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Thursday briefing: Victims of the Virginia Walmart shooting; Alaska election results; Georgia abortion ban; NFL lineup; and more

(Jordan Robertson for The Washington Post)


We learned more about the deadly shooting at a Walmart in Virginia.

  • What happened? A gunman, who worked at the Chesapeake store, fatally shot six people on Tuesday night before taking his own life, police said.
  • The victims: All were Walmart employees: Brian Pendleton, Kellie Pyle, Randall Blevins, Tyneka Johnson and Lorenzo Gamble. The sixth, who was 16, has not been named.
  • The investigation: Police identified the attacker as a 31-year-old store supervisor.


Ukraine’s energy systems are on the brink of collapse.

  • Why? Russia has intensely bombed key infrastructure for six weeks. Yesterday, a round of missile strikes set off blackouts across the country.
  • Why it matters: Millions of people are facing life-threatening conditions this winter without electricity, heat or running water.


Rep. Mary Peltola was projected to defeat Sarah Palin in a House race in Alaska.

  • The details: Peltola, a Democrat, is the first Alaska Native to win a full term in Congress. She halted the former GOP vice-presidential candidate’s attempted comeback.
  • What else to know: Sen. Lisa Murkowski was projected to defeat fellow Republican Kelly Tshibaka, who was endorsed by former president Donald Trump.
  • What took so long? Alaska uses a ranked-choice voting system and allows absentee ballots sent before or on Election Day to arrive up until 15 days after polls close.


The Georgia Supreme Court reinstated the state’s six-week abortion ban.

  • How we got here: The law, one of the country’s strictest when it was signed in 2019, was overturned by a judge last week.
  • Yesterday’s ruling: The state’s high court put last week’s decision on hold while it considers an appeal, meaning the six-week ban immediately went back into effect.


Measles could be on the verge of a comeback.

  • What’s that? A preventable but highly infectious disease that undermines the immune system and makes infected people more vulnerable to other diseases.
  • Why we’re talking about it: Almost 40 million children missed vaccine doses last year, meaning there’s an “imminent threat” of a global surge, experts warned yesterday.


There are football and soccer games to look forward to today.

  • The NFL lineup: The Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions, at 12:30 p.m. Eastern time (on CBS); the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys, at 4:30 p.m. (on Fox); and the New England Patriots and Minnesota Vikings, at 8:20 p.m. (on the NFL Network).
  • The World Cup lineup: Portugal and Brazil will play their first matches of the tournament in Qatar, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.


NASA’s Mars rover dug up clues in the hunt for alien life.

  • What it found: Martian rocks that have the right chemical recipe to preserve evidence of ancient life on the planet, if it ever existed, according to new studies.
  • When we’ll know more: NASA hopes to retrieve the samples from the Perseverance rover in the early 2030s, when they’ll be examined for signs of life.

And now … what to watch this holiday weekend: “Glass Onion,” a follow-up to “Knives Out,” is in theaters. Or, if you have a long drive: Try one of these new audiobooks.

Tess Homan contributed to today’s briefing.

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