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Israel, Masks, Triple Crown: Your Weekend Briefing

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Here are the week’s top stories, and a look ahead.

1. The worst violence between Israelis and Palestinians in seven years is spiraling.

On Saturday, Israel destroyed a high-rise building in Gaza that housed the offices of major media outlets, including The Associated Press and Al Jazeera. Hamas militants in Gaza fired more rockets toward Tel Aviv and protests broke out again in the occupied West Bank.

Officials in Gaza said that at least 170 people had been killed in Israeli airstrikes, 40 of them children, with about 1,000 injured since Monday. In Israel, the hostilities have killed 12 civilians.

2. Washington’s response to the growing conflict is stoking tensions among Democrats.

While the Biden administration sees the violence as a highly sensitive diplomatic challenge involving a longstanding ally, progressives, like Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, above, view it as a searing racial justice issue that is deeply intertwined with U.S. politics, linking the decades-long conflict over land in the Middle East to causes like police brutality and conditions for migrants at the southern border.

3. Everyone agrees that the global supply of coronavirus vaccines needs to greatly expand. But no one can agree on how to do it.

Only 0.3 percent of the vaccine doses administered globally have been given in the 29 poorest countries. Several solutions have emerged: vaccine manufacturers stepping up production; waiving patent protections to allow more manufacturers to copy existing vaccines; and wealthy countries donating and exporting more of their stock. All of these carry risks — and there is no consensus. Above, a vaccine station in Johannesburg.

As vaccines flow in rich countries, these charts show how the pandemic has split in two, with zero deaths in some cities and thousands in others. In Brazil, Covid-19 appears to be killing babies and small children at an unusually high rate.

5. Dozens of Black people have died in police custody after being restrained, pepper-sprayed or shocked with stun guns. But their deaths were attributed to genes.

A Times investigation found at least 47 instances over the past 25 years in which sickle cell trait was cited as a cause or major factor in deaths of Black people in custody. Fifteen such deaths have occurred since 2015. The determinations on sickle cell trait, which is carried by one in 13 Black people, often created enough doubt for officers to avert criminal or civil penalties, The Times found.

Lindani Myeni, a South African rugby player and father, died in his adopted home of Honolulu in April after he was shot and killed by the police outside a suburban house. In the U.S., this police shooting of a Black man described as a burglary suspect did not make national news, but in South Africa, it has become a cause célèbre. Above, a repatriation service for Myeni in Johannesburg.


6. The Colonial Pipeline resumed full operations on Saturday, eight days after it was shut down by a ransomware attack.

It will still take days before gasoline stations in the Southeast, likethose in Washington, D.C., above, return to normal service. Nearly 2,000 outlets ran out of fuel after a surge of panic buying, and it will take some time to restock. Prices at the pump have stabilized, though.

The authorities have linked the ransomware attack to Darkside, a criminal hacking group based in Eastern Europe and, possibly, in Russia. Colonial quietly paid the extortionists nearly $5 million in Bitcoin to recover its stolen data, an episode that demonstrates how far the government and private industry have to go to prevent and deal with cyberattacks.


7. Rombauer won the Preakness, ending a controversial Triple Crown bid by Medina Spirit, who failed a drug test after the Kentucky Derby.

8. “It’s not that I’m stronger now. It’s that I’m aware of my strength.”

Paulina Porizkova, the supermodel and widow of Ric Ocasek, frontman of the Cars, was abruptly cut out of his will right before he died. They were living together during what she said was an amicable divorce. Now she’s in litigation with his estate.

We spoke to her about grief, flirting with Aaron Sorkin (her new boyfriend), escaping communism and learning about American culture by landing on the cover of the annual Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.


9. It’s a beautiful weekend here in New York., and it’s time to go outside.

If you’re heading into the garden, there’s a good chance you’ll have a close encounter with poison ivy. Yes, it’s irritating., but poison ivy also has some unappreciated superpowers, our garden expert writes. Here’s how to deal with it.

Perhaps you’re taking a more leisurely route. Two years ago, the drinks expert Rebekah Peppler made a bold statement that riled the internet: The Aperol spritz is not good. Peppler is back with another spritz take, this time with a nod to north-central Italy (and one that is likely to cause less outrage).


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