Your Wednesday Night Briefing – The New York Times


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Good evening. Here is the last Wednesday at the end of the day.

The Russian Defense Ministry said the new missile could deploy nuclear warheads at hypersonic speeds anywhere in the world, but needed further testing before deployment.

In Ukraine, the Air Force has stepped up operations after receiving US-coordinated deliveries of spare parts. But in the devastated city of Mariupol, citizens and soldiers sheltering in an abandoned steelworks have only a few hours left before it falls. They swore to fight to the “last drop of blood”.

President Biden met with top US defense officials a day after promising to send more artillery to help Ukraine. UN Secretary General António Guterres has asked to meet the leaders of Russia and Ukraine to discuss “urgent steps to bring peace”.

3. President Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen debated ahead of Sunday’s French presidential election.

But what they said might matter less than what some voters think of Macron: they hate him. A veteran political journalist called the level of hate “unprecedented.” This stems, he thinks, from the perception of Macron as an elitist. Le Pen herself takes every opportunity to remind voters of this during her campaign. She spoke at a rally of “words of power without empathy”.

The televised debate was crucial to Le Pen’s long quest to bolster his credibility and continue to soften his image. Macron was under pressure to defend a five-year record tested by a series of social and economic crises. Although polls show Macron holding the lead, it is possible that many French voters will simply stay home.

4. New Mexico regulators blamed the producers of the film “Rust” for the death of a director of photography, Halina Hutchins, who was shot during a scene in which actor Alec Baldwin had to draw a gun.

Hutchins was fatally shot on October 21 when the gun, which was not supposed to be loaded with live ammunition, detonated when Baldwin pointed it at the camera. Baldwin and other producers were named in lawsuits for damages.

The New Mexico Office of Occupational Health and Safety said the film’s producers “knew gun safety procedures weren’t being followed on set and showed complete disregard.” with regard to employee safety. The agency issued a penalty of $136,793, the maximum allowed.


5. An Ohio doctor has been acquitted of murdering his patients, who overdosed on the powerful opioid fentanyl.

The verdict, on 14 counts, ended one of the state’s most prominent murder cases, which has sparked a debate over end-of-life medical care.

The doctor, William Husel, was charged in 2019 after two hospital pharmacists raised concerns that he had prescribed unusually high doses of fentanyl to critically ill patients. Husel called it “comfort medicine” to treat patients with severe pain. Prosecutors said he abused sick patients.

6. Wimbledon will bar Russian and Belarus players from participating in this year’s tournament in London.

The ban, lifted due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Belarus’ support for war, would make Wimbledon the first Grand Slam tennis tournament to prevent individual athletes from playing. This would exclude a number of highly ranked players, such as Russian player Daniil Medvedev, defending US Open men’s singles champion and No. 2 player on the ATP Tour; and Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus, ranked 4th on the women’s circuit.

Wimbledon, which is due to start at the end of June, has left open the possibility of reviewing its position.

7. The pandemic has worsened New York’s “epidemic of loneliness.”

As some Covid restrictions are finally lifted and New York returns to some semblance of normality, one unknown is the lasting effects of two years of prolonged isolation and the loneliness that comes with it.

According to US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, loneliness is a public health crisis on the scale of the opioid epidemic or obesity. More people struggle with loneliness than diabetes, and it can put them at increased risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke and premature death. It can also increase the risk of depression and anxiety.

8. Inflation is wreak havoc on our travel budgets. Here’s how to strategize around it.

Many of us are hoping to get back on the road. But rising prices, job shortages and supply chain slowdowns are hitting the travel industry hard.

Our Frugal Traveler columnist explored flight, train, car, accommodation and other travel options to help circumvent budget restrictions. Among his suggestions: a Costco membership for better car rental deals; Train travel in Europe for economical travel and more environmentally friendly journeys; improved youth hostels or house-sitting instead of hotel rooms.

And #VanLife isn’t all it’s made out to be. A Times Magazine reporter has discovered that Instagram’s glorious photos don’t tell the whole story.

9. Believe it or not, Nicolas Cage is in on it.

He has long had a reputation as someone who “seems to want to set something on fire at any moment,” our colleague Sarah Lyall wrote in a profile. This version of Cage is resurrected in “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,” a film that celebrates and sends the actor off.

Cage, who won an Oscar for his role in “Leaving Las Vegas,” has appeared in more than 100 films, many of them decidedly not Oscar-caliber.

10. And finally, a Washington hotel that served as an influencer bazaar for Trump allies is about to close.

During former President Trump’s four years in the White House, the sprawling lobby of the Trump International Hotel became a popular gathering place for cabinet members, congressional Republicans, foreign interests and others seeking to access its administration.

Regulars included Rudolph Giuliani, the former mayor of New York and Trump’s personal attorney, as well as Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s former campaign manager.

The hotel is sold for $375 million to a Florida investment group that will drop the Trump name and rename it Waldorf Astoria.

Have a high-powered evening.

Hannah Yoon compiled photos for this briefing.

Your evening briefing is posted at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

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