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Biden speaks at NATO summit, Trump holds rally in Florida

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Candidates look to send a message as President Joe Biden delivers a speech at the NATO summit and former President Donald Trump spoke at a Florida rally. And the U.S.-built pier meant to bring humanitarian aid to Gaza looks to be in its final days. These stories and more highlight The Morning Rundown for Wednesday, July 10, 2024.

Biden speaks at NATO summit, Trump holds rally in Florida

With the Republican National Convention days away, the Democratic National Convention in a few weeks, and Election Day fast approaching, President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump delivered speeches on Tuesday, July 9. And while their speeches took place in very different settings, each was hoping their message would help make the case they are the better option. 

Biden spoke in Washington as the three-day NATO summit kicked off, saying the alliance is stronger than it’s ever been in history.

With the focus of the summit being the NATO nations’ continued support for Ukraine, Biden spoke of the country’s resilience in its fight against Russia.

“In Europe, Putin’s war of aggression against Ukraine continues and Putin wants nothing less nothing less than Ukraine’s total subjugation, to end Ukraine’s democracy, destroy Ukraine’s culture and to wipe Ukraine off the map,” the president said. “And we know Putin won’t stop at Ukraine, but make no mistake, Ukraine can and will stop Putin.” 

Biden and the leaders of Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Romania announced the delivery of new air defense systems for Ukraine. This comes just days after a deadly attack by Russia on a children’s hospital in Kyiv. 

Biden ended his remarks by surprising the NATO secretary-general with the Presidential Medal of Freedom

On Tuesday night, Biden held a video call with nearly 200 Democratic mayors as he reiterated that he will remain in the race despite having a “lousy night” on the debate stage and amid growing calls for him to step aside

Meanwhile, former President Trump was back on the campaign trail, holding a rally in Florida. He commented on the speculation surrounding Biden’s candidacy since debate night.  

“Our victory was so absolute that Joe’s own party now wants him to throw in the towel and surrender the presidency after a single 90-minute performance,” Trump told supporters. “They want ‘crooked Joe’ out of the race. It’s a shame the way they’re treating him. But don’t feel sorry for him. He’s a very bad guy.” 

Trump also took aim at Vice President Kamala Harris throughout his speech. Harris’ name has been brought up by Democrats as a possible replacement for Biden on the top of the party’s ticket.  

And with Trump still needing to pick his vice president, one of the potential choices for a running mate — Florida Sen. Marco Rubio — was in attendance. Trump made mention of Rubio’s presence, teasing that reporters probably expected him to make his VP announcement then and there. 

In his speech, Trump said he would give Biden a chance to redeem himself — challenging the president to another debate this week, as well as a golf match, referencing an argument between the two during the first debate. 

In response, a Biden campaign spokesperson said Biden doesn’t have time for “Donald Trump’s weird antics.” 

U.S. Navy sailor disciplined for trying to access Biden’s medical records

As concerns over President Biden’s health remain a topic of discussion since last month’s presidential debate, word has come down of a Navy sailor who’s been disciplined for trying to access the president’s medical records on multiple occasions. The incidents occurred in late February but were disclosed on Tuesday, July 9. 

The Navy said the junior sailor assigned to a medical unit in Virginia searched the military’s health care system for the name “Joe Biden” three times but did not end up pulling any details on the president. A co-worker reported the breach, and the Navy launched an investigation. 

The sailor admitted he looked up the president’s name “out of curiosity.” The sailor received administrative discipline and remains in the Navy.

$230M pier created to bring aid to Gaza to be shut down for good

A temporary U.S. military pier designed to help bring humanitarian aid into Gaza will soon be shut down for good. This comes barely two months after it was constructed. 

The pier, which has already been moved and fixed repeatedly due to bad weather and rough seas, is set to be put back in place on the coast just west of Gaza city Wednesday, July 10. It had been closed off again on June 28 because of bad weather; its third shutdown since it opened in mid-May. 

U.S. military officials say the $230 million pier is being put back in place to deliver any remaining aid in Cyprus and on the floating dock several miles offshore, then it’ll be permanently removed as soon as next week. 

The original plan called for it to remain operational through at least the end of the month.

Russian court issues arrest warrant for late opposition leader’s widow

A Russian court has ordered the arrest of late opposition leader Alexei Navalny‘s widow. Yulia Navalnaya, who left Russia in 2021, is accused of “participating in an extremist community.” 

The court said she would be arrested if she were to ever return to Russia. This comes as part of a Kremlin crackdown on opposition.

The charges are widely seen as politically motivated. Navalny was Russian President Vladimir Putin’s most outspoken critic. He died in February in an arctic penal colony while serving a 19-year sentence on extremism charges. 

After her husband’s death, Navalnaya vowed to take up his work and has been lobbying against Putin’s government from abroad.

Opening arguments to begin in Alec Baldwin’s involuntary manslaughter trial

Opening arguments are set to begin Wednesday, July 10, in actor Alec Baldwin’s involuntary manslaughter trial in New Mexico. Baldwin is charged in connection with the 2021 fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the film “Rust.” 

He has pleaded not guilty, claiming the gun fired accidentally. Prosecutors will look to prove that Baldwin failed to follow industry standards for firearms safety.

Twelve jurors and four alternates were chosen at Tuesday’s hearing; 11 women and 5 men. If they find Baldwin guilty, he faces up to 18 months in prison

The trial is expected to conclude by July 19. 

Europe rejoins space race with launch of Ariane 6

Europe is back in space. Running years behind schedule, Europe’s Ariane 6 rocket blasted off on its maiden flight Tuesday, July 9, from the European Space Agency‘s launch site in French Guiana.

The flight deployed three sets of micro-satellites for research purposes, prompting European space officials to declare the trip a success

However, the mission didn’t go entirely as planned. The final batch of payloads — two small capsules designed to test the conditions for surviving re-entry — was not launched after a smaller power unit shut itself down for unknown reasons. 

Despite the setback, the European Space Agency said it is on track for another mission by the end of the year.

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[KARAH RUCKER]

WITH THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION DAYS AWAY, THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION IN A FEW WEEKS, AND ELECTION DAY FAST APPROACHING – PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN AND FORMER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP DELIVERED SPEECHES ON TUESDAY – BIDEN SPEAKING AT THE NATO SUMMIT – TRUMP AT A RALLY IN FLORIDA. WHILE VERY DIFFERENT SETTINGS – EACH HOPING THEIR MESSAGE HELPS MAKE THE CASE THEY ARE THE BETTER OPTION.  

BIDEN SPEAKING IN WASHINGTON AS THE THREE-DAY NATO SUMMIT KICKED OFF – SAYING THE ALLIANCE IS STRONGER THAN IT’S EVER BEEN IN HISTORY. 

WITH THE FOCUS OF THE SUMMIT BEING THE NATO NATIONS’ CONTINUED SUPPORT FOR UKRAINE – BIDEN SPOKE OF THE COUNTRY’S RESILIENCE IN ITS FIGHT AGAINST RUSSIA. 

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN 

“In Europe Putin’s war of aggression against Ukraine continues and Putin wants nothing less nothing less than Ukraine’s total subjugation, to end Ukraine’s democracy, destroy ‘s Ukraine Ukraine’s culture and to wipe Ukraine off the map and we know Putin won’t stop at Ukraine but make no mistake Ukraine can and will stop Putin.” 

BIDEN AND THE LEADERS OF GERMANY, ITALY, THE NETHERLANDS AND ROMANIA ANNOUNCING THE DELIVERY OF NEW AIR DEFENSE SYSTEMS FOR UKRAINE – JUST DAYS AFTER A DEADLY ATTACK BY RUSSIA ON A CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL IN KYIV. 

BIDEN ENDED HIS REMARKS BY SURPRISING THE NATO SECRETARY-GENERAL WITH THE PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM. 

ON TUESDAY NIGHT – BIDEN HELD A VIDEO CALL WITH NEARLY 200 DEMOCRATIC MAYORS AS HE REITERATED THAT HE WILL REMAIN IN THE RACE DESPITE HAVING A QUOTE “LOUSY NIGHT” ON THE DEBATE STAGE AND AMID GROWING CALLS FOR HIM TO STEP ASIDE. 

MEANWHILE FORMER PRESIDENT TRUMP WAS BACK ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL – HOLDING A RALLY IN FLORIDA – COMMENTING ON THE SPECULATION SURROUNDING BIDEN’S CANDIDACY SINCE DEBATE NIGHT.  

FORMER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP 

“Our victory was so absolute that Joe’s own party now wants him to throw in the towel and surrender the presidency after a single 90-minute performance. They want ‘Crooked Joe’ out of the race. It’s a shame the way they’re treating him. But don’t feel sorry for him. He’s a very bad guy.” 

TRUMP ALSO TOOK AIM AT VICE PRESIDENT KAMALA HARRIS THROUGHOUT HIS SPEECH. HARRIS’S NAME HAS BEEN BROUGHT UP BY DEMOCRATS AS A POSSIBLE REPLACEMENT TO BIDEN ON THE TOP OF THE PARTY’S TICKET.  

AND WITH TRUMP STILL NEEDING TO PICK HIS VICE PRESIDENT – ONE OF THE POTENTIAL CHOICES FOR A RUNNING MATE – FLORIDA SENATOR MARCO RUBIO — WAS IN ATTENDANCE. TRUMP MAKING MENTION OF RUBIO’S PRESENCE – TEASING THAT REPORTERS PROBABLY EXPECTED HIM TO MAKE HIS VP ANNOUNCEMENT THEN AND THERE.  

IN HIS SPEECH — TRUMP SAID HE WOULD GIVE BIDEN A CHANCE TO REDEEM HIMSELF — CHALLENGING THE PRESIDENT TO ANOTHER DEBATE THIS WEEK – AS WELL AS A GOLF MATCH – REFERENCING AN ARGUMENT BETWEEN THE TWO DURING THE FIRST DEBATE. 

IN RESPONSE – A BIDEN CAMPAIGN SPOKESPERSON SAID BIDEN DOESN’T HAVE TIME FOR QUOTE “DONALD TRUMP’S WEIRD ANTICS.” 

AS CONCERNS OVER PRESIDENT BIDEN’S HEALTH REMAIN A TOPIC OF DISCUSSION SINCE LAST MONTH’S PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE — WORD HAS COME DOWN OF A NAVY SAILOR WHOSE BEEN DISCIPLINED FOR TRYING TO ACCESS THE PRESIDENT’S MEDICAL RECORDS ON MULTIPLE OCCASIONS. 

THE INCIDENT OCCURRED LATE FEBRUARY BUT WAS DISCLOSED ON TUESDAY. 

THE NAVY SAYING THE JUNIOR SAILOR ASSIGNED TO A MEDICAL UNIT IN VIRGINIA SEARCHED THE MILITARY’S HEALTH CARE SYSTEM FOR THE NAME “JOE BIDEN” THREE TIMES – BUT DID NOT END UP PULLING ANY DETAILS ON THE PRESIDENT. 

A CO-WORKER REPORTED THE BREACH AND THE NAVY LAUNCHED AN INVESTIGATION. 

THE SAILOR ADMITTED HE LOOKED UP THE PRESIDENT’S NAME QUOTE “OUT OF CURIOSITY.” 

THE SAILOR RECEIVED ADMINISTRATIVE DISCIPLINE AND REMAINS IN THE NAVY. 

A TEMPORARY U-S MILITARY PIER DESIGNED TO HELP BRING HUMANITARIAN AID INTO GAZA WILL SOON BE SHUT DOWN FOR GOOD — BARELY TWO MONTHS AFTER IT WAS CONSTRUCTED. 

THE PIER — WHICH HAS ALREADY BEEN MOVED AND FIXED REPEATEDLY DUE TO BAD WEATHER AND ROUGH SEAS  — IS SET TO BE PUT BACK IN PLACE ON THE COAST JUST WEST OF GAZA CITY WEDNESDAY. 

IT HAD BEEN CLOSED OFF AGAIN ON JUNE 28-TH BECAUSE OF BAD WEATHER. 

THAT MARKED THE THIRD SHUTDOWN SINCE IT OPENED IN MID-MAY. 

U-S MILITARY OFFICIALS SAY THE 230 MILLION DOLLAR PIER IS BEING PUT BACK IN PLACE TO DELIVER ANY REMAINING AID IN CYPRUS AND ON THE FLOATING DOCK SEVERAL MILES OFFSHORE… THEN IT’LL BE PERMANENTLY REMOVED AS SOON AS NEXT WEEK. 

THE ORIGINAL PLAN CALLED FOR IT TO REMAIN OPERATIONAL THROUGH AT LEAST THE END OF THE MONTH. 

A RUSSIAN COURT HAS ORDERED THE ARREST OF LATE OPPOSITION LEADER ALEXEY NAVALNY’S WIDOW. 

YULIA NALVANAYA — WHO LEFT RUSSIA IN 20-21 — IS ACCUSED OF “PARTICIPATING IN AN EXTREMIST COMMUNITY.” 

THE COURT SAYING SHE WOULD BE ARRESTED IF SHE WERE TO EVER RETURN TO RUSSIA.    

THIS COMES AS PART OF A KREMLIN CRACKDOWN ON OPPOSITION. 

THE CHARGES ARE WIDELY SEEN AS POLITICALLY MOTIVATED — NAVALNY WAS RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN’S MOST OUTSPOKEN CRITIC. 

ALEXEY NAVALNY DIED IN FEBRUARY IN AN ARCTIC PENAL COLONY WHILE SERVING A 19-YEAR SENTENCE ON EXTREMISM CHARGES. 

AFTER HER HUSBAND’S DEATH, NAVALNAYA VOWED TO TAKE UP HIS WORK AND HAS BEEN LOBBYING AGAINST PUTIN’S GOVERNMENT FROM ABROAD. 

OPENING ARGUMENTS ARE SET TO BEGIN WEDNESDAY IN ACTOR ALEC BALDWIN’S INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER TRIAL IN NEW MEXICO. 

BALDWIN IS CHARGED IN CONNECTION WITH THE 20-21 FATAL SHOOTING OF CINEMATOGRAPHER HALYNA HUTCHINS ON THE SET OF THE FILM “RUST”. 

HE’S PLEADED NOT GUILTY – CLAIMING THE GUN FIRED ACCIDENTALLY.  

PROSECUTORS WILL LOOK TO PROVE THAT BALDWIN FAILED TO FOLLOW INDUSTRY STANDARDS FOR FIREARMS SAFETY.  

12 JURORS AND 4 ALTERNATES WERE CHOSEN AT TUESDAY’S HEARING — 11 WOMEN AND 5 MEN. 

IF THEY FIND BALDWIN GUILTY… HE FACES UP TO 18 MONTHS IN PRISON. 

THE TRIAL IS EXPECTED TO CONCLUDE BY NEXT WEEK.

EUROPE IS BACK IN SPACE. 

RUNNING YEARS BEHIND SCHEDULE — EUROPE’S ARIANE 6 ROCKET BLASTED OFF ON ITS MAIDEN FLIGHT TUESDAY FROM THE EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY’S LAUNCH SITE IN FRENCH GUIANA. 

THE FLIGHT DEPLOYED THREE SETS OF MICRO-SATELLITES FOR RESEARCH PURPOSES… PROMPTING EUROPEAN SPACE OFFICIALS TO DECLARE THE TRIP A SUCCESS. 

HOWEVER — THE MISSION DIDN’T GO ENTIRELY AS PLANNED. 

THE FINAL BATCH OF PAYLOADS — TWO SMALL CAPSULES DESIGNED TO TEST THE CONDITIONS FOR SURVIVING RE-ENTRY — WERE *NOT* LAUNCHED AFTER A SMALLER POWER UNIT SHUT ITSELF DOWN FOR UNKNOWN REASONS. 

DESPITE THE SETBACK — THE EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY SAYS IT IS ON TRACK FOR ANOTHER MISSION BY THE END OF THE YEAR.