First Thing: Delta Covid variant rampaging through US


The highly contagious Delta variant of Covid-19 is galloping across America and accounts for 83% of all sequenced cases in the US, 一种 top federal health official said on Tuesday.

“This is a dramatic increase, up from 50% [在] the week of 4 七月,” Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said in Senate testimony.

Walensky also said Covid fatalities had risen by nearly 48% over the past week to an average of 239 一天.

The French president, Emmanuel Macron, is one of more than a dozen world leaders whose mobile numbers were found in a leaked database for clients of NSO Group, the Israeli spyware firm, 这 Guardian’s Pegasus project can reveal.

The South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa, and the Pakistani prime minister, 伊姆兰·汗(Imran Khan), are also listed in the data, which includes diplomats, military chiefs and senior politicians from 34 国家. The appearance of a number on the leaked list does not mean it was subject to an attempted or successful hack, but the list is believed to be indicative of individuals who were regarded as persons of interest by government clients of NSO.

NSO said Macron was not a “target” of any of its customers, meaning the company denies he was selected for surveillance using Pegasus, its spyware. The company added that the fact that a number appeared on the list was in no way indicative of whether that number was selected for surveillance using Pegasus. But the list is believed to be indicative of individuals identified as persons of interest by government clients of NSO.

Congressman Bennie Thompson, the chairman of the new House select committee to scrutinize the Capitol attack, says he will investigate Donald Trump as part of his inquiry into the events of 6 January – a day he sees as the greatest test to the US since the civil war, my colleague Hugo Lowell writes.

Bacon is bad for us, it has been found again, as the largest ever analysis of research into the impact of meat consumption on cardiac health concluded that consuming processed meat raises the risk of heart disease by a fifth. Just eating 50g of processed meat, including bacon, ham and sausages, increased the risk of heart disease by 18%, while there was no link found between heart disease and eating poultry, such as chicken and turkey.

The fashion rental industry has challenged the findings of a recent high-profile report that suggested renting clothes is “less green than throwing them away”, due to the environmental impacts of transportation and dry cleaning. “We believe that rental needs scrutiny to make it as ‘green’ as possible, but we’re worried that encouraging people to throw clothes away doesn’t help the industry, let alone the planet,” said one sustainable fashion boss.

Men’s spending on goods causes 16% more climate-heating emissions than women’s, although both sexes spend very similar amounts, a Swedish study has found. The biggest difference was men’s spending on petrol and diesel for their cars, with researchers saying this emissions gap should be recognised in action to tackle the climate crisis.

It won’t be the first royal memoir, but there’s no doubt that the British royal establishment is clutching its pearls right now. Whatever Prince Harry’s book will bring to light, if Oprah’s interview with the Sussexes is anything to go by, Buckingham Palace will be in for a shock.

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