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Good evening. Here’s the latest.
1. “We are not backing down on our effort to determine the citizenship status of the United States population.”
That was President Trump, announcing from the Rose Garden this afternoon that he was abandoning his battle to put a citizenship question on the census, saying the government would instead find citizenship data from existing federal records to provide a “full, complete and accurate count.”
Earlier, conservative fringe figures had their moment with Mr. Trump during a “social media summit,” sharing stories of what they call discrimination and suppression on the internet.
Our White House correspondent Katie Rogers live-tweeted the president’s remarks, which sometimes resembled his own staccato posts: “Shadow ban. 100 percent. The blocking, just the basic blocking of what we want to get out.”
2. Tropical Storm Barry is heading toward the Louisiana coast. Parts of New Orleans have already flooded, and there’s a lot more rain in the forecast.
The slow-moving storm is expected make landfall early Saturday, possibly as a hurricane. The Mississippi River is expected to crest close to 20 feet, and evacuations are beginning. About 10 to 15 inches of rain is predicted to fall starting late tonight through the weekend. Here’s what you need to know.
4. Jeffrey Epstein has been described by prosecutors as a man of enormous wealth, but our reporting shows that may be more illusion than fact.
5. The robots have really arrived.
Amazon plans to spend $700 million to retrain about 100,000 workers by 2025, a mass reshaping of labor as the e-commerce giant increasingly relies on robots and automation technology in its frenetic warehouses. Above, a fulfillment center on Staten Island, N.Y.
Artificial intelligence is also getting better at bluffing.
Pluribus, a poker-playing algorithm, can beat the world’s top human players, proving that machines, too, can master our mind games. Possible applications include Wall Street trading and even cybersecurity.
6. Europe outsourced an immigration problem to Libya, where a civil war is raging.
After 53 migrants were killed in an airstrike in an E.U.-financed shelter there, we analyzed photos, videos and satellite images of the facility to find out what happened, and talked to former detainees and humanitarian workers in the area who told our team grim stories of lapses on many fronts.
In the U.S., the government’s plans to begin nationwide deportation raids Sunday are rattling immigrant communities and prompting backlash from politicians. The operation, backed by President Trump, is stoking divisions within the Department of Homeland Security.
7. What happens when a city of five million people dries up?
Bathe with the water that drips out of the air-conditioner, or skip showers altogether. Line up every day to fill neon plastic pots from a public tap. Rinse the rice, then use the water to wash the fish.
These are some of the hacks that people in Chennai, India, have adopted as their groundwater, reservoirs and lakes have virtually disappeared, unreplenished by a weak monsoon. Above, residents collected water delivered by a tanker.
8. Serena Williams and Simona Halep both advanced today to the Wimbledon final on Saturday.
Halep is eyeing her first singles title there, while Williams is chasing her first since the birth of her daughter in September 2017 — which would tie the record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles held by Margaret Court.
The men’s singles semifinals are Friday, with a long-awaited Wimbledon rematch of one of tennis’s most celebrated rivalries: Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Our tennis reporter dug into a new trend in Grand Slam enforcement: fines for violating professional standards, meaning just not trying hard enough on the court.
9. Can you feel the love tonight? Our film critic says: kinda.
If a movie could be judged solely on technique, the new “The Lion King” might qualify as a great one, he writes. But the songs “don’t have the pop or the splendor.” (Your briefer will see it no matter what.) Read the full review here.
Our art critic, on the other hand, thought quite highly of “Saint Jerome Praying in the Wilderness,” by Leonardo da Vinci, on loan to the Met in New York from the Vatican’s collections for the 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death.
The unfinished painting “leaves an expression of fever-pitch emotion ever burning,” he writes.
10. And finally, a new chapter.
Beach reads are often cast off as “easy” or “mindless,” but our writer suggests you think of them as “the cool aunts of the literary world” — “memorable, challenging, warm and wise.” Here are eight new ones to get you through summer.
And for a different kind of reading challenge, our Australia bureau chief spent a few days with an oyster farmer in Tasmania who is writing 365 books in 365 days, for his daughter, Cielo.
“The more kids love stories and love books, the better the world will be for my daughter,” he said.
Good night stars, good night air, good night noises everywhere.
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