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Your Friday Evening Briefing

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Good evening. Here’s the latest at the end of Friday.

1. Inflation numbers were expected to drop. That made today’s report an unhappy surprise.

Some economists and administration officials had hoped for signs that inflation was cooling. Instead, data from the Consumer Price Index showed prices climbed 8.6 percent from a year ago, keeping inflation on track for the most rapid increase in 40 years.

The new inflation report presents the Biden administration with a tough challenge as midterm elections approach.

The S&P 500 fell 2.9 percent on the news, and government bond prices sank on expectations of the Fed raising rates.

2. Trump dismissed his daughter’s Jan. 6 testimony, saying she was “checked out.”

Donald Trump pushed back after Ivanka Trump’s video testimony aired at last night’s hearing. In her testimony, she agreed with Bill Barr, the attorney general at the time, that the 2020 presidential election had not been stolen.

“Ivanka Trump was not involved in looking at, or studying, Election results,” the elder Trump wrote on his social media website. “She had long since checked out and was, in my opinion, only trying to be respectful to Bill Barr.” He also denied that he’d responded approvingly to rioters chanting “Hang Mike Pence!”

More than 19 million people watched the two-hour hearing. It spotlighted Trump’s efforts to undermine democracy and retain power, and offered new details about the Capitol riot. Here are five takeaways from the hearing.

And while it wasn’t meant to entertain, last night’s well-produced show had a true-crime feel of sorts, our TV critic writes. Hearings will resume on Monday.

3. The Ukrainian military is running out of ammunition to keep the Russians at bay.

Ukrainian forces are struggling in the artillery war in the eastern part of their country. They are running short of Soviet-era ammunition and have not received enough supplies from their allies, according to Ukrainian officials and officers in the field.

The lack of ammunition could hamper Ukraine’s ability to hold the line against the Russians. Ukraine is firing 5,000 to 6,000 artillery rounds a day, while Russian forces are firing about 60,000 shells and rockets in the Donbas, according to Ukrainian officials. Not enough weaponry has arrived from the West to replace the Soviet-era artillery, an official said.

In other news of the war, Russian forces imprisoned more than 300 Ukrainians in a dank school basement for a month. Ten of the captives died.

5. Record-breaking heat will scorch the southwestern U.S. this weekend.

Nearly 38 million people from California to South Texas are under some kind of heat-related alert through at least part of the weekend, the National Weather Service said.

The heat could be deadly, with temperatures in some locations expected to exceed 100 degrees. And this is probably just the beginning. A report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration suggests that we are headed for a scorcher of a summer.

6. The transgender youth population is growing rapidly.

A new report based on C.D.C. data shows that about 1.6 million people in the U.S. are transgender and that 43 percent of them are young adults or teenagers. The number of transgender people ages 13 to 25 has almost doubled since a 2017 report (though it’s worth noting that the reports used different methodologies).

Only 0.5 percent of older adults said they were transgender. That may reflect older people’s reluctance to explore gender identity and the possibility that they died at younger ages, in part because of higher suicide rates.

In other gender news, after political storms, the longstanding, informal tradition of Gay Days is back at Disney World, lively as ever.

7. Some Virginia residents are still up in arms two years after Stonewall Jackson’s name was removed from a high school.

For six decades, a high school in Shenandoah County, Va., was known as the Stonewall Jackson school, named after the Confederate general who fought near there. But as protests roiled the country in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and Confederate statues toppled, the governor of Virginia asked schools to drop Confederate names. The local school board quickly decided to call the school Mountain View instead.

A furor erupted. “The name was there for 60 years; they took it down in two weeks,” said a board member who voted against the change, though he has since supported the move. The skirmishing has continued for the past two years. This week, another vote was held. The motion to reinstate the school’s original name didn’t pass.

8. A sunken ship fit for a king was found off the east coast of England.

The Royal Navy ship, named the Gloucester, was carrying a future king of England who narrowly escaped when it sank 340 years ago.

The Gloucester was discovered off the coast of Norfolk in 2007 by the brothers Julian and Lincoln Barnwell and their friend James Little after a four-year, 5,000-mile nautical search. The discovery has only now been made public because of the time required to confirm the ship’s identity and declare it to the government.

10. And finally, monarch butterflies still take flight.

For years, monarch populations have been plummeting at sites in Mexico and California where swarms of them winter, prompting concerns that the species might be disappearing.

But a new study focused on the size of the summer breeding population suggests that monarch populations have so far been able to recover enough during the summer to make up for winter declines.

Have a majestic weekend.

Eve Edelheit compiled photos for this briefing.


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