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Good evening. Here is the latest at the end of Friday.
1. Russia expands its attacks on Ukraine as the invasion enters its third week.
Missile strikes hit three Ukrainian towns today that had so far not suffered major attacks, including Dnipro in central Ukraine and Lutsk and Ivano-Frankivsk in the southwest . A Ukrainian official said Russian forces also shelled civilian areas in the strategic port city of Mykolaiv.
Russia’s main target remains the capital, Kiev. Satellite imagery of a mile-long convoy north of the city indicates Russia is repositioning its forces for a fresh assault there. Russian forces could encircle Kiev in one to two weeks, a US official said, although the battle for the Ukrainian capital could take a month or more.
The human toll continues to rise. The UN said at least 564 civilians had been killed and another 982 injured by Russian forces so far. This number is likely to be much higher. Ukrainian officials say the death toll in the besieged southern city of Mariupol alone is 1,552, but shelling makes it impossible to fully count the dead.
2. President Biden said the US would join the EU and other allies end normal trade relations with Russia.
3. Two years ago today, the World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus outbreak to be a pandemic.
That day, the NBA suspended its season and actors Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, his wife, announced that they had contracted the virus. In the days that followed, Broadway shuttered, stock markets plunged, and schools and businesses closed. The known toll in the United States as of March 11, 2020 was 1,263 cases and 37 deaths; today it is more than 79,000,000 known cases and more than 960,000 deaths.
4. The pandemic has spawned $5 trillion in federal spending — the largest flood of government money into the US economy in recorded history.
The money was intended for households, family shops, restaurants, airlines, hospitals, local governments, schools and other entities in the country struggling with Covid-19. Economists largely credit these financial jolts with helping the U.S. economy recover quickly: The pandemic recession was the shortest on record, lasting just three months.
But much of the money is just beginning to flow to communities, which have until 2026 to spend it. Fierce debates have erupted over priorities and who has the power to set them.
5. The Texas agency that investigates child abuse has been notified prioritize cases involving parents of transgender children and to investigate them without exception, a supervisor testified.
Randa Mulanax of the Department of Family and Protective Services told a Texas court that reports of parents providing puberty blockers, hormones or other medically accepted treatments to their transgender children were treated differently from other child abuse reports. children. Agency staff were also told not to put anything in writing about the cases, she added.
His testimony came at the start of a hearing on whether investigations into families with transgender children should be halted statewide. That’s how a Texas couple’s custody battle over their transgender child paved the way for a state order.
6. Democrats seek to revamp their message ahead of a tough midterm election season.
Worried that the accomplishments they helped bring to Biden will be drowned out by concern over rising gas prices and a focus on their legislative failures, Democratic lawmakers are looking to the president for help to reframe the conversation. But in remarks delivered at a party retreat on Friday, Biden did not specify how he planned to help them.
Democrats are now imploring Biden to act through executive action to resolve outstanding issues that concern them before facing voters in November.
Separately, Nikki Haley, the former UN ambassador under President Donald Trump, used a well-timed endorsement to side with her former boss. Or did she?
7. Alec Baldwin gave his most detailed account yet of the fatal murder of a cinematographer on the set of “Rust”.
A new legal filing for the actor says Halyna Hutchins, the cinematographer who was killed on set, “directed Baldwin to hold the gun higher, to a point where it was aimed at her” during of a repetition.
“In giving and following these instructions, Hutchins and Baldwin shared a fundamental and vital belief: that the weapon was ‘cold’ and contained no live ammunition,” the filing states. He then described the confusion and horror after Hutchins was inadvertently shot.
The details were revealed in an arbitration request Baldwin’s attorneys filed today against his fellow producers, claiming his contract shielded him from financial responsibility for his death and seeking legal expense coverage for multiple lawsuits in which Baldwin is named.
8. Pompeii evolves with the times.
Previously, visitors flocked to the ancient ruins of Pompeii in Italy mainly to see dazzling frescoes in grand mansions, preserved in tons of ash from a volcanic eruption that destroyed all life in the city. Today, the 2,000-year-old archaeological site also examines gender, race and social class – and uses technology to protect the site from climate change.
9. Salmon that doesn’t smell good on the stovetop is at hand.
Genevieve Ko was inspired by her daughter’s new home in Ireland and crafted this salmon and potato dish to keep her ventless kitchen from smelling like harbor on a humid day. She came up with a stovetop method that’s faster than cooking salmon but yields a similar silkiness.
If you cook on an induction cooker, you may be in the minority – for now. But as the environmental dangers of cooking with gas become more apparent, cooks have even more reason to turn to flameless, easy-to-clean ranges, writes Melissa Clark.
10. And finally, if he could go back in time…
Daylight saving time begins on Sunday in the United States, as the clocks move forward one hour and we gain an extra hour of daylight. In Britain, France and Germany, the clocks change on March 27. Most Americans dislike this disruptive ritual — and perhaps none more so than Marvin Schneider, the New York watchmaker.
In addition to his work on many other city-owned watches, he is responsible for changing the century-old gears in City Hall and the Brooklyn Borough Hall clock that he once considered his worst enemy. Schneider, 82, set his clocks “to the nearest 10 seconds” using an Omega wristwatch. These days, he also uses a cell phone to “get very, very close.”
“Not a Luddite,” he said.
Enjoy the extra sun this weekend.
Eve Edelheit and Jill Foley photos compiled for this briefing.
A programming note: Today will be my last evening briefing for a few months as I head to the sports office for a report. You will be in good hands with my colleagues. Thank you as always for ending your day with me.
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