2020年1月22日 星期三

Your Wednesday Evening Briefing

Impeachment, Jeff Bezos, ‘West Side Story’

Your Wednesday Evening Briefing

Good evening. Here’s the latest.

Erin Schaff/The New York Times

1. Democrats began making their case for convicting President Trump and removing him from office.

In the first of their three days of presentations, Representative Adam Schiff, the lead House prosecutor, quoted Alexander Hamilton repeatedly, and played video clips of current and former officials who testified before Congress last year, and a few of Mr. Trump himself.

Lashing out from Davos, Switzerland, Mr. Trump branded Mr. Schiff a “corrupt politician.”

Today’s presentation will most likely go late into the night, as did Tuesday’s. Here’s the latest.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. is presiding, and our Supreme Court correspondent analyzed the tough spot he’s in, trying to “return to his day job with his reputation and that of his court undiminished by accusations of bias.”


The New York Times

2. What do the American people think?

A team of our journalists talked to 81 people from nearly 30 states — Democrats, Republicans and independents of various occupations and ages — to find out how the impeachment trial is playing outside of the Beltway and newsrooms.


Sarah Rice for The New York Times

3. Three of the top presidential candidates are pinned down in Washington for the impeachment trial: Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar.

But a new national poll shows Mr. Sanders, above last week in New Hampshire, with a lead. A second national survey conducted by a different pollster shows Joe Biden in front.

In both polls, Elizabeth Warren finished third with 14 percent support. Pete Buttigieg and Michael Bloomberg traded fourth and fifth places. No other candidates had more than 5 percent in either.

Mr. Buttigieg has been camping out in Iowa, largely below the radar. And looking to former President Barack Obama’s playbook.

Xiaolu Chu/Getty Images

4. China said it was shutting down transportation from and within Wuhan, the epicenter of a deadly new coronavirus outbreak. Above, the Hankou Railway Station.

But the W.H.O. has postponed a decision on whether the new outbreak is a global emergency.

The virus has killed at least 17 people, infected hundreds and spread halfway around the world.

The shutdown in Wuhan could upend the travel plans of millions of Chinese citizens over the Lunar New Year holiday, officially beginning Friday. Experts have warned that the virus would proliferate during the mass travel period.

Bandar Al-Jaloud/Saudi Royal Palace

5. Two prominent U.N. rights experts said that Saudi Arabia’s crown prince hacked the cellphone of Jeff Bezos, who owns Amazon and The Washington Post, to “influence, if not silence” The Post’s reporting on the Saudis. Above, the two in 2016.

They were drawing on a forensic analysis done on Mr. Bezos’s behalf that found with “medium to high confidence” that his device was hacked after he received a video in 2018 from Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s WhatsApp account. At the time, Jamal Khashoggi, the dissident Saudi writer who was later killed by a Saudi hit team in Istanbul, was a regular columnist.

After Mr. Bezos received the video, the analysts said, his phone began sending large volumes of data. The relationship to a tabloid’s exposure of his extramarital affair is an open question.

The Saudi Embassy denied that the government was involved in the hacking, calling the idea “absurd.”

Aly Song/Reuters

6. Tesla joined the $100 billion club.

The electric car company’s stock reached a record high — over $590 — resetting the company’s value beyond $100 billion. That was a signal of faith in electric cars and a humbling for automakers with longer histories and greater productivity.

The milestone also started a clock on a huge windfall for its founder, Elon Musk. If the valuation is sustained over at least six months, it could trigger a measure that allows him to buy some 1.69 million shares at about $350 each — a payout that could be worth nearly $400 million.

Abrea Hensley, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

7. The Department of Transportation is proposing a regulation overhaul around service animals that would ban all animals except dogs.

The new rules would no longer force airlines to let animals like horses, above, accompany passengers who say they need them just for emotional support. An animal cannot just be brought aboard to make a passenger “feel better,” an official said.

And in other animal news, officials in South Florida this week issued an unusual weather advisory: iguana rain. Overnight cold temperatures stunned the reptiles, which fell from trees, seemingly frozen or dead. Happily, they were reanimated after the sun rose.

Natalia Mantini for The New York Times

8. The singer and songwriter Yola describes her music as “genre-fluid” and “out of time.” That could have something to do with her formidable voice.

Her range stretches toward four octaves, “backed by the power to infuse whatever she sings with deep soul,” our music critic writes. Now she’s up for multiple Grammy Awards on Sunday, including best new artist.

The dozens of categories include many musicians worth discovering. Listen to our critics’ picks here.

The award show has been overshadowed by deep leadership issues. Deborah Dugan, the suspended chief of the Recording Academy, said she had been removed as retaliation for uncovering a range of misconduct at the academy.

Philip Montgomery for The New York Times

9. How do you reimagine “West Side Story” for 2020? By dismantling it and putting it back together again.

The three-year process of reimagining the 1957 musical masterpiece was intricate, physically demanding and sometimes maniacally ambitious.

From its opening moments, the new production urges you to to discard any expectations, writes the culture editor for The Times Magazine.

Harvard University

10. And finally, stress really does make your hair go gray.

A new study of mice found that exposure to stressful events damages the stem cells responsible for producing hair’s pigment.

The researchers also found that the sympathetic nervous system, which triggers the fight-or-flight response, permanently depleted those same cells.

The takeaway: There are consequences to triggering a survival mechanism when the situation isn’t life-threatening. “Stress is a normal part of life, but there are situations where stress is helpful and situations where it is detrimental,” said a biologist.

Have a worry-free night.

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