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Friday Executive News Summary

Jobs increased in July though small-biz employment fell, monkeypox declared national emergency, Russia sentences WNBA star, and more.

Top of the Fold

  • Jobs increased in July but small-business employment fell: “Nonfarm payrolls rose 528,000 for the month and the unemployment rate was 3.5%,” reports CNBC. Hiring beat expectations, particularly given the technical recession we entered in the second quarter. But signs of that recession could be seen in the latest report from the National Federation of Independent Business, which shows that small-business employment declined by an average of 0.14 workers in July. This number is a reversal of June’s, which saw small-business employment gains. The downturn is not due to a lack of jobs, as 49% of small-business owners report having at least one job opening. The problem is that small businesses are having a difficult time finding workers, even as the U.S. has yet to regain the pre-COVID employment levels — we’re currently 1.2% below February 2020 numbers. Meanwhile, business owners have been raising wages to compete for or retain a scarce pool of workers. Thirty-three percent of employers report that few applicants for their job openings are qualified. Small businesses are obviously struggling to compete with Big Biz, so there remains a glut of job openings but a dearth of qualified workers to fill them.

  • Monkeypox declared a national emergency: With over 7,100 Americans having been infected with monkeypox, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday declared the situation a national public health emergency. HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra stated, “We are prepared to take our response to the next level in addressing this virus, and we urge every American to take monkeypox seriously.” Every American, indeed. The virus’s rapid spread in the U.S. and Europe thus far has been almost entirely among homosexual communities. To date, no one in the U.S. has died from this current outbreak, and deaths from the virus remain low in other countries. Symptoms associated with monkeypox include fever and body aches as well as pimple-like bumps across various parts of the body. A monkeypox vaccine exists, with the Biden administration reporting that it has boosted available doses to over a million. Yale University infectious disease expert Gregg Gonsalves contends that declaring monkeypox a national public health emergency is largely a “symbolic action.” The inconvenient fact of the matter is that not engaging in certain deviant behavior would go a long way toward helping one avoid contracting the virus.

  • Russia sentences WNBA star: Brittney Griner, who was detained in Russia in February on drug-possession charges, was handed a nine-and-a-half-year prison sentence on Thursday. Following her sentencing, Griner said, “I want to apologize to my teammates, my club, my fans and the city of (Yekaterinburg) for my mistake that I made and the embarrassment that I brought on them.” While Griner had claimed that she mistakenly packed cannabis-infused vape oil in her luggage, the Russian prosecutor argued that it was no mistake and that even if the substance was legal in the U.S., it was not in Russia. Biden’s State Department said that Griner was “wrongfully detained,” and Secretary of State Antony Blinken noted that the Biden administration had made a “substantial proposal” to Russia in exchange for both Griner and fellow American Paul Whelan. The Russian media surmises this is a trade for arms dealer Viktor Bout, who is serving a 25-year sentence for conspiracy to murder and providing aid to a terrorist group. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre simply noted that Russia made a “bad faith” offer. Biden responded to news of Griner’s sentence by saying that “my administration will continue to work tirelessly and pursue every possible avenue to bring Britteny and Paul Whelan home safely as soon as possible.”

Headlines

  • Kyrsten Sinema agrees to “move forward” with spending and tax boondoggle after Dems make changes (Fox News)

  • Lawmakers berate FBI chief over partisanship in Trump, Hunter Biden probes (Washington Times)

  • Ted Cruz scorches FBI director for targeting patriotic symbols (Townhall)

  • Disciplinary action over Crossfire Hurricane has “slowed down” (Daily Wire)

  • China sanctions House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over “egregious provocation” in visit to Taiwan (Fox News) | ChiComs say they will stop military, climate talks with the U.S. (Washington Times)

  • Al Qaeda’s next leader has deep ties to Iran (Free Beacon)

  • Forget forgiveness: Republicans propose alternative student loan relief (Free Beacon)

  • Feds charge four police officers in fatal Breonna Taylor raid (AP)

  • Alex Jones ordered to pay $4.1 million in Sandy Hook defamation trial (Daily Wire)

  • UCLA will reportedly miss carbon-neutral goal by 43 years (College Fix)

  • Ukraine nuclear plant “completely out of control,” UN watchdog warns (Washington Examiner)

  • Policy: Why fossil fuels are here to stay, no matter what Democrats try to tell you (Washington Times)

  • Satire: Brittney Griner rewarded with nine years of not hearing the U.S. national anthem (Babylon Bee)

For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit Headline Report.

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