Here’s what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.
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1. White House
President Biden and other world leaders are gathering today in England for the G7 summit. On the docket: the global economy, including the global tax rate and aid for countries in need. Though China isn’t part of the club of world leaders, its specter is also expected to loom large over the weekend. Biden and the first lady plan to meet with Queen Elizabeth II during their trip, while Jill Biden has her own meeting with Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge. Back home in the US, a bipartisan group of senators announced it has reached a deal on a $1.2 trillion infrastructure package — one of Biden’s key priorities. Liberal Senate Democrats aren’t so keen on the effort, though, warning that trying to get GOP backing could erode support on the left.
We know vaccines are incredibly effective at stopping the spread of Covid-19 among older age groups. Now, the FDA’s vaccine advisers are debating how urgent it is to inoculate kids younger than 12 against the virus. Most seem to agree that getting the vaccines authorized soon for kids is a good idea, given that the virus could make a comeback in the fall or winter. Meanwhile, FDA officials have agreed to extend the shelf life for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after some states said they had doses on hand that were set to expire. It’s also likely some J&J doses will be shipped overseas, a White House official said. In other news, a coronavirus variant first detected in India, known as the Delta variant, has now gone global.
3. Capitol riot
Six men from California connected to a right-wing militia face new conspiracy charges from the Justice Department for their alleged role in planning the January 6 attack on the US Capitol. Since the insurrection, prosecutors have charged numerous members of far-right extremist groups in connection with the riot. This latest case is the first against multiple people said to be involved with the Three Percenters. The head of the FBI said he expects more serious charges related to the attack, though he added that he wasn’t aware of any such investigation involving former President Trump.
More than 350,000 people in Ethiopia are experiencing dire hunger, with millions more facing “high levels of acute food insecurity,” according to a new report from the United Nations and other aid groups. The famine in the country’s Tigray region stems from a conflict that began in November between Ethiopian government troops and the region’s former ruling party. The fighting has resulted in “population displacements, movement restrictions, limited humanitarian access, loss of harvest and livelihood assets, and dysfunctional or non-existent markets,” the report said. The situation is expected to worsen through September.
5. Western US drought
The US West was already facing a severe drought, but dry conditions and temperatures well above average this week have made it worse. All of California, Oregon, Utah and Nevada are now in drought, with nearly 2 million people in the Bay Area under a water shortage emergency. Forecasters worry these dry conditions will lead to an especially intense wildfire season, something many states are already beginning to experience. In Oregon, the crisis has exploded into a water war, pitting farmers against Native American tribes, government agencies and conservationists. By this point, it should come as no surprise: The manmade climate crisis is to blame.
Hackers broke into the systems of video game publisher Electronic Arts
The breach involved game source code and software development tools.
Europeans and Americans may not have discovered Antarctica
A new study suggests New Zealand’s indigenous Maori people could have sighted the continent 1,300 years earlier.
A ‘Friends’ fan cruise will set sail in 2022
Call it “The One When They Went On a Cruise.”
The Met is sending 3 pieces of African art back to Nigeria
It’s the latest Western museum to return artifacts to their countries of origin.
Pointy shoes were in vogue even in the Middle Ages
And skeletons from that time period have the bunions to show for it.
“Change is needed to fix the border crisis.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, in announcing that his state plans to build its own border wall and will arrest migrants who trespass on private property beginning next week
Treat yourself — it’s Friday
We made it to the end of the week, and it’s time for some ice cream. Perhaps one of these seven variations from around the world? (Click here to view.)