Inequality, Georgia, Iran: Your Tuesday Evening Briefing

Here’s what you need to know at the end of the day.

By Will Dudding and Sandra Stevenson

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Good evening. Here’s the latest.

1. The pandemic has dealt a triple whammy to working women.

Job losses have hit parts of the economy that women dominate — restaurants, retail businesses and health care. Then came a wave of cutbacks in government jobs, where women also outnumber men. The final blow was the closing of child care centers and the shift to remote schooling, which saddled working mothers — much more than fathers — with overwhelming household responsibilities.

Compared with their fathers and grandfathers, this generation of men is much more involved at home. Yet when the pandemic hit, it was largely mothers who took on the additional child care duties. In the United States, mothers remain the fallback plan.

Despite some moves toward equality, one telling survey found that men working from home were more likely to have a separate office, while women were more likely to work at the kitchen table.

What’s next: The Times spoke to female leaders about what leadership and the workplace will look like in a post-pandemic world.

2. Palestinians will resume cooperation with Israel.

In May, the Palestinian Authority cut off security coordination with Israel in protest against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plans to annex the occupied West Bank, a move the Trump administration indicated it supported.

The Israeli plan fell apart when Mr. Netanyahu agreed to suspend his annexation push in exchange for landmark normalization agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

The Palestinians, however, held out for more concrete guarantees that the annexation was dead. On Tuesday, the authority said that it was resuming its cooperation with Israel, signaling relief over the election of Joe Biden, who is expected to support the viability of a future Palestinian state.

3. President Trump considered a military strike on Iran.

Mr. Trump asked advisers last week about options to attack an Iranian nuclear site, pictured above, a day after international inspectors reported a significant increase in the site’s stockpile of nuclear material. A range of senior advisers, including Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, dissuaded the president from moving ahead with a military strike.

Mr. Trump might still be looking at ways to strike Iranian assets and allies, including militias in Iraq. A last-minute attack before the president leaves office would make it much harder for President-elect Joe Biden to re-enter the 2015 Iran nuclear accord, which the Trump administration abandoned in 2018.

Iran is already expected to demand a high price to return to the deal, including the immediate lifting of the punishing sanctions imposed by the Trump administration and billions of dollars in compensation. Mr. Biden is highly unlikely to agree.

4. A first glance at a Biden administration.

President-elect Joe Biden named key members of his White House staff on Tuesday, saying he’s “building an administration that looks like America.”

The newly named aides include:

Mike Donilon, the chief strategist for his campaign and a decades-long friend and adviser, will serve as White House senior adviser.

Representative Cedric L. Richmond, above, of Louisiana will oversee public outreach.

Jennifer O’Malley Dillon, who managed his presidential campaign, will be deputy chief of staff.

Steve Ricchetti, Mr. Biden’s longtime confidant, will be counselor.

Julissa Reynoso Pantaleon, a former U.S. ambassador to Uruguay, will be chief of staff to the first lady, Jill Biden.

Julie Chavez Rodriguez, who worked for Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’s presidential campaign, will run the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.

Mr. Biden is also seeking environmentally ambitious candidates to fulfill posts across his cabinet, including at agencies that are not at the forefront of environmental policy such as the Departments of Justice, Agriculture and Defense. His earliest executive orders would revive an Obama-era mandate that every agency in the government incorporate climate change into its policies, according to a scientist who worked closely with the campaign.

5. Immunity to the coronavirus may last for years, according to an encouraging new study.

That’s good news for people who have survived the virus, but even more important for the success of in-development vaccines, which “tend to produce stronger, more durable immune responses than natural infections,” said our colleague Apoorva Mandavilli.

Since Pfizer and Moderna both announced vaccines that were more than 90 percent effective, a great deal of attention has been focused on the challenges of distributing them to 330 million Americans. But first the companies must solve daunting of manufacturing hundreds of millions of vaccine doses using new technology that has never been approved for widespread use.

6. The CEOs of Facebook and Twitter were grilled in Congress.

Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Jack Dorsey of Twitter faced harsh questions from lawmakers on Tuesday as they testified virtually before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and defended their attempts to moderate speech on their influential platforms. While both companies increased their labeling of misinformation in the days before the U.S. election, Twitter has been especially aggressive in disputing inaccurate election-related posts.

The companies also addressed how they will handle President Trump’s account once he leaves office. Mr. Dorsey said the company would no longer make policy exceptions that currently apply to the president. Mr. Zuckerberg said that Facebook, which has labeled a few of Mr. Trump’s posts as inaccurate, would not change the way it moderates the account.

7. Democrats spent over $180 million to oust Susan Collins, and Maine recoiled.

In a state tilting away from President Trump, Ms. Collins appeared to be easy pickings, prompting donors to pour millions into the state. For weeks before the election, polls showed her struggling for survival, outspent two to one by her rival Sara Gideon.

But after months of Democratic-led cold calls, television ads and mailings aimed to defeat her, Ms. Collins easily retained her Senate seat, showing how a big-money political push can backfire. Some Mainers saw Democratic efforts as an attempt to buy the election.

“To think that kind of money was spent is kind of like a slap in the face of America,” said one resident.

8. Thanksgiving, re-examined.

For many Native Americans, the Covid toll and the reckoning over racial inequity mean it is high time to reconsider the holiday, even beyond the widely debunked account of a friendship-sealing repast with white colonists.

“Thanksgiving is kind of like Columbus Day for Native people,” said Robert Magnan of the Fort Peck Tribe, who is managing a herd of buffalo, above, that descends from animals killed to near-extinction by white settlers in the late 19th century. “Why would we celebrate people who tried to destroy us?”

“There was an event that happened in 1621,” says Linda Coombs, a Wampanoag historian. “But the whole story about what occurred on that first Thanksgiving was a myth created to make white people feel comfortable.”

9. Scary is how you act, not how you look.

“The Witches,” a film that stars Anne Hathaway as an evildoer with disfigured hands, has stirred conversations about onscreen depictions of disability and disfigurement. Ms. Hathaway and Warner Bros. apologized for the character after facing backlash on social media.

But the film is only the latest in a long history of movies and books using disfigurement as a shorthand for evildoing: The Joker; Lord Voldemort; and Shakespeare’s hunchbacked, butcherous Richard the Third.

Disability rights advocates say that associating physical differences with evil is not just lazy storytelling, but also marginalizes an already stigmatized community that is rarely represented positively onscreen.

10. And finally, young people are escaping quarantine with a trip to Hogwarts.

To flee the monotony of lockdowns and quarantine, Gen Zers have taken to TikTok to edit themselves into the Harry Potter universe.

Harry Potter TikTokers produce and devour their own fancam videos, memes, dances and trends. And millions of views go to videos where fans — predominantly girls and women, many of them from demographics underrepresented in the books and movies — are transporting themselves out of their green-screened bedrooms and onto the Hogwarts campus.

Have a magical night.

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 protected].

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