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Gaza, Immigration, Sinead O’Connor: Your Tuesday Evening Briefing

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Good evening. Here’s the latest.

During a phone call with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, President Biden is said to have delivered a firmer message than he has done in public.

2. The next immigration crisis at the southern border is coming into view.

Early this spring, children crossing the border in record numbers were crammed into Customs and Border Protection’s jail-like detention facilities, where they slept side by side on mats. The Biden administration responded by rapidly setting up temporary emergency shelters.

But interviews with children’s advocates and a review of weeks of internal reports paint a picture of a shelter system with wildly varying conditions, some of which are far below the standard of care the Biden administration promised. Children, one lawyer said, “generally describe not feeling cared for and a sense of desperation.”


3. A partial sense of normalcy is returning across Europe this week as governments lift some restrictions in response to a drop in coronavirus cases, and as vaccine campaigns are picking up speed.

Roughly 30 percent of people in Italy; France; Spain; Poland, above; and the Czech Republic have received at least one vaccine dose, while that figure rises to 37 percent in Germany and 55 percent in Britain. Governments now have their eyes on June, when they plan to reopen even larger parts of their economies for the summer holiday season.

In the U.S., an honor code is the latest phase of the pandemic after the federal government said vaccinated Americans could take off masks. Tori Saylor, an immunocompromised resident of Kalamazoo, Mich., greeted the guidance with a sentiment shared by many Americans: “Am I to trust these people, having never met them?”

4. America is on a road to a better economy. But better for whom?

Leaders from President Biden on down have talked about the need to improve the economy we left behind. But after a crisis that laid bare deep inequities, our economics reporter explores whether that’s possible. Many are optimistic that it is.

One group was hit particularly hard. In the U.S., 1.3 million mothers like Jennifer Park Zerkel, above, lost work because of the pandemic. Across backgrounds and careers, they describe not only an economic loss, but also a loss of identity. “It’s not: ‘I had to make a choice.’ The choice was made for me and a million other people,” said Joy Meulenberg.


5. A North Carolina prosecutor said that the fatal shooting of Andrew Brown Jr., a Black man, by sheriff’s deputies was “justified” and that they would not face criminal charges.

The prosecutor, R. Andrew Womble, said Brown had used his car as a “deadly weapon” as he tried to evade arrest while the deputies were serving a drug-related warrant. Three deputies opened fire on Brown on April 21, firing 14 shots.

The full body camera video has not been released. The family of Brown and their lawyers, who saw some video footage of the shooting earlier, have described it as an “execution” and that Brown was trying to get away from the deputies, not hurt them. They said a private autopsy showed that he was hit by five bullets and killed by a shot to the back of the head.


6. For decades, the core mission of the National Park Service was absolute conservation. Now, as the planet warms, ecologists are being forced to do triage.

New guidance for park managers aims to help park ecologists and managers actively choose what to safeguard — and what to let slip away. The team behind the report kept a low profile during the Trump administration, when the agency was at the center of frequent political battles. Above, Acadia National Park.

One of the world’s most vulnerable places to the effects of climate change suffered a loss on Monday: Darwin’s Arch, a famous rock formation in the Galápagos Islands, collapsed because of natural erosion.


7. In 1944, a camera captured a two-second clip of nameless children on a train headed to a Nazi concentration camp. Researchers identified them, and they’re still alive.

Using enhanced, rare footage, Dutch researchers identified about a dozen individuals, including two children — a brother and sister. The footage is part of a compilation known as the Westerbork Film, named after the Nazi transit camp.

“Now I feel that I can shout from the roofs, I’m still here, the Nazis didn’t get me,” said Marc Degen, who was 3 years old at the time and recently turned 80.


8. To say there has never been a food show like “High on the Hog,” a new Netflix series about Black food history, is not a stretch.

American food TV has largely reduced African-American cooking to Southern or soul food. This series, based on the 2011 book by Jessica B. Harris, illuminates the resilience and ingenuity of Black cooks who have shaped American cuisine since the arrival of the first slave ships. The series is a “deeply nuanced celebration of Black people and their food,” food writer Osayi Endolyn says. “It is also sorely overdue.”

In the kitchen, Melissa Clark offers a crash course on alliums — onions, shallots, leeks, ramps, etc.


9. Sinead O’Connor ripped up a photo of the pope on “Saturday Night Live” in 1992 and killed her career, so the story goes. She says the opposite is true.

Her new memoir, “Rememberings,” recasts the story from her perspective. “It seems to me that being a pop star is almost like being in a type of prison. You have to be a good girl,” she told our reporter from a tiny village on an Irish mountaintop. Among the belongings in her sparse cottage are deliberately uncomfortable chairs, “because I don’t like people staying long,” she said.

10. And finally, welcome to Weed, Calif.

For decades, the residents of this lumber town have winced at the puns: Yes, there are two dispensaries, but the town is named for a local 19th-century timber baron, Abner Weed. Town leaders have since had a change of heart.

As businesses suffered during pandemic lockdowns, the City Council unanimously approved a plan for a sprawling grow facility that would employ 300 people. Weed is now making a bet that it can market not only its name but its location at the foot of Mount Shasta, a dormant volcano.

“You used to drive through downtown and there wasn’t a car in sight,” the mayor said. “Now there isn’t a parking spot in sight.”

Have a green night.


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