2019年11月25日 星期一

Hong Kong, ISIS, Julian Assange: Your Tuesday Briefing

Tuesday, Nov 26, 2019 | View in browser
Good morning.
We’re covering the impact of Hong Kong’s landslide elections, accounts of Afghan students being raped and the resumption of U.S.-Kurdish operations in Syria.
By Andrea Kannapell
Many district council candidates who had actively participated in recent protests won.  The New York Times

Hong Kong braces for more friction with Beijing

The landslide victory for the pro-democracy movement in Sunday’s local election could force a reckoning between activists and pro-Beijing forces, including the city’s embattled leader, Carrie Lam.
More than half of the 452 seats in the district council elections flipped from pro-Beijing candidates to pro-democracy groups. All sides agree that the landslide puts China’s ruling Communist Party under even greater pressure to respond to the protest movement.
Impact: The victory handed the pro-democracy movement a boost of confidence, though little official power. The district council advises the government on neighborhood issues.
But the pro-democracy movement will gain a larger say on the committee that chooses the territory’s chief executive in 2022, along with additional financial resources.

Three Afghan schools, 165 rape accusations

An advocacy group says it has documented methodical rapes by teachers, principals and other authorities at schools in rural Afghanistan.
The investigation was triggered when two teenage boys told of being raped, and many more boys gave similar accounts. Teachers and others in Logar Province, south of the Afghan capital, confirmed their stories.
At least seven of the boys who spoke up have been found dead, most likely at the hands of their own families, said Mohammad Musa, the leader of the advocacy group, the Logar Youth, Social and Civil Institution.
Reported detention: Mr. Musa was detained along with a colleague by Afghanistan’s national intelligence agency after he talked with a news channel. On Monday, former President Hamid Karzai said that if so, “it is a very wrong thing.”
Context: The systematic sexual abuse of Afghan boys is a longstanding problem. Bacha bazi — or boy play — is a common practice among powerful men who keep boys as sex slaves.
Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie, the head of the U.S. Central Command, said on Saturday that relations between the U.S. and the Kurds were now "pretty good."  Mazen Mahdi/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

U.S. resumes fighting ISIS in northern Syria

Weeks after the Trump administration left its Syrian Kurdish allies to fend for themselves against Turkey, U.S. troops and Kurdish fighters have reunited to conduct a large-scale counterterrorism mission.
Many of the nearly 1,000 American troops in northeastern Syria flew or drove out of the country under Mr. Trump’s withdrawal order. After troop movements are complete, the Pentagon expects to have about 500 American forces in the northern part of the country.
The turnabout shows how military officials are actually interpreting the presidential order. Securing Syrian oil fields — the rationale President Trump cited for leaving some U.S. troops in place — is not a focus of the mission for now.
Pentagon shake-up: Mr. Trump intervened in the military justice system, ordering that a Navy SEAL embroiled in accusations of war crimes retain his standing — a controversy that resulted in the ouster of the Navy secretary.
Military dog: The president made an appearance in the White House Rose Garden with Conan, the dog who took part in the raid last month that led to the death of the Islamic State leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

If you have 12 minutes, this is worth it

The Confucian roots of cinematic rage

Courtesy of Kino Lorber
Examples of gruesomely violent narratives from Japanese, Chinese and South Korean filmmakers are not hard to find. See, for instance, the image above from Kim Jee-woon’s 2003 psychological horror film, “A Tale of Two Sisters.”
An editor on T, The New York Times Style Magazine, argues that the films often upend Confucian ideals of social harmony through hierarchy — and some reveal how a repressive society can transform individuals into monsters. Warning: The article contains spoilers for Bong Joon Ho’s latest film, “Parasite.”
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Here’s what else is happening

Uber: London transportation authorities refused to extend the company’s taxi operating license because of persistent safety problems, especially unauthorized drivers hacking the system to pick up riders. Uber has 21 days to appeal.
Truck deaths: A 25-year-old driver from Northern Ireland, one of three people charged after dozens of Vietnamese were found dead in a refrigerated truck in Britain last month, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration and acquiring criminal property.
Rhino horn: Scientists have created a convincing artificial version from horsehair, but experts are divided over whether flooding the Asian market with it would increase or decrease the poaching threatening rhinos’ survival.
Ryan Jenq for The New York Times
Snapshot: Above, modern origami. The ancient art is alive and well, in communities that are sometimes digital. “Origamists from around the world will meet and fold together,” said one aficionado. “They might not be able to talk to each other, but they can fold.”
Dresden heist: Thieves broke into a restored 18th-century palace and made off with three invaluable collections of jewelry from the royal house of Saxony.
What we’re reading: This essay in Logic magazine by a pseudonymous Microsoft engineer. “It’s about how tech companies are selling cloud/AI services to the fossil fuel industry while publicly pledging to address the climate crisis,” writes Kevin Roose, our technology columnist.
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Now, a break from the news

David Malosh for The New York Times
Cook: French onion macaroni and cheese is weeknight comfort food. (Our Five Weeknight Dishes newsletter has more recommendations.)
Read/Watch/Listen: Our culture reporters and critics came up with 33 ways to remember the past decade. (Just looking at it is fun.)
Smarter Living: Our Scam or Not feature examines the claims for intermittent fasting.

And now for the Back Story on …

The timing of Thanksgiving

Americans like to fondly remember a time when Christmas marketing wouldn’t begin until after Thanksgiving. But in fact, the timing of Thanksgiving was specifically designed to kick off a national shopping spree.
In 1938, hoping to give U.S. retailers a boost during the Great Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt changed the observance of the celebration from the traditional last Thursday in November to the second to last Thursday.
Depression-era children taking part in a lost New York tradition, the Ragamuffin's Parade on Thanksgiving, in which they asked for money.   The New York Times
The move caused an uproar — especially among fans of college football, who were used to playing their big games on Thanksgiving and had already planned for the later date.
But in the end, it stuck. Roosevelt and Congress in 1941 formalized Thanksgiving for the fourth Thursday of the month, where it remains.
This year, Thanksgiving’s relatively late arrival — this Thursday — is giving the $3.6 trillion U.S. retail industry some trepidation. Already struggling with shrinking profits and Amazon’s dominance, retailers, who live and die by their holiday results, need every day of post-Thanksgiving shopping they can get.
That’s it for this briefing. We’re grateful for our readers.
— Andrea
Thank you
To Mark Josephson and Eleanor Stanford for the break from the news. Michael Corkery, a business reporter, wrote today’s Back Story. You can reach the team at briefing@nytimes.com.
P.S.
• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our latest episode is on Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher, the Navy SEAL at the center of a Department of Defense shake-up.
• Here’s our Mini Crossword, and a clue: Mickey Mouse’s dog (5 letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• This year, The Times will publish 15 books, including “The 1619 Project,” with nine different publishers.
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