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In our news wrap Friday, Russian missiles pounded a coastal town in southern Ukraine killing at least 21 people including two children, the trial for U.S. women's basketball star Brittney Griner began outside Moscow, at least 19 people in northeastern India died in mudslides triggered by torrential rain, a new tropical storm formed over the Caribbean, and monkeypox cases tripled across Europe.
A barrage of Russian missiles pounded a quiet coastal town in Southern Ukraine today, killing at least 21 people, including two children. It happened in the early morning hours about 50 miles from the port city of Odessa, far from any front line.
The shelling battered a nine-story apartment building and a resort as residents slept. Rescue workers scour the rubble for human remains with the help of locals.
Oleksandr Abramov, Ukraine Resident (through translator):
We heard the strikes. We live close by. We came here to the site and, together with emergency workers, we helped those who survived. And those who unfortunately died, we helped to carry them away.
The Kremlin again falsely denied that it targets civilian areas.
Meanwhile, in Russia, the trial for us women's basketball star Brittney Griner got under way in a Moscow suburb four-and-a-half months after she was arrested for possessing cannabis oil. Griner entered the courtroom in handcuffs. She has been charged with intentionally importing narcotics into Russia. A U.S. diplomat spoke to reporters after attending the opening session.
Elizabeth Rood, Deputy Chief Of Mission, U.S. Embassy in Moscow: I did have the opportunity to speak with Ms. Griner in the courtroom. She is doing as well as can be expected in these difficult circumstances. And she asked me to convey that she is in good spirits and is keeping up the faith.
If convicted, Griner could face up to 10 years in prison. Today, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken tweeted that he has no higher priority than bringing her and other wrongfully detained Americans home.
It's been 25 years since Britain returned Hong Kong to Chinese rule, and China's leader, Xi Jinping, used the anniversary to defend his vision. In a speech, he emphasized the one-country/two-systems framework for the former British colony, now under Beijing's control, and he also rejected claims that China is curtailing its political and civic freedoms.
We will have more on all this later in the program.
At least 19 people in Northeastern India have died in mudslides triggered by weeks of torrential rain. Soldiers joined the rescue effort to find dozens still missing. Many were swept away in a sea of mud. This year's monsoon season has caused unusually heavy downpours, leaving hundreds of thousands of residents there homeless.
A new tropical storm formed over the Caribbean today as it barrelled towards Central America. The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Tropical Storm Bonnie is on track to hit the Nicaragua-Costa Rica border region, bringing 40-mile-an-hour winds and up to eight inches of rain. It is projected to intensify and cause significant flooding over the weekend..
Monkeypox cases across Europe have tripled over the past two weeks. That is according to the World Health Organization, which called today for urgent action to reverse the spread. Europe now accounts for about 90 percent of the more than 5,000 monkeypox infections worldwide.
In economic news across the Atlantic, inflation hit a record high last month for the 19 countries that use the euro currency. It rose to 8.6 percent in June, the highest level of inflation there since record-keeping for the euro began in 1997. The surge was driven by a spike in energy costs, fueled in part by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
And on Wall Street today, stocks started the new month on a higher note. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 322 points to close at 31097. The Nasdaq rose 99 points, and the S&P 500 added 40.
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