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Your Wednesday Briefing – The New York Times

India: Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the G7 meeting. He is trying to position India as the voice of poorer nations, arguing that sanctions hurt developing countries the most.

What’s next: At the NATO summit, Western leaders are expected to announce more military funding for Ukraine and the deployment of more forces in Eastern Europe. Tomorrow in Moscow, Putin plans to meet with President Joko Widodo of Indonesia.

Donald Trump demanded to join the mob as it approached the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, even as the riot was underway, a former White House aide said yesterday in testimony before the House committee investigating the attack.

Trump knew the crowd he had amassed in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021, was armed and could turn violent, but he wanted security protections lifted, said Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to Mark Meadows, Trump’s final chief of staff.

Hutchinson paraphrased the former president’s objections to the presence of magnetometers to detect weapons: “‘You know, I don’t f-ing care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me. Take the f-ing mags away. Let my people in. They can march to the Capitol from here. Let the people in. Take the f-ing mags away.’”

Hutchinson also testified that Trump had tried to grab the steering wheel of the presidential limousine from a Secret Service agent when he was told that it was not safe to go to the Capitol. Here are live updates.

Details: Meadows and Rudy Giuliani sought pardons from Trump after the riot, Hutchinson testified.

Rage: Inside the White House, Trump threw dishes, splattering ketchup on the wall, after learning that his attorney general had publicly shot down his false allegations of a stolen election, Hutchinson said.

Analysis: “This is the smoking gun,” said one expert, who told The Times that Tuesday’s hearing had established a case for Trump’s criminal culpability on “seditious conspiracy charges.”

The recommendations are part of an expansive report that was the product of the 2016 peace deal between the FARC and the government. The work, which took nearly four years and involved more than 14,000 individual and group interviews, was designed to tell the most comprehensive narrative yet of Colombia’s long and brutal internal conflict, which lasted at least 58 years.

Other proposals included moving human rights violations and crimes committed by the police out of the military criminal justice system and into the civilian system, eliminating compulsory military service and evaluating the military budget with the goal of reducing its size.

The background. The Colombian conflict began as a war between the government and the country’s largest rebel group, the FARC. It eventually evolved into a complex battle involving the government, the FARC, paramilitary groups and the U.S. government. The conflict cost hundreds of thousands of lives, and billions of American dollars were spent helping the Colombians fight the insurgency and the drug trade that funded it.

Next steps. The report is not a judicial measure, and the commission will not issue sentences or penalties. Instead, the truth commission is meant to establish a common truth and “lay the foundations for the transformations necessary to make peace possible.”

Challenges. The rise of armed groups is threatening to tear Colombia apart again.

How do you teach kids about sex? Some sex-education books are about making babies or don’t mention same-sex couples. “Sex Is a Funny Word,” by the sex educator Cory Silverberg and the artist Fiona Smyth, instead bucks decades of conventional wisdom on how to teach kids about intimacy, defining sex as “something people can do to feel good in their bodies and also feel close to another person.”

Cancer biologists use the gene-editing technology CRISPR to discover hidden vulnerabilities of tumor cells. Botanists use CRISPR to grow more nutritious tomatoes. Evolutionary biologists deploy the tool to study Neanderthal brains and how our ape ancestors lost their tails.

There is no doubt of its impact: CRISPR — one of the most celebrated inventions in modern biology — earned the 2020 Nobel Prize for chemistry. But the decade-old technology has also raised profound ethical questions about altering human DNA.

In 2018, the implications became real when a Chinese biophysicist edited a gene in human embryos to confer resistance to H.I.V. He was sentenced to prison for “illegal medical practices” the next year. The three embryos are now toddlers; little is known about their health.

Scientists don’t yet know of anyone else who has followed his example, but many believe it’s only a matter of time.

“Will it then become acceptable, or even routine, to repair disease-causing genes in an embryo in the lab?” Carl Zimmer writes. “What if parents wanted to insert traits that they found more desirable — like those related to height, eye color or intelligence?”


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