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Good evening. Here’s the latest.
1. U.S. law enforcement arrested these two businessmen, both named in the whistle-blower account that set off the House impeachment inquiry against President Trump.
Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas, Ukraine-born American citizens, were accused of engaging in a scheme to funnel foreign money to candidates for federal and state office. The indictment also linked them to the removal of the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.
They were detained Wednesday night at Dulles International Airport, where they had one-way tickets to Europe.
The two men helped the president’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani gin up investigations in Ukraine into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, among other potentially politically beneficial investigations for Mr. Trump. Below, Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Parnas at the Trump International Hotel in Washington in September.
Separately, House impeachment investigators subpoenaed Energy Secretary Rick Perry. Here’s what else happened in the inquiry today.
2. Turkey escalated its assault across the Syrian border.
Shells and rockets landed in several Turkish border towns on Thursday, killing four civilians, one of them an infant, and wounding 70, on the second day of Turkey’s air and ground offensive against a U.S.-allied, Kurdish-led militia. At least 23 Kurds were reported to have been killed, a monitoring group said.
U.S. military and national security officials say that by allowing the attack on the Kurdish fighters, who did the heavy lifting in the fight against the Islamic State, the U.S. risks repeating a scenario that helped pave the way for the Iraq war.
3. It’s hard to imagine a Minnesota summer without the sound of a loon, or the absence of the song of the brown thrasher in Georgia, but climate change is more likely to make that a reality, a new study found.
As the planet warms, displacing hundreds of bird species in the U.S. because of the heat, at least eight states could see their state birds largely or entirely disappear during the summer, the National Audubon Society said.
Other state birds at risk include New Hampshire’s purple finch, above.
Also from our Climate desk: Cars and trucks are America’s largest source of greenhouse gases. See a year’s worth of emissions from your metro area in our highly detailed map.
4. Large areas of Northern California remained without power as an intentional outage, intended to prevent wildfires, rocked the region for a second day. Above, Sausalito.
California’s largest utility carried out the second phase of its safety plan, extending the outage to about 600,000 customers. Pacific Gas and Electric said extreme winds overnight forced the additional shutdown, which the utility organized to keep its wires and equipment from sparking fires. Here’s how PG&E decided which areas to black out.
The company has restored power to some areas, but many people could be without electricity for days. We’ll continue to have live updates.
5. A locked door saved the synagogue.
Only that kept the gunman who killed two people in Halle, in eastern Germany, on Wednesday from getting inside, where, according to a manifesto he published online, he hoped to kill as many Jews as possible. Above, the entrance to the synagogue.
The police have identified the suspect they arrested as a German citizen, but the manifesto was written in English. “He wanted to have a worldwide effect,” said Peter Frank, Germany’s federal prosecutor.
6. Brazil’s biggest meatpackers pledged 10 years ago to cut out ranchers setting fire to the Amazon. New fires show the promise has not been kept.
The agreement, struck with Greenpeace in 2009, called for the meatpackers not to buy cattle from ranchers who raised their beef in newly deforested areas.
But since then, cattle ranching has been responsible for 18,000 square miles of additional deforestation (equivalent to the area of New Hampshire and Vermont combined), according to University of Wisconsin researchers.
The deforestation has been going on for decades, converting an estimated total of 173,746 square miles of Amazon forest (an area larger than California) to cattle pasture.
7. Olga Tokarczuk, the Polish author pictured above, and Peter Handke, an Austrian writer, were awarded the 2018 and 2019 Nobel Prizes in Literature, but not without controversy.
Both are renowned for their work but also for their sometimes polarizing political views. Especially Mr. Handke, who has been criticized for his support of Slobodan Milosevic, the former leader of Yugoslavia who died while on trial for war crimes. Mr. Handke attended Mr. Milosevic’s trial at The Hague and delivered a eulogy at his funeral.
The 2018 and 2019 laureates were named at the same time because last year’s prize was postponed over a scandal involving a husband of an academy member. Tomorrow’s award: the Nobel Peace Prize.
8. “Sometimes I wonder how I do it.”
Simone Biles, the world’s greatest gymnast, had trouble wrapping her head around the heights she has scaled in her sport after winning her fifth all-around world championship. She won by 2.1 points — the largest margin of victory in her career.
Something else happened at the world championships in Stuttgart, Germany, this week: Gymnastics officials made artificial intelligence technology available to judges. The robot judges, each about the size and shape of a Wi-Fi router, use three-dimensional laser sensors to track the gymnasts’ movements. The humans, for now, have the final say.
Separately, it’s winner-takes-all in the W.N.B.A. finals tonight. Here’s what to watch for.
Now, a circle of young black playwrights is taking his “blackness-for-black-people” approach to create “some of the most imaginative, confrontational work in the American theater,” Wesley Morris writes in The Times Magazine’s Culture Issue. One example: “A Strange Loop,” in New York, above. (There’s a listening option embedded in the article.)
Also from the issue: Before Rosalía’s videos were racking up millions of views on YouTube, the artist spent more than a decade training in one of the world’s oldest and most complex musical art forms — flamenco.
10. And finally, news from our furry friends.
Many animals, including humans, have DNA left over from ancient viral infections. Researchers have discovered they can study the process in real time in koalas, to learn how viruses can change the course of evolution.
And good news for dog owners! You may live longer, according to a new review of studies. The benefits may be particularly pronounced in those who have already had a heart attack or other serious heart problems.
Have a tail-wagging good night.
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