Your Tuesday Evening Briefing

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 Tuesday.

The seven people killed in Half Moon Bay, Calif. were identified as farmworkers.
Jim Wilson/The New York Times

1. Californians mourn a second mass shooting in three days.

At least 18 people have been killed by back-to-back mass shootings that have left the state groping for answers. A 66-year-old man was taken into custody after the shooting deaths of seven people in two locations around the coastal community of Half Moon Bay, south of San Francisco.

The authorities there, who have not yet established a motive, identified the suspect as Zhao Chunli. They said he was employed at the first location, a mushroom farm, and that the signs so far pointed to a workplace-related shooting.

In Southern California, investigators continued their search for a motive in the massacre on Saturday night at a ballroom dancing venue in Monterey Park. The authorities have released the identities of all 11 people who were killed, many of whom were older Chinese immigrants.

In the wake of the violence, a divided Congress is unlikely to enact additional gun-control measures. Police said it was likely that at least one of the guns used by the suspect in Monterey Park was illegal, but the state’s gun laws are complicated.

Sergei Supinsky/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

2. Ukraine fired several top officials amid a ballooning corruption scandal.

The dismissals, which created the biggest upheaval in President Volodymyr Zelensky’s government since Russia invaded 11 months ago, followed a number of allegations of misconduct, including reports that the military had agreed to pay inflated prices for food meant for its troops.

Ukraine’s war effort continues to depend on Western aid, and the firings suggested an effort by Zelensky to reassure allies that he would show zero tolerance for graft. Among those removed were a deputy defense minister and a deputy prosecutor general who caused a scandal by taking a wartime vacation to Spain.

In other news from the war, the Biden administration plans to send up to 50 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine. Officials said the move could spur Germany to follow with its own coveted Leopard 2 tanks.

An aide to Mike Pence said the former vice president was unaware of the existence of the documents.Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

3. Classified documents were found at Mike Pence’s home in Indiana.

Aides to Pence, the former vice president, found a small number of documents with classified markings at his residence during a search last week. The documents were “inadvertently boxed and transported” to Pence’s home at the end of the Trump administration, a Pence representative wrote in a letter to the National Archives.

The disclosure raises more questions about how classified material has been handled. President Biden and Donald Trump are both subjects of special counsel investigations on the matter.

In other politics news, three competing factions in rural Pennsylvania each claim to represent the local Republican Party. Their division is a microcosm of troubles facing the national party.

Haiyun Jiang/The New York Times

4. Senators pressed Ticketmaster over concerns that it stifled competition.

Executives of Live Nation came under fierce questioning at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing that explored whether the company’s 2010 merger with Ticketmaster — which formed a colossus without equal in the multibillion-dollar live music business — had hurt consumers.

Senator Amy Klobuchar, the Democrat of Minnesota who called for the hearing after Ticketmaster botched a sale of Taylor Swift tickets in November, accused the company of being a monopoly.

Live Nation’s president apologized for the handling of the Swift tickets but said that the issue was caused largely by bots, not the company’s structure.

In other antitrust news, the Justice Department sued Google, accusing it of illegally abusing a monopoly over the technology behind online advertising.

Michelle Yeoh was nominated for best actress for “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”David Bornfriend/A24

5. “Everything Everywhere All at Once” led the Oscar nominations with 11 nods.

A universe-hopping film starring Michelle Yeoh was, unsurprisingly, nominated for best picture, actress and supporting actress and actor. But, for the most part, the academy spread its nominations remarkably far and wide, with first-time nominees filling 16 of the 20 acting slots.

No women were nominated in the best-director race, and Viola Davis and Danielle Deadwyler missed the cut for best actress, our Projectionist columnist Kyle Buchanan points out in a rundown of snubs and surprises. Here’s the full list of nominees.

Oscar winners will be announced on March 12 at the 95th ceremony.

A nurse in Recife, Brazil, helps Levi, a 2-year-old with spinal muscular atrophy.

6. Many transformative therapies are hugely expensive, straining poorer nations.

Over the past decade, wealthy countries have devoted a growing share of their pharmaceutical budgets to expensive drugs that treat rare and often serious diseases in a fraction of their citizens. So-called specialty drugs now represent about half of their drug expenditures — a proportion that is expected to keep growing.

For countries with far fewer resources, the expense is more difficult, if not impossible. Brazil, a middle-income country, has found its health system strained by spending on Zolgensma, a treatment for a rare genetic disorder that costs about $1 million.

In other health news, the F.D.A. proposed a limit on lead in baby food to try to reduce health risks for children under the age of 2.

Ariel Davis

7. With the Webb telescope launched and the Higgs boson discovered, physicists debate what’s next.

It can take decades of effort and billions of dollars for scientists to answer some of the universe’s most perplexing questions. It’s the job of a committee appointed by the National Academy of Sciences to consider what obstacle should be tackled next, and why.

My colleague Dennis Overbye spoke to its co-chairs about some of the options. “The multiverse gives me a headache,” one said. “But it may be the most important idea of our time.”

Here on Earth, chimpanzees communicate through gestures. Test whether you can read their body language with our quiz.

Alessandro Trovati/Associated Press

8. Mikaela Shiffrin makes skiing history.

Shiffrin, a 27-year-old American, won the giant slalom race at Kronplatz in Italy today, securing the 83rd World Cup victory of her career, the most of any female skier in the history of the sport.

Shiffrin broke a record held by Lindsey Vonn, another American star and a role model for Shiffrin. She needs just four more World Cup wins to break Ingemar Stenmark’s record of 86, the most by any male or female skier.

In other sports news, Ben Shelton and Tommy Paul square off in the Australian Open tonight. It’s the first all-American Grand Slam quarterfinal in 16 years.

Also, some college athletes are raking in money with endorsement deals, but at what cost to the rest?

Limmie Pulliam at Carnegie Hall last week.Fadi Kheir

9. A rising opera star quit in the 1990s because of body shaming. Now he’s making a comeback.

Two decades after leaving the stage because of the challenges facing larger artists in the industry, and after spending much of the past decade rebuilding his voice and career, Limmie Pulliam, 47, is realizing his dream. Pulliam made his debut at Carnegie Hall last week, singing the title role in R. Nathaniel Dett’s “The Ordering of Moses.”

Last month, he made his Metropolitan Opera debut, filling in as Radamès in Verdi’s “Aida.” Pulliam was the first Black singer to perform that role in the Met’s history.

Joshua trees are a common sight in the desert landscape surrounding Spirit Mountain.John Burcham for The New York Times

10. And finally, Spirit Mountain may be the country’s next official monument.

The mountain, which looms high over the Piute-Eldorado Valley in southern Nevada, is also known as Avi Kwa Ame. It serves as the mythical creation site for Yuman-speaking tribes, such as the Fort Mojave, Cocopah, Quechan‌‌ and Hopi.

Now, the federal government is considering establishing Spirit Mountain, as well as 450,000 acres of land surrounding it, as a national monument. Such protection would ensure that the spiritual site is not tampered with and would give travelers a new reason to venture beyond the Las Vegas Strip.

Have a safe night.

Brent Lewis compiled photos for this briefing.

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