Here’s what you need to know at the end of the day.
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Good evening. Here’s the latest at the end of Friday.
1. The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin.
The court in The Hague accused the Russian leader of war crimes, saying he bore criminal responsibility for the abduction and deportation of Ukrainian children.
Ukrainian officials and human rights groups hailed the warrant as an important step in holding Moscow to account for abuses during its yearlong war. But it is unlikely that Putin will stand trial — at least while he remains in power — because the court cannot try defendants in absentia and Russia has said it will not surrender its own officials.
A Kremlin spokesman called the decision to issue a warrant “null and void.” The court also issued a warrant for Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia’s commissioner for children’s rights.
In related news, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey endorsed Finland’s application to join NATO, removing a hurdle to the Nordic nation’s bid, but declined to do the same for its neighbor Sweden.
Also, China’s leader, Xi Jinping, who has cast himself as a peacemaker, will meet with Putin next week in Moscow and is expected to speak with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine over the phone. Skepticism abounds in the West about Xi’s intentions.
2. Some economists say the banking crisis has made a recession more likely.
The economy’s strength has repeatedly proved gloomy forecasters wrong: The job market remains strong and consumers keep spending. But this week’s banking crisis caused a violent market reaction within days as investors feared a financial meltdown.
Markets calmed somewhat by the end of the week — despite a drop today, the S&P 500 finished the week with modest gains — amid hopes that intervention by leaders in Washington and on Wall Street would contain the fallout. But even if that happens, economists said the episode would inevitably take a toll on hiring and investments as banks pulled back on lending — a particular blow to small businesses.
In Washington, President Biden asked Congress to give financial regulators broad powers to punish the executives of failed banks.
At the Fed, a program by the central bank to quietly shed billions in assets is making conditions tighter for banks, home buyers and investors.
3. New genetic data linked the pandemic’s origins to raccoon dogs at a Chinese market.
An international team of virus experts said that they had found genetic data from a market in Wuhan, China, linking the coronavirus with raccoon dogs for sale there. The new data added to evidence that the worst pandemic in a century could have been ignited by an infected animal that was being dealt through the illegal wildlife trade.
The unpublished report did not prove that a raccoon dog, or any animal, passed the virus to humans. But the genetic data offers some of the strongest evidence yet that the virus could have spilled into humans from wild animals.
For more: Scientists and spy agencies have tried for years to determine where the coronavirus originated. Here’s what we know.
4. The U.S. is investigating TikTok’s owners over possible spying on Americans.
The Justice Department is investigating the surveillance of American citizens, including several journalists who cover the tech industry, by the Chinese company that owns TikTok, according to three people familiar with the matter. The investigation, which began late last year, appears to be tied to the admission in December by the company, ByteDance, that its employees had inappropriately obtained the data of American TikTok users.
The Biden administration is hardening its stance toward forcing the company to address national security concerns about TikTok. They include fears that China might be using the video service to gather data about Americans, undermine democratic institutions and foster internet addictions among young people.
For more: Finding a buyer for TikTok may not be so easy.
5. A judge ruled that Donald Trump’s lawyer must testify before a grand jury.
Federal prosecutors overseeing the investigation into Trump’s handling of classified documents can get around attorney-client privilege, the judge said, compelling one of the former president’s lawyers to answer questions. The lawyer, M. Evan Corcoran, had declined to answer certain inquiries from the grand jury last month, citing privilege.
The judge said the government had met the threshold for the so-called crime-fraud exception, which allows prosecutors to work around attorney-client privilege when they have reason to believe that legal advice has been used in furthering a crime.
In related news, several gifts given by foreign countries to Trump during his presidency are unaccounted for in government records, according to a report from House Democrats.
6. South Carolina started the N.C.A.A. women’s basketball tournament with a bang.
The undefeated Gamecocks helped show why they were awarded the tournament’s No. 1 overall seed this afternoon, trouncing No. 16 Norfolk State, 72-40. South Carolina is well-positioned to win its second consecutive N.C.A.A. championship and its third overall.
In the men’s tournament, No. 3 seed Xavier came back from a 13-point deficit in the final 10 minutes to defeat Kennesaw State, a No. 14 seed that nearly secured the tournament’s third major upset. Here are the games to watch for tonight.
Follow along with The Athletic’s live updates.
7. Museums are renaming Ukrainian artworks that were long described as Russian.
Spurred by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, several major museums and galleries have re-examined their collections to recognize the Ukrainian roots of many artists and their works. The Metropolitan Museum of Art today changed the name of one of its Edgar Degas pastels from “Russian Dancers” to “Dancers in Ukrainian Dress.”
The adjustments, which are underway at institutions all over the world, are not always straightforward. The Met was pressured to re-reclassify its description of Ivan Aivazovsky as Ukrainian. The artist is actually Armenian, though he was born in Crimea.
In other art news, relatives of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s press secretary are feuding over Norman Rockwell drawings that once hung in a hallway near the Oval Office.
8. A look inside Palm Beach’s private clubs.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans have moved to Florida over the last few years, chasing sunshine and the state’s no-income-tax status. For the most moneyed, an emerging industry of private clubs is providing a welcome embrace.
We looked inside some of Palm Beach’s most exclusive venues. At the Carriage House, $250,000 gets you access to bars and reading rooms “with a British twist.” At Mar-a-Lago, $200,000 gets you a ticket to a lively club where Donald Trump sometimes plays D.J.
9. What to do this weekend:
Cook: This Irish stew makes for a comforting St. Patrick’s Day meal.
Watch: Bob Odenkirk plays a flailing professor in “Lucky Hank,” premiering on Sunday on AMC.
Rewatch: Viewership of the HBO dramedy “Girls” is surging as many millennials reassess their 20s.
Compete: Take this week’s News Quiz and see how you stack up with other Times readers.
Listen: An outtake from Taylor Swift’s “Lover” album was one of this week’s top new songs.
Read: Our Books desk named “River Spirit” by Leila Aboulela one of the 22 fictional works to read this spring.
Heal: You don’t need bubble baths to beat burnout. Here’s what to do instead.
Play: Today’s Spelling Bee, Wordle and Mini Crossword. For more, find all our games here.
10. And finally, meet New York City’s fish rescuer.
Lockdowns triggered by the coronavirus pandemic created an emergency for the city’s fish. Many were abandoned in offices or homes that were left empty for months or years. A sultan fish in Midtown Manhattan was left languishing in a closed acupuncture office. An Oscar fish in Co-Op City was stranded after its owner died of the virus.
In both occasions — and dozens of others over the last three years — the same unexpected fish rescuer was called in: Brenda Prohaska, a beautician from the Bronx. Until recently, she had only a passing interest in aquatic animals, but she felt compelled by the plight of the helpless fish.
“I thought someone else would answer the call,” Prohaska said. “They didn’t, so I had to.”
Have a safe and sound night.
Harrison Hill and Sarah Hughes compiled photos for this briefing.
Want to catch up on past briefings? You can browse them here.
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