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Good evening. Here’s the latest.
1. President Trump visited Michigan, a key swing state where the virus has become a polarizing flash point.
As he toured a Ford plant, Mr. Trump again refused to wear a mask, despite the plant’s own guidelines and the urging of Michigan’s attorney general. He did wear one in a private area, he said, explaining, “I didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it.”
On Wednesday, Mr. Trump threatened to withhold federal funding from Michigan, where he is behind in recent polling, because it mailed citizens applications to vote by mail. But voting by mail is something most states allow, and which even some of the holdouts are now moving toward.
2. The U.S.’s failure to test for the coronavirus on a far broader scale stems at least in part from a fragmented health care system. Above, frozen coronavirus samples in Teterboro, N.J.
Our reporting found that hospitals and other medical providers were too bound by red tape to quickly switch from sending samples to overloaded for-profit testing centers, even though new labs offered ample capacity. Testing is now rising, with about 300,000 tests being carried out every day, but that may be only a third of what’s needed — or less — for society to safely reopen.
And we looked at the scientist taking charge of the Trump administration’s vaccine efforts: Moncef Slaoui, who has intricate ties to big pharmaceutical interests. His team will decide which candidates for vaccines and treatments receive federal backing.
The proposal reignited the fear, anger and protests over Beijing’s creeping influence in Hong Kong, and inflamed worries for the distinct political and cultural identity that has defined the semiautonomous former British colony since China reclaimed it in 1997.
The National People’s Congress, a largely rubber-stamp legislature, could approve the legislation when it begins meeting on Friday. Above, an unmasked President Xi Jinping at a preliminary meeting today with a national advisory group.
4. There is growing concern that many of the jobs lost during the pandemic will never come back. Above, Peaches Boutique in Chicago closed at the peak of formal wear season.
5. Dam failures in central Michigan on Tuesday have left much of the city of Midland under water, forcing about 11,000 people to evacuate and menacing more communities downstream with potential flooding.
The Edenville Dam was antiquated and had been the subject of lengthy federal investigations. Torrential rain broke it open, and the tide of water washed away homes and roads and damaged the Sanford Lake Dam, above. The waters could take days to recede, leaving uncertain the state of a Dow Chemical complex and a nearby Superfund site.
6. Paterson, N.J., a poor, largely nonwhite city of about 150,000, has been tracing the coronavirus at a level that could be the envy of larger cities.
Above, Dr. Paul Persaud, Paterson’s top health official, holding one of his weekly meetings with the city’s contact tracers. They work the phones, getting in touch with people who test positive for the virus and then notifying their recent contacts that they may have been exposed.
Contact tracing is a painstaking endeavor cities like New York are only now undertaking on a large scale. Paterson’s experience, and its dropping case rates, offer lessons.
7. Lori Loughlin and her husband agreed to plead guilty to charges in the nation’s largest-ever college admissions prosecution.
The actress has agreed to serve two months in prison, and her husband is expected to serve five for conspiring to get their daughters admitted to the University of Southern California as crew recruits. The couple, pictured above after a court proceeding last August, had spent months maintaining their innocence.
8. Our Book Review team has plenty of options for your summer reading lists.
We have picks for thrillers, historical fiction, sports, music, Hollywood, horror, romance and more. Let these titles entertain you, offer escape and stretch your horizons this season. You can find the complete guide here.
And perhaps now is the time to join a silent online reading party, or other virtual reading groups that take a once solitary, private act public.
9. For Spike Lee, the past is never simply the past.
With “Da 5 Bloods,” his new action-adventure tale about four black veterans, the filmmaker saw an opportunity to explore a side of the black experience of Vietnam that hadn’t been shown in cinema. He spoke with our pop culture reporter about the film, his beloved New York City and the divisions laid bare by the pandemic.
“Patriotism is when you speak truth to power,” he said. “It’s patriotic to speak out about the injustices in this country. That is being an American patriot.”
The filmmaker is pictured above, at home, in a photograph taken by his daughter, Satchel Lee.
10. And finally, chocolate that shimmers like a rainbow.
Food scientists and enthusiasts have been playing around with creating an iridescent sheen on chocolate, all with a little help from physics. The principle behind the magic is diffraction — when light interacts with a surface and is drawn or pulled apart. It’s similar to refraction, when white light is broken into a rainbow through a prism.
The secret is using a mold that has many uniform lines and edges. When the chocolate emerges, diffracted light becomes the dominant visible light, which creates the iridescence. It’s the same process that creates rainbows on the surface of a compact disc.