Climate, Reparations, Women’s World Cup: Your Thursday Briefing

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Good morning.

We’re covering the E.P.A.’s coal-friendly climate rules, the China-North Korea meeting, and the Women’s World Cup.


Iran shot down a U.S. drone after it entered its airspace, state media reported today, the latest escalation in tensions between the two countries.

The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday established new regulations that set only modest requirements on coal plants and provided no targets to reduce emissions.

Known as the Affordable Clean Energy rule, it would replace Obama-era efforts to reduce planet-warming pollution, keeping coal plants open longer and letting states decide how much carbon reduction is reasonable.

What’s next: The rule is expected to come into effect within 30 days but has already drawn a flurry of challenges. Attorneys general in six states said they intended to sue to block the measure.

Related: With more storms and rising seas, a troubling debate has become urgent: Which U.S. cities should be saved from the effects of human-caused global warming?

President Xi Jinping of China arrived in Pyongyang, North Korea, today to meet with the country’s leader, Kim Jong-un.

The visit comes as both leaders are locked in stalled disputes with the U.S., and Mr. Xi and Mr. Kim may be looking to each other for help in gaining leverage with President Trump.

Here’s what to expect from the meeting.

Another angle: Mr. Trump has rushed to nail down his own meeting with Mr. Xi. The diplomatic maneuvering has become a kind of strongmen’s dance, our correspondent writes.

Congress considered a bill on compensation for slavery for the first time in over a decade on Wednesday.

House Democrats revived a 30-year-old idea for a commission to make recommendations about possible redress for descendants of slaves. The U.S. has tried reparations for historical injustices before. Here are some examples.

Even if it clears the House, the bill has little chance of passing in the Republican-controlled Senate. Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said he did not favor reparations “for something that happened 150 years ago, for whom none of us currently living are responsible.”

Voices: The writer Ta-Nehisi Coates, the congressional hearing’s star witness, rebuked Mr. McConnell: “We are American citizens, and thus bound to a collective enterprise that extends beyond our individual and personal reach.” Read a transcript of Mr. Coates’s testimony.

A United Nations report on Wednesday outlined chilling details of the extensive cover-up after the killing of the Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi in October.

Dismembering the body would be “easy,” a Saudi autopsy specialist said. “Joints will be separated. It will not be a problem.”

The destruction of evidence and the active role of Saudi officials suggested that the operation was organized at the highest levels of the country’s government, the report said. The findings are a challenge to President Trump, who has embraced the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, as an important ally.

Perspective: Washington has not done enough to reveal the truth about Mr. Khashoggi’s murder and bring his killers to justice, his fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, writes.

The Americans are coming to Le Havre, France — and the city is “very, very excited about it,” according to a deputy mayor.

No other visiting team brings hordes of fans like the top-ranked U.S. Tickets for every match involving the Americans sold out before the Women’s World Cup began.

The U.S. faces Sweden today at 3 p.m. Eastern.

Clash over Biden’s remarks: Joe Biden’s Democratic rivals condemned his fond recollections of working with segregationists in the Senate. He declined to apologize and defended his record on civil rights.

Bank faces criminal inquiry: The federal authorities are investigating whether Deutsche Bank complied with anti-money-laundering laws, including in its review of transactions linked to Jared Kushner.

Interest rates unchanged: The Federal Reserve kept rates steady but opened the door to a future cut if risks to economic growth intensify.

Sex cult conviction: The leader of Nxivm, a cultlike group near Albany, was found guilty of racketeering and sex trafficking.

David Ortiz shooting: The former Boston Red Sox player was not the intended target of a shooting in the Dominican Republic that seriously wounded him this month, the country’s authorities said.

Times publisher’s perspective: Our publisher, A.G. Sulzberger, addressed President Trump’s recent accusations of treason against The Times in an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal (sign-in required). He wrote: “Mr. Trump’s campaign against journalists should concern every patriotic American.”

Snapshot: Above, a Bible received by President Abraham Lincoln in 1864. It was kept by a friend after his death and will go on display today for the first time at the Lincoln Museum in Springfield, Ill.

U.S. national poet: Joy Harjo has been named the 23rd poet laureate. A member of the Muscogee Creek Nation, she is the first Native American person to be selected for the role. Read her poem “Fall Song.”

Late-night comedy: President Trump’s re-election rally reminded the hosts of 2016: “He spent most of the time bashing immigrants, journalists and Hillary Clinton,” Jimmy Fallon said. “Everyone watching at home was like, ‘Is this a summer rerun? I’ve seen this before.’”

What we’re reading: This essay from BuzzFeed News. “Shannon Keating writes almost cinematically about a press junket on a lesbian cruise that became a love story,” says Liam Stack, a reporter. “She renders familiar L.G.B.T. debates over gender, sex, monogamy, aging and the tension between inclusivity and the power of exclusively female or exclusively queer spaces in ways that are raw, funny and human.”

Smarter Living: Even after #MeToo, there’s no “right” way to respond to sexual harassment. A sociologist offers some suggestions: First, document everything. Knowing the result you want will shape what you do. And remember that you are the expert on your situation, so trust your intuition.

We also extol the virtues of touring Europe by bus.

“Jaws,” Steven Spielberg’s film about a shark that terrorizes the beaches of Amity Island, was released on this day in 1975.

The film, which became a blockbuster and a hallmark of American cinema, was not the only one that summer to feature creatures causing mayhem.

There was also “Bug,” the final work by the producer William Castle, best known for “Rosemary’s Baby.”

The plot: Incendiary cockroaches released from underground by an earthquake are made resistant to life on the surface by a mad scientist and wreak havoc in California.

The roaches eventually develop superintelligent abilities and, of course, become carnivorous.

A review in The Times described the film as “decidedly poisonous” and “cruel.” It urged parents not to let their children see it.

Coincidentally, the director of “Bug,” Jeannot Szwarc, went on to direct “Jaws 2.”

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

— Inyoung

Thank you
Chris Stanford and Melina Delkic helped compile this briefing. Mark Josephson and Eleanor Stanford provided the break from the news. Nadav Gavrielov wrote today’s Back Story. You can reach the team at [email protected].

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