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Good evening. Here’s the latest at the end of Monday.
1. The Jan. 6 committee will focus tomorrow on Donald Trump’s connections to domestic extremist groups.
During a hearing, the panel is expected to chart the rise of the far-right groups that attacked the Capitol and how the former president amassed and inspired the mob. The panel also plans to detail known links and conversations between political actors close to Trump and extremists. The session will take place at 1 p.m. Eastern.
The House committee will be meeting for the first time since the surprising, explosive testimony last month by Cassidy Hutchinson, a junior-level aide who provided a damning account of the president’s actions on Jan. 6, 2021.
Her account accelerated a shift in the Justice Department’s inquiry: Officials openly talked about the pressure that the testimony created to scrutinize Trump’s potential criminal culpability and whether he intended to break the law.
2. A poll shows that most Democratic voters don’t want President Biden to run in 2024.
More than three quarters of registered voters see the country moving in the wrong direction, and Biden’s job-approval rating is a meager 33 percent, according to a New York Times/Siena College poll. Only 26 percent of Democratic voters said the party should renominate Biden in 2024.
3. Traveling to states that still allow abortions has become a complicated legal issue.
Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote in a concurring opinion to the decision to end the constitutional right to an abortion that the “constitutional right to interstate travel” would allow people to cross state lines for abortion without penalty. But no such right is written into the Constitution.
The real-world issue, our Supreme Court reporter writes, is what would happen after someone traveled for an abortion — “to the women, to those who helped them travel and to out-of-state abortion providers.”
4. Across eastern Ukraine, Russian strikes have killed, maimed and terrified scores of civilians in recent days.
At least eight people have been killed in the last 24 hours. The death toll from a Russian rocket strike late Saturday on an apartment complex in a village in the eastern province of Donetsk rose to 30, according to Ukrainian authorities.
The barrages seem almost random. They are escalating as Russia tries to substitute fresh troops for worn out soldiers and several military analysts have noted that Russia is in the midst of an operational pause.
After each strike on a civilian target, Russia has denied or deflected responsibility. The Times took a look at some of the deadliest strikes and Russia’s explanations for them.
6. The largest space telescope ever built is ready to show us what it’s been looking at for the past six months.
President Biden, speaking from the White House, unveiled a “deep field” image — the first of five captured by the James Webb Space Telescope to be released by NASA. The image includes a massive cluster of galaxies about four billion light-years from Earth that astronomers use as a kind of cosmic telescope, revealing light from galaxies not previously seen before.
“We are going to be able to answer questions that we don’t even know what the questions are yet,” said Bill Nelson, the space agency’s administrator.
The telescope, which has the ability to gaze on the oldest stars in the universe, dates back to 2002 but was finally launched on Christmas of last year. We talked to the NASA scientist who finally got it off the ground.
7. Our Brazil correspondent traveled 100 miles in the Amazon rainforest to retrace the final journey of a journalist and an activist.
Dom Phillips, a British journalist, and Bruno Pereira, a Brazilian expert on Indigenous groups, vanished last month at the end of a trip down the Itaquaí River after they were threatened repeatedly by poachers. Their bodies were later found, and three men were arrested for the killings.
During his trip, the correspondent, Jack Nicas, found that the Brazilian government’s near desertion of the region, combined with President Jair Bolsonaro’s calls to develop the Amazon, have emboldened illegal fishermen, hunters and criminal networks. The few federal officials left in the increasingly lawless region complained of being abandoned, while others wore bulletproof vests because of increasing threats.
8. There’s some drama in the theater world.
The actress Lea Michele will take over as Fanny Brice in the Broadway revival of “Funny Girl” on Sept. 4, after Beanie Feldstein abruptly announced that she would be leaving the role earlier than expected. Feldstein, in an Instagram post, said the production had “decided to take the show in a different direction.”
It has been no secret that Michele, who starred in the original Broadway production of “Spring Awakening,” has had interest in the role; it was also a central plotline for her character on the television show “Glee.”
In other theater news, our reviewer loved the revival of “Into the Woods.” The fairy-tale Stephen Sondheim musical arrives on Broadway with its humor, wonder and humanity intact.
9. In 1933, a handful of renegade teachers opened a college in rural North Carolina. It went on to shape American art and art education for decades to come.
Like ancient Athens, the Harlem Renaissance and Vienna during the heydays of Mozart and Freud, Black Mountain College was the site of a genius cluster. The school gave rise to a network of artists across the contemporary art world: Jacob Lawrence, Walter Gropius, Robert Rauschenberg, Susan Weil and Cy Twombly, to name a few.
10. And finally, gophers might be farmers.
Species across the animal kingdom engage in agricultural behavior. In a paper published today, two researchers from the University of Florida argued that the southeastern pocket gopher, a small burrowing rodent, could be considered a rudimentary kind of farmer.
The gophers stimulate root growth through their burrowing and then nibble the roots. Whether the gophers, or any other nonhuman animals that cultivate their food, are truly farmers is a matter of debate.
Have a bountiful evening.
Brent Lewis compiled photos for this briefing.
Your Evening Briefing is posted at 6 p.m. Eastern.
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