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Good evening. Here’s the latest.
1. The Trump administration is worrying about the economy.
President Trump confirmed that he is considering stimulus measures like “various tax reductions,” including a payroll tax cut and possibly a reduction in capital gains.
The president, however, also described the economy as “incredible.” Our examination of some of the White House’s favorite data points shows that they’re now flashing warning signs about investment, jobs and growth.
2. Kamala Harris’s 41-track playlist for campaign rallies is dominated by black and Latino artists. Beto O’Rourke’s reflects his long history with rock music. Cory Booker’s sings his message of love.
Presidential bids have a sound. We analyzed the playlists of 10 contenders to see how the songs aligned with their messages. Don’t forget to turn your sound on for this one.
And one of those contenders, the former housing secretary Julián Castro, became the 10th candidate to qualify for the next Democratic debates in September.
4. We got a rare glimpse of Syria’s devastation.
After eight years of civil war, the Syrian government now controls much of the country, and President Bashar al-Assad appears likely to win. Our reporters went to see what “victory” looks like. Above, Douma, Syria.
They found ruin and an uneven recovery, with people struggling to get by, a shortage of water and electricity and a shrunken population of young men.
5. Italy’s prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, resigned, bringing down the most nationalist and dysfunctional Italian government in decades.
He announced his decision in an extraordinary, contentious session of Parliament that interrupted the usually sacrosanct summer break. The move circumvented a call for a no-confidence vote by the hard-line nationalist interior minister, Matteo Salvini.
If a new majority cannot form another government, early elections could be called, in which the ever more popular Mr. Salvini could consolidate his grip on power and cement his reputation as the most powerful — and for critics, destructive — nationalist leader in Europe.
The word is looming over Cape Cod this summer. Sightings, real and imagined, are common after a fatal shark attack last year, the first in Massachusetts since 1936.
And a fierce debate over what to do about sharks has injected anxiety into a place usually known for summertime escape.
Surfers are in a collective state of mourning. “It hurts because you know it’s inevitable,” one surfer said. “We don’t have things in place. It’s just a matter of time, again.”
7. Four hundred years after enslaved Africans were first taken to Virginia, most Americans still don’t know the full story of slavery.
This is what you didn’t learn in school. It’s our latest installment of The Times Magazine’s 1619 Project, examining the legacy of slavery in America. Above, a child’s iron shackles from before 1860.
Mary Elliott, a specialist at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History and Culture, helps track the roots of slavery in the U.S. from a papal decree in the 15th century, and reveals the brutal reality of sugar cane plantations and the continual resistance of enslaved Africans. Read more stories from the 1619 Project here.
Demand was off the charts for the print edition of the project in The Times Magazine and the companion broadsheet section over the weekend. Both are now available in The Times Store.
8. Our 52 Places traveler is halfway through his list.
His video recaps the highlights of his strange but wonderful journey so far: the best pork ever in Puerto Rico, feeding bison in Wyoming, swimming with whale sharks in Panama and feeling the magic of Norway, above (“I could totally run into an elf right now and I wouldn’t even be surprised”).
“One thing I’ve learned on this first half of this trip is that the world constantly surprises you,” Sebastian Modak says. (He’ll be on Reddit at noon on Wednesday for a live chat.)
Fifty states, 50 photos: We took a trip through The Times photo archive to find one striking image from each state. How many can you guess?
9. “I’m not content to be content.”
Neil Young says low-quality streaming is hurting our songs and our brains. Is he right? In a winding interview with The Times Magazine, Young, pictured above in May, talks about his latest remedy — a digital repository of his recorded work in information-rich file formats to be played back through a digital-to-analog converter that approximates the sound of good vinyl.
“His lesson is that everything human is shot through with imperfection,” our contributor writes, in a piece that covers a lot of ground. “Filtering that out doesn’t make us more perfect; it is making us sick.”
10. And finally, a different kind of song.
Just as your day ends, the cricket’s is beginning. Its instrument is in two parts: on the top of the lower wing, a scraper; on the underside of the upper wing, a row of bumps, like teeth. Sawed together, you get a chirp.
Lay a blanket out and let the nightly concert come to you, our writer suggests in this week’s Letter of Recommendation. The deafening trill will transport you to “the mosh pit of the universe.”
Have a mellifluous evening.
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