Impeachment, Vaccines, Valentine’s Day: Your Weekend Briefing


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Here are the week’s top stories, and a look ahead.

1. Donald Trump was acquitted of inciting the Capitol Hill riot despite the strongest bipartisan support for conviction in U.S. history.

On the trial’s fifth and final day, seven Republican senators joined all 50 Democrats in finding Mr. Trump guilty of the House’s single charge of “incitement of insurrection.” But the vote fell short of the two-thirds needed to convict him and allow the Senate to move to disqualify him from holding future office.

Here’s how each senator voted, and key takeaways from Day 5 of the trial.

In a statement, Mr. Trump called the proceeding “yet another phase of the greatest witch hunt in the history of our country,” offered no remorse for his actions and strongly suggested that he planned to continue to be a force in politics for a long time to come.

Minutes after voting to acquit Mr. Trump, Senator Mitch McConnell harshly berated the former president in language that could have come from the prosecution, holding him “practically and morally responsible” for the Capitol riot. But he said the Senate should not have tried a former president. Watch his remarks.

2. Defeated by Joe Biden, stripped of his social media megaphone and twice impeached — still Donald Trump remains the dominant force in right-wing politics.

3. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that schools should open as soon as possible, particularly for young children.

4. Good Shepherd Nursing Home in Wheeling, W.Va., offers a glimpse of what the far side of the pandemic might look like.

After nearly a year in lockdown, residents have had coronavirus vaccinations and the hallways are slowly beginning to reawaken. The ordinariness of their first day back — small talk over coffee and a penny auction, above, brought joy and relief.

Vaccinations are picking up across the U.S. The average number administered daily has been increasing steadily since late December. Adding to supply, the Food and Drug Administration told the drugmaker Moderna that it could put four additional doses of the vaccine into each vial.

5. A large earthquake shook a broad area across eastern Japan, leaving nearly a million households without power. More than 100 people were injured.

The quake’s epicenter was off the coast of Fukushima, near where three nuclear reactors melted down after a quake and tsunami almost exactly 10 years ago. The company that is still cleaning up that nuclear complex said it had detected “no major abnormalities.”

Japan’s meteorological service reported the quake’s magnitude as 7.3 but said there was no danger of a tsunami. Rattled residents braced for aftershocks. One expert said a quake of this size could be followed by another of similar scale within two or three days.


6. A closer look into two of the world’s most prominent opposition leaders.

Aleksei Navalny, 44, has spent almost half his life trying to unseat President Vladimir Putin of Russia. He has persisted while other opposition activists retreated, emigrated, switched sides, went to prison or were killed. Mr. Navalny, now behind bars again, has seized the moment and become an international symbol of resistance to Mr. Putin and the Kremlin elite. Above, Mr. Navalny during the announcement of a court verdict earlier this month.

“He is prepared to lose everything,” one economist said. “That makes him different from everyone else.”

And two years ago in Venezuela, Juan Guaidó became a national hero by posing the most serious threat to date to the deeply unpopular president, Nicolás Maduro. Today, the adoring crowds are gone, but Mr. Guaidó is not giving up. “This has been a great sacrifice, but I’d repeat it a thousand times,” he insisted in an interview.


7. Bars are closed. Parades are canceled. But Mardi Gras in New Orleans will still be festive, despite the pandemic: Artists are turning houses into elaborate floats.

Floats have paraded through the city on the last Tuesday before Lent since 1857. With the help of local organizations, artists are finding a way to keep the celebration going. Take a tour for yourself (beads not included).

“It’s so New Orleans to take a bad situation and turn into a positive,” one homeowner said. “This speaks to the resiliency of the people in the city.”


8. The basketball great Michael Jordan is turning his attention to NASCAR.

Darrell Wallace Jr., above, known as Bubba, is making his debut in today’s Daytona 500 with 23XI Racing, the team owned by Jordan and the driver Denny Hamlin. By supporting Wallace, the only Black full-time driver at NASCAR’s top level, Jordan told us he hopes to help diversify the sport, business opportunities and fans.

“We don’t know where this is going to go, but we know that we’re trying to make it better for all people,” Jordan said. (Just don’t ask the 6-foot-6 star to get in a racecar: “I don’t even fit.”)




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