2020年1月24日 星期五

Your Friday Evening Briefing

Impeachment, March for Life, Serena Williams

Your Friday Evening Briefing

Good evening. Here’s the latest.

Erin Schaff/The New York Times

1. After three days of arguments against President Trump, his defense team is warming up.

The president’s lawyers will make their first appearance in the Senate impeachment trial on Saturday, but they will be relatively brief, using only a few hours to begin to lay out their case on a day when few people are watching. Then on Monday, Mr. Trump will get his made-for-television presentation. One of his lawyers called tomorrow “a trailer, coming attractions.”

Opening arguments begin around 10 a.m. Here’s the latest.

House managers wrapped up their case with an impassioned speech from Representative Adam Schiff, above, that tried to put the Ukraine pressure campaign in the context of the Trump presidency.

But it may not be enough: Democrats were not optimistic that enough Republicans had been persuaded to support hearing from new witnesses in the trial.


Nicolas Asfouri/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

2. China expanded travel restrictions, penning in 35 million people in an effort to contain an outbreak of a little-understood coronavirus.

The virus has now killed at least 41 people and infected more than 900. A second case was confirmed in the U.S. and three cases were confirmed in France, as health officials prepared for an outbreak that could last months. Here’s the latest.


The emergence of the mysterious virus during China’s biggest holiday, the Lunar New Year, couldn’t have come at a worse time.

“Today should be the Chinese people’s happiest day,” one woman told our reporter in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak. “But this sickness has destroyed that feeling. It came suddenly and unexpectedly. We should have been better prepared.”

Pete Marovich for The New York Times

3. President Trump became the first sitting president to address March for Life, a prominent anti-abortion rally.

“Unborn children have never had a stronger defender in the White House,” he told a crowd of religious school groups and activists on the National Mall, speaking behind a plate of bulletproof glass.

As he spoke, his administration announced plans to withhold federal money from California if the state did not drop a requirement that private insurers cover abortions.

Tom Williams/Roll Call, via Getty Images

4. Yesterday we told you about the Trump administration’s efforts to strip clean-water protections. Today’s rollback: sewage regulations.

Raw sewage from cities will keep flowing into the nation’s rivers for years to come under an Environmental Protection Agency policy that gives cities a pass on cleanups. The move allows municipal governments to delay or otherwise change federally imposed fixes to their sewer systems.

Cities have long complained about the cost of meeting federal requirements to upgrade aging sewer systems. The Trump administration has rolled back nearly 95 other environmental rules that it has said are too costly for industry or taxpayers.

Tamir Kalifa for The New York Times

5. We’re 10 days out from the Iowa caucus and the state is still very much in play.

The state’s caucuses often come down to the wire, but with the polling picture in flux and the impeachment trial slanting the playing field, this year’s contest is especially uncertain.

Here are four reasons anything could happen in Iowa. And keep an eye out: We’ll have a new New York Times/Siena College poll out on Saturday morning.

The Democratic Party’s voters are splintered across generational, racial and ideological lines, and the lack of a united front has many party leaders anxious. We spoke with 50 voters across three early voting states and found that even the goal of defeating President Trump isn’t enough for some voters to commit to backing the eventual Democratic nominee.

Tolga Akmen/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

6. London police will begin using facial recognition technology to identify people in real time.

The decision adopts a level of surveillance that is rare outside China. The Metropolitan Police said the technology will help “tackle serious crime.”

In a country with a history of terrorist attacks, CCTV cameras line the streets and police surveillance has traditionally been more accepted than in other Western countries. But privacy groups have vowed to take legal action to try to stop its deployment.

Illustration by Nicolas Ortega

7. A scheme run by hundreds of bankers, lawyers and investors may be the biggest tax heist ever. And Europe wants justice.

Stock traders are accused of siphoning $60 billion from state coffers of European countries through a “cum-ex trading,” a monetary maneuver that purportedly avoids double taxation of investment profits. A former participant labeled it “the devil’s machine.”

Germany was hardest hit, with an estimated $30 billion in losses, and is the first country to try to get its money back.

Separately, art experts and law enforcement officials are seeing a surge of fake prints coming to the market, presented as the work of major artists.

Asanka Brendon Ratnayake for The New York Times

8. Serena Williams’s loss in the third-round of the Australian Open to Wang Qiang was an uncharacteristic faltering for the best player of her era. Is the end close?

She has not won a Grand Slam title since 2017 and her competition is getting stiffer. But you never know with Williams: This loss could be “another setback on the path to a momentous comeback befitting her aura,” our tennis reporter writes.

Hours after Williams and the reigning Australian Open champion, Naomi Osaka, suffered stunning defeats (Osaka lost to the teen phenom Coco Gauff), Roger Federer rallied in a gripping tiebreaker to reach the fourth round.

Michelle Groskopf for The New York Times

9. The Comedy Store in Los Angeles launched the careers of comics like Robin Williams, David Letterman, Jay Leno and Sandra Bernhard. And watching them all was Pauly Shore.

Shore, the son of the club’s owner, Mitzi Shore, was a witness to the greatest minds in comedy. Now 51 and performing a one-man show about his childhood, Shore dished on what it was like growing up a kid of comedy.

When the comedian John Mulaney isn’t hiding his Sour Patch Kids habit from his wife, the “Saturday Night Live” alum is all about pleasing his dog — and his therapist. Here’s how he spends his Sundays in New York.

Chloe Ellingson for The New York Times

10. And finally, the haggis black market.

On Saturday, Scots across the world will dine on haggis to celebrate the birthday of Robert Burns, the 18th-century Scottish poet. A U.S. federal agency bans the sale of sheep lungs, a key ingredient for the distinctive Scottish dish. Haggis lovers have found ways around that.

For decades, a small but impassioned contingent of die-hard traditionalists has resorted to illicit methods to bring authentic haggis onto American soil — smuggling it through customs or crossing the border into Canada. One butcher in Toronto planned to send it in boxes labeled “clothing” or “gifts” to relatives in Florida.

Have a poetic weekend.

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