Trump, Inflation, Olympics: Your Thursday Evening Briefing
Here’s what you need to know at the end of the day.(Want to get this newsletter in your inbox? Here’s the sign-up.) Good evening. Here’s the latest at the end of Thursday.Protesters at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.Jason Andrew for The New York Times1. Investigators found gaps in White House logs of Donald Trump’s Jan. 6 calls.The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol has found few records of calls by President Donald Trump during critical hours when investigators know that he was making them.The sparse call records are the latest major obstacle to the panel’s mission: recreating what Trump was doing behind closed doors during the assault on Congress by a mob of his supporters.Call logs obtained by the committee document who was calling the White House switchboard, and any calls that were being made from the White House. Trump had a habit of circumventing that system by using his personal cellphone and those of his aides.Separately, the National Archives discovered what it believed was classified information in documents that Trump had taken with him from the White House as he left office, according to a person briefed on the matter.Seasonally adjusted. Source: Bureau of Labor StatisticsBy The New York Times2. Prices climbed 7.5 percent in January, the fastest inflation since 1982.The underlying details of the Consumer Price Index report showed that price pressures are moving into longer-lasting categories. January’s inflation was driven by food, electricity and shelter costs, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said.Inflation increasingly appears to be driven less by the pandemic and more by a strong economy. The new data added to expectations that the Fed will raise interest rates by half a percentage point in March. Stocks tumbled and bond yields rose on the news.Truckers and supporters protest vaccine mandates in Ottawa today. Blair Gable/Reuters3. The Canada trucker protests have shut down car plants.Several blockades protesting vaccine mandates targeted some of the busiest routes linking Canada to the U.S., disrupting supply chains and causing production stoppages.The protests have slowed traffic on the Ambassador Bridge, which links Detroit with Windsor, Ontario. Trucks carry $300 million worth of goods across the bridge every day. G.M., Ford Motor, Toyota and Honda have suspended operations at plants in Michigan and Ontario because of the disruptions.The blockades are a spillover from demonstrations in Ottawa that began nearly two weeks ago. Our correspondent describes the scene in Ottawa, a quiet capital city that has been transformed into a nonstop tailgate party. It’s clear the truckers plan to stay put, she writes.A Covid testing site at Churchill Downs last month in Louisville, Kentucky. Jon Cherry/Getty Images4. Covid infections and hospitalization are falling in the U.S., but unevenly.As the country moves toward a new, less restrictive stage of the pandemic, some areas are still tightly in the grip of the Omicron variant. A handful of states in the South, including Kentucky, Oklahoma, Tennessee and West Virginia, reported their highest number of new cases in mid- to late January. Hospitalizations and deaths were also troublingly high.In New York City, up to 3,000 municipal workers are expected to be fired tomorrow for refusing to get vaccinated.Next week, scientific advisers to the F.D.A. will decide whether to endorse two doses of the Pfizer vaccine for children from 6 months to 4 years of age, before the results from trials of a three-dose regimen. The agency’s review of incomplete data as a basis for authorization has alarmed some experts.A satellite image shows troops and equipment deployments at an air base in Belarus on Thursday.Maxar Technologies/Via Reuters5. Russian forces began large-scale military exercises near Ukraine.Thousands of troops started 10 days of military exercises in Belarus and Ukraine warned of upcoming Russian naval drills so extensive they would block shipping lanes.Russia promised that its troops would leave Belarus after the exercises there conclude. But Western officials worry that the exercises could be a cover to position more forces around Ukraine.Diplomatic efforts are scheduled to continue. President Vladimir Putin said that Russia was preparing written responses in its back-and-forth with the U.S. and NATO, and that he was planning on speaking with President Emmanuel Macron of France in the coming days.Holiday traffic in Denver.David Zalubowski/Associated Press6. Billions in infrastructure funding could worsen global warming.Building and expanding roads often just spurs people to drive more instead of reducing congestion, a phenomenon known as “induced traffic demand.” A new rule in Colorado, one of the nation’s fastest-growing states, marks a significant new approach.The state adopted a first-of-its-kind regulation that will redirect funding away from highway expansions and toward projects that cut vehicle pollution, such as buses and bike lanes. Colorado officials estimate the rule could reduce driving miles by 7 to 12 percent.In France, President Emmanuel Macron outlined plans to build up to 14 new-generation atomic reactors as the country seeks to slash planet-warming emissions. “The time has come for a nuclear renaissance,” he said.Patrick T. Fallon/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images7. The C.D.C. proposed new guidelines for treating pain, including with opioids.The draft proposal removes its previous recommended ceilings on doses for chronic pain patients and instead encourages doctors to use their best judgment.But the overall thrust of the guidelines was that doctors should first turn to “nonopioid therapies,” including prescription and over-the-counter medications, as well as physical therapy, massage and acupuncture. The recommendations are now open on the Federal Register for public comment for 60 days and a final version is expected by the end of 2022.In other health news, Luc Montagnier, the French virologist who shared a Nobel Prize for discovering the virus that causes AIDS, has died. He was 89.Chloe Kim in the halfpipe on Thursday.Photographs by Jeremy White; composite image by Eleanor Lutz8. Nathan Chen and Chloe Kim won gold in Beijing.Chen, the U.S. figure skating star, won in breathtaking fashion, finishing first in the short program and again in the free skate. He made it happen with five jet-fueled quadruple jumps.Kim opened the halfpipe competition the same way she did in 2018, with a first run that no one could top. Kim knew it, too: She fell on her knees in joy and laughed, as if she had shocked even herself.Shaun White is closing out his Olympic snowboarding career with three runs tonight. And for the first time in five Games, he will be an underdog.Here are the latest updates, the medal count (plus who’s really winning) and how to watch.“The Plague of Florence, 1348,” a 19th-century etching by Luigi Sabatelli.Alamy9. Did the Black Death really kill half of Europe? New research says no.By analyzing ancient deposits of pollen as markers of agricultural activity, researchers from Germany found that the Black Death caused a patchwork of destruction. Some regions of Europe did indeed suffer devastating losses from the bubonic plague, but other regions held stable, and some even boomed.In the 14th century, most Europeans worked on farms. If half of all Europeans died between 1347 and 1352, agricultural activity would have plummeted. In Greece and central Italy, the pollen told a story of devastation. But in Ireland, central Spain and Lithuania, pollen suggested an increase in agricultural activity.The cap of Amelia Earhart that Anthony Twiggs inherited.Shelby Tauber for The New York Times10. And finally, an Amelia Earhart mystery solved (not that one).The response from the experts was always the same: So, your mom told you this aviator’s helmet belonged to Amelia Earhart?Anthony Triggs, a retired photographer, inherited the cap 20 years ago from his mother. She had told him that it was a gift from an admirer, who had found it on the ground during the Women’s National Air Derby of 1929, in which the legendary aviator finished third.To link his mother’s keepsake to Earhart, Triggs tried photo matching, comparing the headgear digitally with old photos. The results were promising, and a professional firm verified his findings. He’s happy about the windfall, but just as relieved that his mother’s story turned out to be true.Have an authentic evening.Eve Edelheit compiled photos for this briefing. Your Evening Briefing is posted at 6 p.m. Eastern.Want to catch up on past briefings? You can browse them here.What did you like? What do you want to see here? Let us know at email@example.com.Here are today’s Mini Crossword and Spelling Bee. If you’re in the mood to play more, find all our games here.