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Matthew Cullen and
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Good evening. Here’s the latest at the end of Tuesday.
1. The F.B.I. interviewed top White House lawyers about Trump’s handling of classified materials.
Pat Cipollone and Patrick Philbin, the White House counsel and his deputy, are the most senior people who worked for Trump who are known to have been interviewed by investigators in connection with sensitive documents that were stored at Trump’s residence in Florida after he left office.
This summer, at least one Trump lawyer signed a statement saying that material with the classified markings had been returned, but officials then used a subpoena to obtain surveillance footage from Mar-a-Lago, and saw something that alarmed them. They also received information that more material might still remain there.
The former president repeatedly resisted entreaties from his advisers about the material. “It’s not theirs, it’s mine,” several advisers say Trump told them.
Related: The Times examined some of the false and misleading statements made by Trump about the F.B.I.’s raid of his Florida home.
2. Huge explosions rocked a Russian ammunition depot on the occupied Crimean Peninsula.
The blasts were another embarrassing blow to Moscow’s forces a week after explosions at a Russian air base in the same region destroyed several fighter jets. A senior Ukrainian official said that an elite military unit was responsible for the latest attack. Russia’s Defense Ministry said the episode was an “act of sabotage.”
The apparent use of covert forces behind enemy lines underscored the inventiveness of Ukraine’s forces and their ability to hit targets in Crimea, a critical staging ground for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Related: The U.S. and other countries are taking action that could officially label Russian diamonds as “conflict diamonds.”
3. Primary elections were held in Wyoming and Alaska today, with significant ramifications for the Republican Party.
Three of the best-known women in Republican politics — Liz Cheney, Sarah Palin and Lisa Murkowski — were on the ballot. In Wyoming, Cheney appears all but certain to lose her seat in the face of a furious Republican backlash against her role investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol and her public opposition to Donald Trump.
In Alaska, which is rolling out open primaries and ranked-choice elections, former Gov. Sarah Palin is trying for a comeback in the open race for the state’s sole representative in Congress. And Senator Lisa Murkowski is in a re-election fight against an opponent endorsed by Trump, whom she voted to impeach.
4. Biden signed Democrats’ sweeping climate and tax bill into law.
The bill, meant to reduce health costs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and raise taxes on corporations and wealthy investors, represents America’s largest-ever investment to fight climate change.
The legislation, negotiated by Chuck Schumer of New York, the Senate majority leader, and Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, would allocate about $490 billion for spending and tax cuts and raise about $764 billion in new revenue.
In other political news, top Congressional Democrats accused the Department of Homeland Security watchdog of refusing to cooperate with the Jan. 6 inquiry and blocking employees from testifying.
5. Prosecutors are struggling to catch up to one of the largest frauds in American history.
As the pandemic shuttered businesses and forced people out of work, the federal government sent a flood of relief money to help the newly unemployed and to boost the economy.
But those dollars came with few strings and minimal oversight. They went to the incarcerated, the imaginary and the dead; “farms” that turned out to be front yards; to 342 people who said their name was “N/A.”
Now, prosecutors are trying to track down people who defrauded pandemic-era programs. But with about only 500 people working on millions of cases, officials have conceded that some small-dollar thefts may never be prosecuted.
Other virus news:
The Marshall Islands in the Pacific, which was almost completely spared from the pandemic, is confronting an outbreak.
Seven years after the Zika epidemic began, families in Brazil are struggling to care for children suffering from the aftereffects of the virus.
Public health officials have a clear message for parents worried about polio found in wastewater in New York City: If your children are vaccinated, they are safe.
6. Hearing aids will soon be sold over the counter.
The Food and Drug Administration moved today to make the devices available to adults without a prescription for the first time, a long-sought wish of consumers frustrated by expensive exams and hearing aids. As soon as October, people with mild to moderate hearing loss should be able to buy hearing aids online and in retail stores.
About 30 million Americans are estimated to have experienced hearing loss, but only about one-fifth of them get help. The changes could upend the market, which is dominated by a relatively small number of manufacturers, and make it less costly and perhaps more innovative.
7. A Catholic order vowed last year to raise $100 million to atone for slave labor. Sixteen months later, cash is only trickling in.
At the time of the promise by the Jesuits, church leaders and historians said it would be the largest effort by the Roman Catholic Church to make amends for the buying, selling and enslavement of Black people in the U.S. But only about $180,000 in small donations have flowed into the trust the Jesuits created in partnership with a group of descendants whose ancestors were enslaved by the Catholic priests.
“It is becoming obvious to all who look beyond words that Jesuits are not delivering in deed,” Joseph Stewart, president and chair of the Descendants Truth & Reconciliation Foundation, wrote to the order’s worldwide leader. “The bottom line is that without your engagement, this partnership seems destined to fail.”
8. Taiwanese cooking offers delicious complexity amid a tense political moment.
The food of Taiwan, a self-governing island, is often subsumed under the umbrella description of Chinese. For China’s government, which seeks unification, the conflation is convenient.
But Taiwan’s cuisine has been shaped by many cultural forces, including the island’s Indigenous tribes, Japanese colonial rule and Chinese refugees. It’s distinct and difficult for many Americans to pin down.
Tony Tung, a Taiwanese chef, said she sees the confusion as an opportunity to deepen customers’ context and appreciation for Taiwan. As threats of violence from the Chinese government and a recent visit from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi grab headlines, Taiwanese food can illuminate nuances obscured by the news.
9. One of the country’s oldest rodeos is in … New Jersey?
Tucked along the rural western flank of a state better known for suburban sprawl, mobster stories and highways, Cowtown Rodeo has held rodeo competitions nearly every week since 1955. No other rodeo in the U.S. has held a weekly show for that long.
Contestants compete in eight events that recall rodeo’s origins as a competitive showcase for ranching skills. Women can compete in any event, and the family-owned business has passed the reins to a fifth generation: Katy Harris Griscom, Cowtown’s first female boss.
About 40 miles north, a construction-themed amusement park allows children to experience the pleasures of heavy equipment firsthand.
10. And finally, ruffles are making a comeback.
Long considered out-of-style, ruffles and their close cousin chintz — the often bright floral fabric with a glossy finish — are returning, partly in rebellion to the minimalist aesthetic that has dominated interior design.
For many, the revival evokes flashbacks of the excesses of the 1980s, when ruffles were more often featured in the living rooms of high society. Even the once-ruffle reluctant are favoring the trend: Nina Long and Don Easterling, interior design partners, said that the 30-something-year-old children of longstanding clients have requested the style that they grew up with.
Have a classy night.
James Gregg compiled photos for this briefing.
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