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Good evening. Here’s the latest.
1. Israeli opposition leaders reached a coalition agreement to oust Benjamin Netanyahu.
Under the deal, Netanyahu, the longest-serving prime minister in Israeli history, would make way for Naftali Bennett, above, and an alliance of eight very different political parties, with affiliations from the left to the far right.
Some analysts praised the diversity of the coalition, while others said its members were too incompatible for their compact to last. Parliament is expected to ratify the fragile agreement in a confidence vote in the coming days.
Bennett, the leader of a pro-settlement party and a standard-bearer for the religious right, who opposes a Palestinian state and wants Israel to annex the majority of the occupied West Bank, would lead as prime minister until 2023. If the government lasts a whole term, it would then be led between 2023 and 2025 by Yair Lapid, a centrist former television host considered a standard-bearer for secular Israelis.
2. President Biden has a new get-the-shot campaign.
Facing his July 4 goal of getting 70 percent of adults vaccinated against Covid-19, Biden announced a batch of new initiatives, including free child care to parents while they get their shots and on-site vaccination events at Black-owned barbershops.
Currently, 62.8 percent of adults in the U.S. have received at least one shot, and 12 states have passed the 70 percent mark. Still, as employers lift mask policies, many workers feel exposed.
3. Production began to resume at nine U.S. beef plants after a cyberattack on the world’s largest meat processor forced them to shut down.
The attack on the company, JBS, raised new questions about the vulnerability of critical American businesses. A ransomware attack last month forced Colonial Pipeline to shut down a pipeline that transports gas to nearly half the East Coast.
A White House official said the ransom demand had come from “a criminal organization likely based in Russia.” Prices could increase as a result of the cyberattack, analysts said.
4. The U.S. is trying to persuade other countries to back a global tax.
During a meeting this week of Group of 7 finance ministers, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will try to win support for a broad agreement that could put an end to global tax havens and establish a global minimum tax. Such a deal has been elusive for years, as countries like Ireland have sought to keep their taxes low to attract global investment.
The Biden administration has made securing a global tax a priority as it looks to raise corporate taxes at home. So far, Canada, Italy and Japan have signaled their support for a 15 percent minimum corporate tax plan, but it has not yet been endorsed by Britain.
Separately, a new analysis of Census Bureau surveys argues that the latest rounds of stimulus checks significantly improved Americans’ ability to buy food and pay household bills, and reduced anxiety and depression.
The Times also took a closer look at how the long-struggling Main Street of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., survived the pandemic. ($21 million in government loans helped.)
5. Oil and gas giants are selling off their most polluting assets to small companies. Now, these companies are becoming the country’s biggest emitters of greenhouse gases.
Five of the industry’s top 10 emitters of methane, a particularly potent planet-warming gas, are little-known oil and gas producers, according to a new analysis. Topping the list is Hilcorp Energy, which has grown by buying up old oil and gas assets. These companies have largely escaped public scrutiny, even as they have become major polluters. Above, the Prudhoe Bay oil field in Alaska, which Hilcorp bought from BP.
In other climate news, Miami, the U.S. metropolitan area that is perhaps most exposed to sea-level rise, is facing hard decisions as it tries to mitigate its environmental problems. A 20-foot sea wall proposed to protect it from storm surge is facing backlash from environmentalists and real estate developers.
6. U.S. cities are bracing for a violent summer.
Homicide rates in large cities were up more than 30 percent on average last year, and up another 24 percent for the beginning of this year, according to criminologists. Above, a crime scene in Miami on Sunday.
The question now is whether the rising level of killings in American cities that began last year, as the pandemic wrought economic and social hardship, will continue to climb.
7. NASA announced two new missions to explore Venus.
Both are expected to take place in the coming years, marking NASA’s return to Venus for the first time in three decades. In the past year, Venus returned to the limelight after a team of scientists claimed they had discovered compelling evidence for microbes living in the planet’s clouds.
They said they had detected a molecule, phosphine, and could come up with no plausible explanation for how it might have formed there except as the waste product of living organisms. One of the robotic missions could confirm the presence of phosphine. The other would produce high-resolution three-dimensional maps of Venus’s surface.
8. Theater is beginning to tiptoe back to in-person performance. Welcome to shows you can touch and feel.
Seeing puppet sheep frolic outdoors at New York’s Lincoln Center had the kind of realness our writer has craved. “There are sensations you don’t realize you miss until you encounter them again,” she wrote. Here’s the latest on Broadway’s return.
If you still aren’t ready for live performances, our Culture Desk collaborated with percussionists and composers to bring you these 5 minutes that will make you love percussion.
10. And finally, a pool with a view.
At the Sky Pool, which opened last month in London, swimmers have views of the Thames and the city skyline. And, straight down, they can see the street 115 feet below them.
“Swimming in it will make you feel like you’re floating in air,” said a property developer for the residential complex that is home to the pool, which is made of transparent polymer and bridges two apartment buildings.
Use of the pool is exclusively for residents and their guests — but not all residents. In a complex where apartments start at 635,000 pounds (about $900,000), the developers have come under criticism for restricting access to higher-income residents.
Have a buoyant night.
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