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Good evening. Here’s the latest.
1. A very busy day on Capitol Hill.
In testimony before Congress, three former top Capitol security officials and the chief of the Washington, D.C., police blamed federal law enforcement and the Defense Department for intelligence failures ahead of the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol and for slow authorization of the National Guard as the violence escalated.
“None of the intelligence we received predicted what actually occurred,” former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, above, told senators who are investigating security failures related to the attack, adding, “These criminals came prepared for war.”
Elsewhere in the Capitol, President Biden’s cabinet picks were under the spotlight.
Representative Deb Haaland, the interior secretary nominee, said she would enact “President Biden’s agenda, not my own agenda” when pressed on her opposition to fossil fuels. Mr. Biden’s nominee for health secretary, Xavier Becerra, pledged to work to “restore faith in public health institutions” as Republicans sought to paint him as a liberal extremist.
2. Jerome Powell, the chair of the Federal Reserve, had a warning for lawmakers: The economic recovery is “far from complete.”
In testimony to the Senate Banking Committee, Mr. Powell said that the “path ahead is highly uncertain” and reiterated that the central bank planned to keep up its growth-stoking policies, which include rock-bottom interest rates and large-scale bond buying.
It’s a renewed pledge from Mr. Powell at a pivotal time, as Democrats try to move a $1.9 trillion relief package through Congress. Republicans argue it’s too big and could lead to inflation that hurts consumers and businesses. Markets, which have been wobbly over the past few days, erased a large decline to close in positive territory after his remarks.
3. The Rochester officers who put a mesh hood over the head of a Black man last year won’t face charges in his death, New York’s attorney general said.
The March killing of the man, Daniel Prude, touched off intense protests in that city and others months later. Mr. Prude, who was having an apparent psychotic episode, had to be resuscitated after officers pinned him down for two minutes. He died in the hospital a week later.
Public records showed that the Rochester Police Department sought to conceal the circumstances of Mr. Prude’s death.
4. A variant first discovered in California is more contagious than earlier forms of the coronavirus, two new studies showed. Above, a vaccination site in Los Angeles.
The findings fuel concerns that emerging mutants could blunt the sharp decline in new cases in the state and perhaps elsewhere. Some experts said the new variant was concerning but unlikely to create as much a burden as the variant that originated in Britain, where it swiftly became the dominant form of the virus and overloaded hospitals there.
Separately, federal regulators told Pfizer and BioNTech that they plan to approve the companies’ request to store their vaccine at standard freezer temperatures instead of requiring ultracold conditions. The move could expand the number of sites that could administer shots.
5. Syria’s economy has reached a crisis point nearly a decade into the nation’s civil war.
This month, the Syrian pound reached an all-time low against the dollar on the black market, decimating the value of salaries and jacking up the cost of imports. Food prices have more than doubled in the past year, and 60 percent of Syrians are at risk of going hungry. Most Syrians now devote their days to finding fuel to cook and warm their homes, and some women are selling their hair to feed their families.
At a private meeting, President Bashar al-Assad was asked about the country’s economic crisis, which now poses a significant threat to his regime. He had no concrete answers, but he did float the idea that television channels should cancel cooking shows so as not to taunt Syrians with images of unattainable food.
6. Tiger Woods suffered multiple leg injuries and went into surgery after crashing his car in Los Angeles County on Tuesday morning, his agent and the authorities said.
Woods was conscious when emergency workers arrived at the site of the crash just after 7 a.m., where Woods’s car had rolled off the road, officials said. The police said they did not believe Woods’s injuries were life-threatening. The area is known as a perilous stretch of road for drivers in Southern California.
Woods, 45, has not played competitively since December and had his fifth back surgery in January.
7. Just when you thought the chicken sandwich wars were over, here comes McDonald’s.
After a lengthy testing process, including 20 varieties of buns, this week McDonald’s will release a fried chicken sandwich on a potato roll (a first for the company) with creamy butter and two pickles, packaged in a foil bag.
The release comes as fast-food chains like Chick-fil-A and Popeyes have been vying for chicken supremacy. One trade group estimated that 2.6 billion chicken sandwiches were sold in the U.S. last year.
“We’ve been clamoring for it,” one McDonald’s franchise owner said.
8. Frances McDormand had fantasized about turning her back on Hollywood, changing her name and setting off in an R.V. Then “Nomadland” let her play out that dream.
The result is a kind of performance that McDormand has never given before, one that has less to do with acting and more to do with simply being. The actress aimed for a character that felt borrowed from her life without giving up her privacy. “That’s why it works,” she told The Times in a rare interview.
“Nomadland” is up for several Golden Globes this weekend. The show is hosted by the Hollywood Foreign Press, a group of 87 members courted by stars and studios for highly coveted votes. Here’s a closer look at the show’s curious niche in the entertainment industry.
9. Lawrence Ferlinghetti, the poet and publisher who nurtured the Beat movement from his famed San Francisco bookstore, City Lights, died at age 101.
An unapologetic proponent of “poetry as insurgent art,” Mr. Ferlinghetti, pictured in 1957, befriended, published and championed many of the major Beat poets, including Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso and Michael McClure.
In other news from the book world, “Klara and the Sun,” the eighth novel by Kazuo Ishiguro, is one of the most anticipated titles of the year. The Nobel laureate portrays a near future in which artificial intelligence has encroached on every sphere of human existence. Radhika Jones, the editor in chief of Vanity Fair, says Ishiguro has mastered the theme of obsolescence. Read her review.
And Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state and first lady, will soon add one more title to her résumé: fiction writer.
10. And finally, Mongolia’s eagle hunters.
Deep in the Altai Mountains, where Russia, China, Kazakhstan and Mongolia meet, Kazakh people have for centuries developed and nurtured a special bond with golden eagles, training the birds to hunt foxes and other small animals. The ancient custom, traditionally passed down from father to son at a young age, is considered a great source of pride.
Claire Thomas, a war and conflict photographer, explores the relationships between animals and the people who depend on them in the latest edition of The World Through a Lens.
“If my eagle feels bad, I feel bad,” one hunter said. “If she’s happy, I’m happy. When we go to the mountains, we share everything together.”
Have a soaring night.
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