(Want to get this newsletter in your inbox? Here’s the sign-up.)
Good evening. Here’s the latest at the end of Friday.
1. It began as an ordinary Tuesday, with a sky as blue as blue can be. The dust and chaos soon followed.
Twenty years later, the Sept. 11 terror attacks continue to reverberate. Nearly 3,000 lives were lost on that horrific morning. Even now, the remains of those who died are still being identified, and many more who were exposed to toxic material are still dealing with health issues. For the veterans of two wars that followed the attacks, some are “still fighting a little bit of that war, inside,” one said.
2. President Biden’s orders requiring millions of workers to get vaccinated will slow the pandemic, but not immediately, scientists said.
The administration’s new mandates should “fundamentally shift the arc of the current surge,” one public health expert said, and eventually return the country to some semblance of normalcy over the longer term. But experts also cautioned that the results could take many weeks to unfold.
The administration’s mandates come as the C.D.C. reports that unvaccinated Americans are 11 times more likely to die of Covid.
What gives Biden the authority to mandate vaccinations? The answer is in a 51-year-old law aimed at protecting workers from “grave dangers.” In response to Republican governors vowing to fight the requirements, Biden said: “Have at it.”
3. The Times has obtained new footage and witness accounts that cast new doubts on a recent drone strike that killed 10 members of a family in Kabul, Afghanistan.
U.S. officials said a Reaper drone followed a car for hours and then fired a missile based on evidence it was carrying explosives. But exclusive video, testimonies and satellite images obtained by The Times raise questions about the U.S. version of events.
Military officials were suspicious of the activities of the car’s driver, Zemari Ahmadi, a longtime engineer for a U.S.-based aid group. The Times’s video footage suggests Ahmadi spent much of the day transporting colleagues to and from work. What the military interpreted as a series of suspicious moves may have just been a typical day in his life.
4. Apple can’t force app developers to use its payment system, a judge ruled. The decision could upend the economics of a $100 billion market.
The ruling will allow thousands of companies to avoid Apple’s commission of up to 30 percent on some app payments. It came as part of the ruling in a lawsuit against Apple by Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite, and comes as the iPhone-maker faces growing criticism from regulators and politicians.
5. New Orleans built a power plant for storms. It sat dark for two days after Hurricane Ida hit.
The 128-megawatt gas power plant, operated by the city’s sole electric utility, came online last year with a promise that it would swiftly generate electricity during storms. It failed to fulfill that mission after Ida, leading some to question the city’s faith in fossil fuels.
While evacuees have been steadily returning to New Orleans as power was largely restored, the recovery has barely begun in rural areas south of the city that were hit hardest by the storm.
6. Stefan Weber has ended careers, forced politicians from office and hounded scores of others. They call him “the plagiarism hunter.”
What started as a hobby for Weber, an Austrian communications professor, has now developed into a business with five freelance collaborators working to reveal the misdoings of lazy, sloppy or downright sneaky writers. “I know when I’m annoying people with my meticulousness,” he said.
His latest target is Annalena Baerbock, the Green Party candidate vying to replace Angela Merkel as German chancellor in elections this month. Her nonfiction book was found to feature more than 100 passages from blogs, news columns and other sources.
7. Novak Djokovic is vying for the first men’s singles Grand Slam in 52 years, but two teenage women are stealing the show at the U.S. Open.
After knocking off their elders one by one by one, Emma Raducanu, 18, of Britain and Leylah Fernandez, 19, of Canada will play in Saturday’s singles final — the first all-teenage Grand Slam final since Serena Williams defeated Martina Hingis in 1999. “This story is almost like the perfect complement to Djokovic going for history,” said Pam Shriver, once a surprise U.S. Open finalist herself at age 16.
Djokovic is two matches away from pulling off the most hallowed achievement in the game: winning all four Grand Slams in the same calendar year. He plays Alexander Zverev tonight at 7 p.m. Eastern in one semifinal. One of them will meet Daniil Medvedev in Sunday’s final.
8. Singing through masks. Ironing costumes. Stuffing tickets into envelopes. The Metropolitan Opera, the largest performing arts company in the nation, is getting ready to reopen.
A typical Broadway theater tackles one show at a time, but the Met is planning to mount 196 performances of 22 different operas this season. Life backstage is still far from normal, even as the opera house is buzzing with preseason energy. Take a look.
Among the 25 largest American ensembles, one of music’s most stubbornly homogeneous spheres, there are no women serving as music directors. That may finally be changing.
9. Before you reach for your go-to pizzeria, consider the tortizza.
These tortilla pizzas, topped with crunchy vegetables and salty feta, couldn’t be easier to make, writes Erics Kim: “The tortizza can be a delicate slip of a weeknight dream — a life raft when time is of the essence.”
If you find yourself bored of asking “what’s for dinner,” these roasted fish fillets from Melissa Clark sizzle in brown butter and then are zipped up with nori oil, capers and plenty of lemon. Alternatively, Yotam Ottolenghi’s generous pasta-bean-pesto dish shows there can be opportunity in a kitchen rut.
10. And finally, a parrot never blames his tools.
When wildlife researchers found a baby kea parrot they named Bruce, he was missing his upper beak. That’s a severe disability for kea parrots, who use their dramatically long and curved upper beaks to preen their feathers of parasites and to remove dirt. But Bruce found a solution: He designed and uses his own prosthetic beak.
With pebbles held between his lower beak and tongue, Bruce is able to comb through his plumage with the tip of the stones. “Bruce didn’t see anyone do this,” the study’s lead researcher said. “He just came up with it by himself, which is pretty cool.”
Have an inventive weekend.
Bryan Denton compiled photos for this briefing.
Your Evening Briefing is posted at 6 p.m. Eastern.
Want to catch up on past briefings? You can browse them here.
What did you like? What do you want to see here? Let us know at email@example.com.
— to www.nytimes.com