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Good evening. Here’s the latest.
1. The U.S. economic recovery slowed in July as faltering businesses reduced the pace of hiring.
Employers added 1.8 million jobs in July, well below the 4.8 million boost in jobs in June. That means that less than half of the 22 million jobs lost in March and April have been restored. But economists warn that recovering the remaining ground will be a challenge.
The latest figures from the Labor Department come as lawmakers failed to reach a deal on a coronavirus relief package that would extend unemployment benefits that expired at the end of July.
Both the White House and top Democrats said they remained deeply divided after 10 days of crisis negotiations. President Trump’s advisers said they would recommend that he bypass Congress and act on his own through a series of executive orders, as soon as this weekend. It was not clear what power Mr. Trump might have to move unilaterally to extend jobless aid or otherwise redirect federal relief money as he sees fit.
2. Without a new pandemic relief measure, 30 million to 40 million tenants are at risk of being evicted in the coming month.
According to a report by dozens of academics and housing advocates, a broad swath of renters had until recently been protected by the $600 a month in supplemental unemployment payments, but many are now falling behind. The bills are piling up just as several federal, state and local eviction moratoriums are expiring. Above, protests in Los Angeles last month.
Black workers will be hurt the most if Congress doesn’t extend jobless benefits, because a disproportionate number of them live in states with the lowest benefit levels. An extra $600 a week smoothed out sharp differences in benefits among states.
3. New York State schools can reopen, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, solidifying plans to make New York City one of the few big U.S. cities to hold in-person classes.
Under the governor’s announcement, schools can decide to open as long as they are in a region where the average rate of positive tests is below 5 percent. Most of the state, including New York City, has maintained a positivity rate of about 1 percent.
Many educators spent their summers planning how to safely reopen classes. But with the pandemic surging across much of the country, those plans are shelved. Now educators are spending the little time they have left to improve online instruction, which failed to reach and engage many children in the spring.
Here’s what some students had to say about their first week back at school.
4. Russia continues to meddle in the election to aid President Trump, using a range of measures to denigrate Joe Biden, intelligence officials said.
In the first public assessment of the 2020 campaign, William Evanina, the director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, cited efforts coming out of pro-Russia forces in Ukraine to damage Mr. Biden and Kremlin-linked figures who “are also seeking to boost President Trump’s candidacy on social media and Russian television.”
At the same time, the officials said China preferred that Mr. Trump be defeated in November and was weighing whether to take more aggressive actions in the election.
5. We’re still unpacking the implications of the Trump administration’s executive orders on WeChat and TikTok.
6. Heat waves are longer and more frequent nearly everywhere. But the pain of extreme heat is profoundly unequal.
For the past 60 years, every decade has been hotter than the last, and 2020 is poised to be among the hottest years ever. And if you’re poor and marginalized, you’re likely to be much more vulnerable to extreme heat.
That could mean no access to air-conditioning or electricity when you need it; no choice but to work outdoors under a blistering sun; or a drought so punishing it kills your crops. Nightfall offers a bit of respite. See six places living that reality now. Above, Faith Osi cooled down on her cassava farm in Obrikom, Nigeria.
8. “I felt we had finally come to the America Aunt Harriet would be proud of.”
That’s Michele Jones Galvin, above right, the great-great-great-grandniece of Harriet Tubman, on what her aunt would think about America in the summer of 2020. She’s pictured with her mother, Joyce Stokes Jones.
One hundred years after women in America won the right to vote, we asked descendants of Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Frederick Douglass and more about the movement’s legacy in America today. It’s part of our ongoing coverage this month, marking a century since the passage of the 19th Amendment.
9. More than 30 years ago, astronomers observed a massive star blowing apart in a nearby galaxy. They didn’t know what happened to its core — until now.
Scientists now believe the core of Supernova 1987 is hiding in “a blob” of dust emitting almost 100 times as much energy as our own sun.
If that heat source proves to be a neutron star, which is the densest stable configuration of matter in the universe, it would be the youngest example yet found of one of nature’s most extreme creations.
10. And finally, a sweet treat to end the week.
The charm of a Bundt lies in its fanciness — the mold of the cake pan adds just enough dazzle. But in reality, a Bundt is just a scaled-up loaf cake: easy to bake, hard to stop eating. Our food columnist Melissa Clarke suggests this showstopping blueberry Bundt cake, finished with a jewel-toned glaze, no special occasion required.
For more ideas on what to cook this weekend, check out these suggestions from Sam Sifton, our Food editor. Grilled peaches anyone?
Have a delicious weekend.
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