Russia’s crushing gains in Ukraine
After Russia took control of the cities of Severodonetsk and Lesichansk, Moscow took control of the Luhansk Province in eastern Ukraine. The Russian military depends on its superior firepower and on steady, incremental progress – a strategy that is paying off.
Moscow is now focused on the population centers of neighboring Donetsk, the other district in the Donbass region. The city of Bakhmut emptied, with the population anticipating an oncoming attack. It has come under intermittent bombardment since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February.
A creeping feeling of resignation is rising among Ukrainians. The destructive and well-armed forces were forced to rely on raw recruits and suffered from the stress of combat, retreat and constant Russian bombardment. But the invasion took a heavy toll on Russia, too. Western intelligence says that Moscow suffers hundreds of casualties daily.
Updated Covid shots in the US
US regulators have committed to updating the 2020 coronavirus vaccines for the booster campaign this fall, with new formulations intended to defend against highly pathogenic sub-variants of Omicron. The new cocktails are part of an effort to significantly speed up vaccine development and appeal to Americans who have so far refused the booster injection.
But it is unclear whether those modified reinforcements will arrive in time. In an effort to match the latest forms of the virus, the Food and Drug Administration has asked vaccine manufacturers to target the BA.4 and BA.5 sub variants, rather than the version of Omicron that came out last winter. Pfizer and Moderna said they can offer secondary vaccine doses no later than October. They have already started making dosages designed for the original form of Omicron.
Many scientists believe that the updated boosters will be crucial to diversifying people’s immune defenses as sub-variants undermine the protection offered by vaccines. Deaths from the coronavirus in the United States have recently begun to rise, with the number of cases rising. Epidemiologists expect up to 200,000 deaths from Covid in the United States over the next year.
Bachelor 4 and Bachelor 5: The most elusive form of Omicron to date, these two subvariables appear to be driving a new wave of cases across much of the United States and led to higher hospital admissions in Britain, France, Portugal, Belgium and Israel.
Six were killed in the July 4 parade near Chicago
A 22-year-old man was arrested last night after someone opened fire from a rooftop on a 4th of July parade in Highland Park, an Illinois suburb north of Chicago, killing at least six people and injuring dozens. The man was arrested after hundreds of law enforcement officials spent hours scouring the area.
After the Monday morning shooting, police asked nearby residents to hand over any security camera footage to investigators. Subsequently, Robert Cremo, who was identified as a ‘Person of Interest’ in the shooting, was seen in a car by the North Chicago Police Unit. Police said that when the police tried to stop him, Cremo fled, leading the officers on a short chase.
At the scene of the shooting, lawn chairs lay scattered along the parade route as police with rifles roam the streets. The ages of the wounded ranged between 8 and 85 years. Authorities said at least 25 of them had gunshot wounds.
White House: In a statement, President Biden said he was “shocked by the senseless gun violence.” The United States is facing an epidemic of gun violence: In just the past eight weeks, 10 people were fatally shot at a grocery store in Buffalo, and 21 people — 19 students and two teachers — were killed by a gunman at an elementary school in Ovaldi, Texas.
around the world
US investigators said the bullet that killed Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Aqleh was most likely fired from Israeli military lines, but was too damaged to be certain.
Australian tennis player Nick Kyrgios has reached the quarter-finals of Wimbledon. His antics and psychological warfare dominated the tournament. Here’s the latest.
Eight US states have now banned abortion, including Texas, which allowed a 1925 law to go into effect Friday night.
What else is happening
Many residents of the LGBTI community in “gay” America like Castro above choose to live elsewhere in search of cheaper housing and better amenities. After decades of political and social changes, they are finding increasing acceptance in other societies – at the potential expense of their former homes.
arts and ideas
The best two-player board games
A good game is a mainstay for vacationers, helping to get through long summer evenings or a boring train journey. Games for two have come a long way since checkers, backgammon and warship. Today, the best of them are as complex and captivating as any team game.
Wirecutter spoke with experts, and spent over 25 hours researching and playing 20 different games to find the singles games most people would enjoy. Here is a brief compilation to consider for your next trip. (See the full list here.)
Beehive is a really fun chess-like game played by placing and moving insects (represented by tiles) in order to surround your opponent’s queen bee. It’s a deep strategy game that’s easy to learn – at any turn you can take one of two possible actions – but still deep enough to keep revealing new ways to play.
fox in the forest It is a lighter game that relies on luck to have a relaxed atmosphere. Anyone who has played a tricky blackjack game will be familiar with the main mechanic: the aim of the game is to win tricks by playing a card with a higher value than the other player.
in 7 duel of the wonders of the worldThe goal is to build an ancient civilization that will outlast your opponents, something you achieve by building wonders like the Pyramids, Hanging Gardens, and Colossus. Of all our picks, this is the one that looks a lot like a modern multiplayer board game, but has been scaled back to work perfectly with two players.