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Chauvin, Vaccines, Indianapolis: Your Monday Evening Briefing | Press "Enter" to skip to content

Chauvin, Vaccines, Indianapolis: Your Monday Evening Briefing


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Good evening. Here’s the latest.

2. Adults in all American states are now eligible for a coronavirus vaccination.

Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont were the last states to expand eligibility, opening vaccinations to all adults and meeting the deadline that President Biden set two weeks ago.

At its current pace, the U.S. will vaccinate 70 percent of its population by mid-June. As of Sunday, more than 131 million people, or half of all American adults, had received at least one shot. About 84.3 million Americans are fully vaccinated.

But about a fifth of those age 65 and older, a particularly vulnerable group, have not received even one shot. Over the past week, the U.S. has been averaging more than 67,000 new virus cases a day — up from over 54,000 a month ago, according to a Times database.

3. The authorities did not use the “red flag” law for the Indianapolis gunman.

Prosecutors never sought to invoke a law that would have kept Brandon Hole — who shot and killed eight people before killing himself at a FedEx warehouse last week — from obtaining firearms, a top law enforcement official said today.

Ryan Mears, the prosecutor for Marion County, said it would have been difficult to prove that Mr. Hole should be subject to the law during the 14-day window that the statute allowed. “I think it’s important to note that this case does illustrate some of the shortcomings that exist with this red flag law,” Mr. Mears said.

The police had seized a shotgun belonging to Mr. Hole in March 2020 after his mother raised alarms about his mental health, records show. In July and September, he legally bought the two semiautomatic rifles used in last week’s attack, which he could not have done had the red flag law been applied.

4. The Russian authorities moved the imprisoned opposition leader Aleksei Navalny to a hospital, and the U.S. warned of “consequences” if he dies.

Personal doctors of Mr. Navalny, who is now nearly three weeks into a hunger strike, said he was experiencing a range of severe symptoms that they called life threatening.

Mr. Navalny’s lawyers say he may also be suffering from the lingering effects of a near-fatal poisoning with a military nerve agent last summer. He was treated in Germany, but he was arrested upon his return to Russia on a parole violation for a conviction that he and his allies dismissed as politically motivated.

5. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick died of natural causes, the Washington, D.C., medical examiner ruled.

The examiner’s office said that the 42-year-old died after suffering a pair of strokes hours after confronting rioters at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

The determination complicates the F.B.I. and Justice Department’s efforts to prosecute anyone in his death. In March, federal prosecutors charged two men with assaulting Mr. Sicknick with bear spray on Jan. 6.

The autopsy found no evidence that the officer had an allergic reaction to chemicals nor any evidence of internal or external injuries, the medical examiner, Dr. Francisco J. Diaz, told The Washington Post.

6. Wood pellets: Clean bioenergy, or polluter?

In barely a decade, the wood pellet industry in the southeastern U.S. has grown from almost nothing to 23 mills with the capacity to produce more than 10 million metric tons annually for export.

The industry and other supporters see it as a climate-friendly source of rural jobs. But wood releases more carbon dioxide per unit of electricity produced than coal or gas does, and a newly planted tree can take decades to reabsorb the carbon dioxide emitted by burning pellets.

Still, the industry’s explosive growth continues. Permits have been filed for a dozen new pellet mills, mostly in Gulf Coast states.

7. It took some NASA ingenuity.

A small robotic helicopter named Ingenuity made space exploration history today when it lifted off the surface of Mars and became the first machine from Earth to fly like an airplane or a helicopter on another world.

Flying in the thin Mars atmosphere is tricky because there is almost no air to push against. So engineers used ultralight materials, fast-spinning blades and high-powered computer processing.

Like the first flight of an airplane by Wilbur and Orville Wright in 1903, the flight did not go far or last long, but the solar-powered helicopter gave NASA a new mode of transportation to study the solar system’s mysteries.

8. Europe’s new Super League, explained.

Here is what we know so far about the plan by 12 of the world’s biggest soccer clubs, including Manchester United, Liverpool, Real Madrid and Juventus, to compete against one another while claiming even more riches for themselves.

The announcement calls into question the Champions League and the domestic competitions that have anchored the sport for more than a century. Big money is at stake: The Super League’s founding clubs would split more than $4 billion as part of its formation, and financing is being led by JPMorgan Chase.

Can they really do it? The superclub group has already called in lawyers to fend off legal threats. The president of European soccer responded by calling the teams’ leaders “snakes and liars.”

9. Matthew McConaughey, governor of Texas?

The actor has repeatedly flirted with running for his home state’s top job, though he has not said whether he would do so as a Republican or a Democrat.

At this early stage, his prospects seem good. In a recent poll, 45 percent of the state’s voters said that they would vote for Mr. McConaughey next year if he were to challenge Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican.

Thirty-three percent of voters said they would support Mr. Abbott, while 22 percent said that at this early juncture, they would prefer someone else entirely.

10. And finally, there’s a name for the blah that you’re feeling.

It’s called languishing: a dull void between depression and flourishing. And it may be the dominant emotion of 2021 — the emotional baggage of a long-haul pandemic, the Wharton psychologist Adam Grant writes.

It’s not burnout, and it’s not depression. It’s a joyless, aimless feeling that can dull your motivation and focus. It’s “meh.”

But it’s fixable. Mr. Grant recommends finding “flow” in a meaningful challenge or a momentary bond, where your sense of time, place and self melts away.

Have a stagnation-free evening.

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

Want to catch up on past briefings? You can browse them here.

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