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American Economy, Menthol Cigarettes, NFL: Your Thursday Night Briefing

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Good night. Here is the last one.

1. The economy is rebounding and on track to achieve levels.

Supported by stimulus checks and easing restrictions in many parts of the country, the U.S. economy is shedding some of the lingering effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The growth rate for the first quarter reached 6.4% and economists expect overall economic activity to return to pre-pandemic levels in the current quarter.

Consumer spending is on the rise. Amazon posted revenue of $ 108.5 billion in the first three months of the year, up 44% from the previous year. It also recorded $ 8.1 billion in profits.

As the economy is almost back, the recovery is deeply uneven across sectors, unbalanced in a way that has big implications for businesses and workers, writes our senior economics correspondent.

The bad news: consumer goods are going to be more expensive. Retailers who absorbed higher costs in 2020 are rebalancing prices to meet profit expectations and also to account for inflation.

2. President Biden justified his broad vision of rebuilding the US economy as a necessary step to compete with China.

In his speech to Congress yesterday, Biden argued that the United States must prove that democracies can deliver and continue to outperform innovations and outshine the world’s most prosperous authoritarian state, writes our national security correspondent in analysis.

He and Vice President Kamala Harris hit the road this morning to sell his economic program to the public. Biden’s first stop was in Georgia, where he visited former President Jimmy Carter, while Harris traveled to Baltimore to visit a vaccination site.

3. “It will be New York summer.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio has said he wants New York to fully reopen on July 1, allowing restaurants, stores and stadiums to operate at full capacity. Broadway, he said, was set to open in September.

However, de Blasio said he had not spoken to Governor Andrew Cuomo about his plan. Cuomo stressed in a separate press conference that the state was responsible for handling the reopening.

Yet signs of normalcy are returning. Last week, soprano Renée Fleming performed on stage to a limited audience.

4. The Covid crisis in Latin America takes an alarming turn for the worse, potentially threatening progress made far beyond its borders.

The region accounted for 35 percent of all Covid-19 deaths worldwide last week, with just 8 percent of the world’s population, according to data compiled by The Times. Above, workers bury bodies in São Paolo.

The crisis is the result of limited vaccine supplies and slow deployments, weak health systems and fragile economies that make home orders difficult to impose or maintain.

If Latin America fails to contain the virus – or if the world does not step in to help it – new, more dangerous variants may emerge.

5. Russia crushes Aleksei Navalny’s networks.

The jailed opposition leader’s associates have been forced to disband his network of 40 regional offices, a move that appears likely to push the resistance against President Vladimir Putin even further underground. Above, a worker painted on street art with Navalny.

An aide to Navalny said the decision was inevitable, with prosecutors seeking to declare his movement an extremist organization.

Navalny has returned to public view for the first time since he ended a 24-day hunger strike last week. In a virtual court appearance, he appeared skinny but vowed to continue fighting the “Garless Emperor” in the Kremlin.

6. German High Court spoke out in favor of young climate activists and ordered the government to step up plans to reduce carbon emissions.

The move came as a rebuke to the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel, which drafted a law in 2019 to reduce carbon emissions to near zero by 2050, but included detailed targets only until 2030. 24. Above, a climate protest in Berlin last fall.

Separately, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights will determine whether the Honduran government is responsible for the death of a transgender woman 12 years ago, a decision that may force governments to better protect transgender people in a region where they are are often targeted.

7. The Food and Drug Administration has announced a plan to ban menthol cigarettes and all flavored cigars.

According to the agency, the minty flavor allows those who try their first cigarette to become addicted and then more difficult to quit. Since the 1950s, cigarettes have been marketed aggressively to black smokers in the United States. According to the FDA, around 85% of black smokers now use menthol products, like the ones above made by Newport.

8. Let’s talk about perimenopause.

Perimenopause is the onset of menopause, which is when a woman stops her period. More than a billion women worldwide will have gone through perimenopause by 2025, and many of them will have symptoms such as hot flashes, sleep disturbances and depression. But largely because of the taboos surrounding women’s bodily functions, many ignore what it entails until they experience it for themselves.

Now “femtech” companies are hitting the market, books are being published, and people like Michelle Obama are talking about how to cope. The shifting narrative has helped highlight a range of treatments, including hormone therapy and birth control pills.

9. The NFL Draft kicks off tonight.

Predicting the first round of the draft is particularly difficult this year, after the pandemic hit the 2020 college football season. More than 100 Division I players have chosen not to play, and the traditional recognition combine has been canceled .

But many forecasters still believe five of the top 10 picks will be quarterbacks, a first. Most agree that Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, above, will go to the Jaguars and Brigham Young’s Zach Wilson will go to the Jets, taking the top two spots. Follow our live briefing here.

10. And finally, they saw each other and wept.

After a year of excruciating lockdowns, visits have finally resumed at nursing homes – the sites of nearly a third of all coronavirus-related deaths. The Times sent photographers across the country to capture the reunion.

“It was really good that he knew who we were,” said Wayne Tinkler, referring to his father, Jim, above center, who has dementia. “Just knowing that we were there, that we were back, was a huge relief.

Have a good evening.

Your evening briefing is posted at 6 p.m. EST.

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