2019年5月29日 星期三

Your Wednesday Evening Briefing

Robert Mueller, Tornadoes, Israel
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Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Your Wednesday Evening Briefing
Good evening. Here's the latest.
Doug Mills/The New York Times
1. "If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so."
In his first public remarks on the two-year-long Russia inquiry, the special counsel, Robert Mueller, declined to clear President Trump of obstruction of justice. And he noted that the Constitution offers methods to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing — a hint at Congress's impeachment powers.
But in a crucial respect, Mr. Mueller remained as coy as he was in his report, our reporters write in an analysis, leaving his intentions and conclusions open to interpretation.
Among those wishing for more from the special counsel were our Opinion contributor Michael Tomasky and the actor Robert De Niro.
Andrew Spear for The New York Times
2. The weather may finally be turning a corner.
Forecasters said the conditions that caused the record-setting run of severe storms across the country this month might fade before the weekend. Tornadoes have been linked to at least seven deaths in May, pushing the year's tornado fatality toll to 38. Above, Dayton, Ohio.
While the atmosphere may be calming, areas encompassing more than 85 million people still face a risk for severe storms today, with advisories in more than a dozen states from Arkansas to New York.
Menahem Kahana/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
3. Israel will hold new elections, after factional squabbles scuttled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's efforts to form a government by today's deadline.
Israelis will return to the ballot box in about three months. It's the first time Israel has been forced to hold a new national election because of a failure to form a government after the previous one.
Mr. Netanyahu, pictured above today, seemed to have an easy path back to power after elections last month. But a power struggle between secular ultranationalist and ultra-Orthodox factions stymied his efforts to form a coalition.
Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times
4. The bond market is giving ominous warnings about the global economy.
Interest rates are higher on short-term bonds than long-term bonds. That isn't normal, and it's an indication of more investor pessimism than economic and earnings data might suggest.
Our senior economics correspondent, Neil Irwin, sees the causes as the U.S.-China trade war and other geopolitical headlines. Above, a port in Shanghai.
And he notes that an inverted yield curve has been seen historically as a sign of recession in the offing.
Emily Kask for The New York Times
5. Louisiana lawmakers voted to ban most abortions as soon as a heartbeat can be detected. The Democratic governor supports the bill.
A spate of anti-abortion legislation has passed in recent months across the South. But the Louisiana measure stands out for the bipartisan coalition that has rallied around it.
On college campuses, schools are stepping up their efforts to contest the anonymity of women suing over sexual assault cases. Florida A&M and Dartmouth are taking similar legal strategies, going to court to reveal the names of the accusers.
Karen Pulfer Focht/Reuters
6. The number of single working mothers is surging in the U.S.
Since 2015, the share of young single mothers in the work force has climbed about four percentage points, driven by those without college degrees, according to a Times analysis.
A booming economy and family-friendly company policies have helped, but a fraying federal safety net is also a factor. Jobs in nursing, for example, grew among unmarried mothers in recent years.
"We're talking about mothers, but really we're talking about the children they're supporting," a sociology professor said.
Elia Saikaly
7. After human traffic jams at Mount Everest's peak, Nepalese officials said they were considering changing the rules about who is allowed up.
Until now, just about anyone could get a permit to climb the mountain. But this year has been marred by pileups at the top, leaving at least 11 climbers dead, and a surge of inexperienced climbers. Here is what we know about the victims.
Several government officials said they were leaning toward requiring all climbers to submit proof of mountaineering experience and a verifiable certificate of good health.
Audra Melton for The New York Times
8. Now for a taste of liquid gold.
The harvest of tupelo honey, the most expensive in America, has been hurt by hurricanes, blights and development in Florida and Georgia. But a small cadre of beekeepers still fiercely pursues this prize. Our food writer went on the chase for the lucrative tupelo bloom.
Tupelo honey isn't the only crop in high demand: Nepal's tea community is in the budding stages of a loose-leaf revolution. Just don't call it Darjeeling.
Jeenah Moon for The New York Times
9. Broadway is booming.
Last season, 14,768,254 patrons saw Broadway shows, for a total box office gross of $1.8 billion through Sunday, both records for the industry. The reason? Diverse offerings, shows that run longer and the popularity of New York City for tourists, our theater critic explains.
Our dance critic writes about the state of choreography on Broadway stages. The frustrating part isn't that there are no dance numbers of quality, she writes, but that what's excellent isn't being recognized.
Mizumoto et al.
10. And finally, just keep swimming.
A biologist was on vacation in Japan when he came across a slab of grayish limestone rock. In it appeared to be the remains of fossilized fish — 259, to be exact — swimming together.
The slab, estimated to be about 50 million years old, preserves what looks like a school of fish from an extinct species called Erismatopterus levatus. The slab of rock could offer clues to when the schooling behavior common in modern fish first evolved.
Hope you sleep like a rock.
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