Need to know: Top national and international stories for July 2, 2021.
1. Olympic Athlete Suspended For Marijuana Use
US Track star, Sha’Carri Richardson, was suspended from the Olympic team for one month after testing positive for THC, a chemical present in marijuana. On Friday, she appeared on the Today show and stated, “I just want to take responsibility for my actions, I know what I did, I know what I’m supposed to do, I’m allowed not to do and I still made that decision. I’m not making an excuse or looking for any empathy in my case.”
Richardson obtained her victory in the women’s 100m at the US Olympic track and field trials and reserved her spot in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, but now her results will be automatically disqualified and she will not be allowed to compete in the 100m in Tokyo this summer.
“The rules are clear, but this is heartbreaking on many levels; hopefully, her acceptance of responsibility and apology will be an important example to us all that we can successfully overcome our regrettable decisions, despite the costly consequences of this one to her,” said USADA (US Anti-Doping Agency) CEO Travis T. Tygart in a press release.
Richardson revealed the reason behind her positive test is finding out from a reporter about the death of her biological mother. She said, “From there just blinded by emotions, blinded by bad news, blinded by just hiding hurt, honestly for the fact that I can’t hide myself, so at least in some type of way, I was trying to hide my pain.”
2. The Last US Troops Have Left Afghanistan
Early on in his administration, President Biden promised the American people that the end of US involvement in the Middle East was near and troops would be taken out of Afghanistan by September 11, 2021. Just before American Independence Day, the US ended operations in Afghanistan by leaving their military home base in Bagram.
The troops leaving aim to send two main messages: inform the US people that the longest foreign war is at an end and another to the Afghan government that the US is not abandoning them under Taliban rule.
Air support and surveillance will be sent to Afghanistan from outside the country, such as from Qatar or bases in the United Arab Emirates. 650 troops will stay in Afghanistan to protect the US embassy in Kabul, and it is not clear if they will be departed as well by September 11 or will continue to stay there.
3. The Royal Brothers Finally Unite
UK Prince William and Harry unite to unveil a statue of their mother, Princess Diana, on what would have been her 60th birthday. This is their second public meeting since Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, decided to leave their roles in the royal family. The first interaction was during the death of their grandfather and Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Phillip, earlier this year.
The statue they unveiled in the Sunken Garden at London’s Kensington Palace on Thursday includes the late Princess Diana and two children, who represent “the universality and generational impact of the princess’ work,” said the Kensington Palace. “The statue aims to reflect the warmth, elegance, and energy of Diana.”
In a joint statement from the brothers, Prince William and Harry stated “Today, on what would have been our mother’s 60th birthday, we remember her love, strength, and character — qualities that made her a force for good around the world, changing countless lives for the better.”
“Every day, we wish she were still with us, and our hope is that this statue will be seen forever as a symbol of her life and her legacy.”