Kamala Harris, Russia, the Perseids: Your Tuesday Evening Briefing

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Good evening. Here’s the latest.

1. A Biden-Harris ticket.

Senator Kamala Harris of California is Joe Biden’s pick for vice president. A pragmatic moderate, she is the first Black woman and the first person of Indian descent on a major party ticket. Ms. Harris, pictured in October, is only the fourth woman in history to be chosen for a presidential ticket.

The two are expected to appear together in Wilmington, Del., on Wednesday. Mr. Biden described her as “a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants.”

By selecting Ms. Harris, Mr. Biden embraced a former rival who sharply criticized him in the Democratic primaries but later emerged as a vocal supporter and a prominent advocate of racial-justice legislation after the death of George Floyd. In her primary run, Ms. Harris pledged to revive a culture of compromise in Washington and deliver the unfinished goals of the Obama administration.

Ms. Harris, a former attorney general for California, brings “a gift for capturing moments of raw political electricity on the debate stage and elsewhere, and a personal identity and family story that many find inspiring,” our politics reporters write. Here’s a look at her background.

2. Russia approved a coronavirus vaccine, President Vladimir Putin said, amid concerns that the country was rushing a vaccine for political purposes. Experts called the move dangerous.

The Russian scientific body that developed the vaccine, the Gamaleya Institute, above, has yet to conduct Phase 3 tests on tens of thousands of volunteers in highly controlled trials.

Vaccines are among the safest medical products in the world — but only because of the intense rigor of the clinical trials that test their safety and effectiveness. “I think it’s really scary. It’s really risky,” said Daniel Salmon, the director of the Institute for Vaccine Safety at Johns Hopkins University.

The news comes as the number of virus cases surpasses 20 million worldwide.

3. The Big Ten and the Pac-12 postponed their football seasons to 2021 because of the coronavirus. The move from two of the N.C.A.A.’s marquee leagues could quickly reverberate throughout college sports.

The Big Ten, whose membership includes Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State, above, and Penn State, among other schools, said it would try to hold a season in the spring instead. The Pac-12 postponed all competitions, including in winter sports like basketball, until at least 2021.

Canceling the Big Ten season in its entirety would have assuredly starved schools of tens of millions of dollars. Now some of that money could be delayed instead, causing fresh pain on campuses but perhaps avoiding a graver economic calamity for college athletics.

4. Veteran staff members at a Houston hospital say they have never seen so much severe illness and death all at once. Still, they maintain hope.

Our reporters and photographers gained exclusive access to a Covid I.C.U. at Houston’s largest hospital. They followed five patients, including a grandmother who celebrated a grandchild’s birthday and a 30-year-old on life support, as doctors worked to save their lives.

And in Florida, the number of younger adults who died of coronavirus quadrupled last month.

More than 200 have died in all. While health officials were concerned that young people may have been reckless by going to parties and bars, data shows that among the young who died of the virus recently are those who went back to work. They were also disproportionately Black.

5. At least 75 percent of all Americans can vote by mail in 2020, the most in U.S. history, according to a Times analysis.

If election trends continue, 80 million mail ballots will flood election offices this fall, more than double the number that were returned in 2016. All states allow at least some mail voting, but some will make it more accessible than others. Here’s a breakdown state by state.

In other election news, six states are holding primaries and runoffs today. Representative Ilhan Omar faces a tough re-election fight in Minnesota, and Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican QAnon supporter, is vying for the House in Georgia. Here’s what to watch for.

6. Are racial attitudes really changing? Some Black activists are skeptical.

For community activists on the South Side of Chicago like Antoine Dobine, above, words are insufficient, and an embrace of the Black Lives Matter movement requires caring for communities that both Democrats and Republicans have ignored.

Black voters continue to vote for Democrats in overwhelming numbers, activists say, as “a consequence of the Republican Party’s reputation as the home of white grievance politics, not an absolution of Democrats’ failures,” our politics reporter writes.

Separately, a Minnesota judge ordered that footage from cameras worn by two police officers during George Floyd’s arrest be publicly released. Here’s what that footage tells us. A warning: These videos include graphic imagery.

7. “There’s no reason to do business in New York.”

That’s a national restaurateur who said he would never open another restaurant in New York. Even as the city has contained the virus and has slowly reopened, national chains, both retail and restaurants, are starting to abandon New York. It’s the latest sign of how badly the economy has been damaged.

Will cars, bikes or restaurants rule the roads in a post-pandemic New York? Competition for the city’s streets is nothing new, but the pandemic has emboldened more people than ever to stake their claim and force a sweeping reimagining of the urban grid.

8. The mansplainer. The concern troll. The comedian. The patronizer.

These are a few “types” of men that Nicole Tersigni and many women encounter on a regular basis. In her new book “Men to Avoid in Art and Life,” she harnesses her skill with a Twitter meme to illuminate the experience of women.

T Magazine also looked at 15 creative women pushing boundaries in the fields of art, design, food and fashion, all while staying true to themselves.

9. Cape Cod is as unique as it oysters.

High tidal water can flush the oysters with a varying mix of freshwater and saltwater, creating a nuanced flavor. Pollution, development and overharvesting have greatly diminished their natural habitat, but modern-day aquaculture has changed the game. Randy Harris, a photographer, gives us a glimpse into the art of oyster farming.

Ever wonder how underwater creatures make light? Or what a Carolina leaf-roller eats? This list of apps, podcasts and websites will help you figure out what’s going on in the great outdoors.

10. And finally, wish upon a shooting star tonight.

Earth passes through cosmic debris all year long as it revolves around the sun. The results are meteor showers that can light up night skies. Tonight, the Perseids are putting on a show. The meteor shower is active from July 17 to Aug. 26 and will peak Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. Here’s how to watch.

The Perseids, seen above in 2018, occur when Earth runs into debris left behind by Comet Swift-Tuttle, a 17-mile wide dirty snowball that takes about 133 years to orbit the sun. The moon will be about half full tonight, which could interfere with viewing in some places, but usually between 160 and 200 meteors dazzle the night sky every hour during the display’s peak.

Have a stellar night.

Your Evening Briefing is posted at 6 p.m. Eastern.

Want to catch up on past briefings? You can browse them here.

What did you like? What do you want to see here? Let us know at briefing@nytimes.com.

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