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Good morning. It's Monday, July 10, and we're covering the return of high-profile Ukrainian prisoners, bustling bovines, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.


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Need To Know

Azov Commanders Freed

Five Ukrainian commanders of the Azov battalion, the unit that became a symbol of Ukraine's military defiance after a two-month siege of the Azovstal plant in Mariupol in May 2022, were freed from custody in Turkey Sunday. The exchange came days before a NATO summit in Lithuania, where analysts expect Ukraine's ambition to join the alliance will top the agenda


The release reportedly defied a September agreement between Ukraine, Russia, and Turkey, which saw over 200 Ukrainian soldiers—including the Azov leaders—transferred for the war's remainder from Russia to Turkey in exchange for Ukraine's release of dozens of Russian prisoners. Russia claims Sunday's exchange occurred without Russia's input; observers speculate the decision from Turkey, who has supported Ukraine while retaining close ties with Moscow, is an attempt at signaling support to Ukraine ahead of this week's summit. 


The move came as Ukraine recognized the 500th day of the conflict, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy sharing a video from the Black Sea's Snake Island. 


Dutch Government Collapses

A four-party coalition leading the Netherlands collapsed over the weekend, with partners citing irreconcilable differences over how to handle a sharp rise in immigration. The break ends a fragile alliance that began last January and sets up new general elections to be scheduled this fall. 


The Netherlands, home to around 18 million people, is one of the European nations grappling with a post-pandemic immigration surge. While asylum seekers made up around 5% of migrants to the country—about 21,500, which is expected to triple in 2023—the number has overwhelmed processing centers.


Prime Minister Mark Rutte, leader of the conservative People's Party, introduced last week a bill limiting the number of relatives accompanying war zone refugees to 200 total per month. The proposal split the four-party bloc, culminating with Rutte tendering his resignation Saturday. 


Festival of San Fermín

More than a dozen people have been injured in the opening days of northern Spain's iconic "running of the bulls"—though no participants have been gored or killed as of this morning. The event is held each morning during the weeklong Festival of San Fermín in the city of Pamplona. 


The origins of the festival date back to the Middle Ages, though its modern form was made famous by author Ernest Hemingway's description in "The Sun Also Rises." Other parts of the celebration include fireworks, bullfighting, and parades. While between 50 and 100 injuries are reported each year from the bull runs, deaths are far less common. Fifteen people have been killed during the event since 1910—14 from the horns of bulls and one from being trapped in a crowd pileup. 


The festival attracted 1.7 million visitors last year, following two years of cancellations due to the pandemic. See video from yesterday's chase here.

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In The Know

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

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> BBC suspends prominent presenter, yet to be named, amid allegations he paid a 17-year-old $45K for explicit photos (More)

> US soccer legend Megan Rapinoe to retire at end of 2023 National Women's Soccer League season (More) | US tops Canada in penalty kicks to advance to Gold Cup semifinals (More)

Allisen Corpuz wins golf's US Women's Open at Pebble Beach, California (More) | Pittsburgh Pirates take LSU's Paul Skenes with the top pick of 2023 MLB Draft (More) | See full draft tracker (More)

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Science & Technology

> Google’s medical AI chatbot has been in testing at major hospitals, including the Mayo Clinic, since April (More) | What are LLMs, or large language models? (More)

> Solar storm expected to make aurora borealis, commonly known as the Northern Lights, visible in as many as 17 states across the US beginning mid to late week (More)

> Researchers find cells that eventually turn cancerous accumulate predictable genetic variations in sequential order, years before becoming malignant (More)


Business & Markets

> US stock markets close lower Friday (S&P 500 -0.3%, Dow -0.6%, Nasdaq -0.1%) to cap a losing week (More)

> US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen concludes high-level economic talks amid four-day trip to China (More) | The latest numbers in US-China relations (More)

> Mercedes-Benz is latest automaker to partner with Tesla’s supercharger network (More)


Politics & World Affairs

> US President Joe Biden begins three-nation tour of Europe Sunday, with stops in the United Kingdom, Lithuania, and Finland (More)

> US drone strike kills ISIS leader Usamah Al-Muhajir in eastern Syria Friday (More) | Mexican armed forces to take control of capital's major airport in anticorruption move (More

> Six killed in private jet crash in southern California Saturday; cause of crash not yet known (More) | Nine wounded in mass shooting in downtown Cleveland early Sunday (More

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