Your Thursday Evening Briefing – The New York Times
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Good evening. Here’s the latest at the end of Thursday.
2. The man who killed four people in Tulsa, Okla., bought an AR-15-style rifle hours before the attack, the police said.
The man, who underwent back surgery last month, stormed a medical building yesterday and killed the doctor who performed the surgery along with three other people, and then fatally shot himself. The Tulsa police chief said he was carrying a letter saying he blamed his surgeon for continuing back pain. Authorities said he had purchased both guns used in the attack in recent days.
In Washington, President Biden will urge lawmakers to pass new gun control measures during a speech from the White House tonight.
In Texas, a coffin maker has made custom coffins for the Uvalde victims. The attack represents a disturbing new pattern in mass shootings: young assailants. One Uvalde teacher spoke with her husband, a police officer for the school district, before she died — but he was not allowed to enter the school.
3. The far-right nationalist group the Proud Boys has transformed the Miami-Dade Republican Party.
At least a half-dozen current and former members of the group have secured seats on the Miami-Dade Republican Executive Committee — an archetype of the strait-laced establishment that was once Jeb Bush’s base of power.
Their ranks include adherents who face criminal charges for participating in the Capitol attack. The Proud Boys spent nearly half a decade engaged in often violent protests and were at the forefront of the riot at the U.S. Capitol last year. But after Jan. 6, they lowered their profile and encouraged chapters to get involved in local issues, with the goal of amassing support before this year’s midterm elections.
4. OPEC Plus announced a big increase to its oil supply.
The group of oil-producing nations said it would raise output by 648,000 barrels a day in July and August, an increase of about 50 percent from the 430,000 barrels a day agreed on last year. The group said in a press release that it was responding to a reopening from lockdowns in countries like China.
Not mentioned was pressure from Washington to address rising oil prices. The Saudis are trying to improve their relationship with the Biden administration, which wants to prevent soaring oil prices from alienating American voters in midterm elections. President Biden has decided to travel to Riyadh this month to rebuild relations with the oil-rich kingdom.
In other economic news, Lael Brainard, the vice chair of the Federal Reserve, suggested that the central bank might make another large rate increase in September.
5. Covid shots for children under 5 could be available as soon as June 21.
Anticipating that federal regulators would soon authorize coronavirus vaccines for the youngest children, Dr. Ashish Jha, President Biden’s coronavirus response coordinator, shared the timeline during an appearance in the White House briefing room.
He cautioned that the preparations were contingent on Food and Drug Administration authorization, but said that states could begin ordering the vaccines from the Biden administration beginning on Friday.
Separately, the World Health Organization said that it expected the number of Covid deaths in Africa to fall sharply this year. South Africa has been hit by a wave of infections despite 98 percent of the population having some antibodies.
6. Britons celebrated 70 years under Queen Elizabeth II.
Britain’s longest-serving monarch appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace today surrounded by four generations of the royal family, during the first of four days of Platinum Jubilee festivities.
Onlookers cheered, waves of aircraft streaked overhead and past and present world leaders expressed their admiration for the queen, who has steered Britain since 1952. Here are photos of the monarch over the decades.
That the queen, 96, has made it to her Platinum Jubilee at all was far from given. She decided to skip a thanksgiving service tomorrow, one of the major events, after experiencing discomfort on a busy first day of festivities.
7. Coco Gauff made her first Grand Slam final.
At age 18, she is into the women’s singles final at the French Open without losing a set, after a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Martina Trevisan of Italy. She is the youngest singles finalist at a Grand Slam event since 2004, when Maria Sharapova won Wimbledon at age 17.
On Saturday, Gauff will face the most daunting task in women’s tennis: trying to stop the No. 1-ranked player, Iga Swiatek, who has not lost since February and who beat Gauff, 6 -3, 6-1, in the round of 16 at the Miami Open.
In other sports news, the Boston Celtics and the Golden State Warriors face off tonight in the first game of the N.B.A. Finals. Tomorrow, the Los Angeles Dodgers will honor a player they once shunned: Glenn Burke, the first major league baseball player to have come out as gay.
8. This Musk start-up is romantic.
Elon Musk’s younger sister Tosca is also an entrepreneur, but she’s not working in space tourism or electric cars. She is the force behind Passionflix, a streaming service for adaptations of romantic fiction.
The “sexy Hallmark Channel,” as our Hollywood reporter describes it, offers content on a “barometer of naughtiness,” from “Oh So Vanilla” to “NSFW” (Not Safe for Work), and has raised nearly $22 million in early funding.
9. In a first, doctors transplanted an ear made by a 3-D printer.
A regenerative medicine company based in Queens, N.Y., used 3-D printing to make an ear from a woman’s own cells, which was then successfully attached to her head in March. Independent experts called the implant a stunning advance in the field of tissue engineering.
10. And finally, could you spell sirtaki, wirrah and palombino?
A dozen students overcame those and many other perfidious words to make it to this year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee finals, which start tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
A team of Times journalists will cover the contest live as the 12 finalists face “colossal nouns with diphthong hearts, adjectives of unknown origin and words dotted with treacherous schwas,” our colleague Alan Yuhas writes.
Follow our coverage to see who wins the $50,000 prize, or hone your linguistic skills with Times games like a version of the classic quiz, the Spelling Bee and Wordle.