Your Wednesday Evening Briefing – The New York Times

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

1. “We’re bleeding out, and you’re not there.”

The survivors of the mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo gave emotional testimonies before Congress. They took place hours before a planned House vote on gun control measures, including legislation to prohibit the sale of semiautomatic rifles to those under 21. Democrats hoped the survivors’ stories would increase pressure on the Republicans against gun control. Republican opposition makes it all but certain that the measures will fail in the Senate.

During the testimonies, Republicans in the room appeared unmoved and reiterated their earlier positions on guns. “Evil deeds do not transcend constitutional rights,” Representative Andrew Clyde of Georgia said. Senator John Cornyn of Texas insisted in an interview that any change “has to be incremental.”

Some of Russia’s claims could not be verified, and Ukrainian officials did not comment. But the announcement shows that Russia is working to cement its hold over territory it has seized in the south even as it wages a destructive war in the east.

In other war news, U.S. intelligence officials have more information about Russia’s military operations than they do about Ukraine’s, which could make it difficult to effectively direct military aid.

3. In Tuesday’s primaries, the establishment struck back.

In San Francisco, voters overwhelmingly chose to recall Chesa Boudin, the progressive district attorney who had promised to do away with traditional “tough-on-crime” policies. In Los Angeles, Rick Caruso, the billionaire developer and Republican-turned-Democrat who campaigned on cleaning up the city, is headed to a runoff against Representative Karen Bass, a Democrat and the former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. The results suggest law and order will be a potent political message this year.

Other takeaways: In New Jersey, name recognition matters. Thomas Kean Jr., a Republican and the son of a former governor, and Robert Menendez Jr., a Democrat and the son of a sitting senator, each won a House nomination. And House Republicans’ votes on creating a bipartisan commission to investigate the Capitol riot still count. For instance, Representative Michael Guest, who voted for the commission, was forced into a runoff in Mississippi. Take a look at the results in all seven state primaries.

4. The monkeypox virus can be airborne, similar to the coronavirus.

Experts said in interviews that while airborne transmission is only a small factor in the overall spread of monkeypox, there are no firm estimates regarding how much it contributes.

In briefings with the press and with the general public, health officials have not explicitly addressed the possibility of airborne transmission or the use of masks for protection.

In other health news, Moderna released preliminary trial results indicating that a new version of its coronavirus vaccine was especially effective against the Omicron variant. The C.D.C. estimates that two Omicron subvariants are gaining ground in the U.S.

Neither he nor Ivanka Trump, his wife and the president’s daughter, believed the election was stolen, according to people close to them. Rather than staying to fight, they prepped their move to Florida. Beforehand, Kushner focused on tying up Mideast peace accords, worked on the presidential transition and secured a $2 billion investment in his private equity firm from Saudi Arabia, a move now under investigation by a House committee.

Kushner was interviewed by the House committee investigating the attack, as was Ivanka Trump. Video excerpts from both of their testimonies may be aired.

Also from Washington, rapid price increases have become a liability for President Biden, as officials discover that there is no good way to talk to voters about inflation.

6. Search crews in Brazil are scouring an area in the Amazon for a journalist and an expert who disappeared three days ago.

Bruno Araújo Pereira, an expert on Indigenous groups in Brazil, and Dom Phillips, a British journalist, have not been seen since Sunday, when they made their way home from a research trip in the Javari Valley.

The Javari Valley is an isolated Indigenous reserve plagued by illegal fishing, hunting and mining, all problems exacerbated under President Jair Bolsonaro, who has cut government funding.

Phillips and Pereira were traveling with Indigenous groups patrolling the river and faced threats before they disappeared. The men have not been found, but state officials said today that they were questioning a suspect.

7. In the abortion debate, language matters.

The word “women” is often absent from contemporary progressive discussions on pregnancy and abortion rights. For instance, the C.D.C. has a section on “Care for Breastfeeding People,” and some city and state health departments offer “people who are pregnant” advice on “chestfeeding.”

These descriptions are intended to include people outside traditional gender roles. But advocates for reproductive rights worry that such terminology could alienate people as the Supreme Court appears poised to overturn a constitutional guarantee to abortion rights.

8. Is the theater world era of “sacred monsters” finally ending?

The Times theater critic Jesse Green examined longstanding abuses and inequities in the performing arts. For too long, he writes, bad behavior has been considered a cost of greatness, with the end justifying the means.

The industry has tolerated bullies, exploiters and terrible working conditions. It has treated those of a certain race or class or lacking in connections as outsiders. Pointing to renowned teachers and directors like Konstantin Stanislavski, Elia Kazan and Bob Fosse, Jesse cites casting couch auditions and sheer nastiness. In this time of #MeToo and Black Lives Matter, he calls for a new way of doing things.

In related news, British authorities authorized indecent assault charges against Harvey Weinstein for an incident involving a woman in 1996 in London.

9. These aren’t your father’s Celtics.

The Boston Celtics are one of the greatest dynasties in professional basketball, tied for a record 17 championship titles with the Los Angeles Lakers. The Celtics, who face the Golden State Warriors in Game 3 of the N.B.A. finals tonight at 9 p.m. Eastern time, could soon win another championship.

These Celts are different from the stars of bygone eras, like Larry Bird and Bill Russell, but “the fan base in Boston is presumably finding this team of throwback bruising defenders all the more relatable and is more united than ever,” our columnist Harvey Araton writes.

Separately, more than 90 women who said they were sexually assaulted by Lawrence Nassar, the former doctor for U.S.A. Gymnastics, filed lawsuits against the F.B.I. for failing to investigate him.

10. And finally, this trio of stars may steal the show — from the dinosaurs.

Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum are reuniting for the first time since Steven Spielberg’s 1993 dinosaur epic; “Jurassic World Dominion,” the sixth film in the franchise, opens Friday. In a recent conversation, the co-stars chatted about how important their initial chemistry was in the original movie sensation and how quickly they refound it.

The three actors have proved as potent a selling point as all the special effects. “Dinosaurs are the bit players, albeit awesome ones.” Neill said.

Have a blockbuster evening.

Eve Edelheit compiled photos for this briefing.

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

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