Ukraine, Omicron, Best Songs of 2021: Your Tuesday Night Briefing
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Have a good evening. Here is the latest at the end of Tuesday.
1. President Biden has warned President Vladimir Putin against heavy economic sanctions if Russia invades Ukraine.
Biden also said that in response, NATO could reposition its troops and that an invasion would end Russia’s hopes of completing a major Russian gas pipeline to Europe, steps he said would work well in the future. – beyond what the West did after Russia annexed Crimea seven years ago. The high-stakes virtual meeting came as tens of thousands of Russian troops gathered along the Ukrainian border, raising fears of an invasion.
2. The US surgeon general has warned of a “devastating” mental health crisis among young people, made worse by the pandemic.
The post was part of a rare public advisory from the nation’s top doctor, Dr Vivek Murthy, in a 53-page report noting that the pandemic has escalated mental health issues that were already prevalent in the spring of 2020. The report cited significant increases in self-reported depression, anxiety, and emergency room visits for mental health issues.
We visited a low-income children’s clinic in Charlotte, North Carolina, where treatment for health conditions that went unchecked during the pandemic is in greater demand than injections of the coronavirus.
In other virus news:
3. Americans’ savings during the pandemic are shrinking.
The injections of public funds avoided an economic calamity and supported the bank balances of millions of households. But many low-income Americans find that their savings are shrinking or even being depleted. The decline in liquidity reserves has broad implications for the working class and could dampen consumer spending.
The Fed has spent the past two years trying to prop up the economy. But the new focus on inflation, which is increasing at its fastest rate in 31 years, could limit the central bank’s ability to cushion any blow Omicron might bring to US growth and the job market.
5. French police have arrested a man in connection with the assassination of dissident writer Jamal Khashoggi.
But a Saudi official said the arrest was a case of mistaken identity, and French authorities have warned they are still checking they have the right person. The man, identified as Khalid Alotaibi, 33, was arrested at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport north of Paris on the basis of an international arrest warrant issued by Turkey, just before he board a flight to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
A man by that name is accused of being a member of the team that killed Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018.
6. A new safety concern at Tesla: Drivers can play video games in moving cars.
The automaker added the games in a software update that was sent to most of its cars this summer. Video games can be played by a driver or by a passenger in full view of the driver, raising new questions about whether Tesla compromises safety as it rushes to add new features. Tesla’s autopilot system has been the subject of criticism for years.
In other tech news, changes are coming fast and furiously at airports, including advancements in biometrics that can verify the identity of passengers and shorten security procedures for those opting for the programs. Here is what you need to know.
7. The assault on a French women’s football star made headlines. But what if the story was wrong?
It has been three weeks since Aminata Diallo, a Paris Saint-Germain midfielder, was questioned by police as a possible suspect in what they had suggested was an orchestrated attack on her teammate, Kheira Hamraoui. Diallo has repeatedly denied any involvement, but the police refused to exonerate her.
The Times interviewed nearly a dozen people with direct knowledge of the attack. As details emerge – on marital infidelity; on charges involving other team members; about reports of threatening phone calls to gamers denigrating the victim before she was attacked – the initial account of the assault has been overturned. And now no one really knows what or who to believe.
8. One posthumous political statement. A hyperpop star who finds his marks. The first smash of an emerging force. Remake 10 minutes of a superstar.
These are among the 66 songs that tell the story of 2021, selected by three of our music critics. Not all good songs are on the best albums of the year – they have been discussed here. They are on TikTok. They’re on YouTube or on TV. They hide in shady corners of the internet, waiting to be dug up.
We’ve also rounded up 21 things that happened for the first time this year. Among them: a human brain was connected wirelessly to a computer; National Geographic cartographers have recognized the world’s fifth ocean; and the world’s first 3D printed school opened in Malawi.
9. Utah soda stores, which sell hundreds of sparkling variations, can pop into a neighborhood near you.
Mixed carbonated drinks made from flavored syrups, fresh fruits and creams have seen rapid growth in the Mountain West over the past decade, reaching a fever pitch during the pandemic. Now the “dirty” soda stores, which first became popular among members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – the church bans hot caffeinated beverages like coffee and coffee. tea – are popping up all over the country.
10. And finally, a robotic skillet pancake.
Turns out legs aren’t necessary for something as flat as a flapjack to jump. A group of scientists have designed a tortilla-shaped robot that can jump several times per second and over seven centimeters (about two and a half inches). It weighs the same as a paper clip and is about the size of a crushed tennis ball.
For inspiration, the researchers turned to maggots that miraculously launch themselves for distances 30 times longer than their log-shaped bodies. The new robot has traversed an obstacle course made up of gravel mounds, inclines, cables and steps, and could eventually be used to inspect machines or explore alien surfaces.
Have an energetic evening.
Angela Jimenez photos compiled for this briefing.
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