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Your Wednesday Briefing

Your Wednesday Briefing

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Good morning.

We’re covering the latest news from Washington, a deadly gun battle in Jersey City and a blockbuster deal involving the New York Yankees. We’ve also published our collection of pictures of the year.


Image
Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

The House Judiciary Committee will meet today to consider two articles of impeachment against President Trump, after Democratic leaders formally called for his removal from office.

The articles, unveiled on Tuesday, accuse the president of “corruptly soliciting” Ukraine to assist his re-election campaign and obstructing Congress by stonewalling the impeachment inquiry. (Read the articles of impeachment here.)

The impeachment push is narrowly focused on Mr. Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, an effort to maintain unity among Democrats after moderates were concerned by the possibility of a broader set of charges.

From Opinion: Are Democrats taking the right approach, or should they be pursuing a broader case? Here’s what people are saying.

What’s next: The Judiciary Committee could vote by Thursday to recommend the charges to the full House for final approval. If the House impeaches Mr. Trump, he will stand trial in the Senate early next year.

“The Daily”: Today’s episode is about the articles of impeachment.

Another angle: Mr. Trump and Attorney General William Barr escalated their attacks on the F.B.I. after a report that found that the bureau was justified in opening its Trump campaign inquiry.


On the same day that Democrats accused President Trump of high crimes and misdemeanors, they also announced a deal with the White House over a revised North American trade agreement.

The new deal would strengthen labor, environmental, pharmaceutical and enforcement provisions in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, making it all but certain to become law.

Mr. Trump’s top trade adviser, Robert Lighthizer, called the deal “nothing short of a miracle.”

Closer look: The timing offers Mr. Trump an achievement to promote on the campaign trail and House Democrats proof that they’re able to legislate during their impeachment push. Lawmakers are also close to approving the largest military bill in the nation’s history, and they intend to pass legislation on lowering prescription drug costs, another priority for Mr. Trump.


A series of gunfights in Jersey City turned a residential neighborhood across the Hudson River from Lower Manhattan into what seemed like a war zone on Tuesday.

The violence began at a cemetery, where a police officer was killed, and ended hours later at a kosher market, where five more people, including the two attackers, were slain.

A city official said there was “no indication” of terrorism, but Mayor Steven Fulop later said that the gunmen, who have not been identified, had “targeted the location.” He didn’t provide further explanation.

Closer look: The market caters to a small but growing number of ultra-Orthodox Jews who have moved to the area in recent years.

Quotable: “This is one of the biggest gunfights I’ve seen in a while,” a resident said, “and I’ve been in Vietnam.”

When the Russian Federation went to war in the rebellious region of Chechnya 25 years ago today, it expected a swift victory. Instead, tens of thousands of people were killed, and Russia was left humiliated. Above, the center of Grozny, the Chechen capital, in January 1995.

Our Moscow bureau chief looks back at how war became a turning point in Russia that enabled the ascent of Vladimir Putin.

Arctic worries: Temperatures in the region remained near record highs this year, according to a report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “Things are getting worse,” said one of the report’s authors.

Defending Myanmar: The country’s de facto civilian leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, said today that outsiders lacked an adequate understanding of her homeland’s ethnic makeup as she responded to accusations of genocide by Myanmar’s military during a hearing in The Hague.

Limits on Saudi students: The Pentagon has suspended operational training for all Saudi military students in the U.S. after a deadly shooting at a Navy base in Florida. About 900 students will be affected.

Targeting anti-Semitism: President Trump plans to sign an executive order today that would effectively define Judaism as a race or nationality, not just a religion, in an effort to compel colleges and universities to combat discrimination. Critics say such a policy could stifle free speech.

Pete Buttigieg’s clients: The Democratic presidential candidate released a list of nine clients from his time at McKinsey & Company, including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and several federal agencies.

New volcano warning: A scientist in New Zealand said today that there was a strong chance of another eruption within 24 hours at the volcano where at least six people were killed.

Independence vote: Bougainville, a collection of islands in the South Pacific, has voted overwhelmingly to become independent from Papua New Guinea, which would make it the world’s newest country.

Snapshot: Above, Abigail Anderson and Austin, an English setter, on a shuttle to the Westminster Dog Show in New York in February. The photograph is part of our collection of the year in pictures, which editors selected from more than 5.6 million images.

Record deal for Yankees: New York offered Gerrit Cole, formerly of the Houston Astros, a contract worth $324 million over nine years, the largest ever for a pitcher.

Word of the year: Merriam-Webster said “they” was its word of the year, as use of the plural pronoun expands to refer to nonbinary individuals.

52 Places traveler: In his latest dispatch, our columnist visits Perth and the Northern Rivers region of Australia.

Late-night comedy: “The good news for Trump is that he’s only facing two charges,” Trevor Noah said. “Although in a way, that’s also kind of sad for him, because Nixon had three articles brought against him, Bill Clinton had four and Andrew Johnson had 11.”

What we’re reading: This Guardian Q. and A. with Lucy Ellmann, the author of the novel “Ducks, Newburyport.” She discusses, among other things, “when resilience appalls her” and how thankless and enraging parenthood is, says Andrew LaVallee, an editor on our Books desk.

Cook: These gingery brownie cookies can be ready to eat within 30 minutes. (And here are 11 more stunning cookies.)

Watch: It took months for FKA twigs to perfect the title track for her new album. See how she got it right in the latest episode of Diary of a Song.

Eat: Our critic Pete Wells names his top 10 new restaurants in New York, including a food hall at Hudson Yards and a taco truck. He also picked the city’s top 10 dishes. (Your briefing writer has only the second-best job at The Times.)

Smarter Living: Keep your emails concise and clear, and remember: Put people who aren’t expected to reply in the “CC” field, not the “to” field. Read our tips for digital etiquette.

Pull one thread of the news, and you can find a tapestry of history that leads up to the present.

For instance: The Trump impeachment inquiry has focused on his administration’s delay of aid meant to help Ukraine deal with an assault by Russia-backed separatists.

Some say the delay violated a 25-year-old agreement, the Budapest Memorandum. In it, Ukraine got reassurances of territorial sovereignty from Russia, the U.S. and Britain in exchange for giving up the world’s third-largest nuclear arsenal — its inheritance from the breakup of the Soviet Union.

Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its proxy war in eastern Ukraine are considered violations of the memorandum, but repercussions were limited.

Still, the memorandum removed the final obstacle to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, a global limit on nuclear weapons. In practice, it kept the remains of the former Soviet arsenal in Russian control. At the time, that seemed safer than leaving them spread out.

Back to the present: The START treaty is set to lapse in 2020, and Russia and the U.S. have been discussing an extension, most recently on Tuesday, when President Trump met Russia’s foreign minister at the White House.


That’s it for this briefing. (So I’m free, Pete, if you need a lunch date.)

See you next time.

— Chris


Thank you
Mark Josephson and Eleanor Stanford provided the break from the news. Will Dudding, an assistant in the Standards department, wrote today’s Back Story. You can reach the team at briefing@nytimes.com.

P.S.
• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Today’s episode is about the articles of impeachment.
• Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: The “B” in KB, MB or GB (four letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• Lynsey Addario, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Times photographer, wrote about one of the most emotional assignments — and friendships — of her life: covering the Belgian Paralympic athlete Marieke Vervoort over three years, as she prepared to die by choice.


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