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Today’s top stories
President Biden spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Saturday and raised concerns about civilian casualties in Gaza and the bombing of the building that housed AP and other media offices, according to Israeli officials.
The big picture: At least 140 Palestinians, including dozens of children, have been killed in Gaza since fighting between Israel and Hamas began Monday, according to Palestinian health officials. Nine people, including two children, have been killed by Hamas rockets in Israel.
The Associated Press and Al Jazeera on Saturday condemned the Israeli airstrike that destroyed a high-rise building in Gaza that housed their and other media offices.
What they're saying: The White House, meanwhile, said it had "communicated directly to the Israelis that ensuring the safety and security of journalists and independent media is a paramount responsibility," according to press secretary Jen Psaki.
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A group of high-profile scientists published a letter calling for renewed investigation into the origins of COVID-19 — including the theory that it spilled out of a virology lab.
Why it matters: The possibility that SARS-CoV-2 was created in a Chinese lab and accidentally escaped — rather than emerging naturally from an animal — was initially dismissed as a conspiracy theory. But the letter shows a potential lab leak is increasingly being taken seriously.
- Health: Fauci: Unvaccinated kids must wear masks in school this fall — New CDC mask guidance tests risk tolerance.
- Politics: Pelosi says masks will still be required on House floor, despite CDC guidance.
- Vaccines: Unvaccinated Hispanic Americans are more likely to say they want a shot ASAP.
- Business: How retailers are responding to the latest CDC guidance — Delta to require all new employees be vaccinated.
- World: Taiwan raises COVID-19 alert level amid surge in cases.
- Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Colonial Pipeline resumed normal operations on Saturday after a ransomware attack forced the pipeline to shut down last week, the company announced.
Why it matters: The pipeline is now delivering fuel to states that had experienced gas shortages at the same capacities as before the extortion scheme hit the critical pipeline, which runs from Texas to New York and carries roughly 100 million gallons of fuel per day.
An Israeli airstrike on Saturday flattened a high-rise building housing media offices for Al Jazeera, the AP and others in the Gaza Strip.
Driving the news: The attack came nearly an hour after the Israeli military warned the building's owner that it was going to bombed and asked for it to be evacuated.
The Biden administration on Monday announced that it will fully implement the International Entrepreneur Rule (IER), an Obama-era program that lets certain foreign-born entrepreneurs stay in the U.S. for up to five years.
Why it matters: The Department of Homeland Security estimates that once implemented, about 3,000 foreign entrepreneurs would qualify per year for the IER program, resulting in about 100,000 jobs being created over a decade.
The U.S.' sharply declining rate of population growth threatens to put an expiration date on a country built around a vision of endless reinvention.
The big picture: Fewer people means fewer workers to support an aging population, fewer innovators with new ideas, less economic growth — and more of one thing: political fights over a shrinking pie.
Some Republican governors have found themselves at odds with their own party over a record number of bills targeting transgender children.
Why it matters: Social conservatives see a winning issue in bills to restrict trans students' participation in sports and access to health care, but the sudden push has met resistance even from some staunch conservatives.
A Chinese lander carrying a rover successfully touched down on Mars for the first time, state media reports.
Why it matters: This is the first time China has landed a spacecraft on another planet, and it launches the nation into an elite club of only a few space agencies to successfully make it to the Martian surface.
The United Nations warned Friday that ongoing fighting between Israel and Hamas "has the potential to unleash an uncontainable security and humanitarian crisis," in not only the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel, but "the region as a whole."
The big picture: More than 125 Palestinians, including 31 children have been killed in Gaza since fighting began Monday, per the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Eight people, including two children, have been killed in Israel, Reuters reported, citing Israeli authorities.