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5 things you need to know this morning: July 1, 2020

Start your day off right with five things you need to know this morning.

Five things you need to know

1. Seattle police move into 'protest zone' after killings

The so-called Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, now sometimes referred to as the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest, in downtown Seattle is being dismantled by riot police, according to local reports. It comes after a series of killings and shootings in the lawless area, which was established in early June following the death of George Floyd. A 16-year-old was killed on June 29, while a 14-year-old was sent to intensive care, after one series of shootings. A 19-year-old was killed on June 20.

2. First arrests in Hong Kong as Beijing anti-protest law comes into effect

Police in Hong Kong have begun cracking down on demonstrators and freedom campaigners after a new security law was imposed on the territory by the Communist Party of China. The move has been condemned by the West as a betrayal of Hong Kong's unique status, which was agreed between the UK and China as part of the 1997 handover. But China has told the world it is a domestic matter and of no concern to foreigners. The UK today said up to three million Hong Kong residents will be given the chance to move to the UK to escape Beijing's control.

3. Southern and Western states see surge in COVID-19 cases

Certain American states are experiencing an increase in COVID-19 cases, causing alarm across the country. At least 16 states have been forced to reverse their reopening plans, while Arizona, California, Florida and Texas are seeing particularly worrying numbers. It comes after disease researcher Dr Anthony Fauci told the US Senate that he would not be surprised if new cases in the US reached 100,000 a day (it's currently at around 40,000 a day).

4. US buys majority of COVID-19 drug supply

The US Department of Health Human Services has bought almost all of the available stock for the next three months of the drug remdesivir, which has been found to help COVID-19 patients recover. It acquired the entire stock for July and 90% of the stock for August and September. It was created by US firm Gilead Sciences.

5. Lawsuits against Harvey Weinstein to be settled for $18.9 million

The New York Attorney General has announced that two lawsuits against disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein are to be settled for US$18.9 million. The cash will be distributed to dozens of women who have accused the imprisoned movie producer of sexual misconduct. Six of the women to have accused Weinstein, however, said the settlement was a "complete sellout."

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