2020年1月29日 星期三

Your Wednesday Evening Briefing

Impeachment, Wuhan, Jessica Simpson

Your Wednesday Evening Briefing

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By remy tumin and judith levitt

Good evening. Here’s the latest.

Doug Mills/The New York Times

1. The impeachment trial of President Trump moved into cross-examination.

After a week of silently hearing the case, senators submitted written questions to the legal teams representing the president and the House. Both sides used the opportunity to poke holes in their opponents’ case.

Today’s session is expected to last into the night and resume again on Thursday. Follow along here.

One of Mr. Trump’s lawyers, Alan Dershowitz, argued that any action taken by the president to help his own re-election would be, by definition, in the public interest. That’s an extraordinarily expansive view of executive power.

But this could all be over in a matter of days. Senator Mitch McConnell, above, and other Republicans signaled that they were growing more confident they would be able to block new witnesses and documents — and that they could call a vote for acquittal as soon as Friday.

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Mike Blake/Reuters

2. A flight carrying 201 Americans from Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, landed in Southern California this morning. Here’s the latest.

The passengers, being greeted above by health care workers, are to remain in place for three days of evaluations, then — if cleared — return home for two weeks of monitoring.

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As anxiety grows, American stores are selling out of masks. Health care workers risk infection if they cannot get the protective gear.

Alaa Badarneh/EPA, via Shutterstock

3. We’re still breaking down the repercussions of President Trump’s Middle East peace plan.

Palestinian leaders, completely left out of negotiations, flatly rejected the long-awaited plan, which heavily favors Israel, a day after Mr. Trump presented it alongside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel.

The deal has left Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, above center, with few good options, while his life’s work — a viable state side-by-side with Israel — slips away.

Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times

4. Stocks ended mixed on Wall Street after news of a signed trade deal and a Federal Reserve meeting. But concerns remain over the global impact of the coronavirus.

President Trump signed a revised NAFTA into law, fulfilling a campaign promise to rewrite the North American trade rules. The deal, now called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, includes stronger protections for workers and the digital economy, expanded markets for American farmers and new rules to encourage car making.

The Fed, for its part, left rates unchanged and offered few changes to its assessment of the economy’s health, suggesting it intends to remain patient.

Jordan Gale for The New York Times

5. Elizabeth Warren is shifting her strategy and tackling the question of electability head-on, days before the Iowa caucuses.

Her campaign has supplemented its policy-driven messaging with explicit talk about Ms. Warren’s identity as a female politician and her path to beating President Trump. Above, a stop in Davenport, Iowa, on Sunday.

And while other presidential candidates argue about one another’s health plans, Michael Bloomberg is mounting a more frontal attack on Mr. Trump’s record on health care. He has released a torrent of ads to do so.

NASA/OIB, via Jeremy Harbeck

6. For the first time, scientists in Antarctica have recorded a glacier melting dangerously from the bottom.

Researchers on the Thwaites Glacier, about the size of Florida, found unusually warm water beneath the massive glacier, which is already melting and contributing to sea level rise.

Thwaites, along with the Pine Island Glacier and a number of smaller glaciers, acts as a brake on part of the much larger West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Together, the two bigger glaciers are holding back ice that, if melted, would raise the world’s oceans by more than a meter, or about four feet, over centuries, an amount that would put many coastal cities underwater.

Michelle Gustafson for The New York Times

7. Funeral plans for Kobe Bryant have not been publicly announced, but Los Angeles is preparing to accommodate thousands of mourners from across the country.

The Staples Center, where Bryant played for most of his 20-year career with the Lakers, can hold about 20,000 people. The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, among the largest venues in Southern California, can hold more than 77,000 people and has been floated as an alternative. Here’s the latest.

“Laying him to rest will be something which we are here, ready to help support the family however, wherever and whenever,” Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles has said.

The Lakers will play on Friday for the first time since Bryant’s death Sunday.

NSO/NSF/AURA

8. A very different look at the sun.

This is one of the most detailed images of the sun’s surface ever taken, by a new telescope in Hawaii.

It may look like popcorn from 93 million miles away, but each “kernel” is about the size of Texas. And each is the signature of almost incomprehensibly violent motion, in the form of thermonuclear reactions and boiling gas pocked with magnetic storms.

The images came in an initial test of the National Science Foundation’s telescope, which is atop Haleakala, an ancient cratered volcano. It’s named for Daniel K. Inouye, the senator from Hawaii credited with helping build his state into an astronomical powerhouse.

Ryan James Caruthers for The New York Times

9. Jessica Simpson is ready to talk.

Ahead of her new memoir, “Open Book,” we sat down with the early-aughts pop star to talk about addiction, sexual abuse as a child, dating John Mayer, divorce — and everything else.

“Even though I have been so open about things that I’ve gone through in my life, I’ve never been open about them in an emotional way,” she said.

Our Styles writer says that Ms. Simpson delivers on the promise that stars are just like us, “only richer and prettier and with great, but maybe not greater, expectations.”

Drew Angerer for The New York Times

10. And finally, cracking a decades-old C.I.A. mystery.

The Kryptos sculpture has been in a courtyard at the agency’s headquarters in Langley, Va., for almost 30 years. Three of its four passages have been decoded (the first was solved by a team from the National Security Agency). Now its creator is offering one final clue: “NORTHEAST.”

The puzzle, cut into a sheet of copper, has been a source of delight and consternation to thousands of people. Having a chance to solve a problem, one mathematician said, “gives people great pleasure.”

Good luck, and hope you have a breakthrough tonight.

Your Evening Briefing is posted at 6 p.m. Eastern.

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