July 22, 2024

The leadership of the Writers Guild of America is expected to vote today on a contract deal reached with major studios that could end one of Hollywood’s longest labor disputes and move the industry closer to restarting.

After 146 days on strike, the guild got most of what it wanted, including increases in compensation for streaming content, concessions from studios on minimum staffing for television shows and guarantees that artificial intelligence technology will not encroach on writers’ credits and compensation.

If the contract deal reached Sunday night is approved by the guild’s leadership, the 11,000 writers who are members of the guild will then vote to ratify it. Late-night and daytime talk shows could return.

But much of Hollywood will remain at a standstill: Tens of thousands of actors remain on strike, and no talks were scheduled, though a deal with screenwriters could speed up those negotiations. In addition, more than 100,000 behind-the-scenes workers (directors, camera operators and many others) will continue to stand idle.

Ukraine’s military said yesterday that it had killed the commander of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, along with 33 other officers, in a missile attack last week. If confirmed, the losses would be among the most damaging for the Russian Navy since the sinking of the fleet’s flagship last year.

There was no immediate comment from Moscow’s Defense Ministry, and Ukraine’s claims could not be independently verified. The commander of the Black Sea Fleet, Adm. Viktor Sokolov, is one of the most senior officers in Moscow’s navy.

Ukraine’s special operations forces said the missile strike on Friday had struck the fleet’s headquarters in the Crimean city of Sevastopol while officers were holding a meeting.

Other developments in the war

The outbreak of dengue fever is the most severe in the country’s history, the authorities said, with infections from the mosquito-borne virus spreading quickly from rural areas and straining the already overwhelmed hospital system in the capital, Dhaka.

Yesterday, the authorities said they had recorded 909 dengue-related deaths this year through Sunday, compared with 281 in all of 2022.

Laden with debt it couldn’t pay back, Greece nearly broke the eurozone a decade ago. Today, it is one of Europe’s fastest-growing economies. Tourists are flocking to the country, and credit rating agencies have been upgrading their appraisal of its debt, opening the door for large foreign investors.

Plant breeders in the U.S. are working on several new crops that could change how we eat in a fast-warming world.

Cherries usually need a month of cool weather to grow properly, but a new variety can handle the heat. Cauliflower is extremely vulnerable to direct sunlight, but new varieties essentially have built-in sunscreen — don’t worry, you can’t taste it.

Melons are usually a thirsty crop, but two new versions have been bred to handle droughts. Potatoes, which one researcher said are facing an “existential threat,” may soon be able to deal with extreme heat and flooding. There’s even a new, climate-friendly avocado.

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