Your Monday Briefing

Your Monday Briefing

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Good morning.

We’re covering new details about the gunman in the shooting at a Navy base in Florida, a deadly volcanic eruption in New Zealand and the Golden Globe nominations.


Russia has been banned from international sports — including next year’s Summer Olympics — for four years over doping violations.

The House Judiciary Committee is to begin hearing evidence today from lawyers of both parties as it considers whether President Trump’s actions rise to the level of impeachable offenses. Here’s what to watch for.

The White House, which has argued that the inquiry is illegitimate, has declined to participate, focusing instead on the trial that would follow in the Republican-controlled Senate if the House approved articles of impeachment.

The Times will stream the testimony live when the hearing starts at 9 a.m. Eastern, and our journalists will provide real-time context and analysis.

Catch up: Democrats argue that Mr. Trump abused his power by pressuring Ukraine to help him defeat political rivals. We explain the impeachment process and look at Republicans’ arguments and how the Constitution defines impeachable offenses.

Go deeper: After Mr. Trump was elected, Rudy Giuliani expected to be named secretary of state. He didn’t get the job, but he has since fashioned a uniquely powerful position for himself.

Another angle: A long-awaited report by the Justice Department’s inspector general is set to be released today. It’s expected to criticize the early stages of the F.B.I.’s Russia investigation but to reject Mr. Trump’s accusations that the inquiry was a “deep state” plot against him.

Credit…FBI, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The Saudi Air Force trainee who killed three sailors last week in Pensacola, where he was a visiting student, had filed a complaint against one of his instructors for calling him a derogatory nickname.

According to a summary of the complaint that was viewed by The Times, the trainee, Second Lt. Mohammed Alshamrani, said he was “infuriated” after the instructor referred to him in April as “Porn Stash,” an apparent reference to Lieutenant Alshamrani’s mustache. There has been nothing to suggest a connection to Friday’s attack, in which the gunman was shot and killed.

Yesterday: As the authorities searched for a motive, the F.B.I. officially characterized the investigation as a terrorism inquiry. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the Pentagon would review screening procedures but would maintain the training programs for foreigners.

The victims: Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, 23; Airman Mohammed Sameh Haitham, 19; and Airman Apprentice Cameron Scott Walters, 21, were at the start of their Navy careers. Read more about them here.

As Britain gears up for a general election on Thursday, the only thing uniting the country might be its disunity.

Our reporter traveled from London to Glasgow to examine the effects of nationalism, austerity and economic alienation. He explains why the Brexit debate has caused so much frustration.

Background: Prime Minister Boris Johnson hopes that his Conservative Party will win the parliamentary majority it now lacks, enabling him to push through legislation to withdraw Britain from the European Union by the end of January.

Related: As many young people register to vote for the first time, the opposition Labour Party is hoping for a boost.

Another angle: The actor Hugh Grant, who famously played a prime minister going door to door in the film “Love Actually,” is campaigning hard to block the Conservatives.

Sexual predators and other bad actors have found easy access into the lives of children through multiplayer video games and chat apps, making connections in their victims’ homes.

In the practice commonly known as “sextortion,” the typical goal is to dupe children into sharing sexually explicit photos and videos of themselves, which criminals then use as blackmail for more imagery.

(A warning: The linked article contains excerpts from online conversations that some readers might find disturbing.)

There are some safeguards, but there’s little incentive to tackle the problem, as gaming and social media companies are rarely held responsible for illegal content posted on their sites.

For parents: Spending time with your children online is among the recommendations that experts have for keeping them safe.

David Wisnia, above, and Helen Spitzer had an improbable love affair at Auschwitz in 1943. They escaped death, and separately found new lives in the U.S.

When they reunited 72 years later, he had one question: Was she the reason he was alive?

Trade group targeted: The Trump administration is expected this week to effectively prevent the World Trade Organization from enforcing its rules, leaving no official resolution for many international trade disputes.

New Zealand eruption: At least five people were killed today and several others were missing after a volcano erupted on an island that’s popular with tourists.

Religious test in India: Lawmakers are considering a measure that would give migrants of all of South Asia’s major religions — except Islam — a clear path to citizenship.

Young leader in Finland: Sanna Marin, 34, is set to become the world’s youngest sitting prime minister this week.

Snapshot: Above, a banana that sold for $120,000 last week at Art Basel Miami Beach. One of our art critics offered a grudging defense of the work, titled “Comedian,” after a prankster ate the piece of fruit.

In memoriam: Caroll Spinney, a puppeteer, inspired generations of children with his performances as Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch on “Sesame Street.” He died on Sunday at 85. The Times spoke to him last year when he retired: “I’ve been playing a 6-year-old for 50 years,” he said. “And the children bought it.”

College Football Playoff: Top-seeded Louisiana State will face Oklahoma, and Ohio State will play Clemson in the semifinals on Dec. 28. The winners will play for the national championship on Jan. 13.

N.F.L. results: San Francisco edged New Orleans, 48-46, in one of the most entertaining games of the season. Here’s what else we learned in Week 14.

Metropolitan Diary: In this week’s column, the train to Long Island, a rush-hour interlude and more reader tales of New York City.

What we’re listening to: This episode of “The Europeans” podcast, about Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission’s new president. “A host said the episode aimed to ‘explain how the E.U. actually works without boring you to death,’” says Mike Ives of the briefings team. “It did, and I wasn’t!”

Cook: Lemony turmeric tea cake is simple and delicious.

Watch: The Times assessed the year in dance, when older works bristled with fresh energy, Joaquin Phoenix reminded us how the body can speak louder than words, and tap came flying back.

Listen: Our critics chose 2019’s best albums — a format that’s in an increasingly fragile state in pop music.

Smarter Living: Our Social Q’s column offers advice to a woman wondering whether she should hide her husband’s job loss.

The Golden Globes nominees are to be announced today, part of the entertainment awards season that culminates with the Oscars. (We’ll have live coverage starting at 8 a.m. Eastern.)

Our Styles writer Caity Weaver looked at the somewhat opaque nonprofit that awards the Globes: the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

It “was born of the chaos of global warfare in 1943,” she wrote, “when eight foreign-born journalists living in California banded together to, apparently, gossip privately about celebrities. (The H.F.P.A.’s website is vague: ‘At first, the members held informal gatherings in private homes.’)”

The organization says it has “about 90 members,” who are not identified, and the requirements to belong are something less than rigorous, Caity found.

Members must live in the greater Southern California area, have received a paycheck for publishing something in a non-American publication four times, submit two letters of recommendation from current members and pay a $500 initiation fee.

Perhaps that looseness explains what Variety calls the organization’s “penchant for surprise.”

That’s it for this briefing. I’m on my way to where the air is sweet.

See you next time.

— Chris

Thank you
Mark Josephson and Eleanor Stanford provided the break from the news. You can reach the team at

• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Today’s episode is about a woman’s journey through China’s detention camps.
• Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Lacking pizazz (four letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• The Times has 21 reporters covering the 2020 U.S. presidential election. Get to know them here.

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