Your Wednesday Evening Briefing – The New York Times

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

The announcement comes less than two weeks after he abruptly upended hopes for such a deal this summer. It was not clear what had changed his mind about the plan.

In other news out of Washington, the Senate passed a $280 billion bill aimed at building up America’s manufacturing and tech sectors to counter China. The legislation, which represents the most significant government intervention in industrial policy in decades, is expected to pass another vote in the House this week before heading to President Biden’s desk.

Separately, Biden tested negative for the coronavirus, his physician said, and ended his five-day isolation.

2. The Federal Reserve is sticking to its aggressive campaign to rein in inflation.

The central bank raised interest rates by three-quarters of a percentage point, its fourth increase this year, setting the policy rate to a range of 2.25 to 2.5 percent and adding in a statement that it “anticipates that ongoing increases in the target range will be appropriate.”

“We’re not trying to have a recession, and we don’t think we have to,” said Jerome Powell, the chair of the Fed, adding that the labor market was likely to weaken somewhat. “The risk of doing too little, and leaving the economy with this entrenched inflation, it only raises the costs.”

Consumer prices climbed by 9.1 percent in the year through June. Here’s how rate increases act as America’s main tool for cooling down prices and what they mean for mortgages and credit cards.

3. The U.S. offered a deal to Russia for the release of the W.N.B.A. star Brittney Griner and a former Marine, Paul Whelan.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the U.S. “put a substantial proposal on the table weeks ago” to gain their release and had “communicated repeatedly and directly on that proposal.” He said he expected to speak soon with Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, about the matter.

A person briefed on the negotiations said that in June, the U.S. offered to trade an imprisoned Russian arms dealer, Viktor Bout, for Griner and Whelan, and that President Biden had backed the offer. Whelan was sentenced last year on espionage charges.

Blinken’s comments came the same day that Griner, who has been detained in Russia on drug charges since February, told a court that she had been tossed into a bewildering legal system with little explanation of what was happening.

4. The Justice Department is said to have asked witnesses about former President Donald Trump in its Jan. 6 investigation.

Federal prosecutors sought information about the role Trump and members of his inner circle played in the efforts to overturn the election, suggesting the inquiry was accelerating into a more aggressive and politically fraught phase. The Justice Department has been largely silent about how and even whether it would weigh pursuing potential charges against the former president.

5. Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, reported its first revenue decline since it went public a decade ago.

Meta’s revenue for the second quarter was $28.15 billion, down from $29.07 billion a year earlier. Profit was $6.69 billion, down 36 percent from a year earlier. The latest numbers came on the same day the Federal Trade Commission filed for an injunction to block Meta from buying Within, a virtual reality company, limiting the company’s push into the so-called metaverse.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder, is pushing his company through a relentless transformation as competitors like TikTok bear down.

Related: Default settings buried inside products from Apple, Google, Meta and others make us share more data than we need to. Here’s what you should turn off right away.

6. An effort in Indiana to ban abortions with exceptions has exposed rifts among conservatives in a post-Roe world.

Unlike legislators who passed trigger bans tied to the overturning of Roe v. Wade, Republicans weighing the issue today are not governing in hypotheticals, and many seem to be biding their time.

The Indiana bill advanced out of committee only narrowly. Senator Ed Charbonneau, who was among the yes votes, said, “I guess my wish is that we make a bad bill less bad.” Senator Eric Bassler, who also voted yes, said that “there are many reasons not to support this bill on many different levels.”

7. A preservation plan at Yosemite National Park is stirring debate about how to manage forests in the age of climate change.

With relentless drought and fire seasons, experts described the state’s forests as wounded and extremely vulnerable, and they have increasingly taken the position that to save trees, you have to cut trees. A plan to thin out less than 1 percent of Yosemite’s forests is now stuck in court after an environmental group argued that the park did not properly review the impacts.

And in the Caribbean, a different kind of debate around climate change is heating up. Caribbean nations are often trapped between the global financial system and looming climate disaster. Barbados is fighting to find a way out.

8. Indigenous athletes are reclaiming lacrosse.

Players for the Haudenosaunee (formerly called the Iroquois) represent the six nations of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, some of the historical originators of lacrosse, and the Haudenosaunee Nationals lacrosse teams are fighting for official recognition in global sports.

Their biggest goal is to compete in the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, where the sport could make a return to the medal program after more than a century away.

“Western society keeps trying to push us back down and erase us from the history books,” said one player on the men’s team, “but with our flag showing with every other country, we’re still here and we’re still fighting.”

9. An upbeat lead single. An album title and release date. A fresh social media account (hello, TikTok). Is Beyoncé’s latest album … conventional?

For most musicians, these are time-honored to-dos for introducing a major new album. But for Beyoncé, who has spent more than a decade upending all conventions about how to market music, the rollout of “Renaissance” is a striking shift — and perhaps a tacit acknowledgment that the game has changed.

Joni Mitchell is also making waves. The singer-songwriter made a surprise return to the stage over the weekend, her first performance since suffering a brain aneurysm in 2015. Mitchell had to learn how to sing and play guitar again, and she just did that “triumphantly” at the Newport Folk Festival in what our critic calls an act of bravery, joy and reinterpretation.

10. And finally, the world’s largest hornet is getting a new name.

You may remember it as the big, bad insect that earned the nickname “murder hornet” for its threat to the Pacific Northwest in 2019. Its superlative size — around an inch and a half long — painful sting and violent tendencies prompted a desperate effort to eradicate the small population before it was permanently established.

The hornet, native to parts of Asia, was also referred to as the “Asian giant hornet.” Now, in an effort to reduce negative and nationalistic associations, the Entomological Society of America introduced a new common name for the insect: Northern giant hornet.

Have a buzzy night.

Jennifer Swanson compiled photos for this briefing.

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