Published On: Tue, Nov 19th, 2019

Impeachment, Israel, California: Your Tuesday Briefing

Impeachment, Israel, California: Your Tuesday Briefing

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Good morning.

We’re covering impeachment testimony in Washington, a reversal of U.S. policy on Israeli settlements and a reappraisal of the artist Paul Gauguin.


Four witnesses are to appear before the House Intelligence Committee today as it ramps up its investigation into President Trump’s efforts to extract political help from Ukraine while holding up $391 million in security aid.

Among those testifying today are Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the top Ukraine expert at the National Security Council, and Kurt Volker, the former special envoy to Ukraine.

After having sought alternative ways to prosecute them — in an international tribunal, on Iraqi soil, anywhere but on the Continent — Western European countries are now grappling with the return of radicalized citizens.

The issue is further complicated because nearly two-thirds of the roughly 700 West European detainees are children, and many have lost at least one parent.

Closer look: Officials in Turkey say that the country is holding 2,280 Islamic State members from 30 nations and that all of them will be deported.


When they took office in January, Representatives Ayanna Pressley and Abigail Spanberger were seen as possible future stars of the Democratic Party.

Ms. Pressley, a former city councilwoman in Boston, is considered a progressive who can lure more first-time voters. Ms. Spanberger, an ex-C.I.A. officer, has a political platform that resonates with both Democrats and moderate Republicans in her historically conservative Virginia district.

The French painter Paul Gauguin, who died in 1903, is still popular with curators, but he had sex with teenage girls and called the Polynesian people he painted “savages.” Now, some museums are reassessing his legacy.

But some worry that re-examining the past from a 21st-century perspective could lead to a boycott of great art.

Hong Kong protests: About 100 demonstrators were holed up inside a besieged university campus as a standoff with the police stretched into a third day.

Snapshot: Immigration policies aimed at controlling the frontier with Mexico are affecting crossings at the Canadian border. Nancy Davis, above, a cafe owner in Malone, N.Y., said that many of her Canadian customers had stopped coming.

What is a “Jeopardy!” showdown? Three record-breaking players — James Holzhauer, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter — will compete against each other in January.

Cry babies: Newborns whose mothers speak tonal languages, such as Mandarin, tend to produce more complex cry melodies, a study on infants’ sounds discovered.

Late-night comedy: Stephen Colbert said he was relieved that there appeared to be nothing wrong with President Trump’s health: “I don’t want him to leave the White House feet first. I want handcuffs first.”

What we’re listening to: Slate’s “Slow Burn” podcast. “As a child of the ’90s,” writes our London-based home page editor Claire Moses, “I’m enjoying the third season, about the murders of Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur. (And there’s music!)”

Cook: Weeknight fancy chicken is the one-pot meal you need. (Our Five Weeknight Dishes newsletter has more recommendations.)

Read: If you love “The Crown,” we have a list of supplemental reading, including “Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch.”

Listen: After a year of rocket-fueled fame, Billie Eilish offers a melancholic new single, “Everything I Wanted.”

Smarter Living: Here’s how to master two simple magic tricks (and why you should learn them).

I’m Tim Arango, one of the leads on a team of 10 reporters behind the scoop The Times published this week about how Iran outmaneuvered the U.S. in Iraq.

News organizations are often competitors, but this was an extraordinarily fruitful collaboration that stretched over months.

The Intercept shared an unprecedented leak of secret Iranian intelligence cables with The Times, drawing on our expertise in the region.

We’ve maintained a bureau in Baghdad for more than 16 years, staying put — at great expense and risk — when many other news organizations moved on.

I took the lead on The Times’s analysis of the material because I was the Baghdad bureau chief for seven years, including 2014 and 2015, the period covered by the cables. Those were the momentous years in which the Islamic State rose up and took control of about a third of Iraq.

What I saw in the raw, unfiltered documents confirmed and added depth to my earlier reporting, revealing Iran’s use of agents, spies and bribery to infiltrate the highest echelons of the Iraqi government.

It took time, resources and reporting experience to understand what the cables showed. If you want to be a part of more groundbreaking reporting, please subscribe to The Times. We’re offering a special price of $1 per week exclusively to our Morning Briefing readers.


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

— Mike


Thank you
Mark Josephson and Eleanor Stanford provided the break from the news. You can reach the team at [email protected].

P.S.
• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Today’s episode is on corporate America and the Trump tax cuts.
• Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Slightly off-kilter (five letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• Ever wonder how our Investigations desk decides which topics to pursue? Our top editors explain.

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