2019年11月18日 星期一

Your Tuesday Briefing

Tuesday, Nov 19, 2019 | View in browser
Good morning.
We have updates from the Hong Kong campus where police and protesters are battling, an investigation into hundreds of pages of secret Iranian intelligence cables and a new kind of submersible bubble that makes the deep sea more accessible.
By Melina Delkic
Protesters surrounded by tear gas outside Hong Kong Polytechnic University on Tuesday.  Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times

Hong Kong face-off reaches boiling point

A bloody battle on the campus of Hong Kong Polytechnic University is nearing its 48th hour. The police have cornered protesters, who are running low on weapons and supplies. Hundreds of them have tried to flee.
All of the routes out of the besieged campus are blocked by a cordon of heavily armed riot police officers using a hailstorm of tear gas and rubber bullets. The police have ordered protesters to “drop their weapons,” but students fear that doing so will result in their arrests.
Near the university, streets were engulfed by tear gas and fires, conjuring the feel of a battlefield. And dozens of women who appeared to be the mothers of trapped protesters staged a sit-in directly in front of the cordon last night.
Explainer: We took a look at how universities, once sanctuaries for protesters, are now among the most turbulent parts of the city.
The latest: A court struck down the territory’s ban on face masks, a blow to Carrie Lam’s government. Classes are suspended again today, but most were expected to resume on Wednesday.
The New York Times

Secret cables show Iran’s outsize role in Iraq

A new cache of secret Iranian intelligence cables reveals Iran’s shadow war for influence in Iraq — and the battle within its own spy divisions.
The cables — sent by the Ministry of Intelligence and Security, Iran’s version of the C.I.A., from 2014 to 2015 — detail work by Iranian spies to co-opt Iraq’s leaders, pay Iraqi agents working for the U.S. to switch sides, and infiltrate every aspect of political, economic and religious life.
Obtained by The Intercept and shared with The New York Times, the reports reveal far more than was previously understood about how Iran and the U.S. used Iraq as a staging area for their spy games.
But Iran, the documents show, has outmaneuvered the U.S. at nearly every turn.
Stakes: It’s a pivotal moment in Iraq, with protesters demanding an end to Iranian influence. At least 300 have been killed. Read our other main takeaways from the report.

SoftBank aims to create a Japanese internet giant

The company announced an agreement to merge Yahoo Japan with the messaging app Line to create an internet goliath for Japan.
The two have struggled in recent years despite being the country’s most powerful internet firms, and hope the merger will enable them to compete with tech firms in the U.S. and China.
Impact: SoftBank would get access to Line’s users in Japan, and tens of millions more elsewhere in Asia, including Thailand, Taiwan and Indonesia. In theory, it would lead to a super app merging all of the two companies’ services.
What’s next: A complicated financial arrangement, and then a process to get approval from shareholders and government regulators, who are likely to give close scrutiny. The companies plan to complete the merger by next October.

If you have eight minutes, this is worth it

Hollywood’s next seismic shift

Saiman Chow
The long-promised streaming revolution is here, and companies like Disney, Amazon and Apple have been charging into the fray to challenge streaming services like the global heavyweight Netflix. They’re even poaching writer-producers from established studios.
It’s upending how Hollywood does business. Instead of relying exclusively on middlemen to get shows and movies to viewers, traditional entertainment companies are selling content directly to consumers — and studios are releasing fewer films in theaters.
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Here’s what else is happening

China on Xinjiang revelations: Responding to The New York Times’s report on hundreds of leaked government documents detailing the creation of Muslim internment camps, Beijing said the report smeared the country’s fight against extremism, but it did not dispute the authenticity of the documents.
TikTok: The head of the wildly popular viral video app that has become a refreshing weirdo upstart in the social media landscape is on a public relations tour, trying to ease U.S. suspicions about its allegiance to Beijing and its owners in China.
Samoa: Schools in the Pacific island nation are closed indefinitely and children are barred from public gatherings amid a measles epidemic that has killed at least six people, most younger than age 2.
WeWork: The shared-office company is preparing to cut at least 4,000 people from its work force as it struggles to stabilize its struggling business.
T-Mobile: John Legere, the colorful, longtime chief executive of the telecommunications company, will step down at the end of April after his contract expires. In the face of reports that he was being considered to run WeWork, he insisted he’d never talked to the company.
Scott McIntyre for The New York Times
Snapshot: Above, a bubble sub in Florida. The vessels give occupants stunning panoramic views deep underwater. For those who can afford the price — $2 million to $5 million — they’re status symbols.
What we’re listening to: Slate’s “Slow Burn” podcast. “As a child of the ’90s,” writes our London-based home page editor Claire Moses, “I’m enjoying the third season, about the murders of Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur. (And there’s music!)”

Now, a break from the news

Johnny Miller for The New York Times
Cook: Weeknight fancy chicken is the high-low, one-pot meal you need. (Our Five Weeknight Dishes newsletter has more recommendations.)
Watch: Matt Damon and Christian Bale star in “Ford v Ferrari,” James Mangold’s look at the golden age of auto racing. It’s a Critic’s Pick — and the weekend’s box office winner.
Listen: Whipping between the establishment and the avant-garde, the American pianist and composer Conrad Tao, 25, is a rising star.
Smarter Living: Here’s how to perform two simple magic tricks (and why you should learn them).

And now for the Back Story on …

Our revelations about Iran’s power in Iraq

I’m Tim Arango, one of the leads on a team of 10 reporters behind the scoop The Times published this week about how Iran outmaneuvered the U.S. in Iraq.
News organizations are often competitors, but this was an example of an extraordinarily fruitful collaboration that stretched out over months.
The Intercept shared an unprecedented leak of secret Iranian intelligence cables with The Times, drawing on our expertise in the region.
We’ve maintained a bureau in Baghdad for more than 16 years, staying put — at great expense and risk — when many other news organizations moved on.
Tim Arango, then The Times's Baghdad bureau chief, reporting in Iraq in August 2014.  Bryan Denton for The New York Times
I took the lead on The Times’s analysis of the material, because I was the Baghdad bureau chief for seven years, including 2014 and 2015, the period covered by the leaked cables. Those were the momentous years in which the Islamic State rose up and took control of about a third of Iraq.
What I saw in the raw, unfiltered documents confirmed and added depth to my earlier reporting, revealing Iran’s use of agents, spies and bribery to infiltrate the highest echelons of Iraq’s government.
It took time, resources and reporting experience to understand just how much the cables showed. If you want to be a part of more groundbreaking reporting, please subscribe to The Times.
That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.
— Melina
Thank you
To Mark Josephson and Eleanor Stanford for the break from the news. You can reach the team at briefing@nytimes.com.
• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our latest episode is about the rise and fall of WeWork.
• Here’s our Mini Crossword, and a clue: Classic literary character who makes a deal with the devil (five letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• The Times’s R&D team relaunched its website, showing how they develop technical capabilities for the newsroom and new forms of storytelling for readers.
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