(Want to get this briefing by email? Here’s the sign-up.)
Good evening. Here’s the latest.
1. The Tea Party is over for Republicans.
That’s the word from our correspondent on Capitol Hill, who writes that the party of fiscal restraint showed little of it as it embraced a costly new bipartisan budget bill. Above center, Senator Rand Paul, who tried to block it.
President Trump signed the bill into law early Friday, after overnight votes in the House and Senate — and a brief government shutdown.
2. John Kelly, the White House chief of staff, told officials he’s willing to resign over the handling of abuse accusations against Rob Porter, the staff secretary who resigned on Wednesday. Above, the two men together.
Mr. Porter has been accused of domestic violence by two of his ex-wives. He had most recently been dating Hope Hicks, the White House communications director, who solicited defenses of him when the accusations became public.
For all the turmoil, President Trump warmly praised Mr. Porter on Friday, saying that it was a “tough time” and noting that Mr. Porter had denied the accusations.
3. The opening ceremony of the 23rd Winter Olympics took place early Friday — but in the U.S., it won’t be broadcast until 8 p.m. Eastern, on NBC. And for the next two and a half weeks, the company’s platforms will air more than 2,400 hours of competition. Here’s how to watch on a variety of platforms and devices.
We spoke with Song Seung-whan, the South Korean actor and theatrical creator who directed the ceremony. He sought to project a vision of unity and peace on the long-divided peninsula.
The political drama was hard to beat, as Kim Yo-jong, the sister of North Korea’s leader, sat behind Vice President Mike Pence to watch. (She is fourth from left in the photo above.)
And we’ve created an entirely new way to follow the Olympics: direct messages from Sam Manchester, one of our editors in Pyeongchang, sent through The New York Times app. Sam will take you behind the scenes — and he’s taking questions and suggestions. Here’s the sign-up.
4. “Almost everything we’re looking at is bad news.”
That was the acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, announcing that the number of children who have died from the flu this season has risen to 63. Health officials from all states except Oregon and Hawaii are reporting “widespread” flu activity. Above, a hospital room used for flu patients in Cumming, Ga.
It’s not too late to get your flu shot — the virus persists into the spring. If your doctor or pharmacy is out of vaccine, the C.D.C. suggests consulting vaccinefinder.org.
5. Waymo and Uber settled a court fight in which the ride-hailing company was accused of stealing trade secrets for self-driving cars. Waymo — which is the self-driving car unit under Google’s parent company, Alphabet — will get 0.34 percent of Uber’s stock, worth about $240 million.
The trial had gripped Silicon Valley, with prominent tech executives and investors testifying in the packed courtroom. The former head of Uber, Travis Kalanick, above, described how his relationship with Alphabet’s chief executive had deteriorated amid paranoia about their competing auto projects.
6. We delved into the little-known history of a folk song you almost surely know: “Kumbaya.”
For years, people thought a white evangelist had composed the song in 1936. Turns out, there’s a recording of a Gullah Geechee man singing it in 1926. The chorus was actually “Come by Here,” which in the Gullah accent sounds like cum-by-yah.
The ancestors of the Gullah Geechee were brought to the southeastern U.S. from West Africa as slaves, and the hymn was a call to God to help people facing oppression. Above, a ceremony honoring those lost to the slave trade in South Carolina last year.
7. Our tech columnist, Farhad Manjoo, reviewed the week in tech news.
Among the biggest stories: Apple’s new smart speaker, the HomePod, has a long way to go to beat the competition. And Elon Musk’s rocket launch into space was pretty amazing. Above, a mannequin in a spacesuit, inside a cherry-red Tesla, cruising through space.
Want Farhad’s newsletter in your inbox? Sign up here.
8. Carrie Mathison is back. We talked to Claire Danes about her famously unstable character ahead of the Season 7 premiere of “Homeland” on Sunday night.
Our critic applauded Carrie’s return to spycraft in the new season, writing that it’s a pleasure “to watch her pulling her gear out of hiding, or duck into a hotel room and put on a disguise — it’s like she’s getting back into her own skin.”
9. Meet the Dogs of New York. We analyzed every canine registration in the city and discovered some insights about the always-evolving real estate market.
Among the highlights: The poodles of the Upper East Side are moving to the West Village. Yorkies are the most popular breed citywide. And there is a pooch named Biggie in every borough.
10. Finally, an engineering marvel at the Olympics, a new push to promote social media literacy and a “jolt of a movie” that creates wonder through myth. (That would be “Black Panther,” above.) It’s not all bad news out there.
Here are seven great things we wrote about this week. It’s our attempt to help you close out the week with a smile, or at least a lighter heart.
Have a great weekend.
Your Evening Briefing is posted at 6 p.m. Eastern.
And don’t miss Your Morning Briefing. Sign up here to get it by email in the Australian, Asian, European or American morning.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.