Here are the headlines you Need2Know for Wednesday, June 30, 2021:


Moderna said its vaccine is highly effective against the Delta variant, days after Pfizer’s vaccine was also shown to offer strong protection against the more contagious strain -- provided you don’t skip the second dose. Efforts to bring back mask guidance are gaining steam in some places, after both the WHO and L.A. County urged people to mask up, regardless of vaccination status. Israel is reinstating mask mandates for public indoor spaces and large outdoor gatherings despite having one of the best vaccination rates in the world. Four Australian cities are under new lockdowns and Malaysia has extended its national lockdown due to Delta's spread. NY TIMES


The rescue teams at the site of the Surfside condo collapse are holding out hope that they will find survivors amid the rubble as the 24/7 operation enters its 7th day. The Surfside building official who signed off on the building’s condition in 2018 has been placed on leave. The president and first lady will visit the area tomorrow. More stories are emerging about the survivors, including Iliana Monteagudo, 64, who essentially outran the collapse down six flights of stairs. There are heartbreaking stories about the victims, too, like Marcus Guara, a South Florida native and devoted dad to two young daughters. They remain among the missing. MIAMI HERALD


The New York City mayoral race has been thrown into chaos after the city’s Board of Elections flubbed the latest reporting of the ranked-choice votes. The BOE reported that Eric Adams, who had been significantly ahead in the Democratic primary, was hanging on to a much smaller lead with 120,000 absentee ballots still to be counted. Then those results mysteriously vanished from the website, followed by a statement from the Board acknowledging that it accidentally included 135,000 test ballots and had to start over. The series of events has led to confusion and distrust about the ranked-choice voting process and the city’s electoral system. REUTERS


The U.S. military commander in Afghanistan warned that the country could soon devolve into civil war once American boots are off the ground for good. Gen. Austin Miller held a rare press conference from Kabul as the Pentagon is expected to complete the withdrawal in the coming days. Several hundred troops are expected to stay behind to guard diplomatic facilities and the international airport. CNN


The speed of the rebound in post-pandemic air travel is forcing the airline industry to stake its bets on the future. United Airlines placed its largest order ever for new planes -- 270 aircraft, split between Boeing and Airbus -- and plans to create 25,000 unionized jobs by 2026 as it increases domestic capacity by 30%. The new fleet will feature more premium seating, bigger overhead bins, faster Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. United’s CEO said the airline is betting that business and international travel will come back “100%.” AXIOS


Remember Aeropostale? The shopping-mall stalwart of the late 90’s that went bankrupt five years ago is hot again, thanks to some shrewd marketing and a social media campaign focused on Gen Z. Aeropostale says its crop tops have been flying off the shelves, lifted by a viral TikTok trend of girls showing off their favorite #tinytops. Aero has also gone big on denim, literally. The company says it realized early that Gen Z had no interest in skinny jeans, so it pivoted hard to baggier styles that now make up the brand’s top category. GLOSSY


Serena Williams exited Wimbledon in the first round due to a leg injury, putting her chase for the Grand Slam record on hold again. Williams appeared to slip and twist her ankle in the first set of her opening match against Aliaksandra Sasnovich before limping off Centre Court in tears. AFP


Netflix will now allow viewers to watch partially downloaded content while offline, addressing an annoyance of travelers who forget to download a full episode or movie before their flight/commute. The feature is only available on Android for now, but Netflix says it will come to iOS soon. VULTURE


...Prince William, Princess Kate and Prince George among the crowd watching England put away archrival Germany in the Euro: SEE PICS

...the trailer for the movie version of Clifford the Big Red Dog, who is indeed very big, very red, and very computer generated: WATCH

...the full trailer for the Sopranos prequel, The Many Saints of Newark, featuring the first extended look at Michael Gandolfini as a young Tony Soprano: WATCH


Gwen Goldman fulfilled her childhood dream of being a bat girl for the New York Yankees, six decades after the team turned her down because she was a girl. Goldman wrote to the Yankees manager in June 1961 when she was 10 years old explaining why she’d be a good bat girl. The response from the manager was a polite but firm ‘no’: “I am sure you can understand that it is a game dominated by men. A young lady such as yourself would feel out of place in a dugout." That request made its way to the current manager, who granted Goldman her request at the age of 70. She threw out the first pitch for Monday’s game: WATCH

Listen to the N2K Podcast! Looking for more context and analysis on the big stories of the day? Check out our podcast! Hosts Jill and Carlo break down the headlines, every weekday morning Listen on Apple or Spotify, or watch on YouTube, and send us your feedback!

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