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“We just call it the variant,” said the CEO of Delta Air Lines, speaking of the Delta strain of the coronavirus.

An extended drought pushed 400,000 people to the brink of starvation in Madagascar, where severe child malnutrition has nearly doubled since January.1 Police officers in Delhi used water cannons to disperse hundreds of people protesting the government’s management of a water shortage.2 3 Scientists confirmed that the Amazon rainforest now emits more greenhouse gases than it captures, largely because of fires set intentionally to clear land for beef and soybean production.4 In Oregon, the Bootleg Fire, the first megafire of the season, grew larger than New York City and will require a “season-ending weather event” to completely contain it; after a 38-year-old man died in last month’s heat wave, a temporary emergency rule mandated that farmworkers be given 10 minutes in the shade every two hours; and a rare, 100-pound tropical fish washed ashore.5 6 7 8 Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources began artificially cooling permafrost, and Ben & Jerry’s announced that it would no longer sell its products in the occupied Palestinian territories.9 10 Ford unveiled a “high-end fragrance” that smells of petroleum in an effort to sell more electric cars, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s testimony in a case about a $2.6 billion merger was halted when an attorney vomited.11 12 The built-in weather app of some iPhones will not display a temperature of 69 degrees, rendering it as either 68 or 70 degrees.13

A federal judge declared Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals unlawful, halting the program’s ability to accept new applicants but not immediately affecting the 600,000 existing recipients.14 Reporting a new all-time high for a single month, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol encountered more than 188,000 migrants at the southern border in June, 34 percent of whom had crossed before.15 Health providers in Texas sued the state to halt a law prohibiting nearly all abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.16 The law also offers a minimum $10,000 reward to anyone who successfully sues a person who “aids or abets” abortion care. Months after a number of women unveiled a culture of sexual assault in the Australian parliament, lawmakers there were informed that sexual-harassment training would take just one hour and attendance be optional; a rule was proposed in the United Kingdom that would ban hymenoplasty surgery, sometimes marketed as “virginity repair”; and a pair of knickers believed to have belonged to Eva Braun fetched $5,000 at auction.17 18 19 Illinois became the first state to bar police officers from lying to minors during interrogations, citing a high rate of cases that were eventually overturned as false confessions.20 Arguing that words such as “attack” and “bite” have created a culture of fear, shark researchers are trying to introduce the terms “interactions” and “negative encounters” in Australia, where there were eight negative encounters with sharks last year.21

A new book reported that Facebook, a descendant of a website on which college students rated whether women they went to school with were “hot or not,” has fired dozens of employees for abusing access to private data; in one case, an engineer accessed years of private messages and photos of a woman he had gone on a date with but who had stopped responding to him.22 President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil was hospitalized after having the hiccups for 10 consecutive days and was released after he was treated for a blocked bowel.23 24 “We just call it the variant,” said the CEO of Delta Air Lines, speaking of the Delta strain of the coronavirus.25 “Lord, we didn’t want to be in the news,” prayed a pastor whose megachurch runs a student-ministry camp where at least 125 people were believed to have been infected with the variant.26 “Maybe for serving or some extreme generosity, but not this.” In his first public appearance after an 11-day hospital stay, Pope Francis encouraged people to turn off their phones and take a break from the stresses of modern life.27Cameron French

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