Russia’s Huge Profits in Ukraine
After Russia conquers the cities of Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk, Moscow controls the Luhansk province in eastern Ukraine. The Russian military relies on its superior firepower and on making ever greater advances – a strategy that is paying off.
Moscow is now targeting population centers in neighboring Donetsk, the other province in the Donbas region. The town of Bakhmut has been emptied as residents expect an imminent attack. There has been sporadic shelling since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February.
A creeping sense of resignation is growing among Ukrainians. The country’s battered and deeply underprivileged armed forces have been forced to rely on raw recruits and suffer the strain of fighting, withdrawals and constant Russian shelling. But the invasion has also taken a brutal toll on Russia. Moscow suffers hundreds of victims a day, according to Western intelligence.
Updated Covid Footage in the US
U.S. regulators have pledged to update the coronavirus vaccines created in 2020 for this fall’s booster campaign with new formulas intended to defend against ultra-infectious Omicron subvariants. The new cocktails are part of an effort to dramatically accelerate vaccine development and appeal to Americans who have so far turned down booster shots.
But it’s unclear if those custom boosters will arrive on time. To match the latest forms of the virus, the FDA asked vaccine manufacturers to target the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants, rather than the version of Omicron that surfaced last winter. Pfizer and Moderna said they couldn’t deliver subvariant vaccine doses until October. They have already started making doses tailored to the original form of Omicron.
Many scientists believe that updated boosters will be critical to diversifying humans’ immune defenses, as subvariants compromise the protection offered by vaccines. Covid deaths in the US have recently started to rise, while the number of cases is on the rise. Epidemiologists predict as many as 200,000 Covid deaths in the US in the coming year.
BA.4 and BA.5: The most elusive forms of Omicron to date, these two sub-variants appear to be triggering a new wave of cases across much of the US and have increased hospitalizations in Britain, France, Portugal, Belgium and Israel.
Six killed in July 4 parade near Chicago
A 22-year-old man was taken into custody last night after a person opened fire from a rooftop on a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, an Illinois suburb north of Chicago, killing at least six people and injuring dozens more. . The man was arrested after hundreds of law enforcement officers spent hours searching the region.
After the shooting on Monday morning, the police asked local residents to hand over any security camera images to the investigators. Later, Robert Crimo, who had been identified as “a person of interest” in the shooting, was seen in a car by a police unit in North Chicago. When police tried to stop him, Crimo, along with officers in a short chase, fled, police said.
At the scene of the shooting, sun loungers were scattered along the parade route as police patrolled the streets with rifles. The ages of the injured ranged from 8 to 85 years. At least 25 of them suffered gunshot wounds, authorities said.
White House: In a statement, President Biden said he was “appalled at the senseless violence of arms.” The US faces an epidemic of gun violence: In just the past eight weeks, 10 people were fatally shot at a Buffalo supermarket and 21 people – 19 students and two teachers – were killed by a gunman at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
THE LAST NEWS
Around the world
The bullet that killed Shireen Abu Akleh, a murdered Palestinian-American journalist, was most likely fired from Israeli military lines, but was too damaged to say for sure, US investigators said.
Nick Kyrgios, the mercurial Australian tennis player, has reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon. His antics and psychological warfare have dominated the tournament. Here’s the latest.
Eight US states have now banned abortion, including Texas, bringing a 1925 law into effect Friday night.
What else is happening?
A morning reading
Many LGBTQ residents of America’s gayborhoods, such as the Castro above, are choosing to move elsewhere in search of cheaper housing and better amenities. After decades of political and social change, they are increasingly finding acceptance in other communities – at the expense of their former homes.
ART AND IDEAS
The best board games for two players
A good game is a mainstay for the holidays and helps to get through long summer evenings or an annoying train journey. Two person games have come a long way since checkers, backgammon and battleship. Today, the best of them are as complex and engaging as any group game.
Wirecutter spoke to experts, spent more than 25 hours researching and playing 20 different games to find the one-on-one games most people will enjoy. Here’s a short selection to consider for your next trip. (See the full list here.)
beehive is a very fun chess-like game played by placing and moving bugs (represented by tiles) to surround your opponent’s queen bee. It’s a deep strategy game that’s easy to learn – you can take one of two possible actions on each turn – but it’s still deep enough to keep revealing new ways of playing.
The fox in the forest is a lighter, more luck-based game for a relaxed atmosphere. Anyone who has played a trick card game knows the main mechanism: the object of the game is to win tricks by playing a card with a higher value than the other player.
In 7 Wonders Duel, the goal is to build an ancient civilization that surpasses your opponent’s, something you achieve by building wonders like the Pyramids, the Hanging Gardens, and the Colossus. Of all our picks, this is the one that feels most like a modern multiplayer board game, but scaled down to work perfectly with two players.