Also, heavy rains flood the streets of New York City. Here’s the latest at the end of Friday.
Dianne Feinstein, who rose to become the grande dame of California Democrats over four decades in politics, first as the mayor of San Francisco and most recently as the longest-serving woman in U.S. Senate history, died last night at her home in Washington. She was 90.
U.S. flags were lowered to half-staff, and Feinstein was hailed by her colleagues as a pioneer. “She was a historic figure, a trailblazer for women and a great friend,” President Biden said. “The country is going to miss her dearly.”
Feinstein was San Francisco’s first female mayor; the first woman from California to be elected to the Senate; the first woman to be considered as a presidential running mate; and the first woman to preside over a president’s inaugural ceremonies.
She had planned to retire at the end of her term in 2025 and rejected calls to step down before then, even as her frail health and memory issues made it difficult for her to function on her own.
Several prominent Democrats are eyeing her seat. But the pressure for now is on Gov. Gavin Newsom of California to name a temporary replacement quickly, especially given the narrow advantage that Democrats have in the Senate. Newsom has pledged to appoint a Black woman, but he has not spoken today about his plans. Here are the possible candidates to fill Feinstein’s seat.
For more, these photos captured key moments of Feinstein’s career.
Heavy rains bring flash floods to New York City
Gov. Kathy Hochul of New York declared a state of emergency today as heavy rainfall pounded New York City and the surrounding region, causing flash floods. Entire subway lines were shut down, major roadways turned into lakes and children were moved to the upper floors of flooded schools.
Hochul described the storm as a “life-threatening rainfall event,” urging New Yorkers to stay home and warning those who live in basements to brace for the worst. “Plan your escape route,” she said. “Don’t wait until water is over your knees before you leave. Don’t wait until it’s too late.”
The rain is expected to continue through the night, and a flood warning was in effect until tomorrow. Follow our updates.
For more: Here’s how to stay safe during flash floods.
The government is heading for a shutdown
A group of 21 Republicans today tanked Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s bid to pass legislation to avert a government shutdown, making it all but certain that Congress would miss a midnight deadline on Saturday to keep federal funding flowing.
The defeat was a stinging blow to McCarthy, who insisted that he would continue working to fund the government. He faces almost impossible odds of pushing a stopgap funding bill through with votes from his own party alone. He could work with Democrats on a bipartisan bill, but his detractors have threatened to oust him if he takes such a step.
A shutdown would cause disruption: Federal agencies would be gutted of their workers, important economic data would be delayed, parks would close and Washington’s small businesses could struggle.
A man was charged in the killing of Tupac Shakur
More than 25 years after the killing of the rapper Tupac Shakur became a defining tragedy in hip-hop, a self-described gang member who has repeatedly proclaimed that he participated in the drive-by shooting of Shakur was charged with murder today.
The man, a former gang leader named Duane Keith Davis, was arrested two months after the long-stalled investigation was revived. Davis had recounted the shooting in his 2019 memoir.
More top news
Strike: The United Automobile Workers union announced that 7,000 more of its members would walk off the job at car assembly plants owned by Ford and General Motors.
Trump: A co-defendant of Donald Trump in the Georgia election interference case pleaded guilty under a deal with prosecutors.
Inflation: A key index continued to slow, the latest evidence that higher interest rates are helping to bring rapid price increases back to a more normal pace.
Military: The U.S. Navy will begin randomly testing its SEALs force for performance-enhancing drugs, which are believed to be widely abused in the ranks.
Court: A judge in Michigan ruled that Ethan Crumbley, who at age 15 killed four students during a school shooting in 2021, is eligible for a sentence of life without parole.
Energy: The Biden administration will offer three areas in the Gulf of Mexico for oil drilling over the next five years, a record-low number of offshore leases.
Sudan: The United Arab Emirates is running a covert operation to back one side in the war, supplying weapons and aid from across the border in Chad.
Birthday: Jimmy Carter, the longest-living president in American history, turns 99 on Sunday.
TIME TO UNWIND
The must-sees at the New York Film Festival
Hollywood’s actors are still on strike. But that isn’t stopping the New York Film Festival, our chief film critic Manohla Dargis writes. For decades, the festival has weathered various woes, and while it has nowhere near the prominence or glamour of Cannes or Venice, it remains a standard-bearer for the art. And this year’s offerings are dizzyingly diverse.
The festival opened today with Todd Haynes’s “May December,” which explores what happens when an actress (played by Natalie Portman) meets the woman (Julianne Moore) she’s about to play in a biopic. Other festival must-sees include Bas Devos’s “Here,” Bradley Cooper’s “Maestro” and Michael Mann’s “Ferrari.”
A climate solution: floating houses
As sea levels rise and storms worsen, some architects and developers are looking to the water not as a looming threat, but as a frontier for development. In the Netherlands, for example, there are floating offices, a floating dairy farm and a floating pavilion. Other low-lying countries like the Maldives are looking to replicate that strategy.
Dinner table topics
A Sri Lankan baker in France: Tharshan Selvarajah has yet to apply for French citizenship. But he bakes a perfect baguette, which was awarded a grand prize.
An unlikely match: Willie Francois is a pastor; Dalijah Franklin is a pole dancer. They fell in love.
French-girl style: Jane Birkin made the look famous. Now Jeanne Damas is selling her version of it to the masses.
Luxury living: Two penthouses with expansive terraces on the Upper East Side of Manhattan sold for around $30 million this month. Here’s what that gets you.
WHAT TO DO THIS WEEKEND
Bake: This velvety cheesecake stays in the oven until it’s almost burned on top.
Watch: Tonight on FX, a new documentary from The New York Times explores the chaos of the Miss USA pageant.
Stream: Here are five great science fiction films to watch right now.
Discover: Take a journey to mysterious worlds in the new video game Cocoon.
Travel: An autumn getaway awaits at one of these stunning hotels.
Stay dry: Wirecutter has tested dozens of umbrellas in the wind and rain. These are the best.
Compete: Take this week’s news quiz.
Play: Here are today’s Spelling Bee, Wordle and Mini Crossword. Find all of our games here.
ONE LAST THING
Boom times for DogTV
At the height of the pandemic, seemingly everyone — or, more accurately, 23 million households — adopted a pet. Many of those were puppies whose owners have now gone back to working in an office, leaving the dogs alone for longer than they’ve ever been. To fill that gap, and alleviate the guilt, hundreds of thousands have turned to DogTV.
The channel produces content that is recolored, edited and scored specifically for its easily distracted and narratively challenged viewers. More recently, the network has begun producing shows that are designed to engage both dogs and humans.
Have a comforting weekend.
Thanks for reading. I’ll be back on Monday. — Matthew
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