Here’s what you need to know about the week’s top stories.
Published: 2021-04-18 04:51 am
George Floyd, Indianapolis, Spring Migration: Your Weekend Briefing
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Here’s what you need to know about the week’s top stories.

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Remy Tumin and

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

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Credit...Joshua Rashaad McFadden for The New York Times

1. For three weeks, America has relived the killing of George Floyd during one of the most watched trials in decades. Now, a verdict could come within days.

Closing arguments in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, begin Monday. Here are key moments that shaped the trial.

But even as Americans continue to process it, new cases of people killed by the police have mounted. Since the trial began on March 29, more than three people a day have died at the hands of law enforcement, The Times found. Above, a memorial for victims of such killings in Minneapolis.

Among them were Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old boy, whom a Chicago officer chased down an alley and fatally shot, and Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man who was pulled over for an expired registration. Officers noted an air freshener dangling from his mirror, an apparent violation. Many say it is a low-level offense used as a pretext for traffic stops that selectively target people of color.

Credit...Maddie McGarvey for The New York Times

On Saturday, vigils were held across the city for the victims, who ranged in age from 19 to 74. Four of the eight people killed were from Indiana’s growing Sikh community. The authorities have not said whether hate or bias might have played a role in the attack.

Here’s what we know so far about the suspect: The 19-year-old gunman, a former employee at the site, had previously been reported to the law enforcement authorities by his mother, who warned them last year that her son might attempt “suicide by cop.” He also bought two semiautomatic rifles months after a gun was seized from him over his mental state, officials said.

Credit...Doug Mills/The New York Times

3. Over two decades of war, the Pentagon had fended off leaders frustrated with the grind of Afghanistan. But President Biden refused to be persuaded.

Our White House team looked at the days — and years — leading up to Mr. Biden’s decision to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the attacks that prompted the U.S. intervention there. It came down to a simple choice, according to officials: Acknowledge that the Afghan government and its fragile security forces would need an American troop presence indefinitely, or leave.

Credit...Department of Health and Human Services

5. The least vaccinated U.S. counties have something in common: Trump voters.

A Times analysis found that willingness to receive a vaccine and actual vaccination rates were both lower, on average, in counties where a majority of residents voted to re-elect Donald Trump as president in 2020. In more rural — and more Republican — areas, health officials said that vaccine supply was far exceeding demand.

More than 127 million people in the U.S. have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. The federal government’s pause on use of the Johnson & Johnson single-shot vaccine will most likely last at least until the end of the week as a panel of experts reviews a rare blood clot disorder that appeared in six women.

Here’s what women need to know about getting a coronavirus vaccine.

Credit...Peter and Maria Hoey

6. No ALL CAPS messages. No morning eruptions. No false claims.

It has been 100 days since the suspension of Donald Trump’s Twitter account. For millions of Trump loyalists, his silence has meant the loss of their greatest weapon in their fight against the left. For his detractors, the absence of a daily barrage of anxiety-provoking presidential verbiage feels closer to a return to normalcy than anything else (so far) in 2021.

Republicans who were most vocal in urging their followers to come to Washington on Jan. 6 to try to reverse Mr. Trump’s loss have profited handsomely in the aftermath of the Capitol riot, new campaign data shows.

Credit...Pool photo by Jonathan Brady

7. A somber farewell to Prince Philip.

Queen Elizabeth II said goodbye to her husband of more than 73 years, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, at his funeral on Saturday at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. The Rev. David Conner, the dean of Windsor, noted Philip’s life of service and “his unwavering loyalty to our queen.”

The ceremony was a subdued affair, with only 30 royal family members in attendance. All eyes were on Prince William and his brother, Prince Harry, looking for a slight easing in the family rift; the two walked out of the chapel together. See the funeral in photos.

Philip’s coffin, transported in a Land Rover Defender, custom-made to his specifications, was lowered into the vault beneath the chapel. The funeral marked a poignant dress rehearsal for the far more consequential passing of the queen. She turns 95 on Wednesday.

Credit...Chase Fountain, Texas Parks and Wildlife

8. Reach for your binoculars: Spring migration is in full swing.

We asked five birding enthusiasts to give us a rundown on where to go and what bird species to look for in five regions of the U.S., like the painted bunting, above. No matter which bird is your favorite, Lisa Foderaro urges you to “embrace the whole ornithological parade” and “let yourself marvel at the tiny, colorful, fleeting creatures in our midst.”

If you’re starting to plan your vegetable garden, here’s what you need to know about companion planting. Gardeners have often looked to companion plants for pest control, but smart pairings can minimize weeds and improve soil, too.

9. The secret to smooth doughs and fluffy bread is simpler than you think.

Across cultures and cuisines, just-boiled water has long played a role in making pie crusts and milk breads shine. It’s because of a process baking experts call gelatinization, which occurs when you heat a wet starch above 140 degrees Fahrenheit, making dough easier to mix and roll out, with very little rest time or kneading. The Netflix star Nadiya Hussain, above, is a fan.

We are also deep into asparagus season. After a particularly long winter, these bright recipes will have you clamoring to eat greens.

Credit...Daniel Arnold

Have a delightful week.

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