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Good evening. Here is the last one.

1. The United States has lost almost half a million people to Covid-19.

President Biden held a solemn White House memorial, above, for a ‘truly grim and heartbreaking milestone’ as deaths from the coronavirus pandemic approached 500,000.

“The people we lost were amazing,” he said. “They have crossed generations. Born in America or immigrated to America. He noted that they “took their last breaths alone in America”, with many hospitalized separated from their families: “As a nation, we cannot accept such a cruel fate.”

The president cited a death toll of over 500,000, but a New York Times database count has yet to reach that figure. In any case, the number of viruses in the United States is higher than that of any other country. More Americans have died from Covid-19 than on the battlefields of WWI, WWII and the Vietnam War combined. Mr Biden calls for reducing federal flags to half the staff for the next five days.

Despite the horrific death toll, the news is encouraging: New virus cases and deaths have slowed dramatically, and the pace of vaccine distribution has accelerated. The number of Americans hospitalized for Covid-19 is at its lowest since early November.

The scope of the investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office is not known, but court documents suggest it will delve into potential crimes such as tax and insurance fraud. Prosecutors will soon begin sifting through Mr. Trump’s financial records.

In a long and angry statement, Mr. Trump criticized the Supreme Court and the inquiry, which he called “the continuation of the greatest political witch-hunt in our country’s history.”

Last year, The Times ran a series of articles after securing more than two decades of tax returns for Mr. Trump and his businesses.

3. England slowly easing lockdown restrictions.

“We are embarking on what I hope will be a one-sided journey to freedom,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, announcing the plan to begin lifting nationwide measures brought about by a variant highly contagious of the coronavirus. Above, a 10-year-old doing distance learning at his home in London in January.

English schools are due to reopen on March 8 and people will be allowed to socialize outside from March 29. Pubs, restaurants, retail stores and gyms will remain closed for at least a month. International travel remains prohibited. Britain has rolled out a remarkably successful vaccination program, injecting 17 million people with their first doses.

Around the world, the pandemic is receding. New cases have declined to half the level seen at the world summit at the end of 2020, which experts attribute to improved social distancing and mask wearing, seasonality of the virus and a build-up of natural immunity among groups with high infection rates.

4. Is the United States heading for a post-Covid economic boom?

Economists still expected the pandemic to be followed by a period of strong growth, but in recent weeks some have started talking about something bigger: a supercharged economic rebound.

Optimism stems from several factors. Coronavirus cases are on the decline, vaccine rollouts are gathering momentum, the economy appears to have suffered less structural damage than feared, and some consumers are sitting on months of savings bolstered by the lockdown .

Some economists predict that US production will grow 4.5% this year, making it the best year since 1999. Some expect an even stronger rebound: Goldman Sachs economists predict the economy will grow by 6 , 8% this year.

Separately, the Biden administration announced changes to the Paycheck Protection Program rules to direct federal aid more to smaller and more vulnerable businesses, including a 14-day freeze on business loans. of 20 or more employees.

5. Judge Merrick Garland said he was investigating the riot on Capitol Hill would be his first priority as attorney general.

Speaking at his Senate confirmation hearing, Judge Garland said the United States faces “a more dangerous time” from domestic extremists than after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, which he investigated as a prosecutor. He hailed the early stages of the investigation into “white supremacists and others who stormed Capitol Hill” on January 6 as sufficiently aggressive.

We took a closer look at the violence on January 6 and why it took officials nearly two hours to approve an urgent request to deploy the National Guard.

6. Texans, in crisis, turned to an unlikely hero: the grocer.

As frustration grew among Texans trapped in their homes without electricity or water over the past week, some began to notice, half-jokingly, that HEB should just take over. The grocery chain has long been known for its logistical prowess in responding to the coronavirus pandemic and hurricanes, with stocks of water and emergency supplies ready to be deployed. Above, an employee of an HEB grocery store distributing flowers last week.

Meanwhile, Texas officials who refused to join interstate power grids and have spoken out against regulations must now respond to the millions of residents who were left without power during last week’s snowstorm.

7. After Trump, Washington weekends are back.

Breaking news: President Biden did nothing alarming this weekend. There were exactly eight tweets, each rooted in what can best be described as reality.

Mr Biden’s obvious lack of interest in generating bold headlines underscores how Trump’s waist-hole in Washington has created a sense of free time, writes one of our White House correspondents. Journalists covering this new version of Washington say they are ready to return to the type of journalism that does not involve deciphering a ring of human humor.

The Times Washington office has announced its new White House team.

8. NASA released a new video taken from Mars, the first sent back to Earth from the planet.

The images come from the Perseverance spacecraft which passed through the Martian atmosphere last week, ending with the rover’s successful arrival on the planet’s surface.

It took some time for the visual files and data to get to Earth. There is no high speed internet connection between Earth and Mars. Instead, the data had to be relayed by an orbiting spacecraft passing overhead.

Separately, Hayley Arceneaux, 29, a cancer survivor and medical assistant at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, will be one of four people aboard a SpaceX rocket that will circle the earth later this year. . Ms. Arceneaux would be the youngest American to travel in orbit, and also the first person with a prosthetic part of the body.

9. An animated flying cat with a Pop-Tart body sold for almost $ 600,000.

Nyan Cat is a ubiquitous piece of web art that has been viewed and shared hundreds of millions of times. A single version of it has just been auctioned off to an anonymous buyer for around $ 580,000.

The sale was a new highlight in a growing market for property rights in digital art, ephemeral documents and media known as NFT, or “non-fungible tokens.” Buyers usually do not acquire copyright or even ownership. They buy bragging rights and know their copy is “genuine”.

10. And finally, a podcast born in the USA

Former President Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen are liberal icons and rhapsodists about the dreams and struggles of ordinary Americans. Now the two friends are podcast hosts as well.

Spotify today released the first two episodes of “Renegades: Born in the USA,” in which men discuss race, fatherhood and the painful divisions that persist in American society.

While the show is positioned as an attempt to understand these divisions, Mr. Obama and Mr. Springsteen largely avoid politics and stick to personal stories. The show is an in-depth and thoughtful discussion of the life in the United States of two masters of form.

Have a stimulating evening.

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