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Here are the top stories of the week and a look ahead
As the pace of vaccination in the United States has slowed, the nation is nearing President Biden’s goal of vaccinating 70 percent of adults by July 4. The greatest advances in recent weeks have been made in vaccinating children ages 12-15. according to a Times analysis.
But for many, the pandemic has left deep scars. A teenage brother and sister were orphaned by Covid-19 in New York City. They rebuild their lives and give courage out of grief.
2. Important questions about the January 6th uprising can never be answered now as Congressional Republicans blocked an independent investigation.
The public may never know exactly what President Donald Trump and members of his administration did or said when a crowd of his supporters stormed the Capitol while Congress met to formalize President Biden’s victory. why security officials were so unprepared for the violation; or the extent of the role of the Republican legislature in planning the “Stop the Steal” rally, which turned into a deadly attack.
Instead, Republican senators have tried to put Trump and the complicity of many GOP lawmakers under an unwanted spotlight in reinforcing his false claims of widespread electoral fraud. Republicans have argued that the existing investigation will look into what happened. But they have strict limits.
3rd Gun purchases rose during the pandemic – a fifth of them from first-time owners – and the pace has not slowed.
While arms sales have been rising for decades, Americans have been on an unusual, long-lasting shopping spree sparked by the pandemic, last summer’s protests, and the fears that fueled them both. A record 1.2 million background checks were performed in a week this spring.
In Texas, Governor Greg Abbott is expected to sign a sweeping bill that will allow virtually anyone over the age of 21 to carry a pistol – no permit required. It’s part of a series of Republican-led initiatives that legislature pushed through during its most conservative session in modern history. Next up, a draft vote that critics say will make Texas “the toughest place to vote in the country”.
4. A Russian-speaking gang has become the face of global cyber crime. We got an insight.
The ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline by the gang known as DarkSide took a look at a rapidly growing criminal industry, primarily based in Russia. Now even small criminal syndicates and low-skilled hackers can pose a potential threat to national security.
Ransomware is easily available off the shelf and can be downloaded onto a compromised computer system by virtually anyone using YouTube tutorials or with the help of groups like DarkSide. Customer support is included. A look at DarkSide’s secret messages reveals a criminal operation that generates ransom payments in the millions every month.
5. Have you recently tried to buy a new home? Good luck.
Tired of banding together to take advantage of the low interest rates, buyers are increasingly willing to move two or more hours away from the urban core. You have brought new residential construction to the highest level since 2006. Builders now risk losing their business because they cannot supply enough inventory.
In California, some residents of major cities have moved out of the city in search of more space, lower prices, and created hotspots in the suburbs and the once sleepy outskirts. Above is a new subdivision in Lathrop, California.
Our columnist explains how to win a bidding war before it even starts.
6. School officials classified Dalee Sullivan Third in her class. She disagreed and took her high school to justice.
Sullivan, a graduate in Alpine, Texas, couldn’t find an affordable lawyer, so she represented herself in court, arguing that school officials made mistakes in tabulating grade points. “I have all the facts,” she said. “And nobody knows as well as I do.”
The judge ruled the dispute had to go through the school district complaints process, and if Sullivan was not satisfied with the outcome, the judge said she could return to court.
The closing season brings tons of advice during the opening speech. Here are 14 excerpts from speeches across the country, from the founder of Reddit to Dr. Anthony Fauci.
7. The Big Three all play for the story at the French Open.
Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic (above) and Roger Federer are almost guaranteed to meet on the way to the men’s final at Roland Garros. But at this unique moment in their careers, when Federer and Nadal each recorded 20 Grand Slam wins and Djokovic is just behind at 18, only Djokovic is so focused on the numbers.
Here are some games that you should watch on the first round. Naomi Osaka will play Patricia Maria Tig this morning. Osaka plans to skip press conferences during the tournament to stay focused and protect their sanity.
From Paris to Porto: At the Champions League final in Portugal, Chelsea beat Manchester City and won the biggest prize in European football.
8. Summer is almost here. We have books, movies, and peach cakes for you to enjoy.
Nail-biting thriller. An Antarctic ghost story. A trip to England in the 19th century. Our editors and reviewers have selected 73 books for your summer reading list. And we’ve also put together a list of audio options for your next road trip.
Maybe you are missing the cinema experience? “The excitement of being back cannot be downplayed, even if it is characterized by floating nervousness,” writes an avid moviegoer. Here are some notable films to be released this summer.
And our food reporters and editors agree: the best time of year to cook and eat is summer, when cool, smashed cucumbers break through the heat and you may have one too many hot dogs (but it’s summer, so who cares ?). They shared their dream summer recipes.
9. Your snake plant and pothos aren’t the only ones getting out of hand.
After a long winter and spring, your plants could use a little love – or maybe a complete overhaul. Our gardening expert spoke to Darryl Cheng, better known as @houseplantjournal, about how to bring new plants to life from old ones by finding the right light and propagation.
“There are many ways to be successful,” said Cheng. “If you’re the kind of person who can figure out how a system works, and then experiment with it, you can be successful.”
If you’re bringing your houseplants outside for the summer, a gardening website recently rated the best (and worst) cities to care for your plants in the nude.