Congress, Britney Spears, James Bond: your Wednesday night briefing

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Have a good evening. Here is the last Wednesday at the end of the day.

1. Republicans Should Support Bill To Avoid A Government Shutdown as Democrats attempt to resolve divisions over the advancement of President Biden’s agenda.

The Senate could vote on the spending bill tonight, which is necessary to avoid an interruption in government funding at midnight tomorrow. The breakthrough came after Democrats removed a debt limit increase from the bill that the GOP had refused to support.

But lawmakers have still not been able to come to an agreement on two large spending bills. Biden himself has gone to great lengths to save the bill containing billions of dollars in spending on infrastructure, education, climate change and more.

Across the aisle, business groups and some Senate Republicans have mounted their own offensive to garner support for a bipartisan infrastructure bill due to be voted on in the House tomorrow. (The Senate has already approved the bill.)

2. A judge suspended Britney Spears’ father from his guardianship, creating a path to end his legal authority over his finances.

At a hearing in Los Angeles, Judge Brenda Penny said “the current situation is untenable” and granted a request from the singer’s new lawyer to suspend supervision of James Spears over the $ 60 million estate. his daughter’s dollars. The court appointed a California accountant as temporary curator.

The major decision ended a swirling summer in the 13-year-old guardianship, after Spears broke her public silence at a hearing in June when she called the arrangement “abusive” and said that she wanted it to end.

In a drastic role reversal at the hearing, an attorney for James Spears pleaded to end it immediately instead of suspending his client, while Britney Spears’ attorney asked the judge to wait for him. further investigation into his father’s conduct.


3. United Airlines Lays Off About 600 Employees For Failure To Comply with its obligation of vaccination against the coronavirus. Almost all – 99% – of its US workforce has been vaccinated.

4. Will factory closures in Vietnam ruin Christmas in the United States?

Vietnam is the second largest supplier of clothing and footwear to the United States after China. And while it was not hit hard in the first wave of the coronavirus, the wave of the Delta variant of the virus forced factories to close. As the holiday shopping season approaches, many U.S. retailers like Nike, Restoration Hardware and Everlane are expecting merchandise shortages, delays and higher prices.

In Great Britain, a fuel shortage has highlighted the crucial role of truck drivers, many of whom have resigned due to low wages and poor road conditions. “There is no way I’m going back to this industry,” said a longtime trucker.

5. Japan’s next leader offers few bold solutions, writes our Tokyo office manager in an analysis.

The country’s ruling party elected Fumio Kishida, a former foreign minister and loyal moderate, as its choice for the next prime minister. Kishida, 64, lagged behind in opinion polls but had the backing of conservatives in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. He offered little to distinguish himself from the initially unpopular leader, Yoshihide Suga.

By going with the safe pair of hands, the party appeared to demonstrate their confidence that they could earn in this fall’s election despite choosing a leader with lackluster public support. Kishida will have its hands full: Japan faces a rapid decline in births and the world’s oldest population, huge public debt and increasingly damaging natural disasters. The public also expressed dissatisfaction with the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.


6. More than 20 animals and one plant on the endangered species list are now extinct, US wildlife officials said. A million other species are at risk.

Among the forever extinct species are the ivory-billed woodpecker, several types of freshwater mussels, two fish and a bat. Many of them were very likely, or nearly extinct, by the time the Endangered Species Act was passed in 1973, so perhaps no conservation measure could have saved them..

Without conservation, scientists say, many more species would have become extinct. But with the humans transforming the planet so radically, they add, there is still a long way to go.

In other animal news, researchers studying cassowaries in New Guinea have found signs that the sharp-clawed bird, sometimes referred to as murderous birds, was raised by humans 18,000 years ago – potentially the earliest known example of men managing the avian reproduction.


7. All it took was a phone call from Tom Brady.

Richard Sherman, who faces criminal charges for five misdemeanors, including two for domestic violence, joins the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The arrival of Sherman, one of the league’s best-known cornerbacks, raises new questions about the NFL’s treatment of players accused of violent crimes and Brady’s role in lobbying for players while ‘they were under investigation.

In other sports news, the NCAA women’s basketball tournament will finally use the “March Madness” brand that has long been applied only to the men’s tournament. The league had faced a lot of criticism that it had wronged its women’s tournament for years.


8. The long awaited James Bond film – and the last of Daniel Craig in 007 – is more of a superhero saga than a spy adventure, writes our movie reviewer.

After an 18-month delay due to the pandemic, the film “No Time to Die”, the 25th episode of the venerable franchise, finds its hero in a bad mood. Mortality hangs over jokes and car chases, and the film is unusually preoccupied with memory and farewells. Gone are the challenges of any kind of gravity that was a feature of the series.

“I would say if ‘No Time to Die’ was 90 minutes, it might be worth yours,” writes AO Scott of the 163-minute feature. Here is what others have to say.

Craig, for his part, will be heading to Broadway in the title role of “Macbeth”.


9. Jon Stewart returns to television after a six-year hiatus with a new talk show, but he plans to do more listening.

“The Problem With Jon Stewart,” which debuts on Apple TV + on Thursday, will examine social issues through the personal stories of those most affected. On a first taping of the comedy show, he told his audience that the crux of his program was “trying to figure out how to diagnose what’s really, really going on here.”

And does it seem like everyone in your orbit is watching or re-seeing “The Sopranos”? Two decades later, a new, younger audience sees something different about HBO’s success: a parable about a country in decline.


10. And finally, new heights for kites.

One of the earliest kite stories dates back to the Han Dynasty, around two millennia ago, when a general sent a square assembly of bamboo and cloth into the air. In the 1700s, kites became a popular pastime for children in Europe. From there, the kites traveled to North America, where they helped pave the way for the Wright brothers’ plane.

Today, a new generation of artists is taking their creation to new heights. In Kärnten, Austria, an artist uses bamboo and paper creations designed to look like “things that shouldn’t be flown with a kite,” like meteors; Brooklyn-based artist turns kites into ships and wide-winged cranes; another in Japan is known for his fantastic Edo style hand painted designs. Looked.

And have a good night’s sleep.


Marcus Payadue compiled photos for this briefing.

Your evening briefing is posted at 6 p.m. EST.

Want to catch up on past briefings? You can browse them here.

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