The 7The 7

Tuesday briefing: Georgia runoff election; Supreme Court case on LGBTQ rights; Kirstie Alley; hydration research; and more

(Jordan Robertson for The Washington Post)


The Senate runoff election in Georgia is today.

  • The candidates: Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker. Neither got 50% of votes in November, which triggered a runoff.
  • What to watch: Both parties say the race will come down to turnout. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern time. We’ll have live updates here.
  • Why this matters: Democrats control the Senate, but another seat would give them more leverage. And experts will watch closely for clues about the 2024 election.


Explosions hit military bases in Russia yesterday.

  • What we know: The targets included an airfield allegedly used in Moscow’s relentless airstrikes on Ukraine’s key infrastructure, which continued yesterday.
  • Why it matters: Ukraine did not claim responsibility. But the attacks, if confirmed, would mark the deepest strikes yet by Ukrainian forces inside Russia.


The Supreme Court heard a dispute over LGBTQ rights yesterday.

  • The case: A Christian website designer sued Colorado, arguing that a state law banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation violates her right to free speech.
  • Why it matters: The court’s decision, expected next year, could end up redrawing the line between religious beliefs and protections against discrimination for LGBTQ people.


Disabled Americans are waiting months to get benefits.

  • Why? State Social Security offices that make benefits decisions have hit a breaking point. Staff shortages, low pay, old technology and bureaucratic issues are contributing to the crisis.
  • The numbers: Processing time has slowed the most in the southeast. In Florida, people are waiting an average of 225 days for a ruling on a claim, almost triple what it took in 2019.


Two generals’ foreign consulting deals set off a battle in the Air Force.

  • What happened? The retired generals tried to profit off connections in Azerbaijan, a former Soviet republic rife with corruption. U.S. officials tried to stop them, fearing a scandal.
  • How we know this: The Post sued the Air Force after it repeatedly tried to keep information about the dispute from becoming public.
  • It’s part of a larger picture: Hundreds of U.S. veterans have taken lucrative jobs with foreign governments, mostly in countries known for human rights abuses, a Post investigation found.


Kirstie Alley, the Emmy-winning “Cheers” star, has died.

  • How we’ll remember her: As high-strung bar manager Rebecca Howe on the long-running NBC sitcom, and for box-office hits including “Look Who’s Talking.”
  • What we know: The 71-year-old died yesterday of cancer that was recently diagnosed, her family said.


You might not actually need to drink eight cups of water a day.

  • Why? The decades-old advice doesn’t take into account all the water we get from our food and other drinks like coffee and tea, new research found.
  • So how much should I drink? It depends on factors like your age, sex, size, physical activity levels and the climate you live in — but eight cups won’t do any harm, experts said.

And now … add these to your to-do list this month: Eight home-maintenance tasks to get your home ready for this chilly weather. Plus, how to fight those “winter blues.”

Want to catch up quickly with “The 7” every morning? Download The Post’s app and turn on alert notifications for The 7 or sign up for the newsletter.