2019年11月21日 星期四

Your Friday Briefing

Friday, Nov 22, 2019 | View in browser
Good morning.
We’re covering China’s response to U.S. support of Hong Kong protesters, the indictment of Benjamin Netanyahu and what is believed to be the world’s first Christmas card.
By Melina Delkic
Riot police are seen from the campus of Hong Kong Polytechnic University on Thursday.   Billy H.C. Kwok/Getty Images

China fumes over U.S. rebuke

Officials in Beijing are furious over a U.S. bill compelling the government to support Hong Kong protesters. Passed by Congress this week, it awaits President Trump’s signature.
The measure would require two things: sanctions on Chinese officials responsible for human rights abuses in the territory, and an annual review of Hong Kong’s special trade status with the U.S.
Mr. Trump promised in October to stay silent on the unrest in Hong Kong, but the bill offers leverage in securing a trade deal with China. This week, he said China wasn’t “stepping up” in trade talks, prompting China to affirm its focus on achieving progress toward a “Phase One” agreement.
Response: In an editorial, China’s state-owned People’s Daily described the bill as a “piece of waste paper” and a “serious provocation against the entire Chinese people.” Officials warned the country would take “strong counter-measures.”
Timing: The bill comes at a sensitive moment both for the trade talks and for Hong Kong. The territory is slowly stabilizing after weeks of escalating violence, but local elections this weekend — which may be canceled — could stir more unrest.
Fiona Hill, the former top Russia expert at the White House, arriving to testify in Washington on Thursday.   Doug Mills/The New York Times

Wrapping up a week of impeachment hearings

Thursday was another eventful day in the U.S. impeachment investigation, concluding three days of consequential public hearings before the inquiry takes a break next week for the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. Here’s a wrap-up from the day:
■ Fiona Hill, the former top Russia expert at the White House, said President Trump’s demands for Ukraine to announce investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden amounted to a “domestic political errand” that diverged from American foreign policy goals.
■ Ms. Hill also criticized the “fictional narrative” that Ukraine, not Russia, meddled in the 2016 elections, denouncing a theory embraced by Mr. Trump. She argued that the story was planted by Russia and played into Moscow’s hands by sowing political divisions in the U.S.
Earlier this week: Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the E.U., said he saw a clear “quid pro quo” in Mr. Trump’s demands, which he helped to carry out at the president’s “express direction.” And two people who listened to the phone call at the center of the impeachment investigation described finding it “unusual” and “inappropriate.”
Supporters of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel protest against the attorney general's decision to indict him in Jerusalem on Thursday.  Abir Sultan/EPA, via Shutterstock

Israel’s Netanyahu is indicted

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was indicted on bribery, fraud and breach of trust charges, throwing his political future into doubt.
While he is not legally required to step down, the criminal case against him could make it hard to retain power now that he has already failed twice to form a new government.
Details: The cases involve allegations of giving or offering lucrative official favors to several media tycoons in exchange for favorable coverage or expensive gifts. Mr. Netanyahu has denied the allegations.
What’s next: There were already signs of unrest in Mr. Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party as a younger lawmaker called for a primary contest for prime minister. And polls have shown that a formal indictment could sway voters against Mr. Netanyahu.

If you have six minutes, this is worth it

100 years of royal scandals

Ben Stansall/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
The British monarchy has survived public crises before — religious schisms, revolutions, murderous kings — but this week the royal family scrambled to confront a relatively new opponent: the embarrassing televised interview.
The Duke of York, better known as Prince Andrew, struggled to defend his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein, the disgraced financier and registered sex offender, in an interview with the BBC. Yet he was not the first royal of his generation to come under fire after a televised interview. We looked back at a century of major headline-making royal gaffes and spectacles.
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Here’s what else is happening

Philippines: President Rodrigo Duterte ordered a sweeping ban on vaping in public, threatening to use the police and military to arrest those who do not comply.
Extinction Rebellion: A founder of the climate activist group apologized for calling the Holocaust “an almost normal event.” He was speaking in Germany ahead of the release of his book, which draws parallels between the Holocaust and the threats posed by the climate crisis.
British elections: The country’s 300,000 Jews are feeling politically homeless ahead of a pivotal election, torn between their opposition to Brexit and allegations of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.
Thailand earthquake: A 6.1-magnitude quake shook a border area between northern Thailand and Laos on Thursday morning. It could be felt hundreds of miles away.
WeWork: The struggling co-working company confirmed it was laying off 20 percent of its work force, or 2,400 employees, and offloading an additional 2,000 by selling non-core businesses and transferring maintenance workers to outside contractors.
Neil Hall/EPA, via Shutterstock
Snapshot: Above, what is believed to be the world’s first Christmas card, now on display in London. Dating to 1843, the card is addressed to “my very dear father and mother,” and signed, “from their loving son, Joe.” In the ensuing decades, Christmas cards’ popularity skyrocketed.
What we’re reading: This article in The Atlantic about the stutter that still shapes Joe Biden’s delivery. Our reporter Matt Flegenheimer says it’s “a fantastic, affecting, deeply revealing piece. Make the time.”
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Now, a break from the news

Blond puttanesca with capers, tuna, anchovies and arugula  Linda Xiao for The New York Times
Cook: End the week with a pantry pasta: blond puttanesca with tuna, arugula and capers.
Watch: Waad al-Kateab’s intimate documentary “For Sama” follows her family’s life during the Syrian civil war and as refugees in England.
Read: “Twisted Twenty-Six,” the latest Stephanie Plum novel by Janet Evanovich, debuts at No. 1 on our hardcover fiction and combined print and e-book fiction best-seller lists.
Smarter Living: The holiday season is upon us. Our guide can help you manage your time, plan for parties and gifts, and survive the seasonal blues.

And now for the Back Story on …

Spelling city names

This week, The Times adopted a new spelling for Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, the Romanization of the Ukrainian Київ.
The previous version, Kiev, is a transliteration from the Russian: Киев.
The Times is rarely an early adopter in altering place names, waiting until there is a sense that most readers would be familiar with the new word. For instance, the paper quit using Bombay only in 2004, almost a decade after Indian authorities officially recognized the city as Mumbai.
Craig Whitney, a former foreign correspondent who had become our standards editor, recalled that airline flight information had been listed as Mumbai for years. “Clearly,” he said, “we waited long enough to see if it was sticking.”
Most Americans were introduced to Ukraine’s capital during the Soviet era, so they’ve seen “Kiev” for decades. But the U.S. board of geographic names switched to Kyiv in June of this year, and U.S. diplomats have been widely heard in the impeachment hearings in Washington using the Ukrainian pronunciation (or at least coming close with “Keev”).
Chicken kiev, however, will probably stay the same.
Agaton Strom for The New York Times
That’s it for this briefing. We hope our Snapshot inspired you to send out some snail mail this weekend.
I’ll be on vacation next week, with my colleagues taking over for me. I’ll see you in December!
— Melina
Thank you
To Mark Josephson and Eleanor Stanford for the break from the news. Will Dudding and Rogene Jacquette, from the standards department, 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 about testimony from Gordon Sondland, the Trump administration’s ambassador to the E.U.
• Here’s our Mini Crossword, and a clue: Poet with an epic legacy (five letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
The New York Times Store offers branded coffee cups, T-shirts and other items for Times enthusiasts, as well as books and photographs for history buffs.
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