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Good evening. Here is the latest at the end of Friday.
1. The death toll in the devastating flash floods that hit Kentucky has risen to 16 and is expected to rise.
“It’s going to get a lot higher,” state Governor Andy Beshear said of the toll. Six children died in the floods, four of them from the same family. Heavy rains triggered what the governor called “one of the most severe and devastating floods” in state history.
The National Guard, state police, and other state agencies were assisting with search and rescue efforts. Teams snatched people from rooftops and joined 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 Kentucky customers were still without power.
Floodwaters are expected to recede in some areas tomorrow, giving search and rescue teams the opportunity to reach more people, Beshear said.
2. We took an in-depth look at what the new climate law could mean for the auto and energy industries.
The $369 billion climate and fiscal package proposed by Democrats in the Senate this week could have far-reaching effects on the types of cars Americans drive (heavy electric incentives), where those cars are made (with incentives in cash for American factories) and the means the country produces its energy. The legislation also aims to break China’s grip on battery supply chains.
“I think this is absolutely a transformative bill,” one expert said. “It will reduce the energy bills of every American.”
Here are seven key provisions of the climate package.
3. Recent economic reports are likely to keep the Federal Reserve on track for interest rate increases.
A measure of wage growth that the Federal Reserve is watching closely climbed rapidly, up 5.1% in the second quarter. Prices rose sharply last month, up 6.8% this year through June. This is the fastest increase in the personal consumption expenditure index since 1982.
4. An explosion in a prison camp killed at least 40 Ukrainian POWs and maimed dozens more.
Russia and Ukraine swapped responsibility for the attack in the Russian-occupied Donetsk region. The prison, in the town of Olenivka, is where Russia holds thousands of Ukrainian prisoners of war, including around 2,500 fighters from the Azovstal factory who were forced to surrender in May. The fighters are considered war heroes in Ukraine.
The Russian Defense Ministry has accused the Ukrainian military of hitting the facility with a high-precision rocket, and Ukrainian officials have 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 respects. 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 the lockdown is slipping away, federal health officials have not followed suit.
President Biden’s health secretary, Xavier Becera, suggested states and localities bear some of the blame for what critics have called a misguided response, and said his agency is still considering whether to declare a national public health emergency.
6. By defending dogs at all costs, Richard Rosenthal has made many enemies. But his animal clients owe him their lives.
Rosenthal, a New York animal attorney for more than a decade, handles custody cases, sues veterinary clinics for malpractice and has made a specialty of defending dangerous dogs. It often angers local officials, animal control officers, district attorneys, and even some animal rights groups.
7. Disco, funk, house, techno, bounce and more: Beyoncé’s new album has officially arrived.
The singer’s seventh solo studio album and the first part of a trilogy, “Renaissance” embodies decades of dance music, offering a tour through some of the genre’s best-known touchstones, including Chicago house, disco 1970s 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 fantasy” that “almost resembles Prince 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 ran through the ‘Renaissance’,” she wrote.
8. Ten years ago, the Ultimate Fighting Championship excluded women. The competitors in Saturday’s title fight are proud to be fighters and mothers.
A Julianna Peña and Amanda Nunes rematch will be the main event of UFC 277 on Saturday night in Dallas. Nunes will fight to regain the bantamweight title that Peña took from him in December. UFC president Dana White expects the matchup to surpass Holly Holm’s shocking 2015 upset against Ronda Rousey as the highest-grossing women’s bout.
As combat sports grow in popularity, ringside doctors grapple with the precarious ethics of their role. “I allow someone to fight today, in 20 years they walk into my office and have CTE, they have Parkinson’s disease,” said a neurologist and ringside physician. “Every doctor who works at ringside should feel conflicted.”
9. To enjoy all those fruits and berries, think of an upside-down cake.
One of the first recipes called “upside-down cake” was published in 1923 in the now defunct Syracuse Herald. The classic upside-down pineapple cake first appeared in 1926. But juicy summer peaches, apricots, plums and nectarines, mounds of purple berries and even velvety bananas are just waiting intervene, writes Melissa Clark.
Are you staying in a vacation rental? Don’t sweat dinner. Perhaps the most enjoyable meals while traveling are the ones you prepare yourself. Follow these tips to plan, shop and use each ingredient.
10. And finally, lots of new books.
Want ideas for books to put on hold in your library in August? Our book editors have you covered. There’s an investigation into the opioid overdose epidemic by Beth Macy, new fiction by Abdulrazak Gurnah, Banana Yoshimoto, Mohsin Hamid and Anthony Marra. If these 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 the latest news for the next few months. It has been a privilege to guide you through the news of the day all this time.
Thank you, and until next time, have a good rest from your summer.
Jennifer Swanson photos compiled for this briefing
Your evening briefing is posted at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
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