Your Thursday Evening Briefing – The New York Times

Here’s what you need to know at the end of the day.

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Good evening. Here’s the latest at the end of Thursday.
1. Russian forces advanced deeper into southern Ukraine.
About one million people have fled the country during the first week of the war, and the U.N. predicted that 10 million Ukrainians — roughly a quarter of the population — could be displaced.
Mariupol, a port city on the Sea of Azov, continued to hold out despite a massive Russian bombardment that cut power, water and heat. After capturing the city of Kherson yesterday, Russian forces moved toward Mykolaiv, one of Ukraine’s three largest ports.
But Russia’s advance on the capital, Kyiv, appeared to be stalled for a third day. The Kremlin insisted the week-old campaign was “going according to plan.”
Our reporters spoke to Ukrainians making the long journey westward, enduring difficulties but also buoyed by the generosity of their countrymen. A day after Kyiv’s central railway station was damaged by a Russian missile strike, Ukrainians continued to pack into trains to escape the city.
2. Jerome Powell, the Federal Reserve chair, told senators that he would rein in inflation — even at an economic cost.
“We need to deliver price stability; we’re not currently doing that,” he said.
As Powell signaled that the Fed would raise interest rates this month by a quarter percentage point to tamp down the fastest inflation in 40 years, the war in Ukraine continued to drive volatility. Stocks gave up early gains, and oil prices briefly peaked at nearly $120 a barrel — a 10-year high.
3. There is sufficient evidence to suggest then-President Donald Trump and some of his allies engaged in a criminal conspiracy as he fought to remain in office, according to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
In a court filing in a civil case in California, the committee’s lawyers said they had accumulated evidence demonstrating that Trump and some of his allies could potentially be charged with criminal violations including obstructing an official proceeding of Congress and conspiracy to defraud the American people.
The panel, which is controlled by Democrats, has no authority to charge the former president — or anyone else — with a crime. But a criminal referral to the Justice Department against Trump and his allies could put pressure on Attorney General Merrick Garland to take up the case. The Justice Department has said little of substance about whether it might ultimately pursue a case.
4. Members of the Sackler family and their company, Purdue Pharma, have reached a bankruptcy settlement with a group of states.
If a judge approves the deal, the Sacklers would pay as much as $6 billion to help communities address the opioid crisis. In return, the family would secure an end to all current and future civil claims against them over the company’s prescription opioid business. The liability protection does not extend to criminal prosecutions.
The Sacklers’ shield against lawsuits was the major sticking point for states that had voted against an earlier settlement proposal.
Though Purdue has pleaded guilty to criminal charges of misleading marketing and minimizing OxyContin’s risk of addiction, no individual Sackler has ever apologized or admitted any wrongdoing.
5. A new report shows the inequities of Omicron.
Black New Yorkers were hospitalized with Covid-19 at more than twice the rate of white New Yorkers during the recent Omicron wave, showing that health disparities have widened during the pandemic.
Higher rates of underlying health conditions like diabetes and hypertension may be among the causes, along with varying exposure risk at work and at home and issues of access to medical care. But booster shots may have played an especially large role: Only 20 percent of Black New Yorkers overall had received one by early this year, and the rate among Hispanic New Yorkers was just a few percentage points higher, compared with more than a third of white New Yorkers and more than 50 percent of Asian New Yorkers.
Related: New C.D.C. data shows rural areas are increasingly lagging urban parts of the country in vaccinations.
6. Judge Jackson makes her case.
Ahead of her Supreme Court confirmation hearing on March 21, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is on a quest for broad support from a deeply divided Senate.
Jackson is making herself available to all members of the Judiciary Committee as well as other lawmakers. Senator Susan Collins of Maine, a Republican who voted to confirm the judge for a lower court in June, is scheduled to meet with her next week.
Most Republicans see Jackson, the first Black woman nominated to the court, as too liberal. But she has been confirmed by the Senate three times, including in June, when three Republicans backed her. Those votes are not assured this time around, but Democrats are determined to see her confirmed regardless.
7. Julia Fox is unfazed.
The actress, 32, has begun a new role as a living fashion advertisement, recently boosting Versace in Milan. Simultaneously, and more notoriously, she struck up a liaison with Kanye West in the midst of his messy divorce from Kim Kardashian.
However brief, the relationship gave Fox some of the same hypnotic and polarizing energy as West himself. By the time the six-week relationship ended on Valentine’s Day, Fox had soared to international fame, and even infamy.
“It’s not real,” she told our correspondent of online attacks, while discussing the rumors and questions about her time with West. “Believe it or not, Kanye’s not the most interesting thing that’s ever happened to me.”
8. Tombstone engravers are struggling to keep up with demand.
The Covid pandemic has created a grim boom for the artisans who stylize tombstones, work that involves chiseling, polishing, stacking, tagging, stenciling and sandblasting. But the memorial industry has been hugely disrupted — not just from increased demand but by supply-chain issues and labor shortages.
In New York City, a hub for monument production less than a century ago, the disruption may threaten to close the few remaining businesses.
9. Will Carnival’s show go on?
Rio de Janeiro has banned street parties at this year’s Carnival, saying that the roving bands known as blocos could fuel the city’s Omicron surge. But revelers are finding ways to keep the party going.
The authorities are monitoring social media for planned blocos and promising to break them up while allowing private, paid parties that can check for vaccinations. That has raised fears that Carnival, which created some of its lasting traditions at an explosive celebration after the 1919 Spanish flu, was becoming private and elite.
So on Friday, Carnival’s first official night, a resistance in glitter and leotards formed to stage its own festivities and make clear Carnival was on — though the police arrived, too.
10. And finally, renaming a moth, without the racism.
The Entomological Society of America unanimously voted last week to adopt the common name “spongy moth” for the species Lymantria dispar. It had been nameless for about eight months after the society nixed the former common name, “gypsy moth,” based on a term that many Romani people view as derogatory.
Suggestions for a new name were solicited from the public. Experts settled on a name that alludes to the moth’s fluffy, porous egg masses. The entomological community is also discussing whether to relabel insects named after geographic locations, like the Japanese beetle.
“I feel heartened,” said Margareta Matache, director of the Roma Program at Harvard University. “Romani people won an important victory today.”
Have a fluffy night.
Sean Culligan compiled photos for this briefing.
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