December 11, 2019

Your Monday Briefing – The New York Times

Your Monday Briefing – The New York Times


The city’s front-line protesters said they planned to disrupt roads and public transit today after a large turnout in renewed weekend demonstrations.

Hundreds of thousands of protesters poured into the city’s streets on Sunday, one of the largest marches in weeks and timed just ahead of the United Nations Human Rights Day.

Heartened by victory in local elections two weeks ago, demonstrators mostly came with drums, protest anthems and chants. But a few vandalized shops and restaurants and lit a fire outside the high court.

What’s next: The protesters are demanding amnesty for activists who’ve been arrested during months of unrest, and an independent investigation into the police force. Such concessions are unlikely, given the firm stance of Beijing, which has worked to portray demonstrators as rioters colluding with foreign governments to topple the governing Communist Party.

U.S. officials are releasing few details about the investigation into the lethal attack on a Pensacola, Fla., naval base on Friday, beyond basic IDs.

The presumption is that it was an act of terrorism, and investigators are trying to determine the motive of the gunman, Second Lt. Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani of the Royal Saudi Air Force, 21, and whether he acted alone. He was shot dead at the scene.

The attack killed three sailors, from Alabama, Florida and Georgia, and wounded eight other people.

Among the few revelations: Lieutenant Alshamrani had shown videos of mass shootings at a dinner party the night before the attack, and had recently taken a trip to New York City.

Context: The shooting was the seventh on a U.S. military base this year, and came just a few days after a lethal shooting at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in Hawaii.


Democratic lawyers will present the case for impeaching President Trump today before the House Judiciary committee.

That will set in motion a rapid-fire set of actions likely to produce official charges against the president by week’s end, and a nearly party-line vote in the full House before Christmas to impeach him.

Lawmakers have been preparing with late-night sessions, while Mr. Trump is refusing to engage with the House process, calling it a “hoax” and a “scam” led by “crazy” and “dishonest” Democrats.

The White House is instead focusing on the trial that would follow in the Republican-controlled Senate, where Democrats would almost certainly fall short of the two-thirds vote needed to remove Mr. Trump from office.

Analysis: A process enshrined in the Constitution as a nonpartisan way to address a president’s wrongdoing has devolved into a raucous brawl.

“What they are doing here is discrediting a system,” one Columbia University law professor said of the White House strategy. “If the system is discredited, it cannot discredit me. It is brilliant in its way, but totally cynical and completely destructive of our values.”

Reminder: Democrats are arguing that Mr. Trump abused his power by pressuring Ukraine to help him defeat political rivals in the 2020 election. Catch up on the process, find out what Republicans are arguing and read our explanation of what is constitutionally impeachable.

Their story takes a little time to tell. David Wisnia, above, and Helen Spitzer had an improbable love affair as Jewish inmates at Auschwitz in 1943. They escaped death, and separately found new lives in the U.S.

When they reunited, 72 years after their last moment together, he had one question. Was she the reason he was alive?

New Delhi: At least 43 people were killed Sunday morning when a major fire broke out in a multistory building in a cramped, commercial neighborhood in New Delhi. The building, used for manufacturing paper products and women’s purses, was packed with sleeping laborers.

North Korea: The country said it had conducted a “very important test” at its missile-engine test and satellite-launch site, another sign of its escalating pressure on the U.S. to make concessions by the end of the year. Analysts said the likely test was of a new type of engine for long-range ballistic missiles.

Uighur whistle-blower: Asiye Abdulaheb, now a Dutch citizen, said that she helped release secret Chinese government documents showing how Beijing runs mass detention camps in Xinjiang and that by admitting it publicly, she hoped to protect herself and her family from retaliation.

Australia fires: Rivers and lakes in the outback are disappearing amid drought and mismanagement, and some towns there fear they might not be able to stop blazes that ignite in the already ferocious fire season. In Sydney, firefighters took advantage of easing weather conditions on Sunday to bring bushfires under control ahead of the soaring temperatures expected this week.

British election: Young people are playing an outsize role in campaigning for Thursday’s national vote, hoping to derail Brexit. They helped upend the last election, and Labour is hoping they’ll do it again.

Art Basel Miami: A $120,000 duct-taped banana at the massive art show caused so much commotion that it had to be taken down on Sunday, after the original was eaten by a performance artist. In the note announcing the replaced banana’s removal, the gallery said Maurizio Cattelan’s work “ultimately offered a complex reflection of ourselves.”

What we’re listening to: This episode of “The Europeans” podcast, about Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission’s new president. “A host said the episode aimed to ‘explain how the E.U. actually works without boring you to death,’” says Mike Ives, on the Briefings team. “It did, and I wasn’t!”

Cook: Lemony turmeric tea cake should be called “house cake” — to keep in your house at all times for a zingy lift.

Go: “Jagged Little Pill,” the Broadway musical based on Alanis Morissette’s 1995 megahit album, is “rousing and real,” our critic writes. It’s at the Broadhurst Theater in Manhattan.

Read: Spiritually minded books are among the 11 titles we recommend this week.

Smarter Living: Our Social Q’s column offers advice to a woman wondering if she should hide her husband’s job loss from her parents.

The Golden Globes nominees will be announced today, part of the entertainment awards season that culminates with the Oscars.

Earlier this year, our Styles writer Caity Weaver took a close look at the somewhat opaque nonprofit that awards the Globes, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

It “was born of the chaos of global warfare in 1943,” she wrote, “when eight foreign-born journalists living in California banded together to, apparently, gossip privately about celebrities. (The H.F.P.A.’s website is vague: ‘At first, the members held informal gatherings in private homes.’)”

The organization says it has “about 90 members,” who are not named, and the requirements to belong are something less than rigorous, Caity found.

Members must live in the greater Southern California area, have received a paycheck for publishing something in a non-American publication four times, submit two letters of recommendation from current members, and pay a $500 initiation fee.

Perhaps that looseness explains what Variety calls the organization’s “penchant for surprise.”


That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.

— Melina


Thank you
To Mark Josephson and Eleanor Stanford for the break from the news. You can reach the team at briefing@nytimes.com.

P.S.
• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our latest episode includes an interview with the U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
• Here’s our Mini Crossword, and a clue: Give or take (5 letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• The Times has 21 reporters covering the 2020 U.S presidential election. Get to know them here.



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