Your Monday Evening Briefing – The New York Times

(Want to get this newsletter in your inbox? Here’s the sign-up.)

Good evening. Here’s the latest at the end of Monday.

1. A sixth Memphis police officer was suspended in connection with the death of Tyre Nichols.

The Memphis Police Department said today that Officer Preston Hemphill had been placed on administrative leave in connection with Nichols’s death. According to the police report, Hemphill used a stun gun that hit Nichols in the torso shortly after another officer had pulled over Nichols on Jan. 7.

Others involved in the encounter have also been taken off duty. The Memphis Fire Department suspended two of its emergency medical technicians who treated Nichols, and two Shelby County sheriff’s deputies have been relieved of duty, pending investigations.

2. The U.S. secretary of state visited Israel amid a turbulent moment for the country.

After a meeting today with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, Antony Blinken, the American diplomat, expressed America’s “steadfast support” for Israel. But he also reiterated America’s support for a two-state solution with the Palestinians and emphasized the importance of “core democratic principles and institutions,” an apparent reference to Netanyahu’s proposed judicial reforms.

3. Prosecutors began presenting evidence to a grand jury about Trump’s role in a 2016 hush money case.

The panel began hearing evidence today in a case that centers on Donald Trump’s role in paying hush money to the porn star Stormy Daniels during his 2016 presidential campaign, laying the groundwork for potential criminal charges against the former president.

The decision by the Manhattan district attorney to present evidence to the grand jury represents a dramatic escalation in an inquiry that once appeared to have reached a dead end. But a conviction is not a sure thing, in part because the case could hinge on showing that Trump falsified records to hide the payout days before the 2016 election.

4. Convicts are returning to Russia after fighting in Ukraine.

Since July, around 40,000 inmates have joined Russian forces, recruited by Wagner, Russia’s largest private military company. The convicted soldiers were promised freedom for their service. 

Thousands of them have been killed, Russian rights advocates have said. But dozens have begun filtering back to Russia this month, potentially confronting Russian society with the challenge of reintegrating thousands of traumatized men with military training, a history of crime and few job prospects.

In other news from the war, President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine asked allies to speed up delivery of important weapons.

5. The Fed is expected to raise rates — but more slowly — this week.

Most economists expect Federal Reserve officials to raise their interest rates by a quarter point after their meeting on Wednesday. The moderating speed of increases will give officials time to assess how high rates need to rise and how long they need to stay elevated to fully wrangle inflation. The answers will help to determine how much damage the Fed inflicts on the labor market and broader economy in its quest to control price increases.

In other economic news, many on Wall Street believe that the Treasury Department will “prioritize” payments on its bonds in order to avoid a default on U.S. debt. But that untested idea has significant flaws, making it less of a bulwark against disaster than many are counting on.

Also, the used-car boom is coming to an end.

6. What will Representative Matt Gaetz do with his new powers?

Gaetz, who has built a reputation as a far-right political arsonist adored by the Trump wing of the G.O.P., joined a group of Republican insurgents who wangled significant political power by delaying the appointment of Kevin McCarthy as House speaker. What he plans to do with his new clout has become a matter of intense speculation in Washington.

“I am not some ‘Lord of the Flies’ nihilist,” he told our colleague Robert Draper. His chief aim, he said, is to bring egalitarianism to a legislative process dominated by lobbyists and powerful committee chairmen. But he was cagier about how he intended to use his influence on issues like funding for Ukraine and the debt ceiling.

In other political news, here’s a look at some of what the nation’s new governors have done in their first weeks in office.

7. Want to know if the metaverse is the future? Take a look at South Korea.

The Korean entertainment industry — typically the world’s testing ground for all things technological — has embraced the virtual world far more than in the U.S. One company is developing a K-pop band that exists only in cyberspace, and popular Korean “virtual influencers,” who look real but aren’t, promote very real brands, like Chevrolet and Gucci.

But while South Korea may be “leagues ahead” when it comes to synthetic pop stars, whether its companies take a leading role as the metaverse evolves “is an open question,” one expert said.

9. How long does it take to get fit again?

When it comes to cardiovascular fitness and muscle strength, the adage is true: Use it or lose it. Taking weeks or months off from regular exercise can undo many of the health benefits of an active life, in a phenomenon known as fitness loss.

But retaining those benefits can be simple. For example, you can use “fitness snacks” when there’s no time for lengthier sessions. And, while everyone is different, getting back in shape is easier for lapsed exercisers than the habitually sedentary.

In other fitness news, cleanses and detoxes might make you feel better, but not for the reasons you may think.

10. And finally, remembering Mohandas Gandhi.

Gandhi helped lead India into its independent future less than a year before he was gunned down by a Hindu nationalist. His concept of nonviolent resistance to fight injustice has inspired political movements around the world.

Source link