2019年12月27日 星期五

Your Friday Evening Briefing

China, SEALs, College Football

Your Friday Evening Briefing

Good evening. Here’s the latest.

Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

1. In a rare show of bipartisanship, Congress is planning to force President Trump’s hand on human rights in China.

Republicans and Democrats aim to pass veto-proof legislation in 2020 that would punish China over its treatment of ethnic Uighur Muslims. Above, protesters rallied in support of Uighurs in Hong Kong earlier this week.

The effort comes amid growing congressional frustration with Mr. Trump’s unwillingness to challenge China over human rights abuses, despite vivid reports of Chinese officials detaining more than one million Muslims in internment camps.


Gregory Bull/Associated Press

2. Exclusive videos show searing testimony from Navy SEALs about the onetime platoon chief Edward Gallagher, who had been accused of war crimes.

Some of the men of Alpha platoon, SEAL Team 7, described Chief Gallagher as “freaking evil” and “toxic.” One medic said that “you could tell he was perfectly O.K. with killing anybody that was moving.”


The trove of Navy investigative materials obtained by The Times was part of the military prosecution of Chief Gallagher on war crimes charges, including murder. President Trump dismissed the testimony when he protected Chief Gallagher from punishment.

Read the story, and watch “The Weekly” now on Hulu.

Johannes Eisele/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

3. The stock market is on the verge of its best year in over two decades.

Three Federal Reserve rate cuts, a better-than-expected showing by the economy and a rally in huge tech stocks like Apple have helped lift the S&P 500 by 29 percent this year. With only two trading days to go, it could have its best year since 1997, when it rose 31 percent.

Stock market analysts are warning against exuberance. The forces that lifted stocks this year might fade, and investors face a new set of risks in 2020

Vladimir Zaikin/EPA, via Shutterstock

4. We’re following developments from one air travel disaster and another potential one.

A plane carrying nearly 100 people crashed into a building in Almaty, Kazakhstan, killing at least 12 people. Dozens were injured, but most of the passengers survived. The crash of the Bek Air plane, the latest aviation catastrophe to befall a former Soviet republic, highlighted the region’s checkered air safety history.

And in Hawaii, the wreckage of a tour helicopter was found in a mountainous area on the island of Kauai. Two of the seven people aboard were believed to be children.

Andrew Spear for The New York Times

5. A Kentucky town has had an Amazon warehouse for 20 years. No one wants the tech giant to leave — but residents wonder when they’ll see the benefits.

The warehouse, in Campbellsville, is one of 477 Amazon fulfillment centers, delivery stations and other outposts around the country. It offers a case study for what may happen as Amazon continues to expand.

Amazon has netted millions of dollars from a tax break there for over a decade. While that incentive has run out, Campbellsville still gets no tax money from Amazon. The county population has stalled at 25,000. Median household income has barely kept pace with inflation. And nearly one in five people in the county lives in poverty, more than in 2000.

David Maxwell for The New York Times

6. An angioplasty costs $32,000 in the U.S. Anywhere else? Maybe $6,400.

A study of international prices finds American patients pay much more across a wide array of common services. Patients and insurance companies in the U.S. pay higher prices for medications, imaging tests, basic health visits and common operations.

This finances a politically powerful health care industry, which means lowering prices will always be hard.

John Amis/Associated Press

7. The college football championship will be one step closer to being settled after Saturday.

As Louisiana State and Oklahoma prepare to play in the Peach Bowl in a duel between two of America’s best college quarterbacks, including Joe Burrow, above, it’s clear that no one will be surprised if the signal callers have dazzling moments. Here’s what else to look for in the game.

In the other semifinal, second-ranked Ohio State and third-ranked Clemson are not only undefeated, but they also have the two best defenses in the country. Here’s what to watch for in the Fiesta Bowl.

Ross Mantle for The New York Times

8. Is the future of American malls an “unrivaled destination for style and play”?

That’s the idea behind the $5 billion American Dream mall in New Jersey. After 15 years in development, the project’s attractions are finally lighting up one by one: an N.H.L.-size ice rink, a Nickelodeon Universe theme park and a dusting of retail. Teased future attractions include a water park and a KidZania play land featuring a field hopping with live rabbits.

“The psychic center of American social life has shifted from buying things to feeling them,” our critic at large writes after a visit in which she flew down the slopes at Big Snow, an indoor ski hill at the mall that is filled with 5,500 tons of “real snow.”

Bettmann Archive/Getty Images

9. Friends recalled Toni Morrison, above in 1985, as a woman who was as fun as she was brilliant. Leah Chase made her New Orleans restaurant into a kind of church. Robert Frank helped us to see the country with fresh eyes.

In The Times Magazine’s annual Lives They Lived issue, we remember some of the artists, innovators and thinkers we lost in the past year.

There were two more recent notable deaths: Jerry Herman, the Broadway composer-lyricist who gave the world the rousing musicals “Hello, Dolly!” and “Mame,” died on Thursday at the age of 88.

And Don Imus, the foulmouthed, confrontational radio host who entertained and offended listeners for nearly a half-century, died on Friday. He was 79.

Clockwise from top left: Bráulio Amado; Brian Rea; Anthony Freda; Illustration by The New York Times; Andrea D'Aquino; Brian Rea; Rebecca Bird; Isak Tiner for The New York Times

Each year around this time we look back at the year’s most-read stories from our Styles desk and ask: What just happened, what does it all mean, and how can we use it moving forward?

For starters: Live your life like a rom-com, sleep until at least 6 a.m., do nothing for 20 minutes (at least). And if all else fails, channel Jonathan Van Ness, the “Queer Eye” grooming expert who overcame a difficult past to become the inspiring person we know today.

“I want people to realize you’re never too broken to be fixed,” he told us this year.

Cheers to the final weekend of 2019.

PS: If you have a super strength telescope, turn your eye to the sky. An interstellar comet will make its closest approach to Earth on Saturday.

Your Evening Briefing is posted at 6 p.m. Eastern.

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