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Good evening. Here’s the latest at the end of Tuesday.
1. Less than three months before the building collapse near Miami, the president of the condo association warned of worsening damage at the complex.
In a letter to residents of the Champlain Towers South condo in Surfside, Fla., the president wrote that the damage in the building had “gotten significantly worse” since it was highlighted in a 2018 inspection. That inspection had found “major structural damage” in the building, and the board president warned that “the concrete deterioration is accelerating.”
2. Masks are once again the focus of conflicting views as a highly contagious coronavirus variant spreads across the globe.
In May, American health officials said that fully vaccinated people no longer needed to wear masks, even indoors. But that was before the Delta variant took hold. Worried by a global surge in variant cases, the World Health Organization stood by its recommendation that everyone wear masks to stem the spread of the virus. On Monday, health officials in Los Angeles County followed suit.
The variant has been identified in at least 85 countries, and now accounts for one in five infections in the U.S. Countries in the Asia-Pacific region with slow vaccination campaigns are scrambling to slow the spread of the variant by resorting to new lockdowns, including in four big cities in Australia as well as in Bangladesh and Malaysia.
3. Afghanistan could be on a path to a chaotic civil war as U.S. and international troops prepare to leave, the commander of the U.S.-led mission warned.
“Civil war is certainly a path that can be visualized if it continues on the trajectory it’s on,” Gen. Austin Miller said in a rare news conference in Kabul. He did not offer a timeline for when the withdrawal would be complete, but said it was reaching a point where he would soon end his command.
In Washington, the House voted overwhelmingly to speed up a visa process to allow Afghans who face retribution for working alongside U.S. troops to immigrate to the U.S.
Separately, negotiations are underway between the U.S. and Turkey about continuing to secure the airport in Kabul as the Taliban advance. Without a deal, aid groups could be cut off from the country, and plans to maintain a U.S. embassy as well as other diplomatic missions will most likely be cast aside.
4. Eric Adams’s lead shrunk significantly in New York City’s Democratic mayoral primary, with Kathryn Garcia closing in.
A week after Adams, the Brooklyn borough president, held a substantial lead among in-person voters, Adams now leads Garcia by only two percentage points, 51.1 percent to 48.9 percent — a margin of 15,908 votes — after 11 rounds of elimination, with Maya Wiley in third place.
But those numbers may be scrambled again as the city’s Board of Elections tabulates outcomes that will include more than 124,000 Democratic absentee ballots. A fuller result is not expected until mid-July.
5. Eight months after the Ethiopian Army attacked the region of Tigray, the civil war has taken a turn: Tigrayan fighters have seized control of the regional capital, Mekelle.
The move was celebrated by residents. The rebel forces have indicated they have little appetite for a truce. The turnaround was a blow to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who in November launched an offensive that he promised would be over in the span of weeks. The war has displaced almost two million people.
In other news out of Africa, South Africa’s highest court ordered the imprisonment of Jacob Zuma, the former president, for 15 months on contempt charges after he defied an order to appear before a corruption inquiry.
7. One year ago, a national security law brought Hong Kong into political lock step with the Chinese Communist Party. The very texture of daily life has come under assault.
The law prompted the arrests of activists, seizure of assets, firing of government workers, detention of newspaper editors and the rewriting of the school curriculum. Now, in what was once an oasis of civil liberties, neighbors are urged to report on one another. Children are taught to look for traitors.
While the clampdown seemed to arrive with startling speed, it was the culmination of a yearslong effort by Beijing, a process that began with a single phrase in a dry policy paper: Beijing, the document declared, would wield “comprehensive jurisdiction” over the territory.
8. Serena Williams is out of Wimbledon because of a leg injury.
Williams, a seven-time Wimbledon singles champion, started her first-round match against Aliaksandra Sasnovich with her right thigh taped. Williams began in impressive fashion, moving aggressively to take a 3-1 lead. But after a slip that appeared to twist her ankle and then a fall, Williams waved to the crowd as she limped off Centre Court.
Williams, 39, has been chasing a record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title.
9. The Boss is back on Broadway. The workers are coming back, too.
Broadway took its first steps back with the return of Bruce Springsteen’s show over the weekend, and no one is happier than Jim Barry, an usher at the St. James Theater for 20 years. He is one of about 75 theater staff members who returned to work this week. More shows, and jobs, will return in August and September as Broadway’s 41 theaters slowly come back to life.
“I can tell somebody tapping me on the back where the bathroom is, while telling somebody in front of me where their seats are,” Barry said. “It’s controlled insanity.”
“Hamilton” received $30 million in federal aid, with the possibility of another $20 million down the road because of its many touring productions. The show’s producer explained how the money will be used.
10. And finally, a woman in the dugout.
Gwen Goldman has adored the Yankees her entire life. She grew up idolizing Mickey Mantle and going to games with her father. When she was 10, Goldman wrote the Yankees a letter asking to serve as their bat girl. But in 1961, the Yankees’ general manager at the time told her no. Girls, he said, did not belong in the dugout.
On Monday, Goldman, now 70, finally got her Major League moment — six decades later. She was invited to the Bronx to serve as the bat girl and suited up to join the team on the field. She threw out a ceremonial first pitch before accompanying the third-base coach Phil Nevin when he took the lineup card out to the umpires before the game. Goldman described it as “a day of a lifetime.”
Have a dreamlike night.
Sarah Hughes compiled photos for this briefing.
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