Your Friday Evening Briefing

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1. President Biden’s climate and tax bill will begin to move through the Senate this weekend.

Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, the lone Democratic holdout on the package, said she would support the bill after Democratic leaders agreed to drop a $14 billion tax increase on some wealthy hedge fund managers and private equity executives that she had opposed. They also changed the structure of a 15 percent minimum tax on corporations and included drought relief money to benefit Arizona.

The bill still needs to clear hurdles before the Senate can pass it. With Republicans united in opposition, all Democrats in the 50-50 Senate have to vote for it before it can become law.

2. In a surprise, job growth in the U.S. soared in July.

U.S. employers added 528,000 jobs last month, the Department of Labor said, an unexpectedly strong gain that showed the labor market was not slowing despite higher interest rates, at least so far.

The impressive performance — which brings total employment back to its level of February 2020, just before the pandemic lockdowns — provides new evidence that the country has not entered a recession. But with the Federal Reserve pursuing an aggressive policy of interest rate increases, most forecasters expect the labor market to cool later in the year, as companies cut payrolls to match lower demand.

5. New York state health officials urged unvaccinated residents to get their polio shot “right away.”

6. Relatives and friends of the victims in the Parkland, Fla., shooting described their anguish.

The testimony was part of the agonizing trial in which a jury will decide whether Nikolas Cruz — who pleaded guilty to the shooting rampage that left 17 people dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018 — should be sentenced to death or to life imprisonment.

One by one, the relatives and friends described the depths of their despair since losing their loved ones four years ago. “The night no longer brings intimacy and comfort,” said Debra Hixon, the wife of Chris Hixon, the school’s athletic director who was killed in the shooting. “Just the loudness of the silence.”

The defense is scheduled to begin its case later this month.

In other courtroom news, a jury decided that the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones must pay the parents of a child killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting $45.2 million in punitive damages.


7. Now hiring: “chief heart officer.”

With the rise of remote work, new careers and job titles have sprung into existence, such as “head of team anywhere” and “vice president of flexible work.” The lasting power of these new positions has yet to be tested.

“People will try a lot of titles,” said J.T. O’Donnell, a career coach. “Some will fail because they’ll be too far out there. But ultimately you’ll see a lot of shifts.”

8. “The Sandman” is coming to TV.

Ever since Neil Gaiman wrote the first issues of “The Sandman” in 1989, fans have hoped for a screen adaptation. Now viewers can watch Morpheus, the king of dreams, and his supernatural siblings in Netflix’s take on the award-winning, genre-blending comic.

Gaiman said in an interview with The New York Times Magazine that “The Sandman” had endured because new generations “find it, and it’s their comic. It’s their story.”

In other news about August premieres, Abbi Jacobson, the star and co-creator of the series “A League of Their Own,” said she wants to tell stories about insecure people and then “what if the most insecure, unsure person is the leader?”

9. Stockholm instead of Rome? Intense heat waves are changing European vacations.

After more than two years of postponing their vacations, tourists are traveling to Europe this summer, only to be met with record-setting heat that will most likely worsen because of climate change.

But several people in the industry say a growing number of travelers are adjusting their plans to account for high temperatures by heading to coastal or northern destinations and booking trips in the cooler months of April, May, September and October.

In another climate concern, glass bottles may be perfect for aging wine, but making them requires an enormous amount of heat and energy.


10. And finally, a glimmer of hope for Loch Ness monster believers.

A discovery by researchers in Britain and Morocco added weight to the hypothesis that long-necked prehistoric reptiles known as plesiosaurs might have lived in lakes, rivers and oceans. The team found fossils of 12 plesiosaurs, proof that it was not just one plesiosaur that wandered into freshwater and then died there.

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