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Tuesday Briefing: Floods Pummel Beijing

Fierce rain and flooding pummeled Beijing yesterday, killing at least two people as the downpour triggered landslides and swept away cars on the city’s outskirts. The authorities issued a red alert for what they warned was the heaviest deluge in years.

The intense rain, which is expected to last until today, prompted Beijing to close tourist attractions — like the Forbidden City. But the worst effects have been felt in the city’s outer districts, where downpours overwhelmed riverbeds that usually stay dry for much of the year.

Details: Authorities said that more than 5,000 people were evacuated from their homes in the Mentougou District of Beijing, and a video shared by news outlets showed cars being swept down a swollen river.

Cause: The rains were provoked by a mass of moist air that was pushed northward by a recent typhoon, Chinese meteorologists said. Climate change is making severe floods likelier and more intense.

The Myanmar military’s campaign of terror, which began after a coup sparked widespread resistance, is getting worse, a Times investigation found. There were nearly twice as many military airstrikes reported in April, May and June as in the first three months of the year.

The escalation of attacks against civilian targets comes as the opposition takes more land. As opposition forces have done so, the military has resorted to increasing air attacks — many of which have hit civilians.

Context: The military is trying to punish civilians for any perceived support of the opposition, one expert said. Since the coup in February 2021, the military and its allies have killed at least 3,452 people, according to the U.N.

Russian attacks yesterday killed six people in Kryvyi Rih, Ukraine, the hometown of President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The strikes followed a warning from Zelensky that attacks in Russia would ramp up. A Times analysis showed that at least three different Ukrainian-made drones have been used in attacks inside Russia, including against Moscow.

As the waters around Florida break temperature records, the mass coral bleaching taking place throughout the Keys is the most severe in the state’s history, experts said. Now teams are racing to move the corals out of the sea and into tanks on land to save what genetic material and young corals they can.

Lives lived: Paul Reubens, the comic actor who created Pee-wee Herman, died at 70.

The market for collectibles like baseball cards and comic books has been heated of late. In April, a rare Pokémon card sold for $300,000 and last year a copy of Superman No. 1 sold for $5.3 million.

Assembling a collection can be a lifelong project, but when collectors die, their families often struggle to know what to do with the items. Sometimes, they offload them onto a local comic book store or pawnshop, and may only get a fraction of what the rare coins or action figures are worth. Many collectors keep a mental log of their wares, but they would be wise to maintain a physical list and address their collections in their wills.

“More times than I can remember, a spouse or child has said to me, ‘If he wasn’t dead, I’d kill him all over again for leaving me with this mess,’” the president of an auction house said.

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Mohammad SHiblu

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