The 7The 7

Friday briefing: Latest on the Ukraine invasion; updating mask guidance; Biden’s Supreme Court pick; Floyd verdict; and more

1

Russian forces have closed in on Ukraine’s capital.

  • The latest: The city could fall soon, the U.S. warned. Russian forces also reportedly captured the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and an island in the Black Sea. We have live updates here.
  • Russia said today that it would negotiate with Ukraine but made it clear that it would require the country’s “demilitarization.”
  • The toll: More than 130 Ukrainians were killed in the first day of the invasion, Ukraine’s president said.

2

The U.S. and its allies hit Russia with unprecedented sanctions.

  • The details: The sanctions block all of Russia’s largest banks from transactions with the U.S. and target virtually every major part of its economy. They’ll have an immediate financial effect, but likely won’t stop the invasion.
  • In Russia: There were large protests, which are rare, across the country yesterday against its attack.
  • Coming today: An emergency meeting of NATO, the Western military alliance, and a U.N. Security Council meeting.

3

President Biden will nominate Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court.

  • The 51-year-old federal judge would replace Justice Stephen Breyer and would be the first Black woman on the court, if confirmed.
  • The process: Brown will need to be approved by the Senate, starting with the Judiciary Committee, which could be a battle for Democrats.

4

The CDC plans to loosen its mask guidance as soon as today.

  • How? It’s changing the way it decides whether an area of the country is high risk, which determines whether it recommends masking indoors.
  • The new system: It will start looking at coronavirus hospitalizations and hospital capacity, rather than just case numbers.

5

Three ex-officers were convicted of violating George Floyd’s civil rights.

  • What happened: J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao were at the scene when a more senior Minneapolis officer, who has been convicted of murder, knelt on Floyd’s neck. They were accused of failing to step in and help when they should have.
  • What this verdict means: It will likely increase scrutiny over how officers are trained to intervene with one another.

6

Lawmakers want to know more about Donald Trump’s records.

  • What’s happening: The former president, while in office, sent boxes of White House documents, some of them classified, to his Florida home. A House committee has asked the National Archives for details.
  • What they want to know: More information on what was classified, as well as details on any of Trump’s records that had been torn up (a potentially rule-breaking habit of his).

7

Most Americans have more money now than before the pandemic.

  • The numbers: People have $2.6 trillion in extra savings, according to new data. And balances of those with lower incomes are up 70% from 2019.
  • Why? Stimulus and unemployment checks provided extra cushion, although higher prices have started to chip away some of that.

And now … what to watch this weekend: The Season 2 finale of HBO’s “Euphoria” is Sunday — or if you’re looking for something lighter, try one of these feel-good suggestions. Plus, what to play: “Elden Ring,” a much-hyped video game, was released today.

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