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Good evening. Here’s the latest at the end of Monday.
Judge James Boasberg of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia said too much time had elapsed since Facebook’s purchase of Instagram and WhatsApp, which states said cemented its monopoly over social networking.
He also said the F.T.C. complaint failed to provide enough facts to back its claim. The agency has 30 days to refile its complaint.
The ruling sent Facebook’s stock soaring, and its market capitalization exceeded $1 trillion for the first time.
3. Officials said they had not given up hope as the Miami condo rescue effort stretched into its fifth day and the death toll rose, by one, to 10.
More than 150 people are still unaccounted for. The National Weather Service forecast rain throughout the week in Miami, complicating rescue efforts.
City and state officials reassured families that there was still hope for survivors, however slim. No survivors have been pulled from the wreckage of the Champlain South Towers in Surfside, Fla., since Thursday, the day that half of the 13-story building collapsed.
4. Iraq condemned U.S. airstrikes on Iran-backed militias.
Baghdad officials said the attacks near the Iraqi-Syrian border were a violation of its sovereignty. One of the targeted militias threatened to wage “open war” on American interests in Iraq.
The overnight strikes, which hit facilities used by two militias that the Pentagon accused of involvement in recent drone attacks on American bases in Iraq, were meant to send a message while avoiding escalation, the Defense Department said.
But the strikes revived questions about the future of about 2,500 U.S. troops forces in Iraq, where they serve as one of the country’s main security partners. The government in Baghdad has been unable to stop attacks on its U.S. allies by the Iranian-backed militias.
5. It’s the heat. And the humidity.
A vast heat wave is setting temperature records in western Canada and the northwestern U.S., led by a small town in British Columbia that reached almost 116 degrees Fahrenheit.
Portland, Ore., was forecast to hit 114 degrees today, creating dangerous conditions in a part of the country unaccustomed to air-conditioning.
Meanwhile, in the Northeast, the National Weather Service issued a heat advisory, with high heat and humidity likely to last until Thursday. The heat index — what the air feels like — was forecast to hit 104 in New York City on Monday.
6. Black workers have stopped making progress on pay. Is racism to blame?
The education disparity between African Americans and whites has narrowed substantially over the last 40 years. But the wage divide hasn’t budged. Median earnings for Black men amounted to only 56 cents for every dollar earned by white men in 2019 — a wider gap than in 1970.
Many economists say employers’ racial biases cannot fully explain it. But neither do they have a compelling answer.
“There was convergence between Blacks and whites, but then it stopped,” said Erik Hurst, a professor of economics at the University of Chicago. “The question is why.”
7. Juul will pay $40 million to settle a North Carolina vaping case.
The settlement is the first in a stream of lawsuits against the company, brought by states that claimed the e-cigarette company’s marketing practices fueled widespread nicotine addiction among young people.
The consent decree, which settles a case brought by the North Carolina attorney general, requires Juul to sell its products only behind the counter in stores in the state and to use third-party age verification systems for online sales.
The Federal Trade Commission is also suing to unwind the 2018 deal that gave Altria 35 percent of Juul. Altria, the nation’s largest tobacco company, paid $12.8 billion for the stake, which has since been written down to $1.5 billion.
8. Peering under the painting without peeling off the paint.
Art experts at the National Gallery of Art are using powerful scanning techniques developed by NASA to find out if two of its Vermeers are really Vermeers.
The paintings credited to Johannes Vermeer, the 17th-century Dutch artist, are smaller than his other works and painted on wooden panels instead of canvas.
There’s no conclusion yet about the provenance of either “Girl With the Red Hat” or “Girl With a Flute.” But the use of reflectance imaging spectroscopy has already helped identify pigments and provided insights into how Vermeer worked.
9. Wimbledon is back.
Novak Djokovic, who won his first-round match today, has the opportunity to make history many times over at the All-England Club in the next two weeks.
Djokovic, a five-time Wimbledon champion, is vying for a third straight title, after last year’s tournament was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. It could also be his 20th career Grand Slam singles title. And he could become the first man with the chance to win the U.S. Open and a Grand Slam since 1969.
Separately, tomorrow is the deadline for Caster Semenya to gain a qualifying time in the women’s 5,000 meters for the Olympic Games that begin July 23. She has defiantly refused to suppress her naturally elevated testosterone levels, as required of intersex athletes to compete in women’s track events from the 400 meters to the 1,500 meters.
10. And finally, the largest comet ever found is making its move.
The nucleus of Comet C/2014 UN271, discovered this month, is estimated conservatively at 62 to 125 miles long — larger than the Island of Hawaii.
But don’t stay up nights waiting for it. The colossal comet, also called Bernardinelli-Bernstein, is currently inside Neptune’s orbit. Over the next decade, it will get almost — but not quite — to Saturn before journeying back to the galaxy’s fringe.
Mere mortals will barely get a glimpse of it when the comet is at its closest to Earth in 2031. But astronomers can train their telescopes on it and watch it flare, then fade, in staggering detail over the next 20 years.
Have a meteoric evening.
Jeremiah M. Bogert, Jr. Shelby Knowles compiled photos for this briefing.
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