Home News Julian Assange, Florida, David Hockney: Your Friday Briefing

Julian Assange, Florida, David Hockney: Your Friday Briefing

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Julian Assange, Florida, David Hockney: Your Friday Briefing

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Snow caused commuter chaos in the New York metropolitan area on Thursday, and there could be further delays today. We’ll keep you updated here.CreditCreditSpencer Platt/Getty Images

By Mark A. Walsh

  • Nov. 16, 2018

(Want to get this briefing by email? Here’s the sign-up.)

Good morning.

Here’s what you need to know:

The U.S. Justice Department has prepared an indictment of the WikiLeaks founder, who has been holed up in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. The move would be a sharp escalation of Mr. Assange’s yearslong battle with the American government.

It is not clear if prosecutors have filed charges against Mr. Assange. The development came to light in an unrelated court filing “made in error,” according to Joshua Stueve, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Why it matters: An indictment could have implications for the publication of government secrets and for Robert Mueller’s special counsel inquiry — which President Trump, in a barrage of tweets on Thursday, said had “gone absolutely nuts.”

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After a tumultuous machine recount of Florida’s midterm elections concluded on Thursday, officials have ordered a recount by hand of the close Senate race between Rick Scott, the Republican governor, and the Democratic incumbent, Bill Nelson.

Mr. Scott has a 12,603-vote lead, a margin of 0.15 percentage point, and he has called for Mr. Nelson to concede.

Another Republican, Ron DeSantis, held onto a more substantial lead over Andrew Gillum in the race for governor, though votes were still being counted in that contest, too.

Parsing the problems: Races in Florida and Georgia are still undecided 10 days after the elections. What’s going on?

The House: Nancy Pelosi says she has enough votes to become speaker. Some Democrats are wrestling with the importance of keeping a woman in the top job.

The government of Prime Minister Theresa May is on a knife-edge after the resignations of two cabinet ministers on Thursday over a draft deal on the terms of Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union.

That left Mrs. May’s survival in office in doubt just a day after her cabinet had begrudgingly approved the plan.

“Am I going to see this through?” Mrs. May said at a news conference after hours of being pummeled in Parliament. “Yes.”

Many lawmakers declared her draft plan unworkable or demanded a second referendum, and there’s little time to find a compromise before Brexit happens in March. Here are some of the takeaways.

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Prime Minister Theresa May arriving at Downing Street on Friday. She could face a leadership challenge from rebel lawmakers inside her Conservative Party.CreditWill Oliver/EPA, via Shutterstock

Explainer: What is Brexit, and why are things so complicated?

On social media: The hashtags said it all: #brexitchaos and #brexitshambles have been trending.

Saudi Arabia said on Thursday that five of its agents suspected in the death of the dissident Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul would face the death penalty if convicted.

The country’s public prosecutor said a 15-man team sent to confront Mr. Khashoggi had received orders to return him, but had decided on the spot to kill and dismember him instead. In doing so, it shifted the official narrative yet again, apparently trying to distance its de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, from any responsibility.

U.S. response: Hours after the announcement, the Trump administration imposed sanctions against 17 Saudis accused of involvement in the case.

The devastating wildfires in the state have destroyed a small city’s worth of homes, adding to a housing crisis and leaving thousands with nowhere to go. Roughly 81,000 have been evacuated.

A worsening toll: The number of deaths statewide rose to at least 66 on Thursday, including 63 in the Camp Fire. More than 600 people are missing in Butte County alone, up from an estimate of 130 a day earlier.

The Food and Drug Administration announced a series of restrictions on Thursday aimed at combating flavored e-cigarettes and tobacco products that have lured young people into vaping and smoking.

Brittany Kligman, 33, was smoking a pack of regular cigarettes every day until she tried vaping. Now she’s been tobacco-free for months.

On the other hand, Matt Murphy, 17, got into vaping in high school and developed a painful nicotine addiction that made him so dependent he called his device his “11th finger.”

The basics: We answered common questions about the health effects of e-cigarettes and vaping.

Mark Zuckerberg defended Facebook as furor over his company’s tactics grew.

ImageThe Daily Poster

Listen to ‘The Daily’: What Facebook Knew and Tried to Hide

The social network’s top executives responded to scandals by delaying information, obfuscating problems and deflecting blame.

Before Amazon’s new headquarters transform neighborhoods, we tried to capture life in Crystal City, Va., and in Long Island City, Queens.

Black Friday is next week. Here are some tips for finding bargains.

We’ve introduced a Sunday newsletter, “With Interest,” to bring you essential business insights to prep you for the week ahead. Sign up here.

U.S. stocks were up on Thursday. Here’s a snapshot of global markets today.

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Tips for a more fulfilling life.

Picture books to make your children — and you — giggle.

One thing you can do for the environment: Use the dishwasher.

Recipe of the day: Busy night? Try sheet-pan fish with garlicky broccolini.

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Butterflied trout with a punchy dressing.CreditMichael Graydon & Nikole Herriott for The New York Times

Genocide ruling in Cambodia

Four decades after the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror, two surviving senior leaders were held accountable today, a verdict that opens the door for other cases.

Art record is smashed

A David Hockney painting sold for $90.3 million, shattering the auction high for a living artist.

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The price for the 1972 painting, “Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures),” easily surpassed the previous high of $58.4 million, held by Jeff Koons for one of his “Balloon Dog” sculptures.CreditAnthony Wallace/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Signs of an ice age asteroid in Greenland

An impact crater has been discovered under one of Earth’s ice sheets for the first time, according to the scientists who found it.

The week in good news

Refugees are preparing to cook their first Thanksgiving meals. It’s one of seven stories that inspired us.

Quiz time!

Did you keep up with this week’s news? Test yourself.

Ready for the weekend

At the movies, we spoke to the director Steve McQueen and Viola Davis, the star of his new film, “Widows,” about Hollywood, race and power. We also review “Green Book,” a feel-good fable starring Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen. You can find all of this week’s film reviews here.

In music, we interviewed the Spanish pop singer Rosalía, who is bringing flamenco to a new generation.

Finally, we suggest four new books and, if you’re in New York City, a slate of cultural events.

I would have driven her anywhere

“Caring for a mother who suffers from dementia was really hard. I wish I could do it again.” Read this week’s Modern Love column.

Best of late-night TV

Trevor Noah was suspicious about President Trump’s backing for a criminal-justice overhaul, “just in time for his entire administration to be indicted by Robert Mueller.”

Quotation of the day

“We are a baby Flint — or a Flint coming.”

Aliya Moore, an artist in Detroit whose teenage daughter attends school in a building found to have high levels of copper and lead in the water.

The Times, in other words

Here’s an image of today’s front page, and links to our Opinion content and crossword puzzles.

What we’re reading

Muslim Women Speak,” on Medium. Jenna Wortham, a writer for The Times Magazine, recommends it as “an incredible new series that explores modern Muslim identity, from the perils dealing with disordered eating during Ramadan to finding space for queerness within Islam.”

One of the most popular links in Friday’s briefing is to the weekly news quiz, which our usual U.S. briefing writer, Chris Stanford, compiles with a colleague, Anna Schaverien.

Chris writes:

My days are spent scanning headlines and synthesizing the news, and the quiz represents an alternative way to keep you caught up.

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Catching up on the headlines.CreditJasmin Flores for The New York Times

Our questions draw on the biggest stories of the week (including sports and pop culture, to the consternation of some readers).

Oddly, coming up with incorrect answers for the multiple choice can be challenging.

We’ve enjoyed your comments. One reader said she competed with her husband and son every week. Another noted, “I LOVE ️this quiz. It can be really tough. Egad!!!”

“You must be great at Trivial Pursuit,” wrote another.

The single most common question we get about the quiz is where to find it. We have an easy answer: here.

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Your Morning Briefing is published weekdays and updated all morning. Browse past briefings here.

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Follow Mark A. Walsh on Twitter: @mawalsh40.

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