2019年5月31日 星期五

Your Friday Evening Briefing

Trade, Missouri, Spelling Bee
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Friday, May 31, 2019

Your Friday Evening Briefing
Good evening. Here's the latest.
Guillermo Arias/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
1. President Trump's threat to punish Mexico with tariffs for immigration issues, and not for trade, sent markets plunging.
Republican lawmakers objected to the move, saying tariffs were the wrong tool to try to address illegal immigration. Mexico's president said that he was dispatching a delegation to Washington. But Mr. Trump remained steadfast.
"Mexico makes a FORTUNE from the U.S., have for decades, they can easily fix this problem," the president said on Twitter on Friday. Above, cargo trucks along the border in Tijuana, Mex.
The White House's various conflicts add up to a broad assault on a postwar effort to build economic ties around the world. Here's a look at where the current trade relationships stand.
Tom Brenner/The New York Times
2. Kim Jong-un was looking for a scapegoat to blame for a disastrous summit meeting with President Trump. He found one in one of his most visible diplomats.
Kim Yong-chol, a former North Korean spymaster and vice chairman of its ruling Workers' Party, pictured above left in June, has become the latest example of how a senior official's political fortune is made or broken at the whims of the North Korean leader.
South Korean officials and analysts cautioned that it was too early to say what was happening inside Kim Jong-un's regime. South Korean news media offered theories, including that the North's special nuclear envoy to the U.S. had been executed.
Whitney Curtis for The New York Times
3. Missouri's last abortion clinic, whose license was set to expire at midnight, can keep providing the procedure for now, a judge ruled.
Judge Michael Stelzer said the clinic, Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region, above, had demonstrated that it would suffer "immediate and irreparable injury" if its license were allowed to lapse. He set another hearing for Tuesday. The license is in jeopardy over a dispute with the state health department.
More than 11 million women in the U.S. live more than an hour's drive from an abortion clinic. We analyzed what abortion access looks like in America.
Jimmy Jeong/The Canadian Press, via Associated Press
4. The N.F.L. has been consumed by the issue of concussions. Why hasn't the N.H.L.?
That's what Joanne Boogaard, mother of Derek Boogaard, wants to know. Mr. Boogaard, above, was 28 and a prized enforcer when he died of an accidental overdose. His death raised awareness of degenerative brain disease from head trauma in the sport.
But the N.H.L., with a lower profile and fewer deaths than the N.F.L., has fought hard against mounting evidence of a connection between head injury and the degenerative brain disease C.T.E., our sports columnist writes.
Joshua Roberts/Reuters
5. There have been marathon spelling bees before, but never like this.
A group of young people broke the Scripps National Spelling Bee, with eight contestants crowned co-champions after the competition said it was running out of challenging words.
"We're throwing the dictionary at you," the event's pronouncer said after the 17th round. "And so far, you are showing this dictionary who is boss."
Final words included auslaut, erysipelas and bougainvillea. Think you know the meanings of the winning words? Take our quiz and find out.
Robert Neubecker
6. And now a financial checklist for newly minted high school graduates (or really, anyone).
If you want to set your child up properly for college, work, military service and the years beyond, there are several things you ought to do, help them do or teach them before too long, our money columnist Ron Leiber writes.
He came up with a list of advice on budgets, retirement accounts, credit, information security and insurance.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
7. Female animals were once deemed too hormonal and messy for science. Some scientists warn it's not enough to just use more female rats in the lab.
In a new paper published this week, researchers argue that making male subjects the norm could have public health ramifications for both sexes. Women make up about half of the population but female animals make up a far smaller percentage of biomedical research subjects.
Mental health disorders are of particular concern. By only looking at male animals in initial research, "we may be missing big pieces of the puzzle," one clinical psychologist said.
Vanessa Carr for The New York Times
8. We're coming to the small screen this weekend.
Our new TV show, "The Weekly," debuts Sunday night on FX and Monday on Hulu. The half-hour show tells one big story every week, featuring different reporters, like Erica Green, above left, and Katie Benner, as they investigate the most important issues on their beats.
The first episode depicts something that often does not make it into conversations about investigative journalism: the behind-the-scenes turmoil of reporters who worry that their coverage will do more damage to the victims of abuse than to its perpetrators.
Dennis Chalkin for The New York Times
9. It's time to pile into the car and hit the road.
In our annual family travel issue, a father takes his two sons on a learning adventure in Asia; a mother and son happily skip the chateau at Versailles in favor of the small pleasures; three generations tempt fate on a four-day cycling trip in Quebec; and more. We also looked through The Times's archive of family vacation photos, like the one above from 1972.
Perhaps a theme park is more your thing. Disneyland's "Star Wars" expansion is the biggest in the park's history, and a bet that Wookiees and Stormtroopers will draw visitors as well as princesses. We got a sneak peak.
Brian Davies/The Register-Guard, via Associated Press
10. And finally, ahhh.
Scientists may finally have an answer to why gulping down a cold drink feels so rewarding. But that pleasing sensation isn't actually linked to your real need for a drink. In a study of mice, researchers found no links between the neural systems related to reward and monitoring water intake.
When the mice gulped the water, there was a flood of dopamine in their brains. But when water was injected into their stomachs directly, nothing happened. Still, "satiation from gulping is a really physical feeling," one scientist said. "But we think that probably the pleasure is coming from the realization that you are drinking something."
Have a refreshing weekend.
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The Daily: The Guests You’ve Met Before

Stepping into the same cab, but for a new story.
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Friday, May 31, 2019

One of our most memorable guests was a cab driver. We caught up with him this week (though not in this cab).

One of our most memorable guests was a cab driver. We caught up with him this week (though not in this cab). Kholood Eid

Michael Barbaro

Michael Barbaro

There's a long tradition in journalism of meeting people, interviewing them, telling their stories and then moving on. Not out of any coldness or insensitivity, but because the next story must be told. The news is relentless that way. It leaves little time for following up or checking back in.
We've tried to break that cycle on the show.
On Tuesday, you heard from Nicolae Hent, a New York City taxi driver. It was not our first conversation with him. We first met Nicolae in May 2018, when Theo Balcomb, Jessica Cheung, Annie Brown and I loaded into his taxi outside the Times building.
During a long drive around Manhattan, he told us the story of a taxi industry beleaguered by competition from apps like Uber and Lyft, which had, he believed, undercut the value of his taxi medallion. The financial situation had become so dire that his best friend, a fellow cabdriver named Nicanor, had taken his life. It was a powerful episode that changed how many of us saw the taxi industry.
Then it was back to the news. The U.S. pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal. A historic summit with North Korea was scheduled. Riots broke out in Gaza. We moved on from Nicolae.
But we wondered how he was doing. So when our colleague Brian Rosenthal investigated why the value of taxi medallions had plunged over the past decade and discovered a complex story of predatory lending and reckless government promotion, Lisa Tobin and Jessica Cheung had an idea: tell that story and check back in with Nicolae in a single episode. It turned out Nicolae had followed Brian's reporting and was eager to discuss it. So we reached him inside his taxi and reinterviewed him.
Over the past two years, we've followed up with several memorable guests: Sheriff Mark Napier, who polices a vast stretch of Arizona at the Mexican border; David Green, the founder of Hobby Lobby, who took a fight over Christian values all the way to the Supreme Court; and Mitch Jacques, a doctor in coal country whose patients rely on the Affordable Care Act.
In each case, by returning to a familiar figure who had already told us his story, it felt as if we could drill even deeper, explore greater nuance and connect more dots. By the end of our second interview with Nicolae, it was clear that his own understanding of what had happened to his industry had changed since we met him — and with it, so had ours.
So the question is: Who do you want us to follow up with next?
Talk to Michael on Twitter: @mikiebarb.
So what about Uber and Lyft
On Tuesday, Brian Rosenthal told us about the taxi industry's reckless loan practices that devastated a generation of New York City taxi drivers. While the industry's leaders got rich, thousands of drivers paid the price, he told us. In response, some of you wrote in saying that we let ride-hail companies off the hook. So we asked Brian how he thinks Uber and Lyft had a role in the crisis:
"Everybody who has played Jenga knows it's largely an exercise in scapegoating. In the game, players take turns removing the building blocks of a tower until one of the removals causes the tower to fall. The player who removes that block is deemed the loser. But do they really deserve the blame?
"I want to be clear: Ride-hailing has hurt yellow taxicabs. As I said on 'The Daily,' government data clearly shows that on a per-cab basis, New York City taxi revenue has dropped 10 percent since Uber arrived.
"Some people have criticized our use of that statistic. They have said the impact could look a little bigger if we compared overall industry revenue, changed the time frame or factored in taxes and tips. They have argued that 10 percent is huge in a low-margin field and that a business is not just about revenue.
"Instead of debating that number, I think it's important to focus on the wrongdoing we uncovered: We found industry leaders manipulated the medallion market to inflate prices, and virtually everybody in the industry agreed prices never should have hit $1 million. We found many medallion buyers had to sign reckless loans that made them forfeit almost all their income, indefinitely. And we found the whole thing worked only if prices kept skyrocketing forever, a dynamic some compared to a Ponzi scheme.
"The taxi industry was inflated, exploitative and unsustainable. Ride-hailing may have 'caused' the industry to fall. But does it really deserve the blame?"
She's the reason for this newsletter
Before Samantha Henig, there was no audio team. She's moving on to new things, but not without a quick note of thanks from Lisa Tobin:
"If you're reading this newsletter, it's because of Samantha Henig. Back in 2017, The New York Times asked her to look into creating an audio team. Two and a half years later, here we are, nearly 30 of us, and we're growing.
"I was initially skeptical that The Times — this incredible force in print journalism — could succeed in audio. But the first time I spoke to Samantha, sitting at a picnic table in the middle of Times Square, I immediately understood her vision, and she convinced me that it just might work. She's the reason I came on, as her partner in building a brand new department from scratch. It was scary, and hard and, because I got to do it with Samantha, incredibly fun. She was key to shaping high-level editorial and business strategy, recruiting so many of the incredibly talented producers and editors on this team, but she also never shied away from unglamorous work — in the early months of 'The Daily,' she woke up at 5 a.m. every morning to do a final listen and hit publish on the episode.
"Now that we're off and running, she's moving on to new challenges and opportunities. We all — this team and everyone who listens to 'The Daily' — owe her a gigantic thank you for getting us here. We will miss you, Samantha! It's hard to imagine how we are going to do this without you."
On 'The Daily' this week

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