Rittenhouse, Social Safety Net, Turkey Pardon: Your Friday Evening Briefing

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

1. Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted of all charges.

After 26 hours of deliberation, a jury found Rittenhouse, who fatally shot two men and wounded another amid protests and rioting over police conduct, not guilty of homicide and other charges.

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Jurors appeared to accept Rittenhouse’s explanation that he had acted reasonably to defend himself during the protests in Kenosha, Wis., in August 2020, days after a white police officer shot Jacob Blake, a Black resident.

2. The House narrowly passed President Biden’s social safety net and climate bill. Now, it faces a difficult path in the Senate.

The roughly $2 trillion measure — one of the most consequential bills in decades — includes universal pre-kindergarten, subsidies for child care, financial aid for college, housing support, price controls for prescription drugs and the largest-ever American investment to slow global warming.

The road to the bill’s passage, 220 to 213, was made longer by a speech of more than eight hours by the House Republican leader, Kevin McCarthy, that delayed a planned vote yesterday to this morning.

Democratic leaders must now coax it through the 50-50 Senate and navigate a tortuous budget process that is almost certain to reshape the measure and force it back to the House — if it passes at all.

Take a look at everything in the bill and how much it costs.


3. A C.D.C. panel backed booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines for everyone 18 and older.

If Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the agency’s director, accepts the recommendation, as she typically does, boosters will be available this weekend, allowing many Americans to get the shot before Thanksgiving.

The recommendation came on the same day that the F.D.A. authorized boosters for both vaccines, saying the expansion was justified by clinical trial data as well as real-world evidence.

Separately, Canada approved the use of Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine for children ages 5 to 11.


4. Austria became the first Western democracy to mandate Covid vaccinations for its entire adult population.

The government also announced a nationwide lockdown starting Monday amid a surge in new cases. The country’s vaccination rate among adults is about 79 percent, one of the lowest in Western Europe.

Austria’s new vaccine mandate will take effect in February, in the hopes that as many people as possible will sign up for their initial inoculations and also booster shots, the health minister said.

The notion of requiring vaccinations was a line that Europe had seemed unwilling to cross. The announcement drew a threat of violent protest this weekend by leaders of anti-vaccine movements and the far-right Freedom Party.

5. Vice President Kamala Harris became the first woman to hold presidential powers, for roughly 85 minutes.

As President Biden underwent his first physical exam in office, he briefly transferred power to Harris while he was under anesthesia during a colonoscopy. Biden resumed his duties around 11:35 a.m. and was “in good spirits,” the White House said.

Biden is the oldest commander in chief to receive a full medical evaluation while in office. His personal physician reported that he is a “healthy, vigorous, 78-year-old” who was fit to carry out his presidential duties.


6. With a rare retreat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India suddenly doesn’t look quite as dominant.

In a speech that stunned Indians, Modi said that Parliament will repeal three farm laws aimed at fixing the country’s agricultural sector that had fueled yearlong protests by farmers.

“Today, I beg the forgiveness of my countrymen and say with a pure heart and honest mind that perhaps there was some shortcoming,” Modi said. His standing has weakened amid a variety of problems, including a struggling economy and a disastrous response to a second wave of the coronavirus.

In Europe, President Vladimir Putin of Russia shows no sign of backing down. During a speech yesterday, he signaled more openly than before that he was using his military to coerce the West to respect Russia’s interests.


7. Sean O’Brien was a rising star in the Teamsters when he was cast aside in 2017. Now, he is the union’s president.

O’Brien, a Teamsters vice president and head of a Boston local, urged a more assertive stand toward employers — as well as an aggressive drive to organize workers at Amazon. He has declared victory in his bid to lead the nearly 1.4-million-member union.

The result appears to reflect frustration over the recent contract with UPS and a dissatisfaction with James P. Hoffa, who led the union for more than two decades, and whose father served as its president from 1957 to 1971.

Separately, the F.B.I. is analyzing new data after surveying a landfill in Jersey City for the body of the older Hoffa, who disappeared in 1975.


9. Eclectic choices and unexpected circumstances have led Jeremy Renner to two prominent streaming projects.

By his own account, Renner doesn’t have a “Disney face,” but creators and audiences accept him in projects that are popular and personal, playing men of decisive deeds and men with internalized conflicts, as he does in two very different streaming series: Marvel’s “Hawkeye” and “Mayor of Kingstown,” the latter of which is centered on a Michigan prison.

“Some people just know me as Hawkeye,” Renner said. “Some people go a little deeper — ‘He was also Jeffrey Dahmer, he was nominated for this, he’s actually a proper actor.’”

10. And finally, from a U.S. prison to the Russian Parliament.

Maria Butina spent 15 months in U.S. prisons after admitting to being a Russian operative. Prosecutors said she had tried to broker a meeting between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin in 2016. Today, she represents the Kirov region in the Duma, Russia’s lower house of Parliament.

Her critics have characterized her rapid political rise as a gift from the Kremlin, a claim she rejects. Instead, Butina has used her experiences with Washington insiders — and the time she spent in prison — to cast herself as an expert on both America and penal systems.

Have a rewarding weekend.


Eve Edelheit and Shaminder Dulai compiled photos for this briefing.

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

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