2020年1月13日 星期一

Your Monday Evening Briefing

Oscars, Iran, College Football

Your Monday Evening Briefing

Good evening. Here’s the latest.

Calla Kessler/The New York Times

1. A deadly act of terrorism, and a challenge to Apple.

Attorney General William Barr, above, declared that a deadly shooting last month at a naval air station in Florida was an act of terrorism, and he publicly upbraided Apple for refusing to provide access to two phones used by the gunman.

The gunman, Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, a member of the Saudi air force training with the U.S. military, killed three sailors and wounded eight others in Pensacola on Dec. 6. He was killed by a sheriff’s deputy.

Apple has refused to unlock the phones, saying it would undermine its claims that its iPhones were secure. A similar dispute was resolved in 2016 when the F.B.I. found a private company to bypass the iPhone’s encryption.


Jordan Gale for The New York Times

2. Twelve Democratic candidates remain, and six will duke it out at tomorrow’s debate.

Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, above, dropped out of the Democratic presidential race, ending a nearly yearlong quest built around a message of unity. His departure leaves just one African-American candidate, Deval Patrick, vying to represent a party with a large bloc of black voters.


Tuesday’s debate is the last before the Feb. 3 caucuses in Iowa, where it’s still a horse race. Only 40 percent of likely Democratic caucusgoers said they had made a choice, according to a survey last week.

And the latest polls in the state showed very different results — one found Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont leading, while the other put former Vice President Joe Biden out front.

Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

3. China is not a currency manipulator, the Trump administration said in a reversal.

The move, two days before President Trump and senior Chinese officials plan to sign an initial trade agreement, undoes what was largely a symbolic label the Treasury Department imposed in August.

As part of the trade deal to be signed at the White House on Wednesday, China and the U.S. are expected to agree that they will avoid devaluing their currencies to achieve a competitive advantage for their exports.

And Europe’s new trade commissioner, Phil Hogan, arrived in Washington for talks. Some in Brussels think his blunt style will make him a better match for Mr. Trump than his predecessor.

Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

4. Iranians defied their leaders for a third day.

Protesters kept up angry demonstrations against the Iranian government in at least two cities in the wake of its admission that it had shot down a Ukrainian passenger plane, killing 176 people, amid its retaliation for the U.S. killing of a high-ranking general.

The government’s obfuscation — officials first blamed the airplane attack on human error — has angered many Iranians, already squeezed by poor economic conditions exacerbated by U.S. economic sanctions.

Iran may also face demands for compensation from nations whose citizens were killed on the plane, the Ukrainian foreign minister told Reuters. The nations include Canada, which lost 57 citizens, as well as Ukraine, Afghanistan, Sweden and a fifth country not yet named.

Barbara Nitke/STXfilms, via Associated Press

5. Oscar nominations are in.

“Joker,” “The Irishman,” “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood,” “1917” and “Parasite” received multiple nominations in a showdown between old-school Hollywood studios and streaming newcomers like Netflix. (Here’s the complete list, and where to stream the movies).

There were a few controversial snubs in the nominations — both for individual performers like J. Lo, above, who came up empty for her performance in “Hustlers,” and for female directors like the “Little Women” filmmaker Greta Gerwig.

Pat Sullivan/Associated Press

6. Major League Baseball sent a tough message on cheating.

After the Houston Astros were caught using an elaborate system to steal signs — decoding and sharing the pitches signaled by opposing teams’ catchers — the league levied a serious penalty, including the loss of first- and second-round draft picks in 2020 and 2021 and a fine of $5 million.

Hours later, the team's manager and general manager, above, were fired by the Astros’ owner, Jim Crane. “This will not happen again on my watch,” he said.

Andrew Spear for The New York Times

7. What happens when a job is required to get food stamps?

Starting in April, “able-bodied adults without dependents” will have to work at least 20 hours a week in order to consistently receive the food aid, under a rule change by the Trump administration.

The administration estimates the rule will cause around 700,000 people to lose food stamps, but says there are plenty of jobs for them.

When West Virginia enacted the same condition four years ago, food pantries were swarmed, but there was little evidence that the change expanded the work force.

“We can prove it from the data that this does not work,” said Seth DiStefano of the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy.

Pool photo by John Stillwell

8. “My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family.”

Queen Elizabeth II tried to defuse a spiraling crisis, after a British royal family meeting was convened to discuss the turmoil surrounding Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan.

The couple, formally the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, last week announced their self-imposed semi-exile from royal life, throwing the British tabloids — and citizenry — into a tizzy.

The queen said that while longer-term arrangements would take some time, she asked that important decisions be reached “in the coming days.”

Left, Brett Davis/USA Today Sports, via Reuters; Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

9. It’s a battle of two star offenses in the college football championship.

Ahead of tonight’s national title game, L.S.U. led the nation with 564.4 offensive yards per game, anchored by the quarterback Joe Burrow, who won the Heisman Trophy.

But Clemson has a championship-proven quarterback, Trevor Lawrence, who had another incredible season as a sophomore. The game starts at 8 p.m. in New Orleans.

Koji Sasahara/Associated Press

10. You have four days to apply to be this billionaire’s space consort.

Yusaku Maezawa, above, is looking for love: a woman to accompany him on the first SpaceX flight around the moon, and through life.

Always something of a renegade, the 44-year-old fashion tycoon used a Japanese online dating site to announce his search. He’s already bought up space on Elon Musk’s craft, expected to launch in 2023, and plans to turn the endeavor into a “matchmaking documentary” called “Full Moon Lovers.”

Women aiming for his heart (or a role in his film) must be over 20 and have a “bright and positive” personality and an interest in space travel and world peace. The deadline is Friday.

Hope your evening is out of this world.

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