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Good evening. Here’s the latest at the end of Tuesday.
1. President Biden announced his re-election bid.
In a video message released this morning, Biden officially kicked off his 2024 presidential campaign, arguing that American democracy still faces a profound threat from former President Donald Trump as he sets the stage for a repeat between the two countries next year. The possibility of orgasm.
In the video — which opens with an image of a group of Trump supporters storming the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 — the president said that “fighting for our democracy” is “my first term job.” But, he said, that work has not been done during Trump’s comeback campaign, which Biden sees as jeopardizing fundamental rights.
In a speech to a Washington labor group later in the day, Biden focused more on livelihoods, touting his record for creating jobs and funding new roads and bridges.
While the 2024 race could be a rematch — Trump is currently the Republican frontrunner — things look different for Biden. Nearly seven in 10 Americans think the country is on the “wrong track,” more than half of Democrats don’t want him to run for re-election, and, at 80, he’s the oldest president in U.S. history. Democratic officials, however, firmly believe he has the upper hand over any potential rival.
Whoever the potential candidate is, early poll numbers point to a close race and should be taken with a grain of salt. But history may be on Biden’s side: Over the past century, only four presidents have lost re-election campaigns.
In related news, Biden named Julie Chavez Rodriguez, the most senior Latino in the White House and granddaughter of Cesar Chavez, to lead his campaign.
2. The exits of Tucker Carlson and Don Lemon signaled the end of the era of cable news.
The two hosts are on very different networks, doing very different things to get very different ratings. Carlson, possibly the biggest star in all of cable news, helped shape conservative thinking with provocative monologues about immigration, black civil rights activists, vaccines and national identity. Lemmon is known for his anti-Trump slams, though they seem tame by comparison.
Both, however, are products of the Trump era, and they often make headlines by expressing their outrage and outrage by giving their listeners generous favors. Their near-simultaneous ouster yesterday represented at least a temporary retreat from excessive media coverage of Trump’s election, presidency and post-office.
3. Barrier-breaking singer, actor and activist Harry Belafonte dies at 96.
In the 1950s, when segregation was still pervasive and black faces were still a rarity on screens large and small, Belafonte stormed the pop charts with his highly personal brand of folk music. He almost single-handedly ignited the Caribbean music scene with hits like “Day-O” and “Farewell to Jamaica.” For several years, the music world — black or white — hadn’t been bigger.
Beginning in the late 1950s, however, civil rights rather than entertainment became his focus. He invested heavily in seed money to help start the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, provided funds to help bail Martin Luther King Jr. and other activists out of prison, and became a lifelong supporter of King’s quest for racial equality.
4. The Ukrainian Spring Offensive has huge stakes in the future of the war.
U.S. officials say Ukraine is preparing to launch a counteroffensive against Russian forces as early as next month. The stakes are very high: without a decisive victory, Western support for Ukraine could wane, and pressure could mount on Kiev to engage in serious negotiations to end or freeze the conflict.
Ukrainian officials said their goal was to breach Russian fortifications and push Russian forces to their knees. But U.S. officials believe the offensive is unlikely to substantially change the momentum in Ukraine’s favor.
In other news of the war, A group of Russian lawyers is asking the country’s highest court to strike down a law that bans criticism of Russia’s armed forces.
5. A Japanese company loses contact with its lunar lander.
Ispace, which aims to complete a private company’s first moon landing, lost contact with its small robotic spacecraft today – a sign that it may have crashed into the lunar surface.
While the moonshot attempt appears to have been unsuccessful, Ispace won’t be the last company to try. Two more landers, built by U.S. companies and funded by NASA, are scheduled to launch to the moon this year.
6. The places most affected by heat waves are likely to be those that have not experienced heat waves.
Global warming is making dangerously hot weather more common on every continent. While we’ve already seen its effects in cities around the equator, where midday outdoor work has become dangerous, a new study argues that there are parts of the world that haven’t experienced unusual heat waves that we should be worried about.
Scientists argue that these regions — including economically developed regions such as Germany and the Netherlands — were ill-prepared because they never had to adapt to life in prolonged heat.
7. Researchers have discovered that many melatonin gummies are mislabeled.
When a team of researchers analyzed 25 melatonin gummy products commonly used as sleep aids, they found that 22 of them contained different levels of the substance than advertised. One of the supplements contained close to 350 percent of the labeled amount, while the other appeared to contain none at all.
For people who took less melatonin than they thought, the results could be lackluster. People who took more were more likely to experience side effects like drowsiness the next morning, one expert said.
Speaking of morning, We asked the experts for their secret to a healthy breakfast.
8. The new star attraction at the American Museum of Natural History are ants.
When the Richard Gilder Science Center opens to the public in New York City next month, visitors will be able to experience the intricate life of the leafcutter ant. Some 500,000 of them will live in a huge new exhibit, functioning as a single superorganism and harvesting leaves to maintain the fungal garden.
Our architecture critic wrote that the museum’s new wing — the atrium designed to resemble a towering canyon — is a marvel to stand inside. It seems destined to be a huge attraction, especially for kids.
More information: Behind the new exhibits in the museum’s entomology hall is entomologist Jessica Ware, who is also working to attract more people of color to her field.
10. Finally, When dating apps fail, a person turns to a time-honored method.
Alex Miller, a software engineer from Brooklyn, is much like other millennial singles: Burned out by anxiety-inducing dating apps and in need of a date (to his brother’s wedding). But unlike his peers, he used a method that had been around since at least the 1700s: personal advertising.
Miller posted his ad around his neighborhood — the ad appeals to people who like to “please Jewish grandmothers” — and managed to generate more interest than he expected. At least 20 people reached out, including a couple hoping to become plus-twos and a Texas woman who got a phone number from a friend in New York.
Have a night of nostalgia.
brent lewis Photos compiled for this conference.
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