2020年2月11日 星期二

Your Tuesday Evening Briefing

New Hampshire, Coronavirus, Chocolate

Your Tuesday Evening Briefing

Good evening. Here’s the latest.

Tamir Kalifa for The New York Times

1. The nation’s first primary of 2020 is underway, as New Hampshire voters weigh in on an unsettled Democratic field.

Polls close at 7 p.m. Eastern, and the secretary of state has said final results could arrive as early as 9:30 p.m. Follow along for live updates here.

New Hampshire, the second nominating contest, can often provide a candidate with momentum before the Nevada caucuses and the South Carolina primary later this month, as well as Super Tuesday, when more than a dozen states vote in early March.

Polls show a close race between Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg, with Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar behind them. Joe Biden, whose poll numbers in the state have plummeted, left early for South Carolina, where he expects to do well.

(There’s a Republican primary, too, but President Trump faces no serious threat.)

Tonight, we’re bringing back our live forecast, known to many readers simply as “The Needle.” Our Upshot team answered some common questions about it and how they plan to use it during the primary.


Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

2. The coronavirus hit a grim milestone in China: 1,000 deaths. Above, grocery shopping in Beijing.

As the outbreak’s toll has mushroomed, it has become clear how easily the virus can be transmitted, and how hard it may be to contain. A handful of places where pockets of new cases have emerged in recent days are raising fears about the virus’s ability to spread quickly and far beyond its origins in central China.


President Trump has so far kept his distance from the issue, but public health experts are concerned that the president, who has spoken openly about his phobia of germs, might overreact to the coronavirus crisis.

In an Opinion piece, Dr. Gabriel Leung, an infectious disease epidemiologist and dean of medicine at the University of Hong Kong, writes about the critical role science has in restoring calm.

Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times

3. The Federal Reserve chairman warned of the epidemic’s broader economic risks.

Jerome Powell told the House Financial Services Committee that the coronavirus “could lead to disruptions in China that spill over to the rest of the global economy,” even as he signaled that the central bank was comfortable holding interest rates steady for now.

Mr. Powell said the Fed was asking questions including: “What will be the effects on the U.S. economy? Will they be persistent? Will they be material?”

Doug Mills/The New York Times

4. Top Justice Department officials are intervening in the case of Roger Stone, a former Trump aide, after the president called a proposed sentence unfair.

Prosecutors had recommended seven to nine years in prison for Mr. Stone, above in November, who was found guilty of trying to sabotage a congressional investigation. But after President Trump called their recommendation a “miscarriage of justice,” federal officials stepped in to call for a more lenient sentence.

Since the Justice Department’s intervention, all four prosecutors have now either resigned or withdrawn.

Mark Lennihan/Associated Press

5. T-Mobile is allowed to take over Sprint, a judge ruled. The merger, years in the making, would combine America’s third- and fourth-largest wireless carriers.

The judge rejected an unusual challenge by attorneys general from 13 states and the District of Columbia, who argued that the merger would reduce competition and result in higher cellphone bills.

T-Mobile and Sprint have said that they will try to close the deal as early as April 1. It’s unclear how consumers will be affected — and it might take years to figure out.

Andrea Mantovani for The New York Times

6. For decades, the French author Gabriel Matzneff was celebrated for writing and talking openly about stalking teenage girls and having sex with young boys.

Now, Mr. Matzneff is under investigation for his promotion of pedophilia and has gone into hiding. Our reporter tracked him down at an Italian cafe mentioned in his books.

His longtime support from elite circles, along with many members of the public, reflects an enduring French contradiction: an egalitarian nation that nevertheless lets the rich play by a different moral code.

Morry Gash/Associated Press

7. The Senate is weighing in on the thorny issue of pay for college athletes.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle voiced misgivings over N.C.A.A. rules that forbid players from earning money from their fame. And while Congress did not appear poised to intervene quickly, the scorn facing the multibillion dollar industry was clear. Above, the N.C.A.A. basketball tournament last year.

“I think a lot of the rhetoric and images that we hear about college sports are as antiquated as leather helmets,” Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut said. “And that makes me angry, because I think the present state of college sports is exploitive.”

Rashed AlShashai and Desert X AlUla; Lance Gerber

8. A new Saudi arts festival wants to be the Coachella of the Middle East.

The Saudis hope Desert X AlUla, a partnership between a California-based art biennial and the Saudi government, can become the kingdom’s star cultural attraction as part of its push to open its society to the world.

But some locals are worried that the festival could damage the area’s archaeological jewels in the process. And outsiders have called the collaboration with Saudi Arabia “morally corrupt.”

Brittainy Newman/The New York Times

9. Yesterday, a photo story from the Westminster Dog Show was, not surprisingly, the most-clicked article in the briefing. Today, we’re going deeper than dogs looking their best.

America’s premier dog competition isn’t just a beauty contest: Supporting the elite canine athletes (and owners) is a growing pack of massage, acupuncture and sports medicine specialists. We went inside the veterinarian tent at the event.

Out of 2,600 entries, seven finalists will compete for Best in Show tonight. After another round of group competitions starting at 7:30 p.m. Eastern, judging for the top award will probably begin around 10:30 p.m. Here’s what to watch for.

Erin Lubin for The New York Times

10. And finally, everything you need to know about chocolate.

From Hershey’s bars to bean-to-bars, the beloved block of chocolate has come a long way in quality and complexity. And there are now more varieties of handcrafted chocolates available than ever before (including bars that price as high as $55 a pop).

Our food columnist Melissa Clark answered questions, from the basic (how it’s made) to the not so basic (the environmental impact of production). She also picked her 13 favorite craft-chocolate bars and offered tips on how to taste it like a pro.

Have a decadent night.

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

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