Jobs, vaccines, team mascots: your Friday night briefing
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Good evening. Here is the last one at the end of Friday.
1. US employment increased, but Delta could lower earnings.
The United States created 943,000 jobs in July, showing the strength of the recovery before the Delta variant of the coronavirus became a threat. But there are questions about the economy’s ability to maintain that momentum as Covid cases climb, and the sectors where the growth has occurred the most – leisure and hospitality – are particularly vulnerable to Delta. .
Still, most experts believe unemployment will continue to fall as the labor market recovers the ground lost in the pandemic. The new monthly figures show employment growth that was not seen in recoveries from the three previous recessions. Our economic correspondent says the clearest message from the July numbers is that the economy is recovering.
2. FDA rushes to authorize additional doses of coronavirus vaccine for Americans with weakened immune systems. The move is expected this month.
The change reflects a growing concern within the Biden administration about vulnerable groups amid the rise of the Delta variant. The clearance would mean that people with impaired immune responses who need an additional injection, such as some cancer patients, could get one legally rather than seeking injections themselves, as many are now doing. .
In other virus news:
3. It is estimated that 270 million people worldwide may face life-threatening hunger. this year, against 150 million before the pandemic.
For years, world hunger has been on the rise as poor countries face conflict, extreme poverty and climate change. But over the past two years, economic shocks from the pandemic have accelerated the crisis. The number of people currently on the brink of famine has jumped to 41 million from 34 million last year, according to the United Nations World Food Program.
The situation is particularly grim in Africa, where new infections have increased.
China has pledged to deliver two billion doses of the coronavirus vaccine to the world and donate $ 100 million to a global effort to distribute the doses to developing countries.
4. A woman who accused New York Governor Andrew Cuomo of groping her last year filed a criminal complaint.
The complaint from the woman, an unnamed executive assistant, raises the possibility that Cuomo faces criminal charges related to his behavior, although the charges, let alone a conviction, are not guaranteed. Any escalation in his legal woes could exacerbate his political woes as he faces possible impeachment.
Cuomo’s lawyers held a press conference on Friday in which they released their most forceful response to date to a report accusing the governor of sexually harassing 11 women. They called the state attorney general’s investigation unfair, suggested it was rushed, and questioned its independence.
5. The Taliban captured an Afghan provincial capital, the first to fall since the United States began to withdraw its troops.
The Taliban besieged multitudes of these towns for weeks, and the capture of Zaranj, a town of 160,000 on the Afghan-Iranian border, is the Taliban’s first major breakthrough. Taliban fighters met little resistance to take Zaranj, and Afghan officials said a deal had been negotiated with the Taliban allowing city authorities to flee.
The Biden administration had placed its hopes in a peace deal that would end the country’s relentless violence with a power-sharing deal. But the prospects for a negotiated outcome, which could partly save the 20-year American project in Afghanistan, seem to be fading quickly.
6. Three weeks after a mega-flood killed 189 people in western Germany, the small village of Rech has been humiliated by a calamity that no one would have thought possible.
The disaster made it clear that climate change is here – even in a wealthy country like Germany – and it forced a painful recognition that the floods have been made worse by many bad decisions over the decades, if not centuries, that have turned the Ahr Valley into a death trap.
“We have to rebuild, but we have to rebuild differently,” said Dominik Gieler, the mayor of Rech. âWe need to completely rethink the way we live with our environment. “
The closing ceremony is set for 7 a.m. Eastern time on Sunday. The United States is at risk of losing the gold medal race for the first time at the Summer Olympics since 2008.
8. “It’s just like happiness, like that sparkling feeling.”
There was a glorious but fleeting moment this summer, between waves of Covid cases, where New York City felt almost normal. At no point was this more evident than between sunset and sunrise, when the city’s streets, bars and clubs turned electric again. Our reporters and photographers have documented the ephemeral return of the city’s party scene.
During the quarantine in New York City, few activities exploded in popularity more than skateboarding. Now a larger community is doing a better job of representing a diversity of skaters. Looked.
9. There is a sneaky way for birds to find material to isolate their nests.
Many scientists have speculated that mammalian hair in a bird’s nest came from lost hair or was collected from a dead animal. But a new study, based largely on YouTube videos, shows birds regularly pluck tufts of hair from living raccoons, dogs, foxes, and even humans. The authors of the study dubbed the phenomenon “kleptotrichia”.
In other animal studies, researchers have identified certain genes in harvester arachnids, also known as the daddy’s long-legged type, that explain how the ends of their elegant legs are so flexible that they can twirl like the tail of a monkey.
10. And finally, the man in the mascot costume.
In the Big Four American Sports Leagues, about nine in ten teams have a mascot. It wasn’t like that before Dave Raymond arrived. For the first 16 years of his four-decade career, Raymond was the man behind the Phillie Phanatic, the Philadelphia Phillies mascot and perhaps the most iconic of American furry avatars.
His signature moves were such a revelation – which cut his belly, sucked a piston into a bald man’s head – that they created quite an industry. In the years since his stop from the stage, Raymond took the success of the Phanatic and distilled it in a four-step process to develop mascots from scratch. He has since used this process to help create over 130 characters. This is how he does it.
Have a spirited weekend.
David Poller photos compiled for this briefing.