Capitol Riot, Memorial Day, French Open: your Friday night briefing
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Good night. Here is the last one.
1. It was a busy day in Washington, before the long weekend.
Republican senators blocked the creation of a commission to investigate the riot on Capitol Hill, condemning the best chances of an independent investigation into the attack. Only six GOP senators joined Democrats in supporting the progress of the measure as Republicans used their obstruction power in the Senate for the first time this year.
Senior Republicans had had fun supporting the measure as recently as last week. But the vast majority of Republicans were determined to shield their party from potential political damage that could result from scrutiny of the Capitol storming by a pro-Trump mob.
Minority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell said the “additional foreign commission” would not “unveil crucial new facts or promote healing,” adding, “I don’t even think it’s designed for the make.”
2. President Biden officially proposed its $ 6 trillion budget, which aims to create a path to the middle class, funded by the rich. But one thing is missing.
The president’s budget envisions a redistribution of wealth that will allow more Americans to enjoy prosperity, and it invests in climate change, education and infrastructure. Despite all the emphasis put by the administration on transformation policies, it is not a question of foreseeing an explosion of economic potential, writes our economic correspondent.
The budget assumes that GDP growth is strong in 2021 and 2022 – but just strong enough to bring the economy back to its pre-pandemic trendline.
3. Summer is starting to look a little more normal.
As Memorial Day weekend approaches, parades and barbecues – canceled last year as the country neared 100,000 coronavirus deaths – are back. Vaccinations have been a game-changer in the past five months. President Biden has set a goal of vaccinating 70% of adults by July 4, and a new survey finds that goal is within reach. Above, a picnic in Philadelphia.
As Americans hit the road for vacations, they can find things crowded, more expensive, and less staffed to keep things running smoothly. Be patient and use sunscreen.
Are you going to camp this summer? Federal health officials have said camps where everyone is vaccinated can drop many Covid restrictions and return to full capacity, with few limitations.
4. President Biden is committed to reduce pollution from fossil fuels. But some of his recent decisions contradict that promise.
Over the past month, the Biden administration quietly took steps that will secure the drilling and combustion of oil and gas for decades to come, supporting three contested fossil fuel projects, including in the National Oil Reserve in Alaska, above. As he attempts to provide a safety net for those employed in the industry, Biden is also trying to avoid alienating state oil, gas and coal lawmakers who will decide the fate of his legislative agenda in Congress.
The United States aims to eliminate as much greenhouse gases as it emits by 2050. To do so, wind and solar energy will have to grow. These cards show what can change.
5. Russian intelligence services seem to be behind a cyberattack who used emails from the U.S. International Aid Agency to target criticism of President Vladimir Putin.
This recently revealed attack was particularly bold: hackers sent thousands of genuine emails to more than 150 organizations that in many cases rank among Putin’s most powerful critics. The emails were implanted with a code that would give hackers unrestricted access to the recipients’ computer systems, according to Microsoft, which detected the hack.
The same group of hackers was behind an attack that violated at least seven government agencies last year. The discovery came just three weeks before President Biden met with Putin.
Separately, the Biden administration has said the United States will not join the Open Skies Treaty with Russia, which allows countries to monitor each other’s military movements.
6. A mass grave with the remains of 215 Indigenous children were found near an old school in British Columbia, said a community leader.
The remains are believed to be those of children who attended Kamloops Indian Residential School, one of many Canadian schools established to forcibly assimilate them. In a statement, Chief Rosanne Casimir of the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation said the find was “an unthinkable loss that has been talked about but has never been documented.”
Separately, after years of negotiations, the german government agreed to recognize as genocide the murder of tens of thousands of people of two ethnic groups in namibia. Germany has said it will apologize and create a fund of more than € 1 billion.
7. The French Open starts on Sunday. Expect to see tennis’ biggest new star just on the court.
Second seed Naomi Osaka has won four Grand Slam singles titles, but the French Open, the only Grand Slam tournament played on clay, will be her biggest challenge. She has yet to make it past the third round in four previous appearances, so she plans to approach the event differently: She will skip press conferences during the tournament to protect her sanity.
Osaka, now the highest-paid athlete in the world, said players are often seen asking questions that “make us doubt, and I’m just not going to submit to people who doubt me.
9. Your Snake Plant and Pothos are not the only ones out of control.
After a long winter and a long spring, your plants could use a little love – or maybe a complete overhaul. Our garden expert spoke to Darryl Cheng, better known as @houseplantjournal, about bringing 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 type of person who can understand 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 ranked the best (and worst) cities to care for your bare plants.
10. And finally, what an American summer tastes like.
The summer treat can be a powerful experience. It transcends its own amalgam of flavors – some fresh and healthy, others cheap and chemical – and embodies all the joys of the season itself: heat, gluttony, long days.