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HomeBreaking NewsIndustrial Policy, Alzheimer’s, Pizza: Your Monday Evening Briefing

Industrial Policy, Alzheimer’s, Pizza: Your Monday Evening Briefing


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Good evening. Here’s the latest.

1. The Senate is poised to pass a huge industrial policy bill to help the U.S. compete with China in manufacturing and technology. Above, a worker at a semiconductor factory in Beijing.

Both Republicans and Democrats support the $247 billion measure, which is the most expansive industrial policy legislation in U.S. history. President Biden will also discuss China’s influence, among other issues, at the upcoming Group of 7 summit and a later visit to NATO.

But lawmakers agree on little else. On Sunday, Senator Joe Manchin III said that he would not vote for the Democrats’ far-reaching bill to combat voter suppression, or to end the filibuster. In so doing, he imperils Biden’s ambitious agenda and empowers a Republican Party still taking its cues from Donald Trump.

2. The F.D.A. approved a new Alzheimer’s drug, although questions remain about its efficacy.

The drug, aducanumab, which will go by the brand name Aduhelm, will be the first new treatment in 18 years. It is the first approved treatment to attack the disease process, instead of just addressing dementia symptoms. Above, a study participant.

But the agency’s independent advisory committee and leading experts said there was not enough evidence that the drug actually helps. Patients will have access to the drug now, but the F.D.A. granted approval on the condition that the manufacturer, Biogen, conduct a new clinical trial.

In other science news, a new study suggests that the Alpha coronavirus variant, first identified in Britain, most likely became so powerful because it disables the body’s first line of immune defense, giving the variant more time to multiply.


3. Vice President Kamala Harris spoke in Guatemala as Latin American politics shift underfoot.

Tasked with breaking the cycle of migration that fuels partisan tensions back home, Harris has committed to sending the region $310 million. That’s just the first chunk of a $4 billion, four-year plan to improve Central America’s economies. And on the same day that she met with President Alejandro Giammattei, above, she had a blunt message to would-be migrants: “Do not come.”

But aid programs have not worked. The U.S. has sent Guatemala more than $1.6 billion over the last decade. In that time, malnutrition and poverty rates have risen, and more unaccompanied children come from Guatemala than any other country.

Recent elections reflect widespread frustration. Midterm elections in Mexico narrowed President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s leftist majority, threatening his plans to overhaul the economy and society. And in Peru, where the presidential race is too close to call, the left and right are clashing over neoliberal economic policies that have long held sway.


4. The Justice Department says it has recovered much of the ransom paid after the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack.

The seizuremarked a first-of-its-kind effort by a new Justice Department task force to hijack a cybercriminal group’s profits through a hack of its Bitcoin wallet. Colonial, which controls the holding tanks above, paid a ransom worth roughly $4.4 million in Bitcoin to a Russian hacking group who held up its business networks in May.

“The old adage, ‘follow the money,’ still applies,” Lisa Monaco, the deputy attorney general, said on Monday.


5. The Supreme Court made two big moves that will affect immigration policy and conversations about gender.

On Monday, the court declined to hear a challenge to one of the last sex-based distinctions in federal law, which requires only men to register for the military draft. Opponents said the law cannot be justified now that women, like the Marine recruits above, are allowed to serve in every role in the military, including ground combat. The court gave no reasons for turning down the case, but three justices released a statement saying that Congress should have more time to consider the issue.

Justices also ruled unanimously that immigrants with “temporary protected status,” who came to the country without authorization and were allowed to stay temporarily for humanitarian reasons, may not apply for green cards. The decision could affect tens of thousands of people.

And in other legal news, the A.C.L.U. is split over whether its unwavering devotion to the First Amendment conflicts with ever more forceful progressive arguments that hate speech is a form of psychological and even physical violence.


6. Republicans are leaning into Donald Trump’s lie that he won the 2020 election.

Across the country, a group of Republican challengers are running on the “Stop the Steal” fallacy, touted by protesters above. If elected, they would bring the G.O.P.’s assault on the legitimacy of elections — a bedrock of American democracy — to Congress.

7. White people often get more aid from FEMA after living through a disaster.

Last August, Hurricane Laura sent trees through the roofs of two modest, single-story homes about a dozen miles apart in Louisiana, causing almost identical damage.. One homeowner, a white man, initially received $17,000. The others, a Black couple, got $7,000.

A growing body of research shows this outcome happens often, and the impact is long-lasting. Whiter communities often get more aid than Black ones, too, which further widens wealth gaps. The disparities are a challenge for President Biden, who has vowed to tackle both racial inequality and climate change.

On Monday, Indigenous people and environmentalists turned up the heat when they protested a $9 billion pipeline that would carry oil from Canada across Minnesota and tribal lands. The police have arrested more than 70 people since construction began on Dec. 1.

8. Canadian flags were put at half-staff after the remains of 215 Indigenous children were discovered at a mass burial site at the Kamloops Indian Residential School.

Impromptu memorials of children’s moccasins or shoes, like the one above, have also sprung up throughout the country, including one in front of Parliament. Chief Rosanne Casimir of the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc said she expected searchers to find more remains.

Canada forced an estimated 150,000 Indigenous children to attend residential schools from around 1883 to 1996. The leader of a commission established in 2015 now believes “well beyond 10,000” children died or disappeared; the commission’s estimate was 4,100.


9. Jeff Bezos is going to space. He may even come back.

The Amazon gazillionaire, above, will be on board when his rocket company, Blue Origin, conducts its first human spaceflight on July 20. He’s bringing his brother Mark, and the company is auctioning off a passenger seat. Bidding has reached $2.8 million.

Once home, he’ll adjust to a life change: He’s stepping down as the chief executive of Amazon on July 5 to focus more on projects like Blue Origin.


10. And finally, a true test of Italian pizza.

Rome has long been a pizza city. Now, it’s a pizza vending machine city, too. A new outpost, Mr. Go, makes a steaming pizza from scratch in three minutes, no human contact required.

Traditional pizza makers have sniffed at the interloper, as have food bloggers. But times are changing and customers, like the man above, are curious. Mr. Go is hardly the only pizza vending machine around, supermarkets stock frozen pies and Domino’s is opening new Italian locations.

Dario Cuomo, a screenwriter, recently ventured a taste. “Not bad,” he said, “considering it was made by a robot.”



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