Gun Safety, Earthquake, Tampons: Wednesday Night Briefing

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Good evening. Here’s the latest news at the end of Wednesday.

1. The bipartisan gun safety bill passed its initial vote in the Senate.

The bill, which could be the most significant revision of national gun laws in decades, passed the Senate on Tuesday with a vote of 64 to 34, just hours after the bill’s text was published.

The measure will improve background checks and fund, in addition to other intervention programs, the implementation of state red flag laws that allow authorities to temporarily confiscate guns from people deemed dangerous. Notably, the bill also ensures that partners who are dating each other seriously are included in a federal law that bans domestic abusers from buying guns, a long-standing priority that has eluded advocates. Supporters hope to have it delivered by Saturday.

The fall of Severodonetsk and Lysichansk almost completed the Russian conquest of this area, the main part of the Donbass, which became the focus of President Vladimir Putin after Russia failed to capture Ukraine’s two largest cities. Ukrainian forces dig in on the high ground at Lysichansk for a decisive battle.

But Russia’s successes in eastern Ukraine have come at a cost, as Ukrainian commanders often chose to stand and fight, buying time for more heavy weapons to arrive from Ukraine’s allies. In the south, Ukrainian naval strikes signal that its forces are beginning to use more powerful Western anti-ship weapons.

3. At least 1000 people are dead after the earthquake in Afghanistan.

The death toll is expected to rise as the 5.9 magnitude quake hit a poor, remote and mountainous area where some residents live in mud and straw houses. At least 1,600 more people were injured in the quake, according to official figures. Stay tuned for real-time updates.

The earthquake was the country’s deadliest in more than two decades. The Taliban have vowed to serve the nation since seizing power last summer, but the earthquake is just the latest hurdle – amid severe drought, famine, militant attacks and an economic crisis – in the way of a new government.

4. President Biden called for a three-month gas tax holiday.

In his speech, he asked Congress to raise federal taxes – about 18 cents per gallon of gasoline and 24 cents per gallon of diesel – until September, just before the midterm elections. The president has also asked states to suspend their own gas taxes, and his administration has calculated that a combination of several possible moves would lower gas prices by at least $1 a gallon.

But it will be difficult for the White House to gain approval for the holiday, which is widely opposed by Republicans, accusing the administration of undermining the energy sector. Critics, including some Democrats, question its effectiveness, as well as the savings it offers consumers.

in Washington Jerome Powell, The Federal Reserve Chairman testified before a Senate committee that the Federal Reserve “did not try to provoke” a recession, but that such an economic downturn is “definitely possible.” Read why the Fed takes risks.

5. Three recent detainees on Rikers Island. died less than a week later.

In total, nine people died during the year, which is three more than at the same time last year. In 2021, 16 people died after being held in New York prisons, the highest number since 2013.

The deaths come just a week after a judge gave the city at least another six months to come up with a plan to fix its troubled prison system or face a federal takeover. Mayor Eric Adams celebrated the order in a statement last week, but members of the prison oversight agency said the mounting toll should force the judge to reconsider his decision and take action.

Elsewhere in New York The MTA has said it will add elevators and ramps to 95 percent of subway stations by 2055 as part of an accessibility lawsuit settlement agreement. Vaccination of children under 5 began today in the city, including in Times Square.

6. The Congressional Commission determined that Washington Commanders owner intervened in NFL sexual harassment investigation.

The memo stated that the NFL was aware of Snyder’s actions “but took no meaningful steps to prevent them.” At today’s hearing, Roger Goodell, the league’s commissioner, backed the NFL’s investigation. Earlier this year, the league launched a second investigation into the Commanders in response to a new allegation of sexual harassment that directly involves Snyder.

7. First, it was a formula. So tampons.

After months of online speculation over empty shelves, Time magazine announced a “major tampon shortage” earlier in June. The chief financial officer of Procter & Gamble, which makes Tampax, said acquiring raw materials needed for production, such as cotton and plastic, was “expensive and highly volatile.”

Although a company spokesperson said the shortage was a “temporary situation,” some women are wondering if they might have to try a new approach. Alternatives such as reusable menstrual products, menstrual underwear and menstrual cups, which are slowly growing in popularity, may attract more attention.

Also experiencing an “unprecedented” shortage of: sriracha sauce.

8. Legacy talk with Allison Felix.

When she won her 11th career medal at the 2021 Tokyo Games, she became the most decorated American track and field athlete in Olympic history. Although she is participating in her last competitive season this summer, her ambitions have only grown.

Next? Permanent protection from a woman who has proven that her words can lead to widespread protection of pregnant athletes. “I think that’s where it comes down to,” said Felix, who gave birth to her daughter by emergency C-section. “I try to speak for those whose voice is not so loud.”

In other sports news, parents discover they are the true champions of gender equality in middle and high school athletics. And dozens of organizations have called on President Biden to negotiate the release of Britney Greener, the WNBA star who has been in Russian custody since February.

For a more adventurous meal, visit Moody at Real Mother Shuckers in Bushwick, Brooklyn. He owns and operates an oyster cart to provide a more affordable oyster experience than the city’s luxury raw bars and to continue New York’s black oyster heritage.

10. And finally houseplants you like.

Tony Avent, founder of Plant Delights in North Carolina, says new gardeners want “more than their grandmother’s flower garden.” He recommends starting with aroids because “they’re as weird as horror movie scenes.”

The basic structure of their flower heads gives them a strange appearance: a spiky ear within a spathe that is a bract (specialized leaf) that can be brightly colored and is sometimes hooded or pulpit shaped.

Their flowers are tiny and tightly clustered like beads, and each one is unisexual. All this adds up to an unusual flowering.

Spend an extraordinary evening.

Eva Edelheit collected photos for this briefing.

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