On Thursday’s NewsHour…

BY Simon Marks  February 4, 2010 at 4:28 PM EDT

NEW SENATOR- Scott Brown was sworn-in as a member of the United States Senate representing Massachusetts, and at a stroke changing the political dynamic in Washington. As the Democrats lose their all-important 60th vote in the U.S. Senate, Judy Woodruff will report on the swearing-in ceremony and its implications. Then, she’ll discuss the changing circumstances on Capitol Hill with former Democratic Senator Tom Daschle, former Republican Senator Norm Coleman, and scholar Norm Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute.

TOYOTA- The auto manufacturer’s travails took a turn for the worse today, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched a probe into brake problems with the 2010 Prius hybrid. Toyota* says it’s “too soon” to say whether a recall of the 2010 Prius model will be required, but today’s news only deepened the crisis the company is facing. Jeff Brown reports today’s events, and then discusses the issue with Paul Einsenstein, publisher of thedetroitbureau.com, and Rebecca Lindland of analytical firm IHS Global Insight.

HAITI- Ray Suarez concludes his reporting trip to Haiti with a fascinating report about the crisis in which the country’s government finds itself. Then, Jim Lehrer interviews Ray about his experiences covering the aftermath of the earthquake.

ECONOMIC COMEDY- Finally tonight, a Paul Solman “Making Sense” report about some economists who – even in the darkest of financial times – are managing to find some humor in the numbers.

WEB-ONLY- Hari Sreenivasan gives a tour of new and related features on the site, including: The Lancet’s formal retraction of a study linking autism to a vaccine; a Global Post comparison of how other countries handle gays in the military; and a poem on the housing crisis.

All that, plus the day’s other news, including a report from the UK on ground-breaking research into the brain activity of patients suffering from persistent vegetative state. Jim Lehrer and Jeffrey Brown anchor the broadcast tonight, with Hari Sreenivasan on duty in the newsroom. We hope you’ll join us.

*For the record, Toyota is a NewsHour underwriter.