Your Tuesday Evening Briefing – The New York Times

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

1. As Western allies send weapons to Ukraine, Moscow suggests there is “considerable” risk of nuclear conflict.

Foreign minister Sergey Lavrov of Russia, who raised the nuclear specter, today accused the West of sabotaging peace talks between Russia and Ukraine. Moscow also blames the West for fighting a proxy war to diminish Russian military might. But Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed “in principle” to allow evacuations of civilians from Mariupol, said the UN secretary general, António Guterres, who met with Putin in Moscow.

Germany gave in to pressure and said it would send heavy weaponry to Ukraine for the first time. Its announcement came during a meeting of the new Ukraine Defense Consultative Group, a meeting of allied military leaders that will agree monthly.

On the front lines, our reporter Michael Schwirtz is in a small city in southeastern Ukraine, where the few remaining residents are cowering in basements.

And President Biden announced a new program allowing Americans to sponsor Ukrainian refugees.

The next steps involve shareholders voting on the deal and a pre-closing period of up to six months. Twitter’s current chief executive, Parag Agrawal, told employees he’d stay until it was finished.

It’s a good deal for investors, but what about the public? Conservatives celebrated; cringed progressives. Our colleague Andrew Ross Sorkin considered the possible outcomes in our newsletter The Morning.

3. An unvaccinated police officer who nearly died of Covid is now spreading the word about preventing the disease, which is now the leading cause of death among US law enforcement officers.

Frank Talarico Jr., a 47-year-old police sergeant in Merchantville, NJ, caught the Omicron variant last year. He was hospitalized for 49 days, suffered a pulmonary embolism, or blood clot, in his lungs and was put on life support. Not one thought he would live. Now recovered — hospital staff called him a “miracle patient” — he’s a vaccination evangelist, hoping to persuade reluctant colleagues to get their shots.

4. A Michigan Democratic state senator was targeted in a colleague’s “vile” email. She punched back. Now, her star of her is rising.

Mallory McMorrow was elected to Michigan’s State Senate in 2018. Last week, State Senator Lana Theis, a Republican, accused McMorrow of planning to “groom and sexualize” children in a fund-raising email.

Livid, McMorrow responded in an impassioned speech. The video has been shared by hundreds of thousands of people. President Biden called to thank her. She raised a quarter of a million dollars in less than a day — unheard-of for a state lawmaker.

In other political news, new details underscored the role of US House Republicans in the planning of the Capitol riot on Jan. 6.

6. Texas is busing migrants to Washington, but the plan isn’t having the intended effect.

Earlier this month, Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas devised a plan to rattle the Biden administration by busing migrants from the southwest border to the nation’s capital during a period of record crossings.

The new arrivals were dropped off blocks from the US Capitol, where they were greeted by volunteers who would help them reach their desired destinations to await their day in immigration court. The migrants were grateful for the lift.

“I would like to say thank you to the governor of Texas,” said Chadrack Mboyo-Bola, 26, of Brazil, after he stepped off one of the chartered buses paid for by the State of Texas.

7. Can virtual reality help ease chronic pain?

Chronic pain is one of the leading causes of long-term disability, and it’s difficult to treat because medicine to relieve pain is woefully inadequate. But emerging VR treatments, which can be used to help relax patients with virtual scenes and games, may provide relief similar to intravenous opioids.

Compared with drugs and surgical procedures, VR has far fewer side effects, mostly nausea and motion sickness. Headsets also now cost a fraction of what they once did — and graphics are markedly improved, resulting in more immersive experiences.

8. “Washington Crossing the Delaware” is up for sale.

But not that one. A smaller version of the giant painting that hangs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York — painted at about the same time by Emanuel Leutze, a German American artist — will be auctioned at Christie’s next month.

It’s arguably the most iconic likeness of the first US president, said a Christie’s art specialist, because it shows General Washington as a man of action. The painting is also significant because Leutze, an abolitionist, emphasized different cultures: men in Native American or Scottish garb and a Black man. He is believed to be either Prince Whipple, an enslaved man who enlisted with the promise of freedom, or William Billy Lee, Washington’s enslaved valet and military aid.

Christie’s said the painting, which hung in the White House for years, could sell for at least $15 million.

9. Dubai’s Jewish community is heading out into the open.

While Jews have long lived and worked comfortably in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, they have kept their religious expression mostly quiet. But in the two years since the UAE normalized relations with Israel, its Jewish community has grown significantly and felt freer than ever to express its traditions and religious identity.

It is one of the many signs of an emerging new reality in the Middle East, where Israel’s isolation in the Arab world is ebbing. And though the UAE was not the first Arab country to normalize relations with Israel, it appears to be charting a path for a warmer peace that could herald a new era in those relations.

10. And finally, disco balls are bouncing back.

Once relegated to kitschy party décor, the sparkly orbs now adorn homes, businesses and weddings. One Etsy shop sold about 5,000 in a year; searches for “disco ball” increased nearly 400 percent during the past three months on the platform, compared with the same period last year. Apple released a disco ball emoji in March.

Our All Consuming column notes that they date back to 1920s nightclubs and were used by many Black and gay underground clubs in the 1970s to decorate on tight budgets. Why a disco ball resurgence now? A museum-based cultural expert said, “People are looking for ways to celebrate again. They’re looking for moments of joy.”

Have a multifaceted evening.

eve edelheit compiled photos for this briefing.

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