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Schools, California, North Korea: Your Monday Night Briefing


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Have a good evening. Here is the last Monday at the end of the day.

1. For the first time in 18 months, Schools in New York City have fully reopened for around one million children, most of whom were returning for the first time since the largest school system in the United States closed in March 2020.

The spread of the highly contagious Delta variant has complicated the city’s efforts to fully reopen schools and has left many families and educators worried about what the next few months will bring. And there was some chaos on opening day: The online health exams families fill out every morning crashed, resulting in long lines outside some schools.

2. Democrats move closer to transformative economic bill – and figure out how to pay for it.

House Democrats released legislation that would raise up to $ 2.9 trillion to fund President Biden’s social safety net through a series of tax changes, including increasing the amount that Americans and businesses the richest pay in taxes.

The legislation would increase the maximum tax rate for high net worth individuals to 39.6%, from the current 37%. Those with adjusted gross income of more than $ 5 million would also face a new 3 percent surtax. Corporate tax would rise to 28%, compared to 21% for businesses with income over $ 5 million.

The legislation amounts to an opening offer as House and Senate Democrats attempt to tinker with elements of President Biden’s $ 3.5 trillion economic package, which would fund climate change provisions, paid family leave and public education.

The House’s revenue plan is less aggressive than those of the White House and the Senate. Moderate and conservative Democrats have also balked at the $ 3.5 trillion price tag of expanding Biden’s social agenda. Since Democrats plan to pass the bill along party lines and cannot afford to lose many votes, these differences will need to be addressed in the coming days.


3. One million Afghan children could die at “the most perilous hour,” warns the UN.

Secretary-General António Guterres, speaking at a United Nations conference on the crisis, said millions of people could run out of food before winter arrives.

In the midst of a severe drought, the World Food Program estimates that 40 percent of crops are lost. The price of wheat has increased by 25 percent. Hundreds of thousands of people were left homeless after being forced to flee the fighting.

And the country’s health system is on the verge of collapse. World Bank funding is frozen, threatening the effective end of medical services in 31 of the country’s 34 provinces.

Meanwhile, Afghan pilots seeking safety in Uzbekistan have been transferred to an American base, despite Taliban efforts to force their return.


4. California’s recall election is tomorrow.

Polls show Gov. Gavin Newsom is likely to keep his job. He has a double-digit lead, down from 50-50 in July.

5. North Korea has said it has launched new long-range cruise missiles.

In tests that took place on Saturday and Sunday, the missiles flew for more than two hours, circled and hit targets 932 miles away, the official North Korean Central News Agency said.

The latest tests have shown that North Korea continues to improve its missile arsenal while nuclear disarmament talks with the United States remain at a standstill. Under UN sanctions, North Korea can develop cruise missiles, but not ballistic missiles.

Separately, Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency have reached a temporary deal on nuclear oversight, an agreement that was seen as a minimum requirement to resume talks to restore compliance with the nuclear deal. 2015.

6. This summer has been exceptionally hot, especially at night.

Minimum temperatures were the warmest since 1895 for all of the west coast states and parts of the northeast, in a trend that aligns with climate model predictions: in the United States, nights heat up faster than the days. This effect is intensified in cities, which are generally warmer than their surroundings.

Temperatures are hottest in neighborhoods where people of color and the poorest live. Poorer communities are also less likely to use air conditioners during heat waves, which increases the risk of heat-related deaths.

In Washington, President Biden presented a plan to produce sustainable jet fuel. In Normal, Illinois, business is booming, thanks to a massive electric vehicle start-up.

7. Broadway is back. Or so he hopes.

Some of the industry’s biggest and best-known shows resume their performances tomorrow. By the end of the year, if all goes according to plan, 39 shows will have debuted on Broadway.

The first signs are encouraging: four productions restarted this summer, serving as laboratories for industry safety protocols. None has yet missed a performance.

The actors have regained their physical and vocal form. The theaters held up well: There were even fewer rodents than feared in the shuttered buildings, probably because there were few food sources.

But will the public show up? Anecdotal reports suggest that a handful of musicals, including “Hamilton,” “Hadestown” and “Six,” are selling strongly, while plays are struggling.


8. Also out: the world of fashion.

Today the red carpet rolls out for the Met Gala, hosted by a Generation Z dream team that includes inaugural poet Amanda Gorman and “Dune” dream star Timothée Chalamet.

The party marks the opening of the Costume Institute’s successful annual show. This year’s exhibition is “In America: A Fashion Lexicon,” part one of a two-part mega-show / argument for the power of American fashion. The gala itself is such an argument, and you can follow our live coverage here.

New York Fashion Week wrapped itself in a rainbow of glitter last night. Vanessa Friedman, fashion critic for The Times, takes a look at what he says about American fashion and how it contrasts with the red carpet at the MTV Video Music Awards last night.


9. The rock that ended the dinosaurs could reveal secrets about the origin of life itself.

Sixty-six million years ago, the catastrophic object known as the Chicxulub impactor altered the evolution of planet Earth, ridding the slate of the evolution of mammals (and you). As more advanced tools and techniques become available, scientists have been able to extract new information about this epic erasure.

For their latest information, the scientists used a NASA supercomputer to monitor the movements of around 130,000 asteroids. The results support strong geological evidence that Chicxulub was a carbonaceous asteroid, not a comet, with a possible origin in the outer asteroid belt.

And a study published this summer described modern microbial descendants of organisms that thrived in Chicxulub Crater – still living in the shadow of one of Earth’s greatest disasters.


10. Finally, a woolly mammoth start-up.

George Church, a biologist at Harvard Medical School, has raised $ 15 million to fund a business called Colossal. It aims to bring woolly mammoths back to Siberia, thousands of years after their extinction.

Scientists at Colossal will try to modify the genome of an elephant embryo to look like an ancient mammoth, adding features like dense hair and thick fat to resist the cold. They plan to remove DNA from an elephant egg, which has never been done before, and then implant the modified embryo into an artificial mammoth uterus.

Beyond scientific curiosity, Dr Church argued that the revived woolly mammoths could help the environment, by maintaining the tundra biome so that it could trap heat-trapping carbon dioxide. The company could also create new forms of genetic engineering and potentially save species by endowing them with genes for resistance to a pathogen.



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