of superhuman survival: A fallen mountain climber who comes back to life after 24 days of hypothermia. (Read)



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Spain's Bull Run festival is back after two years (w/photos). 


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Biologists pinpoint the first mammal with a lice infection.


Why sports in space could be the next big thing.


... and why FIFA will track players with AI at the 2022 World Cup.


Mapping out the ultimate summer road trip.


Can you find the snake among the tortoises


Clickbait: Celebs tap digital twins to help interact with fans.


Historybook: Construction of the Hoover Dam begins (1930); HBD Ringo Starr (1940); HBD basketball legend Lisa Leslie (1972); Sandra Day O’Connor nominated as first female US Supreme Court justice (1981); US women’s national soccer team wins World Cup for a record fourth time (2019).


"Do the best you can in every task, no matter how unimportant it may seem at the time."

- Sandra Day O'Connor

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