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Good evening. Here’s the latest at the end of Wednesday.
The Russian Defense Ministry said the new missile could deploy nuclear warheads at hypersonic speeds anywhere in the world but it needed further testing before deployment.
In Ukraine, the air force has bolstered its operations after receiving spare parts shipments coordinated by the U.S. But in the devastated city of Mariupol, citizens and soldiers sheltering in an abandoned steel plant may have only hours left before it falls. They vowed to fight until the “last drop of blood.”
President Biden met top U.S. defense officials, a day after promising to send more artillery to help Ukraine. The U.N. Secretary General, António Guterres, requested to meet with the leaders of Russia and Ukraine to discuss “urgent steps to bring about peace.”
3. President Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, the far-right leader, debated ahead of Sunday’s French presidential election.
But what they said could matter less than how some voters feel about Macron: They hate him. A veteran political journalist called the level of loathing “unprecedented.” It stems, he thinks, from perceptions of Macron as an elitist. Le Pen herself takes every opportunity to remind voters of that as she campaigns. She referred at one rally to “words of a power without empathy.”
The televised debate was crucial for Le Pen’s long quest to build her credibility and continue softening her image. Macron was under pressure to defend a five-year record tested by a series of social and economic crises. Though polls show that Macron holds the lead, it’s possible many French voters may simply stay home.
4. New Mexico regulators faulted the producers of the movie “Rust” for the death of a cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins,who was shot during a scene in which the actor Alec Baldwin had to draw a gun.
Hutchins was shot and killed on Oct. 21 when the gun, which was not supposed to be loaded with live ammunition, went off as Baldwin pointed it at the camera. Baldwin and other producers have been named in lawsuits seeking damages.
New Mexico’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau said that the film’s producers “knew that firearm safety procedures were not being followed on set and demonstrated plain indifference to employee safety.” The agency issued a $136,793 penalty, the maximum allowed.
5. A doctor in Ohio was acquitted of murdering his patients, who overdosed on fentanyl, the powerful opioid.
The verdict, on 14 counts, brought an end to one of the state’s largest murder cases, which set off a debate about end-of-life medical care.
The doctor, William Husel, was charged in 2019 after two hospital pharmacists raised concerns that he had been prescribing unusually high doses of fentanyl to gravely ill patients. Husel called it “comfort medication” to treat patients in severe pain. Prosecutors said he was abusing sick patients.
6. Wimbledon will bar Russian and Belarusian players from competing at this year’s tournament in London.
What to Know About France’s Presidential Election
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The ban, leveled because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Belarus’s support of the war, would make Wimbledon the first Grand Slam tennis tournament to prevent individual athletes from playing. It would exclude a number of highly ranked players, such as the Russian player Daniil Medvedev, the reigning U.S. Open men’s singles champion and No. 2 player on the ATP Tour; and Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus, who is ranked No. 4 on the women’s tour.
Wimbledon, which is scheduled to begin in late June, left open the possibility of revising its position.
7. The pandemic made New York City’s “epidemic of loneliness” even worse.
As some Covid restrictions are now finally lifted and New York returns to some semblance of normal, one unknown is the lasting effects of two years of prolonged isolation and the loneliness that came with it.
According to U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, loneliness is a public health crisis on the scale of the opioid epidemic or obesity. More people struggle with loneliness than diabetes, and it can put people at greater risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke and premature death. It can also increase the likelihood of depression and anxiety.
8. Inflation is wreaking havoc on our travel budgets. Here’s how to strategize around it.
Many of us hope to get on the road again. But rising prices, employment shortages and supply chain slowdowns are hitting the travel industry hard.
Our Frugal Traveler columnist explored flight, train, car, lodging and other travel options to help sidestep budget restrictions. Among her suggestions: a Costco membership for better rental-car deals; European rail travel for cost-effective and more environmentally friendly journeys; upgraded hostels or house-sitting instead of hotel rooms.
And #VanLife isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. A Times Magazine reporter discovered glorious Instagram photos don’t tell the full story.
9. Believe it or not, Nicolas Cage is in on the joke.
He has long had a reputation as someone who “seems to be eager at any moment to set fire to something,” our colleague Sarah Lyall writes in a profile.That version of Cage is being resurrected in “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,” a film that both celebrates and sends up the actor.
Cage, who won an Academy Award for his role in “Leaving Las Vegas,” has appeared in more than 100 films, many of them decidedly not Oscar caliber.
10. And finally, a Washington hotel that served as an influence bazaar for Trump allies is slated to close.
During former President Trump’s four years in the White House, the sprawling lobby of the Trump International Hotel became a popular gathering spot for cabinet members, Congressional Republicans, foreign interests and others seeking access to his administration.
Regulars included Rudolph Giuliani, the former New York mayor and personal lawyer for Trump, as well as Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s onetime campaign manager.
The hotel is being sold for $375 million to a Florida investment group that will take down the Trump name and rebrand it as a Waldorf Astoria.
Have a high-powered evening.
Hannah Yoon compiled photos for this briefing.
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