President Joe Biden met with Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday in the pair's first face-to-face meeting since Biden assumed office. Originally scheduled for about five hours of talks, the meeting reportedly lasted around three hours from start to finish. Biden and Putin held about 65 minutes of one-on-one discussions before a larger group of officials from both sides joined the meeting.
Among the topics reportedly covered, Russia's role in an increasing number of
cyberattacks against US companies and infrastructure was denied by Putin. The jailing of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was also raised, with Putin invoking the Black Lives Matter movement as justification for cracking down on domestic dissent. Bident and Putin held separate press conferences following the meeting.
See key moments of the day here, and photos from the summit here.
Food Shortage in North Korea
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un admitted yesterday the country faces a critical food shortage, while addressing the possibility of extended COVID-19 restrictions as he opened the third plenary session of the Korean Workers’ Party. Kim blamed the shortage on reduced agricultural output largely due to typhoons and flooding last summer. He also blamed sanctions against the country for nuclear weapons development.
The shortage comes as the impoverished country is facing a larger economic crisis due to border closures during the pandemic and US sanctions. Kim shut down the country’s borders with China last year, the country responsible for almost 90% of North Korea's trade, due to the pandemic. Analysts say the economy shrank as much as 10% in 2020—the worst since the 1990s. However, Kim claimed in the meeting that the economy is on its way up.
The country has continued to ignore calls from
the US and allies to resume denuclearization talks.
Cosmic Mystery Solved
Astronomers have solved a yearslong mystery, according to a study published yesterday, revealing why one of the sky's brightest stars dimmed over the past year. Referred to as Betelgeuse—located on the right shoulder of the constellation Orion—the star periodically dims by about a quarter of its intensity every 425 days. Last February, the red supergiant (see overview) baffled observers when it lost roughly two-thirds of
The dimming fueled speculation the star was in the process of becoming a supernova, the explosive process certain stars undergo when they die. New high-resolution images reveal the mechanism is more mundane—expelled, cooled gas likely condensed into dust, blocking light coming from the star.
The star's name is pronounced the same as the movie "Beetlejuice," but the celestial designation came first; the eponymous main character was originally named after the star.
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ANNOUNCING GLAM SPARKLING ROSÉ
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>Golf's 121st US Open begins today from Torrey Pines, California;
see full preview and schedule(More) | Former University of Michigan athletes call on state attorney general to investigate hundreds of complaints of sexual abuse by team doctor (More)
Science & Technology
>Podcasting giant Spotify launches Greenroom, a live audio app meant to be a competitor to Clubhouse (More)
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Business & Markets
>US stock markets slide (S&P 500 -0.5%, Dow -0.8%, Nasdaq -0.2%) as Federal Reserve keeps interest rates unchanged, but is likely to raise interest rates by late 2023, sooner than previously expected (More)
>General Motors expands investment target in electric and autonomous vehicles through 2025 to $35B (More) | Waymo–Alphabet’s (Google) autonomous driving startup–raises $2.5B to advance its technology and grow the team (More)
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>Department of Education issues guidance requiring transgender and gay students be afforded Title IX protections (More) | What is Title IX? (More)
>House approves Senate-passed bill marking June 19 as a federal holiday; known as Juneteenth, the day commemorates the 1865 emancipation of slaves in Galveston, Texas, under the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation (More)
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Are We Ready for Hybrid Work?
Microsoft | Staff. The tech giant reveals its own findings on how the pandemic has shifted the nature of work, and how employers must adapt to keep pace. (Read)
A Hole in the Head
MIT Press Reader | Charles Gross. A fascinating history of trepanation, one of the world's oldest surgical procedures. The procedure—essentially punching a small hole in someone's skull—was long believed to cure a variety of ailments, provide psychological benefits, or even release evils spirits. (Read)
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Historybook:Battle of Bunker Hill fought (1775); Statue of Liberty arrives in New York as gift from France (1885); HBD tennis star Venus Williams (1980); HBD rapper Kendrick Lamar (1987); OJ Simpson arrested for murder following police chase (1994).
"You have to train your mind as much as your body."
- Venus Williams
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