Minneapolis, Barack Obama, E-Bikes: Your Wednesday Evening Briefing

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Good evening. Here’s the latest.

Credit...Victor J. Blue for The New York Times

1. Three officers involved in George Floyd’s death were charged with abetting their fellow officer Derek Chauvin, whose charge was raised to second-degree murder.

Mr. Chauvin kept his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, according to the prosecutors in Minneapolis. The other officers did not stop Mr. Chauvin, and two of them helped hold Mr. Floyd to the ground for at least a part of the time, according to a video reconstruction of the arrest. Here’s the latest.

The Minneapolis Police Department used force against black people at a rate at least seven times that of white people during the past five years, according to an analysis of city data.

A memorial service for Mr. Floyd is planned for Thursday afternoon in Minneapolis. Quincy Mason, Mr. Floyd’s son, above right, visited the site of his father’s killing.

In his first on-camera comments on Mr. Floyd’s death, former President Barack Obama said the wave of protests convulsing the country was “unlike anything I have seen in my lifetime,” and predicted an “awakening.” He called on every mayor in the U.S. to review use-of-force policies.

Credit...Whitney Curtis for The New York Times

2. In the last week, the U.S. has abruptly shifted from one crippling crisis to another.

Much of the country stayed inside, separated, as a way to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Now protests are creating crowds, threatening a resurgence, making it complicated for some to decide whether to attend protests.

“The police violence against black people — that’s a pandemic, too,” said a community organizer in Miami. “People are willing to risk their lives, to risk their health, to show solidarity with black people.”

Tear gas has been used extensively against protesters across the country, like those in Ferguson, Mo., above. There’s evidence that it may increase the risk of respiratory illness.

Credit...Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

3. The Trump administration has selected five companies as the most likely to produce a coronavirus vaccine.

By winnowing the field in a matter of weeks from a pool of around a dozen companies, the White House hopes to speed the process of vaccine development.

Credit...Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times
Credit...Da'Shaunae Marisa for The New York Times

5. The pandemic may set back an entire generation of working mothers permanently. The inequities that existed before are now “on steroids,” one economist said.

Working from home during the coronavirus shutdowns was a bigger burden on women like Virginia Dressler, above, than on their male partners, and reopenings are only expected to make that worse.

“Even the limited gains made in the past decades are at risk of being rolled back,” warned a recent report from the U.N. on the impact of the coronavirus on women.

Credit...Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

6. Tuesday’s primary elections proved to be a dramatic night for candidates of color.

Black and Hispanic women won elections in multiple states, including Ella Jones, above, the first African-American mayor of Ferguson, Mo., six years after protests against the police killing of a black teenager there propelled the Black Lives Matter movement.

Representative Steve King, a nine-term congressman with a long history of racist remarks, was ousted in a Republican primary in Iowa.

And despite the coronavirus pandemic, voters pushed turnout past 2016 levels in nearly all of the eight states that held elections. Here are more takeaways from the election results.

Credit...Brittainy Newman/The New York Times

He found strength in the chorus of “If You Don’t Know Me by Now,” covered by Patti LaBelle: “I heard a woman declaring her value.”

Credit...Jim Wilson/The New York Times

8. E-bikes are finally having the moment they deserve, our tech columnist says.

The benefits of owning a battery-powered two-wheeler far outweigh the downsides, especially in a pandemic. The bikes offer a compelling alternative for commuters who are being discouraged from taking public transportation. They also provide much-needed fresh air.

But their popularity has surged from the years when they were dismissed as vehicles for lazy pedalers and seniors. They’re now as difficult to buy as toilet paper was a few weeks ago. Here’s what you need to know if you’re considering buying one.

Credit...Jacob Hannah for The New York Times

9. You’re all too familiar with the dense flow of news of the last three months. Daniel Thorson is not.

Mr. Thorson recently rejoined society after a 75-day silent meditation in remote Vermont, where he is part of a Buddhist monastic community. Needless to say, the last week was a strange one for Mr. Thorson as he tried to catch up.

Many compared him with a latter-day Rip Van Winkle.

“While I was on retreat, there was a collective traumatic emotional experience that I was not a part of,” he said on the second day. “To what degree do I have to piece it back together?”

10. And finally, an ode to the cello.

We’ve asked some of our favorite artists to choose the five minutes or so they’d play to make their friends fall in love with classical music, opera, the piano and opera. Now we’ve asked Yo-Yo Ma, John Williams, Andrew Lloyd Webber and others to persuade those same curious friends to love the cello, one of the most soulful instruments. Listen to their choices.

For Mr. Ma, it is Victor Herbert’s E-minor cello concerto; the choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker selected Bach’s cello suite No. 5. Mr. Williams chose Brahms’s piano concerto No. 2, in which “the cello and this tune seem destined to come together.”

Hope your evening brings some harmony.

Your Evening Briefing is posted at 6 p.m. Eastern.

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