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Your Friday Evening Briefing – The New York Times

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Good evening. Here’s the latest at the end of Friday.

1. The death toll in the devastating flash floods that hit Kentucky climbed to 16 and was expected to rise.

“It’s going to get a lot higher,” the state’s governor, Andy Beshear, said of the toll. Six children have died in the flooding, four of whom were from one family. Heavy rains touched off what the governor said was “one of the worst, most devastating flooding events” in the state’s history.

The National Guard, the State Police and other state agencies were helping with search and rescue efforts. The teams have plucked people from rooftops and have reached others by boat. Nearly 300 people had been rescued across the state as of this morning.

Many homes, roads and bridges were still inaccessible, and more than 21,500 customers in Kentucky were still without electricity.

Floodwaters were expected to recede in some areas tomorrow, which would give search-and-rescue teams an opportunity to reach more people, Beshear said.

2. We took an in-depth look at what the new climate bill could mean for auto and energy industries.

The $369 billion climate and tax package Democrats in the Senate proposed this week could have far-reaching effects on the kinds of cars Americans drive (heavily incentivizing electric), the places those cars are made (with cash incentives for US factories) and the ways the country produces its energy. The legislation also aims to break China’s hold on battery supply chains.

“I think it is absolutely a transformative bill,” one expert said. “It will reduce every American’s energy bills.”

Here are seven key provisions in the climate package.


3. Recent economic reports are likely to keep the Federal Reserve on track for interest rate increases.

A wage growth measure that the Federal Reserve watches closely climbed swiftly, up 5.1 percent in the second quarter. Prices increased sharply last month, up 6.8 percent this year through June. It was the fastest increase in the Personal Consumption Expenditures index since 1982.

4. An explosion at a prison camp killed at least 40 Ukrainian prisoners of war and maimed dozens more.

Russia and Ukraine traded blame for the attack in the Russian-occupied region of Donetsk. The prison, in the town of Olenivka, is where Russia is holding thousands of Ukrainian prisoners of war, including about 2,500 fighters from the Azovstal plant who were forced to surrender in May. The fighters are considered war heroes in Ukraine.

Russia’s defense ministry accused Ukraine’s military of hitting the facility with a high-precision rocket, and Ukrainian officials accused Russia of carrying out a false-flag operation to hide evidence of torture and extrajudicial executions.

5. Monkeypox remains a mystery in some important ways. Scientists are racing to find answers.

Three issues will determine how quickly monkeypox can be contained — if at all: spread, vaccination and treatment. New York State and San Francisco yesterday declared health emergencies over the outbreak. But even as the US tally nears 5,000 cases and experts warn that containment is slipping away, federal health officials have not followed suit.

President Biden’s health secretary, Xavier Becera, suggested that states and localities bore some of the responsibility for what critics have called a flawed response, and said that his agency was still weighing whether to declare a national public health emergency.

6. In defending dogs at all costs, Richard Rosenthal has made a lot of enemies. But his animal clients owe him their lives.

Rosenthal, an animal attorney in New York for more than a decade, takes on custody cases, his veterinary clinics for malpractice and has made a specialty of defending dangerous dogs. He often enrages local officials, animal control officers, district attorneys and even some animal rights groups.

7. Disco, funk, house, techno, bounce and more: The new Beyoncé album has officially arrived.

The singer’s seventh solo studio LP and the first part of a trilogy, “Renaissance” embodies decades of dance music, offering a tour through some of the genre’s most well-known touchstones, including Chicago house, 1970s disco and more underground sounds like hyperpop. Here are some of the sources Beyoncé celebrates and an exploration of their significance.

Lindsay Zoladz, one of our pop critics, described the album as “a dazzling nightclub fantasia” that “feels almost Prince-like in its ambition.” The song “Alien Superstar” is a “bold pop homage to ballroom culture and an embodiment of the escapist, self-celebratory ethos that courses throughout ‘Renaissance,’” she writes.


8. A decade ago, the Ultimate Fighting Championship excluded women. The contestants in Saturday’s title bout are proud to be fighters and mothers.

A rematch of Julianna Peña and Amanda Nunes will be the main event at UFC 277 on Saturday night in Dallas. Nunes will be fighting to regain the bantamweight title Peña took from her in December. Dana White, the president of the UFC, expects the matchup to surpass Holly Holm’s shocking 2015 upset of Ronda Rousey as the highest-grossing women’s fight.

As combat sports grow in popularity, ringside physicians are grappling with the precarious ethics of their role. “I’m clearing someone to fight today, 20 years from now he walks into my office and has CTE, he has Parkinson’s,” one neurologist and ringside physician said. “Every doctor who works ringside should feel conflicted.”


9. To take advantage of all those fruits and berries, consider an upside-down cake.

One of the earliest recipes called “upside-down cake” was published in 1923 in the now-defunct Syracuse Herald. The classic pineapple upside-down cake first surfaced in 1926. But juicy summer peaches, apricots, plums and nectarines, mounds of purple berries and even velvety bananas are just waiting to step in, Melissa Clark writes.

Staying at a vacation rental? Don’t sweat dinner. The most enjoyable meals on a trip may just be the ones you make yourself. Follow these tips for planning, shopping and using up every ingredient.

10. And finally, piles of new books.

Want ideas for books to put on hold at your library in August? Our Books editors have you covered. There is an investigation into the opioid overdose epidemic by Beth Macy, new fiction from Abdulrazak Gurnah, Banana Yoshimoto, Mohsin Hamid and Anthony Marra. If those don’t catch your eye, we have 88 more suggestions.

And speaking of new chapters: I’ll be working on a different desk to cover breaking news for the next few months. It has been a privilege to help guide you through the day’s news for all this time.

Thank you, and until next time, have a wonderful rest of your summer.


Jennifer Swanson compiled photos for this briefing

Your Evening Briefing is posted at 6 pm Eastern.

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