2020年1月9日 星期四

Your Friday Briefing

Friday, Jan 10, 2020 | View in browser
Good morning.
We’re covering mounting evidence that an Iranian missile brought down a Ukrainian plane, China’s surprising role in Taiwan’s elections and how Hong Kong’s food scene has adapted with its protests.
By Melina Delkic
Source: Flightradar24. By Lauren Leatherby.

Consensus growing that Ukrainian plane was downed

An Iranian missile brought down a Ukrainian jetliner over Iran this week, American officials and the Canadian prime minister said.
“We recognize that this may have been done accidentally,” the Canadian leader, Justin Trudeau said at a news conference in Ottawa. All 176 people on board were killed, including 63 Canadians.
Video verified by The Times appears to show an Iranian missile hitting a plane near Tehran’s airport, the area where the jet stopped transmitting its signal before it crashed on Wednesday.
Details: An American official said that two missiles had been fired from a mobile air defense system, the SA-15. It is similar to the one that shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014, killing the 298 people aboard.
From Iran: On Wednesday, a spokesman for Iran’s armed forces, Abolfazl Shekarchi, was quoted by the Iranian news media as dismissing the idea that the crash was a result of military action: “This is ridiculous. Most of the passengers on this flight were our valued young Iranian men and women. Whatever we do, we do it for the protection and defense of our country and our people.”
A billboard depicting Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani in Tehran. He was buried in Iran this week.  Arash Khamooshi for The New York Times

Iran warns U.S., but messages are mixed

A commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps declared that Iran’s armed forces would soon take “harsher revenge” on the U.S. for a drone strike that killed a top Iranian general last week.
Separately, President Hassan Rouhani of Iran warned Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain that there would be further action “if the U.S. makes another mistake,” according to a statement from Mr. Rouhani’s office.
But another Iranian military leader said his country’s missile attacks targeting Americans in Iraq this week had not been intended to kill anyone.
It was part of a host of comments that at times sent a mixed message, and at other times seemed to convey a harsher tone than the country took earlier this week, when its foreign minister said Iran had “concluded proportionate measures” and did not seek escalation.
Analysts warned that Iran’s goal of pushing the U.S. out of the Middle East would most likely continue.
What’s next: In Washington, U.S. lawmakers were expected to vote on a resolution to force the president to halt any military action against Iran unless Congress authorizes it.
President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan on stage at a rally in Taoyuan on Wednesday.   Carl Court/Getty Images

China’s efforts backfire in Taiwan’s elections

As the Taiwan elections set for Saturday approach, China’s influence looms large — but not in the way Beijing hoped.
Just a year ago, President Tsai Ing-wen’s party suffered a humiliating defeat. Now, she has made a remarkable comeback by being China’s least favorite candidate. Beijing’s undisguised belligerence toward Taiwan, along with protests in Hong Kong over the mainland’s steady encroach, gave her campaign a new vigor.
Quotable: “From the beginning, ‘one country, two systems’ has been a dictatorship,” a narrator says in Ms. Tsai’s latest campaign video.
Context: Since Ms. Tsai took office in May 2016, China has largely refused to engage with her government, instead issuing threats against her aims to “split” China and flexing its military muscle. It also restricted the flow of tourists and other economic ties.
The tough policies have only pushed the people of Taiwan away, with barely 1 percent of the population favoring unification with the mainland “as soon as possible,” according to an annual government survey.

If you have time, this is worth it

52 Places to Go in 2020

The New York Times
Our Travel section has released its annual list of destinations — one for each week of the year — aiming to inspire, delight and motivate you to explore.
Among them, above from left: The Kimberley region of Australia; Sabah, Malaysia; the British Virgin Islands; and Kampot, Cambodia. Here’s how we picked them.
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Here’s what else is happening

China: Researchers said they had identified a new virus behind a pneumonialike illness that has infected dozens of people across Asia, setting off fears in a region that was struck by a deadly epidemic 17 years ago. While it appears to be transmitted to humans via animals, limiting its virulence, the Chinese government has not disclosed many details.
Britain: The lower house of Parliament, once bitterly divided over Brexit, gave the green light to legislation set to go in effect on Jan. 31 to take the country out of the European Union. It’s almost certain to be finalized and written into law next week.
France: Protesters again took to the streets, extending the transportation strike against the government’s pension overhaul plan, which is already the longest in the country’s history.
Carlos Ghosn: The Lebanese attorney general ordered the former auto executive charged with financial misconduct in Japan to stay in Lebanon as officials began to consider how to treat him.
Royal family analysis: Other royals besides Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have left the family before, but there is no precedent for the arrangement that the couple has proposed, writes Sarah Lyall, a former London correspondent.
Kiran Ridley for The New York Times
Snapshot: Above, mooncakes stamped with pro-democracy messages in Hong Kong. Food establishments are just one facet of a shadow network of caterers, lawyers, health care providers and car-poolers that have become part of the front lines over seven months of protests. One store even offered tear-gas gelato.
What we’re reading: This deep dive into Canada’s health care system in American Prospect. Tara Siegel Bernard, who writes about personal finance and consumer issues for The Times, noted this passage: “Rather than scaring Americans with well-structured narratives about the alleged horrors of Canadian Medicare, we could take the opportunity to learn from it.”

Now, a break from the news

Julia Gartland for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Ali Slagle.
Cook: For big flavor with little work, try maple and miso sheet-pan salmon.
Watch: The trailer of “Little Women,” whose international rollout continues this month. Our pop culture reporter profiled Florence Pugh, one of its stars.
Read: Need to unplug? Jenny Odell’s “How to Do Nothing” is new on our hardcover nonfiction best-seller list.
Smarter Living: Talking about our salaries, especially for women, was once considered taboo — but pushing past the initial discomfort can have huge benefits for our careers.

And now for the Back Story on …

The world’s northern forests

Boreal forests ring the globe just under the Arctic Circle, stretching across Canada, Alaska, Siberia and Northern Europe.
Together, they form a giant reservoir storing carbon dioxide.
Boreal forests are distinct from tropical forests, closer to the Equator. Boreal forests lock away about 703 gigatons of carbon in woody fibers and soil, while tropical forests store about 375 gigatons. (A gigaton is a bit hard to describe, but it’s a lot.)
The Alaska Highway, surrounded by boreal forest, in June 2007.  Andy Clark/Reuters
These are tough times for the world’s forests, though. Think about the fires in Australia and the ones last year in the Amazon. Agriculture, logging and urbanization are taking a toll, too.
That brings us to single-use paper products, like paper towels, especially the ones sold in North America. Their fiber is often taken from the boreal forest, so reducing home use can help protect the trees.
In Asia, cloth towels remain the standard. But paper towel sales are picking up among more prosperous consumers — and marketers are taking note.
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. Today’s Back Story is partly based on reporting by Jillian Mock for our Climate Fwd: newsletter. You can reach the team at briefing@nytimes.com.
• Here’s our Mini Crossword, and a clue: Domain (five letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our latest episode is the first of a two-part series about the case against Harvey Weinstein.
• Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, the Times reporters who uncovered the sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein more than two years ago, recently reflected on the #MeToo movement that their work helped prompt.
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