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Infrastructure, Glasgow, New York City Marathon: Your Weekend Briefing

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Here are the week’s top stories, and a look ahead.

1. A $1 trillion infrastructure bill is heading to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law.

With nearly $600 billion in new federal aid to improve highways, bridges, dams, public transit, rail, ports, airports, water quality and broadband over 10 years, the legislation is a once-in-a-generation chance to overhaul the nation’s public works system. This is where the states want billions spent.

The bill also designates $47 billion for climate resilience, the largest amount of money ever spent by the U.S. to prepare the nation to withstand the effects of climate change.

What makes the climate movement’s generational divide so pointed is that world leaders have been meeting and talking about the need to address climate change since before most of the protesters were born, with few results.


3. A federal appeals court in Louisiana temporarily blocked the Biden administration’s Covid vaccine mandate for large companies.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit granted a temporary stay to a group of businesses, religious groups and several states who argued that the administration had overstepped its authority when it directed big businesses to require their employees to be vaccinated by January. The judges cited “grave statutory and constitutional issues with the mandate.”

Despite signs that the economy is improving and the virus is waning, many Americans seem stuck in a pandemic hangover of pessimism. The malaise helped fuel a backlash against Democrats at the polls last week.

4. Officials in Houston are investigating what led to a crowd surge at a music festival that left eight people dead on Friday night.

Hundreds were injured when the crowd began pushing toward the front of the stage during a performance by the rapper Travis Scott. Panic and then desperation spread through the crowd of 50,000 mostly young people. The eight people who died ranged in ages from 14 to 27, according to city officials.

The crush of the crowd was so intense that it left no room to move, those who attended the Astroworld music festival said. “It was like hell,” a 17-year-old concertgoer said. “Everybody was just in the back, trying to rush to the front.”


5. An Atlanta district attorney’s criminal investigation into election interference by Donald Trump and his allies is heating up.

The prosecutor, Fani Willis of Fulton County, is said to be moving toward convening a special grand jury. Willis opened her inquiry in February and her office has been consulting with the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. But her progress has been slowed in part by the delays in the panel’s fact gathering.

Her inquiry is seen by legal experts as potentially perilous for the former president. In January, Trump asked Georgia’s secretary of state to reverse the state’s election result.

Separately, the F.B.I. searched the home of the Project Veritas’s founder as part of a continuing inquiry into the theft of a diary from President Biden’s daughter.

6. A seatbelt ticket. A cracked taillight. A broken headlight.

These minor offenses resulted in the deaths of unarmed motorists at the hands of police officers. In a Times investigation of traffic stops that left more than 400 people dead over the past five years, the police justified the shootings by arguing that the vehicle was a weapon.

In about 250 cases, The Times found that police officers had fired into vehicles that they claimed posed a threat. Relative to the population, Black motorists were overrepresented among those killed.

Over the past five years, nine officers have been fatally run over, pinned or dragged by drivers in vehicles. But in many instances, local police officers, state troopers and sheriff’s deputies put themselves at risk. Some officers who fatally shot motorists didn’t appear to be in any jeopardy at all, The Times investigation showed.


8. Star systems come in all shapes and sizes, but a particularly unusual system about 150 light-years away has scientists scratching their heads.

Astronomers have observed planets orbiting around a star’s poles instead of its Equator like Earth orbits the sun. But the peculiar system of the star HD 3167 has planets orbiting perpendicular in both the star’s poles and the Equator. It may be the first star system of its kind ever found.

9. With less than three weeks to go until Thanksgiving, why not start planning with the easiest part of the meal: the wine.

Since 2004, our wine critic, Eric Asimov, and fellow Food staff members have gathered to test which wines go best with a meal. A few of their guiding principles: Plan to have equal numbers of both reds and whites, and figure one bottle per drinking person (you won’t run out, and that’s the most important thing). Here’s this year’s guide.

For dinner tonight, try this homemade version of Stouffer’s mac and cheese. Our Food columnist Eric Kim describes the dish as “the platonic ideal” of a household staple.


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