2019年12月19日 星期四

Your Thursday Evening Briefing

Impeachment Delay, Samoa, Falcon Hospital

Your Thursday Evening Briefing

Good evening. Here’s the latest.

Erin Schaff/The New York Times

1. Speaker Nancy Pelosi is delaying sending impeachment charges to the Senate over concerns that its Republican majority would thwart a fair trial.

By postponing a trial that Republicans had anticipated making into a rapid public exoneration, Ms. Pelosi, above today, may be looking for leverage in negotiating the trial process. But some leading Democrats are advocating that the charges be withheld altogether.

Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, denounced Ms. Pelosi and Democrats in a scathing speech, saying “the vote did not reflect what had been proven; it only reflects how they feel about the president.”

The timing of the trial could remain unresolved until the new year, when lawmakers return from recess. Here’s what we know.


Jenna Schoenefeld for The New York Times

2. And 24 hours after the impeachment of President Trump, Democratic hopefuls will make their case for the presidential nomination. Here’s what to watch for.

Only seven candidates — the fewest yet — will take the stage for the sixth debate. Co-hosted by PBS and Politico at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, it runs from 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Eastern. You can watch on nytimes.com, where we’ll have live analysis.


Andrew Yang, the Asian-American entrepreneur, will be the only nonwhite candidate on the stage. The intense focus on racial identity in politics has left some in the Asian-American community considering what diversity really means — and how exactly they fit in.

Note: Animated movement of the person’s location is inferred. Satellite imagery: Microsoft and DigitalGlobe.

3. We obtained the largest known leak of phone tracking data. It might change the way you see your phone.

The data is made up of 50 billion location pings from more than 12 million smartphones over several months from 2016 to 2017 — a small slice of what’s collected and sold every day by the location tracking industry. Above, a senior Defense Department official and his wife were identified at the Women’s March.

The trove was provided to the Times Opinion section by people who had grown alarmed about how it might be abused and urgently wanted to inform the public and lawmakers. We’ll continue to publish findings from the data in coming days.

Max Faulkner/Star-Telegram, via Associated Press

4. A federal appeals court struck down a central provision of the Affordable Care Act yesterday. What does it mean?

The judges ruled that one key element of the law — the mandate requiring people to have insurance — was unconstitutional. But they sent the rest of the case back to the lower court to rethink the question of whether other parts of the law should be struck down, too. Above, supporters of the health care bill in 2018.

We spoke with three law professors who have closely followed the battles over Obamacare, to preview what next steps in this already prolonged litigation might look like — a fight that is likely to continue beyond the 2020 election.

Matthew Abbott for The New York Times

5. A calamitous measles epidemic has swept Samoa.

Dozens of young children have died, and the overall toll is near 80. At least 5,400 cases of measles have been reported among the population of 200,000, though the numbers are most likely higher, leaving virtually no one untouched in the Pacific island nation of big families and communal living. Above, a funeral for a 2-year-old who died of the virus.

The government had left the door to contagion wide open, allowing the vaccination rate to fall to a staggeringly low level and putting thousands of children at risk.

But now, a mass vaccination campaign has put Samoa on the cusp of achieving a 95 percent vaccination rate.

Cody O'Loughlin for The New York Times

6. Members of the Sackler family are pushing back on a decision by Tufts University to remove the family name from buildings and programs.

In a letter to the Tufts president, some of the Sacklers argued that the move was “contrary to basic notions of fairness” and a violation of agreements made when the school wanted the family’s financial help dating back to 1980.

There were three Sackler brothers, all of whom made gifts to Tufts. Arthur Sackler died before the family company, Purdue Pharma, introduced OxyContin, which fueled the nation’s opioid crisis. His brothers bought his stake in the company. But it was his name that was removed from Tufts Medical Center.

Arthur’s widow, Jillian Sackler, released a statement saying, “It deeply saddens me to witness Arthur being blamed for actions taken by his brothers and other OxySacklers.”

Andrea Chronopoulos

7. Twenty years ago, Amazon opened its virtual storefront to anyone who wanted to sell something. Then it began demanding more out of them.

In more than 60 interviews, current and former Amazon employees, sellers, suppliers and consultants detailed how Amazon dictates the rules for suppliers, sometimes changing those rules with little warning and eating into their profits. Some sellers worry if they can survive.

“Every year it’s been a ratchet tighter,” a top seller of computer accessories said. “Now you are one event away from not functioning.”

In other tech news, we looked at the initial public offerings that were supposed to create a new class of zillionaires this year. The wave fizzled, and it only made them rich-ish.

Kayana Szymczak for The New York Times

8. Turtles that hatch in the Gulf of Mexico are getting stranded in Cape Cod, following warming ocean waters too far north. We followed one named Stilton.

Kemp’s ridley sea turtles, among the rarest and most endangered of the species, are unprepared for the northern winter’s precipitous temperature drop, and become cold-stunned, a hypothermia-like condition.

That’s when a human chain steps in. Volunteers on the beaches of Cape Cod search for cold-stunned turtles, which are taken to the New England Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Hospital to recover. Then they’re flown south for more treatment and eventual release — back into the ocean.

Olya Morvan for The New York Times

9. The falcon doctor will see you now.

In Qatar, the falcon fulfills a variety of roles, from family pet to status symbol to racing competitor. In a corner of Doha’s old city, a state-of-the-art facility offers scans, surgeries and a link to a centuries-old Bedouin culture.

Members of the royal family get to cut the line.

Johnny Miller for The New York Times. Prop Stylist: Cindy DiPrima.

10. And finally, something sweet, a little grand — and, despite appearances, not too difficult to make.

Some holiday meals demand a more dramatic finale than even the best cookies.

So what shouts “celebratory abundance” without fuss? Our Food columnist Alison Roman has four desserts to do the trick: salted chocolate pudding with whipped sour cream, above; golden ginger cake; boozy cherry walnut tart; and citrusy cheesecake.

Your briefing writer made a bûche de Noël once. Never again.

Have a delectable evening.

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