Your Thursday Night Briefing – The New York Times


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

1.Russian President Vladimir Putin warns President Joe Biden that further sanctions against Ukraine would result in a “total rift” between the superpowers, a Russian official said.

During a 50-minute phone call that both sides called pragmatic, Biden tried to reassure Putin that the United States had no intention of placing offensive weapons in Ukraine. US officials said it ended without clarity on Putin’s intentions regarding the 100,000 or so troops he had massed on the Ukrainian border.

The United States believes Putin must decide whether to invade next month, when the ground is frozen enough to roll heavy military equipment into Ukraine. A series of diplomatic talks are scheduled for January 10.

2. The FDA plans to license Pfizer boosters for ages 12 to 15.

Regulators also plan to shorten the time between the second dose of Pfizer and the booster, according to people familiar with the deliberations. A booster should also be allowed for children 5 to 11 years old with immune deficiencies.

The CDC has published two studies on childhood immunizations. One of them found that out of hundreds of pediatric cases last summer, almost everyone who became seriously ill had not been fully immunized. The other increased the safety of the Pfizer vaccine in children aged 5 to 11.

South Africa has said its Omicron wave has passed with few additional deaths. Israel has approved a fourth dose of the vaccine for people with weakened immune systems.

The United States is recording an average of more than 300,000 new cases per day for the first time. But hospitalizations are increasing at a much slower rate. Here is what you need to know for the bank holiday weekend. Experts wonder if the daily tally of cases remains useful, given the use of home tests.

3. A pharmaceutical company was convicted in a landmark opioid trial.

Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. and some of its subsidiaries have been found responsible for contributing to a public nuisance by flooding New York City with pills that have killed thousands of people. New York State has also been determined to be partly responsible.

The trial, which began in June, was the first of its kind to target the entire opioid supply chain: drug makers, distributors and drugstore chains.

But a series of settlements left only a few defendants at trial: Teva, an opioid maker; a handful of its associated companies; and Anda, a distributor which is a subsidiary of Teva.

4. A new ban on surprise medical bills begins next week.

For years, Americans in medical emergencies could receive a nasty surprise: a bill from a doctor they didn’t choose and who wouldn’t accept their insurance. A law that comes into effect on Saturday will make many bills illegal.

By law, if you experience a medical emergency and go to an emergency care center or emergency room, you cannot be charged more than the cost-sharing that you are accustomed to for them. network services, thus eliminating the risk that one of the network provider will issue an additional bill.

5. The Los Angeles police officer who shot Valentina Orellana-Peralta, 14, has been identified.

William Dorsey Jones Jr. moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. When that didn’t work, he became a police officer – and loved it. The black officer spoke openly about racism and ran a non-profit organization that mentored at-risk youth.

Now he is under surveillance for a fatal shooting. He passed his fellow officers, even though one of them yelled at him to slow down, in the aisles of a clothing store in North Hollywood. When he found the suspect in a violent assault, Jones fired several bullets, including one that killed Valentina, who was in a locker room.

Separately, The Times investigated a Pennsylvania state soldier who is still stationed after shooting and killing three people in nearly 15 years; he is now on duty after a fatal fourth shooting.

6. Can a Small South Pacific Territory Fuel Tesla’s Ambitions?

New Caledonia can hold up to a quarter of the world’s nickel reserves, and the industry makes it one of the biggest carbon emitters per capita in the world.

But it is also well placed to supply green nickel. As a French territory, New Caledonia is subject to European environmental and labor standards. His government is led by a coalition that includes indigenous Kanaks and is keen to protect local rights.

To compete with its low-cost competitors, New Caledonia is now positioned as a supplier of premium nickel for rechargeable batteries. In October, Tesla agreed to buy a third of the nickel produced by its largest mine over the next five years.

7. Biggest tech companies are joining game makers and metaverse start-ups.

After 15 years of mobile computing boom – a long time for the industry to wait for a new tech trend – Meta, Apple, Microsoft and Google are each trying to put a lucrative stake in a virtual world.

But experts say perfecting the technology could take a decade or more. Meta’s helmets are bulky and sometimes make people sick. Lighter alternatives lack computing power. And the general appeal of virtual reality is still an open question.

8. Rapper Eminem opened a restaurant in Detroit. We checked it out.

Mom’s Spaghetti takes its name from the famous first verse of “Lose Yourself”, a single written for the movie “8 Mile”. Spaghetti isn’t usually take-out – the noodles take a while to cook – but the pasta is made the night before and reheated in woks.

The restaurant operator says the method gives the spaghetti a delicious, homemade texture, and the result is, well, downright motherly.

Also in food, we’ve got the Times most read food stories in 2021 and chicken soup for weary souls this new year.

9. Is there a women’s film or a women’s cinema? With “The Lost Daughter”, Maggie Gyllenhaal says the answer is yes.

The actress has long pushed boundaries, but writing and directing “The Lost Girl,” an adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s novel of the same title, is perhaps her riskiest role to date.

“When I’m let go, when I am given some money and space to tell the story I want to tell, it’s about motherhood,” she said in an interview.

Gyllenhaal’s directorial debut is “a sophisticated and elusive psychological thriller,” writes our reviewer.

10. And finally, burn the old year to drink the new one.

Many families in Colombia, Ecuador and other parts of Latin America are building an “año viejo”: a human-sized doll wearing old clothes that is burnt on New Year’s Eve to symbolically get rid of the old one. year and bring the news.

The tradition comes from Ecuador, where indigenous people burned effigies of feudal chiefs during solstice celebrations. Political leaders remain regular subjects of años viejos, but Steve Harvey, the TV host, has seen a surge in popularity after wrongly crowning Miss Colombia the winner of the 2015 Miss Universe pageant.

Have a cathartic evening.

Yeong-Ung Yang compiled photos for this briefing.

Your evening briefing is posted at 6 p.m. EST.

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