Your Tuesday Evening Briefing – The New York Times
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Good evening. Here’s the latest at the end of Tuesday.
1. Seeking to calm concerns, lawmakers are pushing to raise the cap on insured bank deposits.
Members of Congress were in discussions to introduce bipartisan legislation as early as this week that would temporarily increase the insured deposit cap on certain accounts — like those used for activities such as payroll — to convince depositors to stop pulling their money out of small and midsize banks.
It’s unclear how broad support would be for the proposal. Some Republicans have opposed lifting the cap, which could remove a disincentive for banks to take on risk. Others, including Senator Elizabeth Warren, have suggested removing the deposit cap altogether.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen also said that the stresses to the financial system constituted a “crisis” and that the Biden administration was ready to take steps to calm fears over the stability of U.S. banks.
Tomorrow, Jerome Powell, the chair of the Federal Reserve, is likely to face a grilling about why his institution failed to stop problems at Silicon Valley Bank. The central bank also faces a difficult decision over whether to raise interest rates. In Opinion, Paul Krugman explored the dilemma.
In the markets, stocks rose for a second straight day. The S&P 500 finished the day up more than 1 percent, in step with markets in Europe and Asia.
2. The leaders of China and Russia vowed to “cooperate closely.”
President Xi Jinping of China and Vladimir Putin, Russia’s leader, made wide-ranging pledges to expand their partnership, drawing a sharper division between their nations and the West during their second day of meetings in Moscow.
They promised to bring more Russian oil to China — bolstering the Russian economy against sanctions — and more Chinese companies to Russia. The leaders signed 14 agreements of collaboration, including media enterprises and scientific research.
Also today, Japan’s prime minister made an unannounced visit to Kyiv, highlighting the division between Asia’s two largest economies.
In other news from the war, U.S. prosecutors have embraced a supporting role helping Ukraine bring charges of war crimes by Russians in Ukraine’s courts.
3. Los Angeles schools closed as workers began a three-day strike.
Classes in the nation’s second-largest school district — which serves more than 420,000 students — were canceled today, as tens of thousands of teachers’ aides, custodians, bus drivers and cafeteria workers began a work stoppage. They were joined by the district’s teachers, who walked out in solidarity.
The employees are seeking a 30 percent pay raise, in addition to a $2-an-hour increase for the lowest-paid workers, as living costs surge in Southern California. The union said its workers make an average salary of $25,000 a year.
In other labor news, the only union representing U.S. Amazon workers is grappling with election losses and internal conflict.
4. For Donald Trump, new legal threats resurrect old habits.
The former president is currently the front-runner for his party’s presidential nomination. Trump has shown his political strengths during recent events in New Hampshire and South Carolina. But his impetuous response to his expected indictment could alienate voters he will need to win back the White House.
The timing of charges, which are expected to come from a Manhattan grand jury as early as tomorrow, remains unclear. My colleagues who are covering the case walked through how such an unprecedented indictment could unfold.
In other political news, Michael Bloomberg has quietly bankrolled a multimillion-dollar effort to support Gov. Kathy Hochul of New York.
5. A new video showed officers pinning a man down for nearly 11 minutes until his death.
Irvo Otieno, a 28-year-old Black man with a history of mental illness, died this month at a psychiatric hospital in Virginia after a group of sheriff’s deputies and medical staff piled on top of him while he was handcuffed. A video of the incident was released today, a week after seven deputies and three employees of the hospital were charged with second-degree murder.
The footage shows the officers forcing Otieno to the floor, where they pinion him until his death. His family said he was deprived of medication that he needed for his mental illness while in jail.
Prosecutors said in court last week that Otieno had suffocated from the weight of the deputies.
6. Venezuela’s socialist vision is in shambles.
In some regards, the South American country is in a far better place than when its economy collapsed nearly a decade ago: U.S. oil sanctions were scaled back, poverty decreased and necessities became far more accessible.
However, the same place where a socialist revolution once promised equality and an end to the bourgeoisie has, under the authoritarian President Nicolás Maduro, morphed into one of the world’s most unequal societies.
7. Google stepped off the sidelines in the A.I. race, releasing a chatbot called Bard.
The tech giant cautiously rolled out Bard this morning to a limited number of users on a webpage separate from its search engine. It’s part of an effort to demonstrate that its capabilities are no less advanced that the current kings of the chatbot development race, OpenAI and Microsoft.
Google’s release was much more circumspect than that of its competitors, who have faced criticism that they are proliferating an unpredictable and sometimes untrustworthy technology. Still, Bard represents a significant step to stave off a threat to the company’s most lucrative business, its search engine. Many in the tech industry believe that the stakes are highest for Google as A.I. becomes more prevalent.
8. Willis Reed, the Hall of Fame center for championship Knicks teams, died at 80.
Reed, a gritty and highly skilled 6-foot-9 player, was the brawny and inspirational center of two Knicks championship teams that captivated New York in the early 1970s with a canny, team-oriented style of play.
His willingness to play hurt brought him his greatest measure of respect and fame. It was on display when he played in the decisive Game 7 of the 1970 N.B.A. finals just days after tearing a muscle in his leg. Reed won the league’s Most Valuable Player Award that year, and his No. 19 uniform became the first to be retired by the Knicks.
10. And finally, Dave Rasmussen doesn’t play basketball.
For as long as he can remember, Rasmussen — who is 7 feet 2 inches — has given that answer to questioning strangers. While the odds of a seven-footer landing in the N.B.A. are roughly one in six, that possibility leaves a lot of tall Americans forced to explain why they didn’t pursue the sport.
In the month of March, the interrogation can pick up, as the N.C.A.A. tournaments — and mountainous stars like Zach Edey — attract attention. When Bob Huggett, the president of Tall Clubs International, gets asked the question, he has a response ready.
“Did you play miniature golf?” he asks.
Have a lofty night.
Brent Lewis compiled photos for this briefing.
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