2019年11月3日 星期日

Your Monday Briefing

Monday, Nov 4, 2019 | View in browser
Good morning.
We’ve got two hard-hitting investigations: one into how President Trump has used Twitter to reshape the presidency and another into how corruption plagues the E.U.’s farm-subsidies system. We also take a close look at WeWork’s Adam Neumann.
By Alisha Haridasani Gupta and Melina Delkic
Al Drago for The New York Times

How @realDonaldTrump reshaped the presidency

Since taking office, President Trump has turned Twitter into a means of communication as vital as an official statement from the White House press secretary, connecting the ultimate seat of power to the darkest corners of the web.
He uses his account to announce policies, attack rivals and amplify a stream of disinformation, retweeting suspect accounts and lending credibility to white nationalists, anti-Muslim bigots and otherwise obscure conspiracy theorists.
The Times investigation: Our reporters reviewed Mr. Trump’s 11,000-plus tweets as president, his retweets and his followers. They also interviewed nearly 50 current and former administration officials, lawmakers, and Twitter executives and employees.
By the numbers:
47 accounts, in total, that the president follows are mostly those of his family, celebrities, Fox News hosts and Republican politicians. Some of those accounts follow and channel conspiracy theories and anti-Islamic ideas or white nationalist ideas.
5,889 of the president’s tweets — more than half — have attacked someone or something.
1,710 of his tweets have promoted conspiracies.
Plucked from obscurity: Mr. Trump’s occasional retweets of low-profile supporters can stun them with new prominence.

Saudi Aramco sets up initial public offering

Saudi Arabia’s oil giant, probably the world’s most profitable enterprise, announced on Sunday its plans for what could be the largest initial stock offering ever.
The company said it would start selling an unspecified percentage of its shares on the Saudi stock exchange, Tadawul, next month. It didn’t specify a date.
The I.P.O. has proceeded in fits and starts over three years. Over the last year, foreign investment was tempered by the killing of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents, but the greater issue now appears to be doubts about the future of fossil fuels, as climate change drives interest in renewable energy.
Details: Bankers have told the Saudi government that investors may value the company at around $1.5 trillion, according to people briefed on the matter.
That valuation is short of the $2 trillion mark that the crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, had anticipated in 2016 when first announcing plans to take Saudi Aramco public.
Proceeds from the I.P.O. will be funneled into a sovereign wealth fund that will help the kingdom wean its economy off its reliance on oil.
Fields near Lovasbereny, Fejer County, in Hungary.  Akos Stiller for The New York Times

Oligarchs and populists milk the E.U. for millions

Each year, the European Union pays out $65 billion in farm subsidies meant to support farmers and rural communities. It is by far the biggest line item in the E.U.’s budget.
But in parts of Central and Eastern Europe, most of the money goes to a connected and powerful few. Governments there, often led by populists, have wide latitude in the secretive process of distributing the subsidies.
A New York Times investigation conducted in nine countries for most of 2019 found that the system is warped by corruption and self-dealing.
Case studies: In Hungary, Prime Minister Viktor Orban uses the subsidies as a patronage system, auctioning off thousands of acres of state land to friends and family that, in turn, allows them to qualify for subsidies.
In the Czech Republic, companies owned by Prime Minister Andrej Babis collected $42 million in agricultural subsidies last year.
What’s next? The farm bill is up for renewal this year, but Brussels is unlikely to tighten controls because the subsidies are crucial to holding the bloc together. In fact, European lawmakers are moving to give the leaders of E.U. members even more control.
Inside our reporting: The Times had to work around the E.U. to compile basic data. Every time our reporters “tried to peek behind the curtain, European and local officials tried to block them,” Michael Slackman, our assistant managing editor, international, said on Twitter.

If you have 15 minutes, this is worth it

Adam Neumann’s spectacular fail up

Illustration by Nigel Buchanan
In the last 80 days, WeWork has seen an implosion unlike any other in the history of start-ups. The company went from a valuation of $47 billion to just $7 billion. Its ridiculed initial public offering was quickly withdrawn. And the company’s chief executive, Adam Neumann, was forced to resign.
But Mr. Neumann’s exit package is perhaps more astonishing than his company’s downfall. Our reporter examines how, exactly, Mr. Neumann managed to get a parachute worth more than $1 billion.
TEST: Email Marketing 101: Never Sacrifice Beauty for Simplicity
A drag-and-drop email builder, a gallery of templates and turnkey designs, personalized customer journeys, and engagement segments. It's everything you need to create stunning, results-driven email campaigns in minutes. And with Campaign Monitor, you have access to it all, along with award-winning support around the clock. It's beautiful email marketing done simply.
Learn More

Here’s what else is happening

China: A top official at the country’s tobacco regulator urged the industry to stop selling and advertising e-cigarettes online, in what could amount to an effective ban in one of the world’s biggest electronic cigarette markets.
New Delhi: Air pollution in the Indian capital and surrounding towns deteriorated to the worst levels so far this year, reaching the “severe-plus category.” Officials had already declared a public health emergency and closed schools for days.
Brexit: Nigel Farage, the leader of Britain’s Brexit Party, said he would not run for a seat in Parliament in the general election in December, but vowed to campaign aggressively against the prime minister’s Brexit plan, a move that could split the pro-Brexit vote.
#MeToo: Women in West Africa who have started to break the silence around rape and sexual harassment have also experienced fierce attacks on their reputations, including accusations that they’ve lied.
TikTok: Silicon Valley competitors are increasingly worried about the popularity of the Chinese-owned social media platform and are considering ways to imitate it.
Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times
Snapshot: Above, protesters in Hong Kong last month holding Uncle Sam posters, one of the many American symbols that are making an appearance in mass demonstrations there. Several months into the anti-government movement, protesters are increasingly hoping that the U.S. — locked in a trade dispute with Beijing — will swoop in to save the semiautonomous city.
Tennis: Ashleigh Barty of Australia on Sunday won her first WTA Finals title, taking home a $4.42 million paycheck, likely the richest prize ever in the sport.
From Opinion: The Korean concept of “nunchi,” the art of reading a room and sensing what people are thinking or feeling, can serve many purposes, according to a Korean-American journalist who used it to deal with social anxiety.
What we’re reading: This deep dive into Condé Nast, in New York magazine. “It’s a fly-on-the-wall look at the company and its iconic magazines — including Vogue, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker — that are struggling to adjust to new leadership and the rapidly shifting media landscape,” writes Alisha.

Now, a break from the news

David Malosh for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews.
Cook: Looking for spice? This vegan mapo tofu delivers.
Watch: A mini-season of “Queer Eye” is set in Japan and features what our reviewer says is one of the most moving TV moments this year.
Listen: Dua Lupa’s new single, “Don’t Start Now,” is a bulbous and joyful disco song.
Smarter Living: Resetting a long weekend to run from Saturday to Monday might help you save on hotel and flight costs.

And now for the Back Story on …

The U.S. Embassy in Tehran

Today is the 40th anniversary of Iran’s takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, the start of a hostage crisis that lasted for 444 days and lives on in strained, distrustful relations between the two countries.
The complex remains in place, with its surrounding brick wall now known for anti-U.S. murals.
Fresh anti-U.S. murals were unveiled over the weekend at the former U.S. Embassy in Tehran.  Atta Kenare/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
The wall is a focus of Iran’s annual commemorations of the takeover, which came after President Jimmy Carter allowed the ousted monarch, Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, to enter the U.S. for cancer treatment.
Iranians were angry at the support for the shah, who had been empowered by a 1953 coup engineered by the U.S. and Britain. The coup became a blueprint for many other U.S. efforts at regime change during the Cold War.
In 2000, The Times obtained a copy of the C.I.A.’s classified history of the coup, which noted Western interest in retaining control of Iranian oil.
The embassy building now holds a museum called the U.S. Den of Espionage. Reviews on Trip Advisor say it’s well worth a visit.
That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.
— Alisha and Melina
Thank you
To Mark Josephson and Eleanor Stanford for the break from the news. Andrea Kannapell, the Briefings editor, wrote today’s Back Story. You can reach the team at briefing@nytimes.com.
• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our latest episode is on the next phase of the impeachment investigation.
• Dave Shaw, who led the audio team at Politico, is the first Washington-based editor at “The Daily.”
• Here’s our Mini Crossword, and a clue: Peruvian pack animal (five letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
New York London Sydney