2019年12月20日 星期五

Your Friday Evening Briefing

Starliner, Democratic Party, Holidays

Your Friday Evening Briefing

Good evening. Here’s the latest.

Julio Cortez/Associated Press

1. It was a very quiet day in Washington.

That would not usually be enough to warrant attention. But after one of the most intense weeks in recent memory, it seemed noteworthy that business, if only for a moment, had returned to normal.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi invited President Trump to give the State of the Union address on Feb. 4. That could mean the president gives the speech at the same time as he is being tried by the Senate. Mr. Trump accepted the invitation.

Barring the unforeseen, Mr. Trump will be the first American president to face voters after being charged with high crimes and misdemeanors. One voting bloc voicing criticism this week: evangelicals. But the critics remain a minority in a political movement that Mr. Trump has reshaped in his own mold.


Jim Wilson/The New York Times

2. Democratic presidential hopefuls circled around one word at the final debate of 2019: electability.

It’s a term that has hovered over the primary since the start, but with Mr. Trump’s impeachment now in the foreground, all seven candidates offered sharply divergent versions of just how to achieve that. Here’s how they made their case.


Tensions between Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren finally boiled over in an exchange about campaign fund-raising tactics. Ms. Warren criticized a recent fund-raiser held for Mr. Buttigieg in “a wine cave full of crystals.” Here are six other takeaways from the debate.

So who won the debate? Experts and our Opinion columnists weighed in.

Joel Kowsky/NASA

3. Boeing’s Starliner capsule will return to Earth without completing its full mission, a setback that could postpone NASA’s goal of resuming human spaceflight.

The crewless test flight was intended to meet up with the International Space Station, but the spacecraft’s clock was somehow set to the wrong time and the capsule was pushed into the wrong orbit.

It’s the latest in a series of delays and obstacles; Starliner’s first test was postponed multiple times this year.

Lauren Lancaster for The New York Times

4. Health officials are urging doctors to closely monitor patients diagnosed with severe lung damage from vaping, after new findings show they are prone to relapse. Some patients have died after being sent home from the hospital.

The recommendations are part of four new reports about the nationwide outbreak of severe illnesses from vaping, which has hospitalized 2,506 people and killed 54 as of Dec. 17.

Researchers said evidence was mounting to connect the illness to vitamin E acetate, an additive found in illicit THC-based products.

Johnny Milano for The New York Times

5. There were major arrests in organized crime.

Ninety-six people linked to the MS-13 gang were charged on Long Island. It was the biggest crackdown on the violent group in New York history. Above, Timothy Sini, the current Suffolk County district attorney, on Friday.

Officials said the indictment, which included seven murder conspiracies, drug trafficking and weapons sales, capped a sprawling two-year investigation that reached across the country and up and down the Eastern Seaboard.

And in Italy, the police arrested more than 330 people, including politicians, lawyers, accountants and a local police chief, in one of the most extensive law enforcement operations ever against the crime syndicate known as ’Ndrangheta. About 3,000 officers made pre-dawn arrests in 12 Italian regions, as well as in Switzerland, Germany and Bulgaria, officials said.

Sipa, via Associated Press

6. The Supreme Court of the Netherlands ordered the government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions sharply, marking the first time a nation has been required by its courts to take action against climate change. Above, a power station in Amsterdam.

The court mandated that the country cut emissions by 25 percent from 1990 levels by the end of 2020. One expert called the order “the strongest decision ever.”

Because of climate change, “the lives, well being and living circumstances of many people around the world, including in the Netherlands, are being threatened,” the chief justice said in the decision. “Those consequences are happening already.”

Vincent Tullo for The New York Times

7. Is the future of fashion … trashion?

As the industry comes to grips with its own culpability in the climate crisis, the concept of upcycling — remaking old clothes or re-engineering used fabric — has begun to take hold. Daniel Silverstein, whose nom de style is Zero Waste Daniel, works with the fabrics that other designers and costume departments would normally throw out.

Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, Americans throw out, by some estimates, 25 percent more stuff than they usually do — over one million extra tons of garbage each week. Here’s how to have festive holiday décor without damaging the planet.

From left, Nick Wall/BBCAmerica; Netflix; Bell Media

8. If streaming was the TV story of the decade, the explosion of global content that came to American screens was a close second.

The 2010s saw a radical shift in the trade balance when it comes to TV series. Our critic counts down the 30 finest imports, from “Killing Eve,” “Kingdom” and “Letterkenny,” above, to “Fleabag” and “Strong Girl Bong-soon.”

Speaking of TV: Eddie Murphy will return to “Saturday Night Live” this weekend to host the show for the first time in 35 years. “S.N.L.” has long served as an incubator for comic talent. We looked at the stars who lasted, and the ones who flamed out.

Ricky Rhodes for The New York Times

9. New York City knows how to counter the longest night of the year: very sparkly holiday light displays.

They include twinkling and towering sculptures, Chinese-style lantern shows and giant menorahs; fairy palaces, alluring sweets and even a few gorillas. And even if you can’t make it for a visit, the photos will surely spark some joy.

Also on the holiday front, Sunday is the first night of Hanukkah. Our Cooking team rounded up 21 recipes for latkes — yes, 21, because the potato isn’t the only vegetable that can be grated and fried.

Sergey Ponomarev for The New York Times

10. And finally, the decade in pictures.

As we close out the final days of the 2010s, our photo editors pored over 10 years of images that tell the story of the past decade. A lot has happened. The Times’s managing editor Joe Kahn described it as “a decade of unceasing upheaval” across the world. Above, migrants arrived near Lesbos in 2015.

Many of those moments of upheaval came in the form of violence, protests and natural disasters. But there were moments to celebrate, too, like the life of Nelson Mandela, who died in 2013, or Usain Bolt of Jamaica leading the pack at the 2016 Olympics.

Have a reflective weekend.

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