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Good evening. Here’s the latest.
1. President Trump met China’s special envoy at the White House.
Before the meeting, above, Mr. Trump said that the two countries were headed toward an agreement that might be “the biggest deal ever made.” There had also been hints that a summit meeting would be announced between Mr. Trump and President Xi Jinping of China. None was.
And separately, a day after a Times report revealed frustrations from some investigators who have said the attorney general failed to adequately portray their findings, the department defended William Barr’s handling of the special counsel’s report, saying that it had to be scrubbed of sensitive information.
3. Boeing has insisted that the policies for responding to trouble in the 737 Max 8 were sound, but a preliminary report by Ethiopian investigators raises new questions.
The report shows that pilots on a doomed Ethiopian Airlines jet followed Boeing’s safety protocol, to no avail. Above, the cockpit of a 737 Max 8.
Trouble started just two minutes after takeoff. The pilots performed actions on the emergency checklist, including cutting off electricity to an automatic system that was pushing the nose down. But four minutes later, the plane went into a fatal dive that killed all 157 people onboard.
4. Looking ahead to Friday’s jobs report:
American manufacturers have added nearly half a million jobs since President Trump took office. Now, the surge may be nearing its end. Above, the assembly area at Gradall Industries in New Philadelphia, Ohio.
Tariffs are driving up manufacturing costs; cooling growth in China and Europe is hurting demand for exports; and the effects of tax cuts and government spending increases are waning.
Meanwhile, U.S. builders and farmers are only getting more short-handed. One of our economics reporters breaks down the strains of what could be an enduring labor crunch because of a drought of immigrant labor, and another examines whether targeted immigration might be a solution.
5. Emotions are running high among Mormons.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whose Salt Lake Temple is pictured above, now says it will allow children of same-sex parents to be baptized, a stunning reversal of church doctrine.
“It felt so incongruous with the teachings of Jesus,” said one mother who cried in relief. “He said, Let the children come unto me, and forbid them not.”
In addition to the church’s reversal on important religious practices like baptisms, it will also no longer label those in same-sex marriages as apostates.
6. The Australian man accused of carrying out the terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, will be charged with 50 counts of murder in a court appearance within hours of this writing.
A Times analysis shows that attacks by white supremacists are increasing, and so are the connections between them. We found that perpetrators of the deadliest attacks engaged with extremist content online, and many of the attacks, like those at two mosques last month, above, were inspired by earlier attacks.
That’s not the only extremism on the rise: Anti-Semitism is, too, in a range of ideologies that normally don’t overlap. That fusion is new, and dangerous, experts say.
7. The divorce plans of the richest man in the world have been finalized.
Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive, will keep 75 percent of the couple’s stock in Amazon and all of their ownership of The Washington Post and the Blue Origin space company.
After the divorce, Mackenzie Bezos, pictured above with her soon-to-be-ex in 2017, will own roughly 4 percent of Amazon, a stake worth almost $36 billion. Mr. Bezos will have “sole voting authority” over her shares. Ms. Bezos, who has long kept a low profile, wrote on Twitter that she was “excited about my own plans.”
8. When was the last time you read a book from Poland, Sweden, Mexico or Iraq?
Our Globetrotting column, a preview of books from around the world, has been updated with 76 new titles to our already growing list of 189 books. We also have a profile of the British-Palestinian writer Isabella Hammad, whose debut novel, “The Parisian,” gives a sweeping history of the 20th century through the lens of Palestinians.
9. A hairbrush against the scalp. Peeling dried glue. The television painter Bob Ross.
All have given rise to autonomous sensory meridian response, better known as A.S.M.R. and sometimes described as a brain-gasm. The brain-tingling feeling was a hard-to-describe psychological oddity. Until, suddenly, it was a YouTube phenomenon.
FYI, the science behind the sensation is lagging.
10. Finally, a breakout from whale jail.
Russia is preparing to release an unprecedented number of whales, seized to keep them from being exported to Chinese marine parks. A hundred have been kept in watery pens until the plan for their release could be developed.
It took the help of two famous ocean experts, Jean-Michel Cousteau (the son of the famed oceanographer) and Charles Vinick.
“Each animal is an individual and has to be treated like an individual,” said Mr. Vinick. “Like us!” said Mr. Cousteau.
Have a liberating evening.
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