E.P.A., Tariffs, Jay-Z: Your Tuesday Evening Briefing
- by NewYorkTimes
- Aug. 13, 2019
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Good evening. Here’s the latest.
1. The fight over coal-burning power plants isn’t over.
A coalition of 29 states and cities sued to block the Trump administration from weakening Obama-era restrictions on the plants.
The suit argues that the Environmental Protection Agency’s rollback will extend the life of dirty, aging plants, increasing rather than diminishing pollution and greenhouse gases. Above, a coal-fired power plant in Castle Dale, Utah.
Separately, President Trump visited a giant factory being built in Pennsylvania that will make over a million tons of plastic a year.
And in Phoenix, warming temperatures mean the city comes alive after dark.
2. Facing pressure from American businesses, the Trump administration delayed levies on some Chinese goods that had been scheduled to go into effect on Sept. 1.
Many of the planned tariffs on cellphones, laptops, toys and other consumer goods will instead kick in on Dec. 15, giving retailers time to stock up for back-to-school and holiday shopping. Above, the port of Los Angeles.
“We’re doing this for the Christmas season,” President Trump said. “Just in case some of the tariffs would have an impact on U.S. customers.” U.S. stocks rebounded on the news.
Data from the government and other sources show that Mr. Trump’s tax cuts and tariffs have not achieved one of his goals: a significant return of factory activity.
3. Antigovernment protests at Hong Kong’s airport blocked check-ins for a second day, and riot police moved in with batons and pepper spray.
The city’s leader, Carrie Lam, urged protesters to obey the law, saying that the “stability and well-being of seven million people are in jeopardy.” The famously sleek and efficient airport, long a symbol of Hong Kong pride, has in effect become a point of leverage for the protesters.
China’s state-controlled news media is waging a disinformation war, using manipulated images and videos of the demonstrations to stir up nationalist and anti-Western sentiment.
4. House Democrats are seeking to pressure the Senate Republican leadership to take up gun safety legislation.
Six top Democrats, including Representative Steny Hoyer of Maryland, above, called on the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, to bring senators back to Washington from August recess to pass two bills approved by the House, one mandating background checks on all gun purchases and another extending the time the F.B.I. has to complete them.
Federal gun laws contain a major loophole: Transactions between private sellers and buyers do not require a background check. That used to typically just mean sales at gun shows, or through listings found in classified ads. But now, on the internet, a gun purchase is just a few clicks away.
5. Four days. 20 Democrats. Who won the Iowa State Fair?
With so many presidential candidates in Des Moines last weekend, our Politics team needed a system to rate the wooing of voters. The team opted for a corn dog scale. The winners were judged on food consumption, fair fashion, political pitches and more.
Beyond Iowa, Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey detoured from early-voting states to hold rallies in cities where turnout will be essential for Democrats to win back key states in 2020, an increasingly common campaign swing.
6. Plácido Domingo, one of the biggest and most powerful stars in opera, was accused of sexual harassment by several women.
Nine women told The Associated Press that, beginning in the late 1980s, he used his power to pursue them sexually — calling repeatedly and making dates, often under the guise of offering professional advice. Seven of the women said they felt their careers were harmed after they rebuffed him. Mr. Domingo, pictured above last July, said he believed the interactions were “welcomed and consensual.”
Separately, major institutions across New York State, including the Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts of America, are bracing for lawsuits. A law that went into effect in January made New York one of more than a dozen states that allow adults who say they were sexually abused as children to pursue formal legal action.
7. Jay-Z and the N.F.L. are teaming up.
The league has signed a deal with Roc Nation, the rap star and impresario’s entertainment and sports company, to be its “live music entertainment strategist.” That includes consulting on the Super Bowl halftime show and contributing to the league’s activism campaign. Above, Jay-Z at a Los Angeles Rams game in November.
There was also a reunion of sorts between two media giants: After a decade apart, CBS and Viacom will merge, the latest in a wave of mega-mergers aiming to counter the threat of big tech platforms.
8. “Portofino is for the Americans. Camogli is for us Italians.”
Over six days of hopping between the five towns of the often overshadowed Golfo Paradiso in Italy, our 52 Places Traveler heard only one American accent. For him, the 10-mile stretch of coastline, just a 30-minute drive from Genoa, felt a world away.
We also went surfing in Ireland, which has gained a somewhat mythical reputation as a wild and unspoiled place. Surfers from around the world test themselves against the Irish monsters.
9. What to do with all that summer fruit?
Summer pudding with blackberries and peaches, above, salted-apricot-honey cobbler, frozen melon with crushed raspberries and lime, to name a few. Alison Roman has five new recipes to bake away your summer-is-nearly-over anxiety.
In other culinary news, a nationwide boom in home-based food businesses has bypassed New Jersey, the only state that still bars such sales. But home bakers are fighting back.
10. And finally, red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky at morning, sailors take warning.
There’s a reason the saying has lasted so long. The forecasting method actually works, at least in places where prevailing weather predictably arrives from the west — but the science behind it is a little complicated.
Storm clouds block the red spectrum; clear skies let the reds through. At night, reddened clouds mean the light from the west has gotten through, so clear skies are coming. In the morning, reddened clouds mean the clear skies are to the east — and trouble could be coming from the west.
Still fuzzy? We had a cool cartoonist explain.
Fair winds tonight.
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