2019年12月23日 星期一

Your Tuesday Briefing

Tuesday, Dec 24, 2019 | View in browser
Good morning.
We’re covering the ouster of Boeing’s chief executive, what Saudi Arabia’s sentencing of men involved in Jamal Khashoggi’s murder means and the latest challenge caused by the Fukushima disaster.
By Melina Delkic
Dennis Muilenburg, then Boeing's chief executive, arrived to testify on Capitol Hill in October.   Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times

With crisis far from over, Boeing fires C.E.O.

The airplane manufacturer’s board of directors ousted Dennis Muilenburg, who came under fire for his handling of the biggest crisis in the company’s history: the global grounding of the 737 Max after two crashes that killed 346 people.
The board, which had stood behind Mr. Muilenburg for months as he became a magnet for public outrage, decided to remove him after last week’s turmoil, including the decision to temporarily shut down the 737 Max factory and the botched launch of a Boeing space capsule designed for NASA.
Looking back: Mr. Muilenburg repeatedly made overly optimistic projections about how quickly the Max would return to service, creating chaos for airlines, which had to cancel thousands of flights and sacrifice billions of dollars in sales. His attempts to publicly apologize for the crashes of the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines flights were clumsy, and his relationship with the Federal Aviation Administration was in tatters.
Ahead: David Calhoun, Boeing’s chairman, will replace him next month, and the chief financial officer, Greg Smith, will serve in the interim. Before the Max can fly again, Boeing and regulators must fix an automated system known as MCAS that was found to have played a role in both crashes.
A picture of Jamal Khashoggi, the dissident journalist, at a ceremony in Istanbul in October marking the one-year anniversary of his death.  Lefteris Pitarakis/Associated Press

Khashoggi verdicts mirror Saudi explanation

A court sentenced five men to death and three to prison over the killing of the dissident writer Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last year, the kingdom’s public prosecutor said.
The sentences match Saudi Arabia’s longstanding argument that the killing was not premeditated or ordered by the court, but was instead a last-minute decision by agents who went rogue.
That narrative, however, contradicts ample evidence that the agents went to Turkey with an intent, and the tools, to kill.
Reminder: The C.I.A. found that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman probably ordered the operation. The kingdom denies that.
Evidence: A Times video investigation put together a timeline of how the killing unfolded.
Other investigations by Turkey and a United Nations expert found that 15 Saudi agents arrived in Istanbul in the hours before Mr. Khashoggi’s killing. One was a “body double” who sought to leave a false trail indicating Mr. Khashoggi was still alive, and another was a forensic doctor who Turkey says arrived with a bone saw that was used to dismember his body.
The U.N. expert reported a vast cover-up effort, including a forensic cleaning of the crime scene.
A runway at Dara Sakor International Airport, which a Chinese company is constructing, will be the longest in Cambodia.  Adam Dean for The New York Times

China’s airstrip, and toehold, in Cambodia

An international airport under construction on the Cambodian coast is raising suspicion that Beijing plans to turn the Southeast Asian nation into a de facto military outpost.
A U.S. intelligence report this year raised the possibility that “Cambodia’s slide toward autocracy” under its longtime leader, Prime Minister Hun Sen, “could lead to a Chinese military presence.”
Mr. Hun Sen denies that he’s letting China’s military set up in Cambodia, but U.S. military officials say that China has already reached a deal for exclusive rights to expand an existing Cambodian naval base.
Background: China has been constructing a defensive “string of pearls,” outposts across the Indian Ocean — including Beijing’s first military base overseas, in the African nation of Djibouti.
Another angle: China said it would lower tariffs on goods imported from around the world starting Jan. 1, after a trade truce with the U.S.
Videos posted to online watchdog groups show police presence in Hong Kong. 

The people of Hong Kong mass-monitor police

Seven months into mass protests in the territory over China’s power in its affairs, allegations have mounted of abuses during arrests and inside police stations.
Increasingly mistrusting the police, bystanders and protesters have come together in online watchdog groups, some with more than 100,000 members, to post videos and photos documenting arrests and police actions.
The latest: More than 1,000 protesters, many in surgical masks and balaclavas, filled a plaza near Hong Kong’s financial district late on Monday to demand an inquiry into what they say is police brutality. As the city gears up for Christmas, they are planning gatherings in prime shopping malls.

If you have 7 minutes, this is worth it

The Fukushima disaster’s latest chapter

Ko Sasaki for The New York Times
Nine years ago, a tsunami caused a triple meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl. To prevent an even worse disaster, water has been pumped through the reactors ever since, to cool melted fuel that is still too hot and radioactive to remove.
Now, Japan is considering releasing more than one million tons of that stored, contaminated water into the ocean, worrying many — including hundreds of fisherman whose livelihoods could be destroyed.
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 egg freezing: A court in Beijing on Monday heard the country’s first legal challenge of a ban on freezing eggs for single women, which forces many of them to seek expensive treatments abroad.
Galápagos oil spill: An emergency cleanup was ordered after a crane toppled into a barge off San Cristóbal Island, sending hundreds of gallons of diesel fuel into the pristine waters of one of the world’s most revered natural destinations.
Indonesia: Teachers at some international schools are facing intrusive questions aimed at identifying those with “abnormal” sexual orientations. Hostility to non-heterosexual orientation is growing in the country, once seen as among the most tolerant in the Islamic world.
Tesco: The British grocery chain suspended ties with a supplier after a 6-year-old London girl preparing Christmas cards for classmates found a desperate plea for help in one purporting to be from foreign prison laborers in China.
Algeria: The country’s de facto ruler, Gen. Ahmed Gaïd Salah, died on Monday, according to the state news agency and Algerian news reports, leaving a power vacuum.
Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters
Snapshot: Above, Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris, which will not hold Christmas services for the first time in over two centuries, as reconstruction continues from April’s devastating fire.
In memoriam: Baba Ram Dass, 88. Born Richard Alpert, he helped popularize psychedelic drugs in the 1960s with a fellow Harvard academic, Timothy Leary. He later found spiritual inspiration in India and wrote more than a dozen books, including the 1971 best seller “Be Here Now.”
What we’re reading: FiveThirtyEight’s data-driven look at good movies that are slightly about Christmas. Sure, “Noel” and “Fred Claus” are on there — but did you expect “Die Hard 2”? You can tell the writer had fun with this one, and so will you.

Now, a break from the news

Ryan Liebe for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Barrett Washburne.
Cook: Mozzarella, tomato and basil transform everyday chicken cutlets into something special. (Our Five Weeknight Dishes newsletter has more recommendations.)
Read: The “Cats” trailer sent shock waves through the internet last summer. Now that they’ve seen the big-screen adaptation, critics’ claws are out.
Smarter Living: Most people don’t go on vacation just to make new friends. But leaving the daily grind behind can help create some of the best settings to hit it off with others in meaningful ways.

And now for the Back Story on …

The song ‘Blue Christmas’

Mariah Carey’s song “All I Want for Christmas Is You” reached the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 this month for the first time since its 1994 release.
It’s not the only yuletide oldie that hit the charts this year.
“Blue Christmas,” as recorded by Elvis Presley in 1957, landed in Billboard’s Top 40 in January, Presley’s first appearance there since 1981.
Elvis Presley by a Christmas tree at his home in Memphis in 1960.  Associated Press
Written by two New York-area men, Billy Hayes and Jay Johnson, the song was popularized in the early 1950s by the country singer Ernest Tubb. But it was the later version that became a perennial hit.
Presley, who died in 1977, apparently recorded the song with reluctance. “Let’s just get this over with,” he told his band, and urged them to “do something silly” on the recording, according to a 2012 interview with Millie Kirkham, one of his backup singers.
Ms. Kirkham took the King at his word — by singing “woo-we-woo” throughout the song.
“When we got through, we all laughed and said, ‘Well, that’s one record that the record company will never release.’”
That’s it for this briefing. We will be off for Christmas tomorrow, and back with a special edition on Thursday. Till then, rock on.
— Melina
Thank you
To Mark Josephson and Raillan Brooks for the break from the news. Mike Ives, on the Briefings team, wrote today’s Back Story. You can reach the team at briefing@nytimes.com.
• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our latest episode revisits the year in sound.
• Here’s our Mini Crossword, and a clue: Number of nights of Hanukkah (five letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• The editor of the International Edition of The Times, Suzanne Daley, explained how the process of choosing the front page of The New York Times, which could make or break careers, has changed drastically over the decades.
New York London Sydney