Florida, Special Counsel, Syria: Your Tuesday Evening Briefing

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And he continued to deflect blame for the Russian election interference detailed in U.S. indictments last week, suggesting that President Barack Obama was dismissive of the threat.

There was another, smaller-scale indictment: A lawyer for a former Trump campaign aide pleaded guilty to lying to the special counsel.

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Ethan Miller/Getty Images

3. Nearly a dozen special elections are being held around the U.S. this year to fill seats suddenly left open by the #MeToo reckoning. Above, a rally in Las Vegas last month.

Yet the candidates — many of them women — running to replace these disgraced men are hesitating to put the issue of sexual harassment front and center in their campaigns. We went out on the campaign trail to hear why.

One said voters shrug it off: “‘Oh well, another one bites the dust, let’s move on, tell me what you’re interested in.’”

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Abdulmonam Eassa/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

4. The Syrian government, with its Russian and Iranian allies, is fighting to regain control of western Syria, whatever the cost.

Violence that has been rising over weeks has intensified. Syrian and Russian planes struck a rebel-held enclave of some 400,000 people near Damascus, above, in one of the worst bombardments in years. Nearly 100 people were reported killed.

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And Turkish jets and artillery attacked pro-government militias for a second day, keeping them from reaching the northwestern city of Afrin to reinforce Kurdish militias.

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Thomas Kienzle/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

5. The mushrooming corruption scandal plaguing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, above, took a surprising new turn.

One of his closest advisers was accused of trying to bribe a judge to drop a criminal investigation involving Mr. Netanyahu’s wife. The police arrested several of Mr. Netanyahu’s friends and confidants, and top executives of the country’s biggest telecommunications company.

Mr. Netanyahu released a video calling the accusations against him “hallucinatory” and “baseless” and part of a “campaign of persecution” that had been “going on for years.”

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Mauricio Palos/Bloomberg

6. American officials have rebuffed requests from Mexico to help investigate the use of government spying technology against innocent civilians.

There’s concern that Mexico wants to use the U.S. as a cover in a sham inquiry, American officials told us. Above center, President Enrique Peña Nieto.

We broke the story last year that the Mexican government had been using the technology to spy on prominent human rights lawyers, academics and journalists. Our Mexico bureau chief and technology writer explained how they got the scoop.

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Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

7. Anyone who has ever been on a diet knows that the standard prescription for weight loss is to reduce calorie intake. But a new study may turn that advice on its head.

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It found that people who cut back on sugar, refined grains and processed foods, and ate more vegetables and whole foods — without worrying about portion sizes — lost significant amounts of weight over the course of a year. Above, a very healthy meal of quinoa and vegetables.

A health expert we talked to said the study showed a “road map to reducing the obesity epidemic” by focusing on food quality, not calorie-counting.

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Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

8. Winners of gold, and more than gold.

The unified Korean women’s hockey team closed out its Olympic run without a single win. For many, that was hardly the point. Our photographer Chang Lee, whose own life has been shaped by the division in Korea, cried as he shot the opening ceremony. Check out his images of the Games.

On Tuesday night’s broadcast, Lindsey Vonn will vie for her second Olympic gold in the women’s downhill. Our interactive graphic shows the price her body has paid for her quest.

Here’s our full coverage, plus the medals table, results and schedule.

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Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

9. The countdown to the Oscars has begun. The ceremony will be held on March 4.

We talked to Yance Ford, above, the first transgender director to receive an Oscar nomination, for his documentary “Strong Island.”

The film is a brutal, intimate portrait of the unraveling of his tight-knit family following the death of his brother, William Ford Jr., in Suffolk County in 1992, and an all-white grand jury’s decision not to indict the white man who shot him.

“If my nomination helps people at all think about the transgender folks in their lives, in their communities, and treating them as humans and equals deserving of protection, I’m happy,” he said.

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Meridith Kohut for The New York Times

10. Finally, a vast swath of Patagonia — home to pumas, condors, flamingos and endangered deer species — is getting new protections.

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President Michelle Bachelet of Chile recently announced the creation of a 10-million-acre national park system stretching all the way south to Cape Horn, where the tip of South America splinters into fjords and canals.

It’s the brainchild of Kristine McDivitt Tompkins and her husband, Douglas Tompkins, who founded The North Face and Esprit clothing companies. They had paid $345 million — much of their fortune — to buy so much land that some Chileans became worried about national security.

Please enjoy the view.

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