Sunday, October 22, 2017

    Donald Trump, Harvey Weinstein, New York Yankees: Your Thursday Briefing

    Donald Trump, Harvey Weinstein, New York Yankees: Your Thursday Briefing

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    Good morning.

    Here’s what you need to know:

    • Palestinian unity deal.

    Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation deal in Cairo today that aims to end their decade-old rivalry and paves the way for joint control of Gaza’s borders.

    Under the agreement, brokered by Egyptian intelligence, Fatah will lift a series of punitive sanctions that it imposed on Hamas-controlled Gaza this year. But it leaves thornier issues unresolved.

    • Trump’s to-do list.

    With Congress failing to repeal the Affordable Care Act, President Trump is ready to go it alone on health care. He plans to sign an executive order today that would relax rules on small businesses that band together to buy health insurance.

    On Wednesday, the president said it was “possible” the U.S. would drop out of the North American Free Trade Agreement. His administration has pushed for significant changes to the deal, but Mexico and Canada say they’re nonstarters.

    Separately, Mr. Trump threatened to use the government’s power over broadcast licenses to retaliate against NBC for a report about the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

    Curious about how The Times covers the Trump administration? You can submit questions for a TimesTalk at 6:30 p.m. Eastern today with our White House correspondents Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman, as well as Dean Baquet, our executive editor.

    • Why California’s blazes are so destructive.

    Wildfires often break out in the state at this time of year, but “we’ve never seen anything like this,” said a woman whose parents died on Monday. Experts explain why 2017 has been so bad.

    The confirmed death toll has risen to 23, and exhausted firefighters are stretched to their limits.

    • Hollywood has a problem.

    “It is an industry with a history of sexually exploiting younger female performers and stamping expiration dates on older ones. It is an industry that consistently denies female directors employment and contemptuously treats the female audience as a niche, a problem, an afterthought.”

    Manohla Dargis, one of our chief movie critics, writes about the troubles in the industry she covers.

    The Weinstein Company said that allegations of sexual harassment and assault by Harvey Weinstein came as “an utter surprise.” But it had been grappling with his behavior for at least two years, interviews and records show.

    • “They threw my baby into a fire.”

    From a camp in Bangladesh, a Rohingya Muslim refugee gave our South Asia bureau chief a deeply disturbing account of what happened in her village in Myanmar, where the military is accused of a campaign of slaughter and rape.

    Here’s how you can help.

    • American held in Afghanistan is released.

    A U.S. woman and her family are free after five years as hostages in Afghanistan. She and her husband were held by militants while backpacking.

    Boys, meet girls.

    The Boy Scouts of America is going coed, setting off a debate about the best place for girls to learn to be leaders.

    • “The Daily,” your audio news report.

    In today’s episode, we take a rare look inside North Korea.

    Listen on a computer, an iOS device or an Android device.

    Business

    • We asked Facebook 12 questions about its role in the presidential election. We got five answers.

    • Some East African countries want to end imports of secondhand clothes. The U.S. objects.

    • U.S. stocks were up on Wednesday. Here’s a snapshot of global markets.

    Smarter Living

    Tips, both new and old, for a more fulfilling life.

    • Beyond basics. Here are five things around your home that rarely get cleaned.

    • Recipe of the day: This lasagna uses spicy roasted cauliflower instead of meat.

    Noteworthy

    • Sifting through the ruins.

    In today’s 360 video, join a family as they visit the remains of their home in Santa Rosa, Calif., where more than 1,800 structures have been destroyed by fire.

    • “I have a message for you.”

    To save her life, she jumped off a train bound for Auschwitz. Decades later, she got a message from the father she left behind.

    A Holocaust survivor tells her story in one of our editorial department’s short documentaries.

    • Franklin. Gert. Harvey. Irma.

    Jose. Katia. Lee. Maria. Nate. Ophelia.

    Ten Atlantic storms have reached hurricane strength this year, a first since 1893.

    • The work of a “genius.”

    The Times’s own Nikole Hannah-Jones is among this year’s MacArthur Foundation fellows. We’ve collected some of her best writing.

    • Hands, an online sensation.

    From cooking videos to the unboxing of toys, hands have become a symbol of craftsmanship and entrepreneurial zeal.

    • In sports.

    The Yankees are back in the American League Championship Series for the first time since 2012. (Condolences, Cleveland fans.)

    Also on Wednesday, the Washington Nationals evened their series with the Chicago Cubs.

    And we looked at how the N.F.L. has become one of the most divisive brands in America.

    Best of late-night TV.

    Samantha Bee had something to say about Harvey Weinstein.

    • Quotation of the day.

    “We’ve got guys who have been working 80 hours straight. You’ve got to have a fifth gear. You’ve got to have the two C’s: commitment and caffeine.”

    Capt. Sean Norman, deputy head of operations for the Sonoma Valley wildfires in California.

    Back Story

    The controversy over football players kneeling during the U.S. national anthem rages on.

    But an older patriotic ritual ran aground on geopolitical tensions.

    That’s the Pledge of Allegiance, which was first recited in public schools on this day in 1892.

    The pledge was written by Francis Bellamy, a Baptist minister and socialist, to be rolled out with a nationwide push to celebrate Columbus Day in schools. It was soon widely recognized.

    Mr. Bellamy instructed that a salute be performed: right arm extended upward, with the palm twisting up at the first mention of the flag.

    When fascist regimes emerged in Italy and Germany using extended-arm salutes, Bellamy’s began to fall from favor. As one author wrote, the “similarities in the salute had begun to attract comment as early as the mid-1930s.”

    On Dec. 22, 1942, Congress amended the U.S. Flag Code to instruct that the pledge “be rendered by standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart” — the stance in use today.

    Charles McDermid contributed reporting.

    _____

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    Published at Thu, 12 Oct 2017 13:35:24 +0000