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Fed, Waukesha, Thanksgiving: Your Monday Evening Briefing

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

1. President Biden will renominate Jerome Powell, the Federal Reserve chair, to another four-year term.

Lael Brainard, a key Fed governor whom many progressive groups had championed to replace Powell, will be his nominee for vice chair. The president is betting that they are well positioned to try to rein in inflation without undoing the robust job market, and the move ensures policy continuity at a moment of economic uncertainty.

Inflation has walloped Biden’s approval ratings, and polls show that Americans are deeply dissatisfied with the economy despite low unemployment, a booming stock market and strong wage growth.

Many powerful Democrats, as well as Republican lawmakers, expressed support for the renomination, saying it would keep the central bank on a steady course.

But Senator Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat, said that she would not vote to confirm Powell, citing “failures on regulation, climate and ethics.”

2. This will not be the post-pandemic Thanksgiving that Americans had hoped for.

More than 90,000 coronavirus cases are being reported each day in the U.S., comparable to early August, and more than 30 states are seeing sustained upticks in infections.

Federal medical teams have been dispatched to Minnesota to help at overwhelmed hospitals. Michigan is enduring its worst case surge yet. Even New England, where vaccination rates are high, is struggling; Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire are trying to contain major outbreaks.

Across the Atlantic, European governments are toughening their antivirus measures in the face of soaring infection rates and popular resistance, with violent protests over the weekend in numerous countries.

The German health minister, Jens Spahn, warned that by the end of this winter, “just about everyone in Germany will probably be either vaccinated, recovered or dead.”


3. A Milwaukee man faces five counts of first-degree murder in the deaths at a parade in Waukesha, Wis.

Darrell Brooks Jr., 39, was charged after authorities said he drove into a Christmas parade on Sunday, killing at least five adults and injuring more than 40 others.

The dead ranged in age from 52 to 81, the police said, and included two members of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies, which has been a fixture in local parades for nearly four decades.

At least nine of the injured were in critical condition, and 18 were children, including three sets of siblings.

Brooks, who has faced an array of charges over the past 22 years, was freed on Nov. 11 on $1,000 bail after being accused of trying to run over the mother of his child. Today, the Milwaukee district attorney said the bail recommendation was “inappropriately low” and was being investigated.


4. The jury is expected to begin deliberations tomorrow in the trial over Ahmaud Arbery’s killing, after the prosecution’s final rebuttal.

Three white Georgia men are accused of killing Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man, after they suspected him of committing a series of break-ins in their neighborhood in South Georgia in February 2020.

Defense lawyers concluded their final statements today, arguing that the three men were trying to make a legal citizen’s arrest, and that one of them, Travis McMichael, 35, fired in self-defense.

The killing was widely viewed by the public as an act of racial violence. Yet during 10 days of testimony, jurors heard no discussion of race or allegations of bigotry. The accused still face a federal hate crimes trial, which is set for February.


5. An investigation found “overwhelming evidence” of sexual harassment by former Gov. Andrew Cuomo while he was in office.

The eight-month inquiry by the New York State Assembly also found that he abused his power to help produce what would become a $5.1 million pandemic memoir.

The findings reinforce a damning investigation by the state attorney general that concluded that Cuomo had sexually harassed 11 women, including a former aide whose allegation of groping is now the subject of a criminal complaint.

The 46-page report also found that Cuomo “was not fully transparent regarding the number of nursing home residents who died as a result of Covid-19.”


6. Russia targets a prominent rights group — and the country’s historical narrative.

The Kremlin is taking aim at Russia’s most prominent human rights organization, Memorial International.

The group, which preserves the memories of those persecuted in the gulags of the former Soviet Union, grew in the period after the bloc’s collapse, when free expression could flourish. For Putin, that era represents the time in recent history when Russia was at its weakest.

Now, prosecutors are moving to liquidate Memorial International’s archive and human rights center. Activists and dissidents consider the threat a watershed moment, a sobering example of the government’s determination to silence its critics and sanitize its history.


7. The Obama presidential library fund just got a big boost.

The Amazon founder Jeff Bezos promised a donation of $100 million, the largest yet for the Obama Foundation.

In return for the donation, Bezos asked that a plaza at the Obama Presidential Center be named for the civil rights leader John Lewis, who died last year.

The foundation broke ground on the center — which will include Barack Obama’s presidential library, a museum, an athletic center and more — this year.

8. Robert Bly, the Minnesota poet, author and translator, died at age 94.

He began his career by galvanizing protests against the Vietnam War in the 1960s.

His most famous work was “Iron John: A Book About Men,” published in 1990, which made a case that American men had grown soft and feminized and needed to rediscover their primitive virtues. It was on The Times’s best-seller list for more than a year.

He also wrote more than 50 books of poetry, translations, and nonfiction commentaries on literature, gender roles and social ills.

Also in books: The editors of the NYT Book Review have selected the 100 notable books of 2021.


9. It’s beginning to look a lot like Thanksgiving.

  • This year’s Thanksgiving feast could be the most expensive meal in the holiday’s history. Here’s why.

  • Wine is the supporting player that will make things taste (and feel) better. Use our easy, no-sweat guide to find the right bottle.

  • And here are NYT Cooking’s best Thanksgiving recipes. (NYT Cooking is included with print and some digital subscriptions. If you have a basic subscription, you need to upgrade to get full access.)


10. And finally, “an Indiana Jones mixed with Jurassic Park moment.”

That’s how a research scientist put it after examining an unlikely find from a search for new deep-sea species off the coast of Monterey, Calif.: a mammoth tusk 3,000 feet beneath the ocean’s surface.

Preliminary estimates suggest that the mammoth may have died during the Lower Paleolithic over 200,000 years ago, a poorly understood era of Earth’s history.

The accidental discovery suggests that the ocean floor could be covered in paleontological treasures that will add to our knowledge of the deep past.

Have a rejuvenating evening.


Angela Jimenez compiled photos for this briefing.

Your Evening Briefing is posted at 6 p.m. Eastern.

Want to catch up on past briefings? You can browse them here.

What did you like? What do you want to see here? Let us know at briefing@nytimes.com.

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