Your Tuesday Briefing – The New York Times

After the capture by Russia of the cities of Severodonetsk and Lisichansk, Moscow controls Luhansk Oblast in eastern Ukraine. The Russian military relies on its superior firepower and making spectacular incremental advances, a strategy that is paying off.

Moscow is now focused on population centers in neighboring Donetsk, the other province in the Donbass region. The town of Bakhmut is emptied as residents anticipate an impending attack. It has come under sporadic fire since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began in February.

A creeping sense of resignation is growing among Ukrainians. The country’s battered and vastly outnumbered armed forces have been forced to rely on raw recruits and are suffering from the strain of battle, retreat and constant Russian shelling. But the invasion took a brutal toll on Russia as well. According to Western intelligence, Moscow is giving hundreds of casualties a day.

US regulators have engaged update on coronavirus vaccines created in 2020 for this fall booster campaign, with new formulas designed to protect against ultra-contagious sub-variants of Omicron. The new cocktails are part of an effort to dramatically speed up vaccine development and win over Americans who have so far rejected booster shots.

But it is unclear whether these modified boosters will arrive in time. In an effort to match the latest forms of the virus, the FDA asked vaccine makers to target the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants, rather than the Omicron version that appeared last winter. Pfizer and Moderna said they could ship sub-variant vaccine doses as early as October. They have already started making doses tailored to the original Omicron form.

Many scientists believe the updated boosters will be critical to diversifying people’s immune defenses, as sub-variants eat away at the protection offered by vaccines. US Covid deaths have recently started to rise as cases increase. Epidemiologists predict up to 200,000 deaths from Covid in the US next year.

BA.4 and BA.5: The most evasive forms of Omicron to date, these two sub-variants appear to be causing a new surge of cases across much of the US and have led to spikes in hospital admissions in the UK, France, Portugal, Belgium and Israel.

or The 22-year-old man was arrested last night after a man opened fire from a rooftop at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, an Illinois suburb north of Chicago, killing at least six people and injuring dozens more. The man was taken into custody after hundreds of law enforcement officers spent hours searching the region.

After the shooting Monday morning, police asked nearby residents to turn over any security camera footage to investigators. Robert Crimo, who was identified as a “person of interest” in the shooting, was later spotted in a car by a North Chicago police unit. When police tried to stop him, Crimo fled, leading officers on a short chase, police said.

At the scene of the shooting, lawn chairs remained scattered along the parade route as police officers with rifles patrolled the streets. The injured range in age from 8 to 85 years old. At least 25 of them had gunshot wounds, authorities said.

The White House: In a statement, President Biden said he was “shocked by the senseless gun violence.” The US is facing an epidemic of gun violence: in the past eight weeks alone, 10 people were fatally shot at a grocery store in Buffalo and 21 people – 19 students and two teachers – were killed by a gunman at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

  • The bullet that killed Shireen Abu Akle, a Palestinian-American journalist, has been killed probably fired from Israeli military lines but was too damaged to tell for sure, US investigators said.

  • Nick Kyrgios, the vivacious Australian tennis player, has reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon. His antics and psychological warfare dominate the tournament. Here’s the latest.

  • Eight US states they have already banned abortionsincluding Texas, which allowed a 1925 law to take effect Friday night.

credit…Ian C. Bates for The New York Times

Many LGBTQ denizens of American “gayborhoods” like Castro above are choose to live elsewhere in search of cheaper housing and better amenities. After decades of political and social change, they find increasing acceptance in other communities – to the potential detriment of their former homes.

A good game is a vacation mainstay that helps pass the long summer evenings or the tedious train journey. Two-player games have come a long way since checkers, backgammon, and Battleship. Today, the best of them are as complex and compelling as any group game.

Wirecutter talked to experts, spent more than 25 hours of research, and played 20 different games to find the individual games that most people will like. Here’s a short selection to consider on your next trip. (See the full list here.)

Hive is a really fun chess-like game played by placing and moving bugs (represented by tiles) to get around your opponent’s queen. It’s a deeply strategic game that’s easy to learn — every turn you can take one of two possible actions — but still deep enough to keep discovering new ways to play.

The fox in the forest is a lighter, more luck-based game for a relaxed atmosphere. Anyone who has played a trick-taking card game will be familiar with the basic mechanics: The object of the game is to win tricks by playing a card of higher value than the other player.

in Duel 7 wonders, the goal is to build an ancient civilization that surpasses your opponent’s, something you achieve by building wonders like the pyramids, hanging gardens, and colossus. Of all our picks, this is the most like a modern multiplayer board game, but cut down to work perfectly with two players.

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