5 things to know for July 7: Coronavirus, condo collapse, Elsa, Lebanon, NY mayor
We’re still learning the fulls extent of the damage from that massive ransomware attack that may have compromised as many as 1,500 businesses.
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The Delta variant now makes up more than half of US coronavirus cases, the CDC says. It’s perhaps no coincidence that areas experiencing spikes also have low vaccination rates. Among them is southwest Missouri, where a Covid-19 surge team is deploying to deal with hospital overflow. While health experts maintain that vaccines available now offer good protection from newer variants, an analysis by the Israeli government says the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine appears to be less effective against the Delta variant than other strains. Other scientists and medical authorities say it’s too soon to draw conclusions from that study. The CDC hasn’t changed its mask guidance, even as the Delta variant spread to all 50 states. Got Covid-19 questions? We’re answering them here.
2. Condo collapse
Search and rescue efforts at the site of the Surfside, Florida, condo collapse continue in full force, even as Tropical Storm Elsa brings wind and rains to the area. Crews recovered four more bodies yesterday, bringing the confirmed death toll to 36, including 29 who have been identified. An additional 109 people are unaccounted for. Officials are holding out hope of finding someone alive in the rubble, and there is still more ground for teams to cover. The odds of hearing good news, however, grow slimmer each day.
Elsa is expected to make landfall on Florida’s western coast later this morning or early this afternoon. Millions of people are facing a life-threatening storm surge and heavy wind and rain that could create flooding up and down the coast. The storm has weakened since becoming a Category 1 hurricane yesterday, but more than 4 million Floridians are still under hurricane warnings. Tropical storm watches and warnings have also been issued in Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia.
Lebanon is in the throes of an economic crisis that is worsening by the day. Residents face long lines at gas stations, power outages of up to 22 hours and food and medical shortages. The situation has already given way to violence, and Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister predicts the country is just days away from a “social explosion.” As the state appeals to outside forces for help, officials at institutions like the World Bank and European Union say the catastrophe could have been avoided and point the finger at Lebanon’s leaders for not taking steps that could have mitigated the financial decline.
5. New York City
The New York City mayoral results are in. Retired police captain and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams will be the Democratic nominee in the race to lead the Big Apple, CNN projects. If he defeats Republican nominee Curtis Sliwa, a heavy underdog, in the fall, Adams would become the second Black mayor in city history. Primary polls closed June 22, after voters had the option to rank up to five of the 13 candidates. Public safety ultimately took center stage in the race following a rise in violent crime. Adams leaned on his law enforcement experience to convince voters he’d best address the issue, and his pitch landed with a base in working-class outer borough hubs. He also enjoyed considerable support from the city’s labor establishment, was a prolific fundraiser and was backed by a big-spending super PAC.
Sha’Carri Richardson won’t compete at the Tokyo Olympics
The track star was left off the US team roster even though her suspension ends before the women’s 4×100-meter relay.
Subway is revamping its menu after years of declining sales
The tuna, however, isn’t going anywhere.
Britney Spears’ manager of 25 years has resigned
In his resignation letter, he cited the pop star’s desire to retire.
Iceland tried a shorter work week and it was an ‘overwhelming success’
“Dear [boss], I came across an article you might find interesting … “
A giant 3D cat has taken over one of Tokyo’s biggest billboards
Because who doesn’t want a massive, lifelike kitty meowing at them on their way to work?
“At some point when you have proven yourself and fought your way into institutions that were not built for you, when you’ve proven you can compete and excel at the highest level, you have to decide that you are done forcing yourself in.”
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, on her decision to decline the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill’s belated offer of tenure after the school’s board of trustees initially refused to grant it. She has instead accepted a faculty role at Howard University.
That’s how many years former President Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter have been married. The couple is celebrating their anniversary today.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AJ!!!
Our very own AJ Willingham, the inimitable voice of 5 Things, is celebrating another trip around the sun today with a much-deserved day off. AJ, our wish for you is that you sleep in until noon. Enjoy your day! (Click here to view.)