Transfer Talk: Mount could reunite with Tuchel at Bayern Munich

The January transfer window may be closed around Europe, but teams are looking ahead to the summer and there’s plenty of gossip swirling around. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings, goings and, of course, done deals!

TOP STORY: Bayern could set up Tuchel-Mount reunion

Bayern Munich are considering a swoop for Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount, reports the Times.

The Bundesliga club are said to be keeping a close eye on the 24-year-old’s situation at Stamford Bridge, with hopes of being able to land him if the Blues fail to secure a contract extension.

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Mount will enter the final year of his deal in June, and with former Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel now in the dugout at Bayern, the Allianz Arena hierarchy would be willing to help set up a reunion.

It is understood that Chelsea would still demand a fee of £50 million despite Mount’s contract winding down, with England international deemed to be a key player for Graham Potter’s side.

Mount has contributed to five goals in 23 Premier League appearances this season and has previously been linked with Liverpool.


– A bid of €100m for RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol would be rejected this summer, according to Sky Sports Deutschland’s Florian Plettenberg. The 21-year-old Croatia international has been linked with a number of sides across Europe, but it looks as though the club’s hierarchy remain intent on keeping him at the Red Bull Arena for at least another season.

Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan is attracting interest from Barcelona and one other club, reveals Fabrizio Romano. Man City are reported to be waiting on the 32-year-old’s decision, with his contract set to expire in the summer, but he is taking time over his decision with belief that he would commit the final years of his career if he was to sign a new deal at the Etihad Stadium.

– Barcelona are assessing the idea of signing Chelsea forward Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang on a one-season loan, reports Sport. The 33-year-old is understood to be determined to make the switch back to the Camp Nou, and he is willing to accept a lower salary as the Blaugrana look to find ways to reinforce their squad with free transfers and loan deals.

Internazionale are set to switch their attention to signing centre-back Alessandro Bastoni to a new contract, understands Calciomercato. The 23-year-old has been a key player for the Serie A side this season, but with his terms entering the final 12 months in the summer, the latest indicates that the Nerazzurri are hopeful of reaching an agreement over a new long-term deal.

Villarreal will need to say goodbye to centre-back Pau Torres if they don’t secure Champions League football next season, writes Relevo. The club currently find themselves in sixth place and seven points behind fourth with 12 games to go in LaLiga, and it looks as though they have accepted that they may be without the 26-year-old in the next campaign to offset the loss from missing out on playing in Europe’s top competition.

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NFL clubs table TNF flex, OK 2 short-week games

PHOENIX — While NFL teams opted not to vote on a rule that would allow games to be flexed into a Thursday night kickoff, clubs agreed Tuesday to modify the existing rule and allow teams to play a maximum of two short-week games.

That means that while some teams could play two Thursday night games, others would not have any. Back-to-back Thursday night games, such as a Thanksgiving game followed by a Thursday night game the next week, would only count as one short-week game, so some teams could wind up playing three Thursday night games.

“We’re interested in making sure that we get exposure for all of our clubs,” said Brian Rolapp, NFL executive vice president and chief media and business officer.

“We also believe that these national windows are for clubs that are playing well. We want to put the best teams in the best windows.”

The tabled proposal and subsequent modification on the final day of the league’s annual meetings in Phoenix was met with tepid reactions from some NFL team owners, while others were adamantly opposed, including New York Giants owner John Mara.

Mara, who called the idea “abusive,” said the vote was close and he is concerned it will come up again at the spring league meetings and eventually pass.

“At some point, can we please give some consideration to the people who are coming to our games?” Mara said. “People make plans to go to these games weeks and months in advance. And 15 days ahead of time to say, ‘Sorry, folks, that game you were planning on taking your kids to Sunday at 1:00, now it’s on Thursday night?’ What are we thinking about?”

Mara also said he was frustrated that the idea was presented to the owners at the league meetings this week with no advance warning.

“This should have been vetted with the health and safety committee, it should have been vetted with the competition committee, and it was not,” Mara said. “They just tried to push it through.”

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell pushed back against Mara’s assertion that the practice would be “abusive” to fans, saying that the league is trying to balance the best interests of in-stadium fans with those watching on television from home.

“There isn’t anybody in any of our organization that doesn’t put our fans first,” Goodell said. “Providing the best matchups for our fans is what we do. That’s part of what our schedule has always focused on. Flex has been part of that. We are very judicious with it and careful with it. We look at all the impacts of that before a decision is made.”

Players also appeared to be critical of the decision to increase the number of Thursday night games a team can play. Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the league’s reigning MVP, quote tweeted the news with a facepalm emoji.

Asked about Mahomes’ reaction, Goodell stressed that the league isn’t prioritizing a broadcast partner over the health and safety of players.

“I don’t think we are putting Amazon over players’ interest,” Goodell said. “We look at data with respect to injuries and impact on players. … I think we have data that’s very clear, it doesn’t show higher injury rate.

He added: “I hear from a lot of players directly, too. They have 10 days afterwards. So there’s some benefits on that side.”

Pittsburgh Steelers president and CEO Art Rooney II said he was in favor of two Thursday night games, but he also opposed the Thursday flex, which would be announced 15 days before the scheduled kickoff.

“I didn’t support the flex part,” Rooney II said. “I think that if we are smart about how we schedule the teams… If they’re playing two Thursday nights, I mean, for instance, you can give them back-to-back Thursdays, things like that, and have a bye on one end or things like that. I think it can be done in a way that teams will be able to live with it. It provides more inventory to schedule on Thursday night, so it can be a good thing.

“The biggest problem I had with the flex was that the proposal was that you only had 15 days’ notice. That’s just too short of a turnaround time for a flex from a Sunday to Thursday, as far as I’m concerned.”

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Video Shows Police Knock Out Protester as Tensions Erupt in France

Protesters clashed with police across France Tuesday as tensions remain high over French President Emmanuel Macron‘s unpopular pension bill.

On March 16, Macron signed a bill that raised the national retirement age from 62 to 64, making the decision just moments before a vote on the measure was set to be held in the National Assembly. Many French citizens have been riled since, gathering in large protests across the nation that have typically involved violent clashes with police and fires in the streets.

On Tuesday, protests persisted after the French government rejected union leaders’ demands to suspend Macron’s retirement bill, according to a report from Reuters. Macron and his proponents have argued that raising the retirement age is imperative to save the pension system from bankruptcy.

French police on Tuesday respond to an injured man in Paris, France, as protests persisted over French President Emmanuel Macron’s decision to push a pension reform bill through parliament without a vote this month.
Christophe ARCHAMBAULT/AFP/Getty

During one of the confrontations between protesters and police in Paris, live footage from BFM TV, a 24-hour news channel in France, captured officers charging at a crowd, knocking a man standing in front of the police line to the ground. Videos have since circulated on social media, showing officers attempting to help the man who appears unconscious.

Twitter user Timothée Forget, a journalism student in Paris, reposted a video of BFM’s live feed on Twitter, writing, “a man has just been violently thrown to the ground after a police charge!!”

Reuters reported that police did not respond to a request for comment on the man’s condition.

French Minister of the Interior Gerald Darmanin reported on Twitter Tuesday evening that there have been 201 arrests in the nearly two weeks of protests. He also thanked “the 13,000 police and gendarmes mobilized throughout France to ensure the safety of people and property, under the authority of the prefects” and gave his “full support” to the 175 officers who had been injured.

According to reports from BFM, 70 people were arrested in the protests across Paris on Tuesday. The Paris Police Department posted photos on Twitter of what appears to be a hammer and another metal object confiscated from the crowd in the 10,000 “checks” performed by police that same day.

Union leaders had previously demanded that the French government suspend Macron’s pension bill to allow time to rethink the decision. Reuters reported that officials rejected the request Tuesday morning.

Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne instead offered to meet with union leaders early next week, read the report, and officials said they would be willing to discuss other topics but remained firm on the pension reform.

Reuters added that the next nationwide day of protest has been planned by unions for April 6.

Newsweek has reached out to French Ambassador to the U.S. Laurent Bili for comment.

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LeBron and the James fam spotted at 2023 McDonald’s All American Games

The McDonald’s All American Games host the nation’s top high school seniors on one court.

The 2023 McDonald’s All American girls’ game tipped off at 6:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2/ESPN App), with the boys’ game following at 9 p.m. ET (ESPN/ESPN App).

Sierra Canyon High School (California) is well-represented on both sides with Bronny James and Judea Watkins headlining their respective games.

By the end of both contests, 48 players will have represented themselves on their biggest stage yet.

Here are the top moments from Tuesday night in Houston:

Courtside King James

Twenty years after his first appearance, LeBron James is back at the McDonald’s All-American Game to support his son, Bronny.

Hidalgo in the clutch

Hannah Hidalgo‘s buzzer-beating 3-pointer ended the third quarter on a high note.

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Sources: Wade, Dirk among legendary HOF class

Dwyane Wade, Dirk Nowitzki and coach Gregg Popovich are among the finalists elected into a starry Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2023, sources told ESPN on Tuesday.

Two international stars — Pau Gasol and Tony Parker — and WNBA legend Becky Hammon have also been voted into the 2023 class, sources said.

A formal announcement on the full Class of 2023 will come on Saturday at the NCAA men’s basketball Final Four in Houston.

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Some Ukrainians Refuse to Leave Avdiivka Despite Russian Bombardment

In Avdiivka, as in Bakhmut and other devastated places on the front lines, most residents left long ago, but there are holdouts.

When the shelling starts, the people who remain in the devastation of Avdiivka hardly flinch. In truth, the shelling barely stops. In this ravaged town in eastern Ukraine, the thud of Russian artillery reverberates every minute or two.

“Do you hear? It’s flying,” one resident said as a rocket passed overhead. “Then there is a boom,” he added as it detonated.

As Russia wages an offensive across a broad front in eastern Ukraine, in the last few weeks it has intensified its bombardment of Avdiivka and outlying villages, near the Russian-held regional capital, Donetsk. The barrage has left Avdiivka, already battered and largely abandoned by residents after a year of war, without power, running water or intact shelter for its civilian holdouts.

Moscow’s monthslong advance has been slow: It has yet to capture any major towns. But it is also devastating, claiming casualties by the tens of thousands and reducing the places in its path to ruins.

On Monday, the Ukrainian government barred civilians from entering the town, citing safety concerns; the top official in Avdiivka, Vitaliy Barabash, called it “like a site from postapocalyptic movies.” A team of New York Times journalists visited on Monday just before the ban was announced.

Residential communities were strewn with the ruins of blasted buildings, pavement and vehicles, making streets nearly impassable by car. Schools, health clinics, shopping centers and apartment blocks had been left with gaping holes. Chunks of unexploded ordnance protruded from the streets.

The remaining residents were living in damp, candlelit basements beneath Soviet-era apartment buildings, pervaded by stifling smells, where they had set up beds, makeshift kitchens, bookshelves and small Orthodox shrines. Ukrainian police went from basement to basement, trying to persuade civilians to evacuate.

Bakhmut, Ukraine, on Sunday. Russian forces have fought for nine months to seize the city, advancing from three directions, but Ukrainians have held the western side.Libkos/Associated Press

The longtime focus of the Russian offensive, Bakhmut, lies 34 miles to the northeast, and Moscow has not let up in its assault there, even as fighting escalates elsewhere along the front, officials on both sides said on Tuesday. Russian forces have fought for nine months to seize Bakhmut, advancing from three directions and recently taking control of the eastern side of the city, but Ukrainians have held fast on the western side.

“They are not giving up their attempts to surround and capture the city,” Gen. Oleksandr Syrsky, commander of Ukrainian ground forces, said on the Telegram messaging app.

Denis Pushilin, the Russian-installed leader of the Donetsk region, said on Russian state television that the Kremlin’s forces were pushing ahead, wresting control from the Ukrainians of a metals factory on the western side of Bakhmut, a claim that could not be independently verified.

The battle there has killed or wounded thousands, and officials on both sides have claimed that the carnage has served to wear down its enemy.

Britain’s Defense Ministry said in an intelligence update on Tuesday that a parallel effort to encircle and capture Avdiivka had become a high Russian priority but had “made only marginal progress at the cost of heavy losses in armored vehicles.”

The Ukrainian military’s General Staff said on Tuesday that Ukrainian forces had repelled 62 attacks in the previous 24 hours in Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Marinka, another eastern town nearby.

With more powerful Western weapons arriving and fresh troops being conscripted, Ukraine is widely expected to launch a counteroffensive soon, hoping to retake Russian-held territory. Analysts say the main push is likely to be farther west, in the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions.

In Zaporizhzhia, “there is a quite obvious increase in the number of troops on both sides, military equipment, etc.,” Rafael Mariano Grossi, the chief nuclear-energy watchdog for the United Nations, said in an interview on Tuesday. “Our teams are also observing and hearing and seeing more military activity, including detonations.”

Mr. Grossi is in the region and plans on Wednesday to visit the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, seized by Russia last year. It has been damaged repeatedly in the fighting, raising fears of an incident that could cause a major radiation release. Mr. Grossi is trying to negotiate an agreement to make the plant and its surroundings a demilitarized zone.

Gennadiy Yudin, a police officer, trying to persuade an Avdiivka resident to evacuate on Monday.Yousur Al-Hlou/The New York Times

Ukrainian officials say the danger there is elevated by the Russian occupiers abusing the plant’s short-handed Ukrainian staff and stationing troops and weapons at the plant, which the Russians have denied.

Russia has repeatedly hinted at another kind of nuclear danger: the use of nuclear weapons. On Sunday, Mr. Putin said Russia could soon station such weapons in Belarus, its ally, which borders Ukraine to the north. The government of Belarus said on Tuesday that it would be open to Russian tactical nuclear weapons on its soil.

Western analysts say such talk is most likely bluster and note that Russia already has the capacity for nuclear strikes in Ukraine, but the threats keep the topic on Ukrainian and Western minds.

The United States has informed Russia that it will no longer share data on American nuclear forces as required under the New START nuclear arms-control treaty, Biden administration officials said on Tuesday. Mr. Putin said last month that Russia was suspending its participation in the treaty, and it had already blocked American inspections of its arsenal under the treaty.

Despite the suffering and risks, neither Moscow nor Kyiv has shown serious interest in ending the war, except on terms the other side calls unacceptable. President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia has said that his top priority is conquest of the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which his forces mostly control. His government claims to have annexed to Russia those two provinces, and also Zaporizhzhia and Kherson, though it does not hold the entirety of any of the four.

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine has said his country will accept nothing less than the Russians either withdrawing or being expelled from all Ukrainian territory. Stopping the fighting before that, Ukrainian and American officials say, would only cement into place Russia’s illegal gains.

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken reiterated that position on Tuesday in a thinly veiled swipe at a proposal by China, Russia’s most important ally, that includes a cease-fire. Though he did not mention China by name, Mr. Blinken warned against any plans that would simply give Russia room “to rest and refit and then reattack,” he told foreign ministers in a video meeting of foreign ministers from around the world.

“What seems to be appealing on the surface — who wouldn’t want the guns to be silent? — can also be a very cynical trap that we have to be very, very careful of,” he added.

Where the guns are loudest, near the front lines across eastern and southern Ukraine, most residents fled long ago, but some remain. That is evident in Avdiivka, which lies just outside Donetsk city, controlled by Russians since the Kremlin’s separatist proxy forces seized it in 2014.

Ukrainian service members with the body of a woman killed during shelling in Avdiivka this month. Out of 30,000 people who lived in Avdiivka before the full-scale Russian invasion, only hundreds remain, Ukrainians say. Alex Babenko/Reuters

Out of 30,000 people who lived in Avdiivka before the full-scale Russian invasion, Ukrainians say only hundreds remain. They mostly stay underground, where it is safer. One retiree said she hadn’t been outside for five months.

People have stayed behind for various reasons. Some say they are too ill, others too attached to their prewar lives. Most are middle-aged and older.

“I’ve been living here for 43 years. How can I leave Avdiivka?” said one older resident, Polina, who emerged from a basement to drop off cat food for a neighbor and check on damage to her apartment. Like others interviewed for this article, she gave only her first name, fearing for her safety.

“At my old age, I don’t want to hop around to different apartments somewhere else,” she added.

Nearby, a building was still smoking after a recent rocket strike.

Still others say they are too poor to move. Some appear psychologically paralyzed after months of shelling. Many simply sit on their beds and stare blankly.

And in a region with strong ties to Russia, loyalties are sometimes divided. Two older residents appeared to support Russia and blamed both sides of the war for shelling their community.

Many residents knew a pair of police officers who visited on Monday, from previous visits, and were used to their attempts to persuade them to leave.

One mother, Natalya, agreed to be evacuated with her 3-year-old daughter, Marina. She was distraught as she packed their few belongings into plastic bags and said she had no money to start a new life.

But most of those approached rebuffed the officers, then scuttled back down to their basements and slammed the doors.

Destruction in Avdiivka this month. One older resident said, “I’ve been living here for 43 years. How can I leave Avdiivka?”Alex Babenko/Reuters

Reporting was contributed by Matthew Mpoke Bigg from Kyiv, Edward Wong from Washington and Enjoli Liston from London.

Top Fed Officials Criticize Silicon Valley Bank Executives at Senate Hearing

Officials blamed executives at Silicon Valley Bank for its failure on March 10, while adding that Federal Reserve oversight is in for a revamp.

WASHINGTON — A top regulator at the Federal Reserve on Tuesday blamed Silicon Valley Bank’s executives for its collapse and provided little explanation for why supervisors had failed to stop its demise, saying that the central bank was examining what went wrong.

Michael S. Barr, the Fed’s vice chair for supervision, testified for more than two hours before the Senate Banking Committee alongside Martin Gruenberg, chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and Nellie Liang, the Treasury’s under secretary for domestic finance.

They faced skeptical questioning from lawmakers about why their agencies — in particular the Fed, which was Silicon Valley Bank’s main regulator — had not done more to stop the bank from imploding. Democrats pressed the officials on whether gaps in regulation had allowed problems in the banking system to build after rollbacks under the Trump administration. Republicans, by contrast, blasted Fed supervisors for either missing obvious risks or not addressing them effectively.

It is unclear whether the intense scrutiny will spur any new laws or changes to existing ones, especially in a divided Congress. But the episode is likely to prompt regulatory and supervisory changes at the Fed. The central bank is conducting an investigation into how it failed to stop growing vulnerabilities at the bank. Mr. Barr suggested repeatedly on Tuesday that tighter regulation and supervision would most likely be the result of that inquiry, which is set to conclude by May 1.

Fed supervisors were aware of at least some of the problems plaguing Silicon Valley Bank beginning in late 2021, though it was unclear how detailed of a grasp they had on the risks. Mr. Barr said on Tuesday that he learned of some of the worst vulnerabilities at the bank only in February, just ahead of its collapse.

Lawmakers from both parties questioned why the Fed wasn’t more successful at forcing the bank’s leadership team to change its practices, which included a misguided and unprotected bet that interest rates would remain low. Even as the Fed was still vetting what happened, Mr. Barr said, poor management at Silicon Valley Bank allowed its weaknesses to build to a point that the bank failed on March 10.

Martin Gruenberg, chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, with Senator Elizabeth Warren at the hearing.Kenny Holston/The New York Times

“Fundamentally, the bank failed because its management failed to appropriately address clear interest rate risk and clear liquidity risk,” Mr. Barr said. “The Federal Reserve Bank brought forward these problems to the bank, and they failed to address them in a timely way — that exposure led the firm to be highly vulnerable to a shock.”

Silicon Valley Bank invested heavily in long-term bonds that became less valuable as interest rates rose last year. And it did not hold protection against higher borrowing costs. When it sold some of its assets and disclosed losses in early March, the announcement spooked depositors — many of whom had accounts in excess of the $250,000 that is guaranteed by the F.D.I.C.

Customers, afraid of losing their money, raced to pull out their deposits: $42 billion left the bank on Thursday, March 9, and Mr. Barr said another $100 billion was about to head out the door the next day, when the bank collapsed and was seized by the F.D.I.C.

The bank’s failure set off a chain reaction that has coursed through the global banking system in the weeks since. Regulators tried to find a buyer for SVB that weekend but could not: Of two bids from interested banks, Mr. Gruenberg said, one was ineligible because the bank’s board had not approved the offer, and the other was not a good enough deal for the government to legally accept it.

To contain the fallout, that Sunday evening officials made a sweeping rescue — announcing that another firm, Signature Bank, had failed but promising that the government would make sure depositors were paid back in full. The Fed simultaneously set up an emergency lending program that gives banks access to cash in a pinch in exchange for bonds and other securities.

The Fed was conscious of at least some of the problems that plagued Silicon Valley Bank starting from late 2021Jim Wilson/The New York Times

The efforts to stop depositors from pulling their cash did not immediately stem the bleeding. First Republic took an injection of capital from other banks, and in Europe, the Swiss lender Credit Suisse was rushed through a takeover by UBS.

But in recent days, government officials have said deposit outflows are stabilizing in the United States. Regulators reiterated on Tuesday that the banking system was sound — and said the actions they had taken were necessary to ensure that it remained so.

“I think there would have been a contagion,” Mr. Gruenberg of the F.D.I.C. said.

The turmoil brought to light a number of problems in the American financial system, including the question of whether federal deposit insurance is correctly calibrated.

A big share of U.S. deposits are not protected by the government, and the businesses or individuals holding those accounts are more likely to pull their money at the first sign of trouble. The F.D.I.C. explicitly insures up to $250,000, but the government’s rescue calls into question whether it is implicitly backing all deposits.

In the case of the two failed banks, officials invoked a rule that allowed regulators to pay out even uninsured depositors — something they would not usually be able to do — if the fallout otherwise posed a risk to the entire system. Ms. Liang reiterated on Tuesday that the government would be prepared to take such steps again, if they were deemed necessary.

“We have used important tools to act quickly to prevent contagion,” Ms. Liang said. “And they are tools we would use again if warranted to ensure that Americans’ deposits are safe.”

Mr. Gruenberg said regulators would also be looking at a longer-term fix to the way deposits were insured, including coverage levels.

“The decision to cover uninsured depositors at these two institutions was a highly consequential one that has implications for the system,” Mr. Gruenberg said. “We want to try to be responsive on that.”

Still, much of the hearing focused not on deposit insurance, but on bank oversight.

Senators during a hearing on Tuesday to examine recent bank failures.Kenny Holston/The New York Times

Senators wanted to know whether Silicon Valley Bank failed because supervisors and regulators at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the Fed’s board in Washington dropped the ball, or whether they lacked the authority to react aggressively enough.

Democrats suggested on Tuesday that the problems tied back to deregulation under the Trump administration and greed on the part of Silicon Valley Bank’s executives.

“Monday morning quarterbacking aimed only at the actions of regulators this month is as convenient as it is misplaced,” Senator Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio, said at the start of the hearing.

Republicans also fired shots at bank managers, but said Fed supervisors were to blame for allowing problems to slip through the cracks.

“What were the supervisors thinking?” Senator Tim Scott, Republican of South Carolina, said during the hearing. He implied, with no evidence, that the San Francisco Fed might have overlooked risks at Silicon Valley Bank because they shared a focus on climate change.

Republicans and bank lobbying groups have tried to minimize the role that regulatory changes made during the Trump administration — which relaxed rules for midsize banks — played in Silicon Valley Bank’s demise. But Mr. Barr made it clear on Tuesday that the episode was likely to result in tougher oversight.

Randal K. Quarles, Mr. Barr’s predecessor, carried out a number of changes to bank oversight before stepping down in October 2021. Without the tweaks, Silicon Valley Bank would almost certainly have come under more intense scrutiny from Fed supervisors earlier.

Mr. Barr, who was nominated by President Biden and took his post in July, said those changes would get a second look.

“The decision to set those lines by asset size and other risk factors was made back in 2019,” Mr. Barr said. “I believe we have substantial discretion to alter that framework.”

He said the Fed would revisit how firms were bucketed by size when it came to supervision and regulation. And he acknowledged that the Fed would look into whether its bank examiners had taken reasonable actions to address problems at the bank.

He added that “the staff are reviewing the steps that supervisors took, and whether they should have taken more aggressive action.”

The F.D.I.C. is reviewing the collapse of Signature Bank, which it oversaw, and the Fed’s inspector general on March 14 opened a review of the conduct of the Fed Board of Governors and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s supervision.

Some lawmakers want more. A group of Democrats on Tuesday asked the Government Accountability Office to examine the supervisory practices of bank regulators.

“The collapse of these banks brings into focus matters related to the supervision and examination of our nation’s large banks,” the letter said.

Emily Flitter, Alan Rappeport and Jim Tankersley contributed reporting.

Nashville School Shooting Victims Remembered by Community in Anguish

NASHVILLE — In a stately stone building on a hill, the Covenant School was a private academy designed as an escape from the bustle of Nashville and a haven where students could learn and grow, with a curriculum that reflected the Christian values of the families who sent their children there.

Katherine Koonce, the head of school, had a zeal for learning and saw in students potential they did not see in themselves. “You’ve got it,” she would tell a struggling student. Mike Hill, a custodian, found fulfillment in work that his daughter said he absolutely loved. And there were bright students like 9-year-old Evelyn Dieckhaus, “a light for her family,” her pastor said.

That carefully built sense of security was punctured on Monday when an armed assailant breached the campus, opening fire at random students and staff members. The community surrounding the Covenant School was now wrestling with a horrifying reality: Dr. Koonce, Mr. Hill and Evelyn were all dead, as were two other 9-year-old students and a substitute teacher who had been fatally shot in the attack.

via The Dieckhaus Family
Mike Hill, via Facebook

“Our hearts are completely broken,” Evelyn’s family said in a short statement released on Tuesday. “We cannot believe this has happened.”

As investigators try to piece together a motive for the attack, the authorities praised the actions of the Nashville police officers who rushed into the school, saying they moved swiftly in pursuing and fatally shooting the assailant.

The authorities said on Tuesday that the 28-year-old perpetrator had legally purchased seven firearms recently — including the three used in the shooting — and was being treated by a doctor for an emotional disorder. Chief John Drake of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department said that the assailant’s parents had felt that their child “should not own weapons” and believed that their child did not.

Tennessee does not have what is known as a red flag law that would allow the authorities to temporarily confiscate guns from those found to be in danger to themselves or others, and the Republican-controlled State Legislature has steadily loosened restrictions on owning guns.

Still, Chief Drake said that if the police had known that the perpetrator was suicidal or intended to hurt others, “then we would have tried to get those weapons.”

Kevin Wurm for The New York Times

Even with the uncertainty over what motivated the attack, the magnitude of the loss was clear as relatives, friends and people who knew the victims expressed their grief.

The other children who were killed were identified as William Kinney and Hallie Scruggs, whose father is the pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church, the church connected to the school. Cynthia Peak, 61, was the substitute teacher killed.

Hannah Williams, who knows the Scruggs family, struggled to wrap her head around the trauma that those closest to the victims were now enduring.

“This family did not deserve this,” Ms. Williams wrote on a post on Facebook. “No family does. They deserve to wake up from this nightmare with Hallie by their side.”

In a video statement on Tuesday evening, Gov. Bill Lee said that Ms. Peak was a close friend of his wife, Maria. “Cindy was supposed to come over to have dinner with Maria last night,” he said. He described the anguish caused by the shooting — “the emptiness, the lack of understanding, the desperate desire for answers, the desperate need for hope,” he said.

“We’re enduring a very difficult moment,” Mr. Lee said. “Everyone is hurting, everyone.”

Nashville has weathered turbulence and heartache in recent years. There were floods and a deadly tornado. In 2020, a man consumed by bizarre conspiracy theories detonated a van filled with explosives on Christmas morning, killing himself and severely damaging a swath of downtown.

Family of Cynthia Peak, via Associated Press

But this was different, as it kindled in the city a level of terror that other communities had faced amid recurring mass shootings but Nashville had not. In a post on Twitter not long after the shooting, Mayor John Cooper said, “Nashville joined the dreaded, long list of communities to experience a school shooting.”

The shooting has reverberated beyond Nashville, too, stoking fury and frustration and invigorating once again the country’s divisions over violence and access to guns. President Biden called for a ban on assault rifles, as he has done after other recent mass shootings — a repetition he acknowledged with a sense of exasperation on Tuesday. “I can’t do anything except plead with the Congress to act reasonably,” he said.

In Dallas, as worshipers gathered on Tuesday at Park Cities Presbyterian Church, the pain was much more personal. Chad Scruggs, the pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church and Hallie’s father, had been the pastor there before moving to Nashville.

“The reality is, this event in Nashville is not merely an event for one school or one church or city,” said Paul Goebel, an associate pastor at Park Cities Presbyterian. “It touches our church, our community deeply, but it also affects and touches our whole nation.”

Mr. Scruggs, who left that congregation in 2018, returned to Dallas in February to preach, pointing out Hallie and her three siblings sitting in the pews. “Their story, in many ways, began here,” he said at the time.

Mark Davis, the current pastor at Park Cities Presbyterian, said he spoke to Mr. Scruggs on Monday afternoon; in that conversation, Mr. Scruggs acknowledged that “he’s in shock.” The congregation also had ties to Ms. Peak, the substitute teacher who was killed. Her sister worshiped there. Some who stood to pray for the victims during the vigil on Tuesday referred to Ms. Peak as “Aunt Cindy.”

“We’re here because our hearts are broken,” Pastor Davis told the congregation. “We’re here because we have questions.”

Kevin Wurm/Via Reuters

The Covenant School, which was founded in 2001 as a ministry of the Covenant Presbyterian Church, has about 200 students attending its campus in an affluent area of Nashville, where streets overwhelmed by the city’s rush of development in recent years give way to tree-covered hills.

It is part of a network of conservative evangelical churches and private schools in Nashville that is tight-knit, even across denominational lines. Some families attended church at one place and school in another. Palmer Williams, whose older son went to the Covenant School for his first several years of school, said she took her children out of the school only because she was involved in founding another school with a similar approach. “We wanted more schools like Covenant,” she said.

Dr. Koonce, the head of school since 2016, had previously worked at Christ Presbyterian Academy, a private school just five miles away. There, she nurtured a passion for working with students who had learning disabilities.

“She has always been a woman who is deeply passionate about kids having a love of learning,” said David Thomas, a longtime friend of Dr. Koonce’s and a director of family counseling at Daystar Counseling Ministries in Nashville.

She tutored Joseph Fisher in math years ago. He’s 34 now but still remembers the way she encouraged him. “She just believed that I have more to give — and I did,” he said. When he learned that she had been killed, Mr. Fisher, now a truck driver, said that he parked and walked up a mountainside, stunned.

Mr. Hill, a father of seven and grandfather of 14, liked to cook and spend time with family, his family said in a statement. He was “beloved by the faculty and students who filled him with joy for 14 years,” the statement said.

The Covenant School had a student-teacher ratio of 8 to 1, and Dr. Koonce was invested in building a nurturing environment for students.

On the morning of the shooting, students sang “Amazing Grace” in the chapel and practiced saying “jambo” — a traditional Swahili greeting — with a missionary doctor who was visiting the school.

The Covenant School

“It was just such a sweet interaction with those kids,” said Dr. Britney Grayson, the visiting doctor, a pediatric surgeon from Kenya. “Everything was normal about our day. It went exactly like we thought it would — better than expected.”

She left shortly before the shooting, stirring conflicting feelings: She knew she avoided witnessing the shooting, but wondered if she could have been in a position to help.

Dr. Grayson said she had operated on children with gunshot wounds before, including one child who was injured in a school shooting in the United States. “It’s like, ‘Why wasn’t I still there?’” she said. “And in the very next breath, you think, ‘Well, I might be dead, too.’ I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to process those conflicting thoughts.”

The shooting also stirred fears about the lasting consequences it would have for children in the community, particularly those close to the victims.

“They are a family that has impacted more people than they will ever know,” Hannah Williams wrote in a Facebook post about the Scruggs family. “Hallie’s brothers: John Randall, Charlie, and Carter have lost their one and only sister at ages where this trauma will impact their forming brains forever.”

But there was also hope that the spirit of the school — the sense of closeness and warmth — would endure.

On Monday night, Palmer Williams’s family joined others at the baseball field, gathering spontaneously to tie ribbons to a chain-link fence. Her son knew William Kinney through a baseball league. The children were running the bases — “grieving the way kids do,” Ms. Williams said, “which is sadness but also just being kids.”

Mary Beth Gahan contributed reporting from Dallas. Ruth Graham also contributed reporting. Kirsten Noyes, Susan C. Beachy and Kitty Bennett contributed research.

Covenant School Memorial Photos: Nashville Mourns Audrey Hale’s Victims

The Nashville community has come together to build a memorial outside The Covenant School to honor the lives of the three students and three employees killed in Monday’s mass shooting.

On Monday morning, 28-year-old Audrey Hale entered the private Christian school armed with two assault-style rifles and a handgun, killing six people inside the building before being shot dead by police responding to the attack. Nashville police have identified the victims as 9-year-olds Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs and WIlliam Kinney, as well as Cynthia Peak, 61, Katherine Koonce, 60, and Mike Hill, 61.

Flowers, signs and crosses were set up outside The Covenant School’s entrance Monday night, and mourners continued to pay their respects at the site Tuesday.

Community members on Tuesday pay their respects at a makeshift memorial at The Covenant School building at Covenant Presbyterian Church following Monday’s mass school shooting in Nashville, Tennessee. A heavily armed former student killed three 9-year-olds and three staffers at the private elementary school before being shot dead by police.
Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty

Chad Scruggs, Hallie’s father, is senior pastor at Covenant Presbyterian Church, which houses the elementary school. Scruggs shared a one-line statement to reporters Tuesday morning, saying, “Through tears we trust that she is in the arms of Jesus who will raise her to life once again.”

The Dieckhaus family said in a statement that their “hearts are completely broken” over Monday’s tragedy, according to a report from ABC News.

“We cannot believe this has happened,” the statement continued. “Evelyn was a shining light in this world. We appreciate all the love and support but ask for space as we grieve.”

Stuffed animals and flowers were placed at the makeshift memorial.
Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty

Koonce was headmaster of The Covenant School. According to a report from the BBC, a school parent described Koonce as a “saint.”

“She knew every single student by name,” the parent, who has two kids enrolled at Covenant, told the outlet. “She did everything to help them when families couldn’t afford things, it didn’t matter. She found ways for them to stay.”

Girls embrace at the memorial site.
Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty

Hill was a custodian at the school and, according to a Facebook post from his daughter Brittany, it was “a job that everyone knows he absolutely loved.”

“I have watched school shootings happen over the years and never thought I would lose a loved one over a person trying to solve a temporary problem with a permanent solution,” Brittany Hill wrote. “I will not say her name because I will not glorify her actions. I wish the media would not say her name ever again.”

Visitors pen words of inspiration and grief at the memorial.
Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

Peak was working as a substitute teacher on the day of the shooting, according to Nashville police.

John Drake, Nashville police chief, said that Hale, a former student at the school, had planned to attack “multiple” locations at Covenant in a manifesto that was recovered by police. Drake also said that it does not appear Hale specifically targeted any of the victims individually.

Robin Wolfenden on Tuesday prays at the memorial.
Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty

The Covenant School shared a statement on its Facebook page Tuesday: “Our community is heartbroken. We are grieving tremendous loss and are in shock coming out of the terror that shattered our school and church. We are focused on loving our students, our families, our faculty and staff and beginning the process of healing.”

The school has also asked for “privacy as our community grapples with this terrible tragedy—for our students, parents, faculty and staff.”

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New Kia EV9 Electric SUV Is a Funky, Fresh Take On Family Hauling

Kia’s new flagship three-row electric SUV has been fully revealed, bringing fresh styling and innovative technology to the company’s electric vehicle (EV) lineup.

It’s a combination of what is expected from a family-friendly sport utility vehicle (SUV), and a new show of what Kia is capable of, from luxe appointments and an energy-efficient powertrain to sustainable materials and spaciousness.

“The Kia EV9 transcends all aspects of traditional SUV thinking and represents the pinnacle of Kia’s design and engineering capabilities,” Ho Sung Song, Kia’s president and CEO, said.

“Created to meet the needs of all family members, the EV9 also spearheads Kia’s rapid transition to a sustainable mobility solutions provider, not just by its advanced EV architecture, but also through the numerous recycled and sustainable materials used in its creation.”

As the market stands now, the EV9 has few direct competitors in the American market. However, that is expected to change drastically over the next year as new Acura, Volvo and BMW electric vehicles prepare to go on sale.

Sleek, smooth body panels shape the model, which stands tall like the company’s Telluride. It’s spacious too, with enough room to comfortably fit adults in all three rows of seats.

Kia has first shown the EV9 GT-Line model, which gets unique bumpers, wheels, and roof rack. It also has a black color palette that features on the car’s accents and trim.

Instead of a traditional grille, the EV9 GT-Line has a Digital Pattern Lighting Grille, which is flanked by vertical headlights that feature ‘Star Map’ LED daytime running lights.

The SUV rides on 19-, 20- or 21-inch wheels, each with a unique design that showcases the ability for automakers to push forward aerodynamics without losing their interesting aesthetic design themes. Wheel and tire combinations can typically impact a car’s range from 15-20 percent.

The Kia EV9 SUV rides on the company’s Electric Global Modular Platform, the same architecture that underpins the Kia EV6 electric crossover. It has 800-volt charging capability, faster than many of the EVs sold today, which means it can get enough power to go 148 miles in about 15 minutes in ideal conditions.

Rear-wheel Drive Standard versions of the car will come equipped with a 76.1-kilowatt-hour (kWH) battery while a 99.8-kWH battery powers Rear-Wheel Drive Long Range and All-Wheel Drive (AWD) variants.

Most version of the car are not particularly quick, moving from zero to 62 miles per hour (mph) in 9.4 seconds or 8.2 seconds, depending on powertrain. The EV9 AWD can get up to speed in 6.0 seconds.

The automaker promises a Boost feature is forthcoming and will be downloadable via the Kia Connect Store. It will move the car off the line to 62 mpg in just 5.3 seconds.

The Kia EV9 three-row electric SUV.
The front and rear of the Kia EV9 GT-Line.

Kia has only estimated the car’s all-electric driving range using the WLTP (European) test, saying that its Rear-Wheel Drive Long Range model wearing 19-inch wheels gets over 541 kilometers of range. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) testing, which is how U.S. electric range is calculated, has not come in yet, but is traditionally less optimistic.

Like the Hyundai Ioniq 6, the Kia EV9 comes with vehicle-to-load charging functionality. It can move power at a rate of 3.68 kilowatts.

Kia will employ Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Level 3 hands-free driving capability conditionally in the new electric SUV, in select markets. The automaker plans to offer the technology on future EV9 GT-Line models.

The model comes with the Kia Connect Store installed. The marketplace allows users to purchase digital features and service on demand, allowing the EV9 to be upgraded on demand via over the air (OTA) updates at any time.

Remote parking assistance, digital key, rear cross-traffic collision avoidance assistance, blind-spot collision avoidance assistance, adaptive cruise control and automatic lane change technology will be available on the EV9.

The 2024 Kia EV9 will make its auto show debut at the Seoul Mobility Show 2023 later this month, followed by an appearance at the New York International Auto Show in early April.

Pricing for the SUV has yet to be announced and is expected to be revealed closer to its on-sale date, which will be in the second half of 2023 in the U.S.

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