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Steve Bannon, Booster Shots, Fall Gardens: Your Thursday Evening Briefing

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

1. The House voted to find Steve Bannon in criminal contempt for stonewalling the investigation into the Capitol riot. The Justice Department will decide whether to prosecute.

The vote of 229 to 202, mostly along party lines, came after Bannon, a former adviser to Donald Trump, refused to comply with a subpoena from the House select committee investigating the riot, declining to provide the panel with documents and testimony.

The move came after a bitterly partisan debate over the Jan. 6 attack, and as Republicans sought to deflect questions about Trump’s role in the violence.

In other news out of Washington, Texas’ attorney general urged the Supreme Court to leave the state’s restrictive abortion law in place, saying that the federal government was not entitled to challenge it.

2. A C.D.C. panel recommended extra doses of the Moderna and the Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccines.

On the question of mixing and matching vaccines, the advisory committee said that people should stick to the same vaccine they received initially, but it conceded that some people might do otherwise because of their preference or availability of the vaccines.

The committee recommended that people who have been immunized with the J.&J. vaccine to receive a second dose of that vaccine at least two months after the first dose, and that booster doses of the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccines should be administered six months after completion of the original inoculations.

If the director of the C.D.C., Dr. Rochelle Walensky, signs off on the committee’s recommendations — as she is expected to — tens of millions of Americans could seek out a booster shot as early as tomorrow.

In the U.K., cases, hospital admissions and deaths are all rising again. The surge mostly reflects the waning efficacy of the vaccines, one expert said. So far, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has rejected calls to reimpose measures.

3. Climate change is likely to increase global conflict and instability, spur migration and heighten military tension, U.S. agencies warned.

The reports, issued by the departments of Homeland Security and Defense as well as the National Security Council and director of national intelligence, form the government’s most thorough assessment yet of a warming world, and how it will address those challenges.

The release of the documents comes less than two weeks ahead of COP26, the major climate conference in Glasgow, and seems intended to give President Biden an opportunity to demonstrate that his government is acting on climate change even as his climate agenda is stalled in Congress.

4. “If they say, ‘Stay home,’ you stay home. If they say, ‘Go out,’ you can go out. It’s terror.”

That’s Marie Yolène Gilles, the head of a local human rights group, about the power held by gangs in Haiti. Gangs have long held sway in the country, but their dominance has expanded in recent years and the government has been accused of using them as tools of repression.

The most notorious gang member is the former police officer Jimmy Cherizier, known as Barbecue, who now runs the G9 gang. The brazen kidnapping of 17 people with an American missionary group over the weekend, believed to have been carried out by a rival gang called 400 Mawozo, underscored the increasing power of Haiti’s gangs.

As negotiators worked to secure the release of the hostages, kidnappers released a video threatening their lives.

5. For decades, Democrats have rallied to give government the power to negotiate drug prices. Their efforts may fail yet again.

Senior Democrats insist that they have not given up the push to grant Medicare broad powers to negotiate lower drug prices as part of the climate change and social safety policy bill that is slowly shrinking. But with at least three House Democrats and at least one Senate Democrat against it, government negotiating power appears almost certain to be curtailed.

The Biden administration and congressional Democrats are moving toward dropping their push to raise corporate and individual income tax rates to pay for the sprawling domestic policy bill, instead drafting a plan that includes new ways to tax the wealthy and multinational corporations.

6. The Federal Reserve announced sweeping new limits on trading by senior Fed officials after repeated criticism of its ethics rules.

Senior Fed officials will not be allowed to hold individual stocks. They will be limited to purchasing diversified investment vehicles like mutual funds. During periods of heightened financial market stress, the Fed will declare official trading blackouts.

The Fed has grappled with fallout from trades made by regional reserve bank officials during 2020, when markets were in turmoil and the central bank was active in rescuing them.

In other markets news, the S&P 500 closed at a record, rising for a seventh straight day. Small signs of progress from Washington helped end a multiweek malaise.

7. Conservatives are using fears of critical race theory in classrooms to drive school board elections — with an eye toward energizing the Republican base in the 2022 midterms.

Republicans say critical race theory — an academic framework that views racism as ingrained in law and other modern institutions — has invaded classrooms. Teachers’ unions and some educators say that some of the initiatives are simply efforts to teach history and civics.

By one measure, there have been 80 school board recall efforts against 207 board members in 2021. The issue has torn apart one Wisconsin suburb in particular.

9. What do a fearsome dinosaur, ancient horses and kidneys have in common? Our Science desk have all of them in their sights.

We’ll start 200 to 250 million years ago. That’s when a set of fossilized footprints from a birdlike, two-legged predator formed in what is now Australia. Scientists initially believed they were the tracks of a giant carnivorous dinosaur, but a new analysis shows that the prints belonged to a smaller, meeker herbivore no taller than a person.

Moving to Europe, a team of scientists analyzed 273 ancient horse genomes and concluded that modern horses were domesticated around 4,200 years ago in steppes around southern Russia. And in case you missed it, a kidney grown in a genetically altered pig was found to work normally after surgeons in New York attached it to a human patient.

10. And finally, your garden has things to say. Listen now.

For David Culp, a longtime garden designer, fall garden walks are especially informative. He looks for opportunities to enrich areas of his garden, perhaps by building around a dominant leaf color borrowed from the changing canopy trees, and then adding echoing perennials closer to the ground.

Our garden expert, Margaret Roach, spoke to Culp about catching the garden before its visual cues degrade. Take a notebook, pen and camera phone and jot down a list of what didn’t go so well, plants that did make the grade or an area that needs more attention. It’s an opportunity to “build from your strengths in wintertime,” he said. “Ask, ‘What’s my strongest element then?’ and build from that. As in every season, in every layer, flesh out the pictures.”

Have a flourishing night.

Bryan Denton compiled photos for this briefing.

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

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