2020年1月14日 星期二

On Politics A.M.: Trump’s Iran Strategy Could Cost Him in 2020

Part of President Trump’s appeal reflected his criticisms of America’s entanglements abroad.

Good Tuesday morning. Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today.

  • In the 10 days since it carried out the drone strike that killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the Trump administration has been struggling to draft an after-the-fact narrative to justify it. But when Mr. Trump tweeted that an explanation “doesn’t really matter” because of the general’s “horrible past,” he bolstered critics of the strike.
  • Russian hackers are targeting the Ukrainian gas company at the center of Mr. Trump’s impeachment. Security experts suggest Russia may be looking for the same kind of damaging information on the Bidens that Mr. Trump sought from Ukraine.
  • Attorney General William P. Barr declared that the deadly shooting last month at a naval air station in Pensacola, Fla., was an act of terrorism, and he asked Apple in an unusually high-profile request to provide access to two phones used by the gunman.
  • Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts said on Monday night that Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont told her in 2018 he did not think a woman could win the presidency. Mr. Sanders has denied making the remark.
  • For almost two decades, Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey has been viewed as a future leader in the Democratic Party. But on Monday, that promise remained unfulfilled, as Mr. Booker ended his campaign for the White House.
  • Six Democrats will debate in Des Moines tonight — the smallest stage yet in the 2020 race. Join our reporters for a live chat on nytimes.com beginning shortly before 9 p.m. Eastern time. In the meantime, here’s a guide to the debate.

Today’s On Politics briefing was compiled by Isabella Grullón Paz in New York.

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Is there anything you think we’re missing? Anything you want to see more of? We’d love to hear from you. Email us at onpolitics@nytimes.com.

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N.Y. Today: Drinking Water Floods Subway

What you need to know for Tuesday.

Why a Water Main Break Flooded the Subway

It’s Tuesday.

Weather: Mostly cloudy, with a high in the mid-40s and a chance of rain in the late afternoon.

Alternate-side parking: In effect until Monday (Martin Luther King’s Birthday).

Mark Abramson for The New York Times

New York City’s drinking water system erupted into the streets yesterday, disrupting the morning rush by flooding subway lines and a swath of the Upper West Side around Lincoln Center.

The flood snarled traffic and caused bus detours.

But the water main break also spotlighted the chronic problem lurking below the city’s streets: the labyrinth of water mains — some of which are more than a century old and prone to leaks and cracks — train tunnels and other old equipment that make up one of the world’s largest networks of subterranean infrastructure.

When the flood came

The break occurred around 62nd Street and Broadway just before 5 a.m., halting subway service along a stretch of the No. 1, 2 and 3 lines in Manhattan. It also created floodwaters up to a foot deep along parts of Broadway and Columbus Avenue, from West 61st Street into West 65th Street.

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A lake of brown water lapped at the steps of Lincoln Center, and more than a half-million gallons flooded nearby subway tracks up to the rails.

Flooded streets mean problems underneath them

To understand how the break could affect the subway, one must realize that water mains and train tunnels share space underground with a sprawling tangle of sewer mains, power cables, gas and steam lines and telecom wires.

Because that equipment has been added piecemeal over the decades, even the basic task of locating and accessing utilities can be complicated. There is no official map of the underground.

Ted Timbers, a spokesman for the Department of Environmental Protection, said it took crews two hours to turn off the leak, mostly because of the difficulty locating the broken main among the several water mains lying among a morass of other utility lines.

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New York City has about 6,800 miles of water mains that carry more than a billion gallons of water a day to residents and businesses. In the past five fiscal years, the city recorded an average of 474 breaks a year, according to the Mayor’s Management Report, which assesses city services.

Winter adds to the problems

Winter poses especially difficult conditions for water mains and other utilities because the cold can make older cast-iron mains brittle, and because extreme temperature swings can create “freeze-thaw” cycles that cause the ground around the water mains to expand and contract, putting external pressure on the pipes.

Frigid temperatures last week suddenly shifted to unseasonably warm weather in the 60s over the weekend, only to dip back toward the 30s yesterday, when the break occurred.

This phenomenon has worsened in recent years because of more severe temperature swings, which many researchers have linked to climate change.

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“It used to be that it would get cold and it would stay cold in the winter, and you’d just have the early winter and late winter weather fluctuations,” Mr. Timbers said.

The city has replaced an average of 46 miles of water mains each year over the past decade, he said.

Upgrading the below-street utilities is a painstaking process. The city has $1.4 billion budgeted over the next five years for upgrades and replacements, including new pipes made of a more durable, graphite-rich cast iron known as ductile iron.

FROM THE TIMES

Explore news from New York and around the region

The Mini Crossword: Here is today’s puzzle.

What we’re reading

Frank Seddio, the Brooklyn Democratic Party boss, plans to resign this week. [New York Post]

A 14-year-old boy was arrested in the Bronx in connection with the fatal beating of a 60-year-old man over $1 on Christmas Eve. [NBC New York]

Expensive restaurants, and private ones, are on the rise in New York City. [Eater]

Coming up today

An “Uncovering the Narratives of Free Black Communities in ‘Africaville’” talk features the author and editor of “Africaville” at the Center for Fiction in Brooklyn. 7 p.m. [$10]

Learn from the historian Rena Tobey at “The Art of Real New York: Through the Eyes of N.Y.C.’s Most Rebellious Artists,” a digital showcase and art salon, at the Church of Sweden in Manhattan. 7 p.m. [$20]

Danya Issawi and Melissa Guerrero

Events are subject to change, so double-check before heading out. For more events, see the going-out guides from The Times’s culture pages.

And finally: Read any good books lately (like, the past 125 years)?

What are New Yorkers’ top-10 reads in the past century and a quarter?

Best-seller lists are fleeting things. But about the most borrowed books by New York readers: The New York Public Library has put out a top-10 list for its most checked-out books in 125 years of lending.

The top two are “The Snowy Day” (with 485,583 checkouts) by Ezra Jack Keats, and Dr. Seuss’ “The Cat in the Hat” (469,650). In fact, half of the books on the list are for children or young readers.

No. 3 goes to “1984” by George Orwell (441,770). “To Kill a Mockingbird” came in at No. 5, and “Fahrenheit 451” at No. 7.

Librarians and analysts spent over six months going through hundreds of titles, said Andrew Medlar, who led the library’s team that worked on the list.

Because the library’s central circulation system goes back only several decades, the team used recent circulation data, best-seller lists, archives from the National Book Awards and Newbery Medals, and the library’s best-of lists to assess patrons’ most beloved books, he told The Times.

With newer books having fewer years to rack up their checkout totals, he called it “amazing” that “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” J.K. Rowling’s 1997 book, made the list at No. 9.

It’s Tuesday — read something.

Metropolitan Diary: Wind

Dear Diary:

Wind in her face,

a little girl window-shopped

on Fifth Avenue.

Her dress,

white and blue lace,

blew like a tiny sail

pressing her on.

And she rolled like a tumbleweed

to the beat of the Christmas-lit city,

going,

she told us,

to the Plaza, where Eloise was waiting.

— Kathryn Anne Sweeney-James

New York Today is published weekdays around 6 a.m. You can also find it at nytoday.com.

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