The U.S. Aims to Boost Electric Truck Sales

The Biden administration today announced a new environmental regulation that forces manufacturers of heavy trucks to quickly transition their new vehicles to electric power or other low-pollution technologies.

Together with a similar regulation on passenger cars issued last week, the new rules represent the administration’s most significant effort to transform the transportation industry, which is the nation’s largest source of fossil fuel emissions.

The new rule does not mandate the use of electric motors, but rather sets increasingly strict emissions limits across manufacturers’ production lines. Officials project that it will increase the percentage of new nonpolluting long-haul trucks sold in the U.S. from 2 percent to as much as 25 percent by 2032.

But that won’t be cheap or easy. The shift to electric trucks lags far behind the adoption of electric personal vehicles, in part because electric eighteen-wheelers can cost two or three times as much as a diesel truck and require large, heavy batteries that reduce the truck’s capacity. Also, there are currently only 5,000 charging stations in the U.S. capable of serving heavy trucks, far fewer than what truckers say would be required to make the transition.

For German leaders, support for Israel has long been considered a “Staatsräson,” or national reason for existence, as a way of atoning for the Holocaust. But some officials there have begun to question whether their backing of Israel’s campaign in Gaza has gone too far.

The change in tone is partly a response to fears that Israel will go ahead with its planned invasion of the Gazan city of Rafah — a concern that U.S. officials share.

One year ago today, Russian authorities detained Evan Gershkovich, a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, and accused him of spying for the U.S. government. He is the first American reporter to be held on espionage charges in Russia since the end of the Cold War. The U.S. and The Journal vehemently deny the accusations, but this week his detention was extended for another three months.

Vladimir Putin recently said that he would consider trading Gershkovich in a prisoner swap, but my colleague Valerie Hopkins, who covers Russia and knows Gershkovich, said his future is still uncertain. “It’s incredibly difficult to make any kind of agreement at this time,” she told us. “Not a day has gone by when I’m not thinking about what he might be doing.”

For more: We talked to Gershkovich’s parents about their experience.

Across the country, an estimated 26 percent of public school students were considered chronically absent during the last school year, up from 15 percent before the pandemic. That spike, educators said, suggests that something fundamental has shifted in American childhood and the culture surrounding school. “Our relationship with school became optional,” one expert said.

Absenteeism has increased in districts big and small, and across income levels and races. But poor communities are facing an even bigger crisis: Around 32 percent of students in the poorest districts of the U.S. were chronically absent during the 2022-23 school year.

  • Syria: Airstrikes near Aleppo killed a number of soldiers, state news media reported, in what appeared to be one of the biggest Israeli attacks in the country in years.

  • Baltimore: President Biden said he would travel to the city next week after the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

  • Markets: The S&P 500 has risen more than 10 percent over the first three months of 2024, with 22 record highs since January.

  • Health: The F.D.A. warned that a heart pump used as a temporary implant had been linked to 49 deaths, but allowed the device to remain in use.

  • Housing: Arizona is facing a dire shortage of affordable housing, and it’s sowing economic anxiety among voters.

  • Education: Applications to Harvard were down this year, even as applications to many other highly selective schools hit record highs.

  • Wildlife: In a move to protect whales, Polynesian Indigenous groups signed a treaty that recognizes them as legal persons.

  • Arts: Louis Gossett Jr., the first Black man to win the Oscar for best supporting actor, for his portrayal of a drill instructor in “An Officer and a Gentleman,” died at 87.

You might not always recognize it, but the literary allusion is ubiquitous. Consider the recent major novels “Birnam Wood” and “Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow.” Both borrowed their titles from “Macbeth.”

While it’s common now, this kind of appropriation seems to be a relatively modern phenomenon, our critic A.O. Scott writes. You may even be surprised by how often allusions appear. Take our quiz to see how many literary references you can recognize.

If you look around this weekend, you’ll notice that cute bunnies are everywhere: in chocolate, in children’s toys and even at the White House. But it wasn’t always this way. Early versions of the Easter Bunny were enigmatic and omniscient figures, as likely to punish a naughty child as reward a good one.

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