Fri. Aug 23rd, 2019

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Your Monday Briefing – The New York Times

7 min read


Iran for the first time tied the British seizure of an Iranian oil tanker to the ailing nuclear deal, calling it illegal and a violation of the agreement.

By making that link, Iran appeared to be trying to press the Europeans to make good on the promised financial benefits of the 2015 agreement known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or J.C.P.O.A.

“Since Iran is entitled to export its oil according to the J.C.P.O.A., any impediment in the way of Iran’s export of oil is actually against the J.C.P.O.A.,” Iran’s deputy foreign minister, Abbas Araghchi, said after emergency talks in Vienna with other parties to the nuclear deal.

Reminder: British forces impounded the Iranian tanker in early July near Gibraltar, accusing it of violating E.U. sanctions on Syria, an act Britain said had nothing to do with the nuclear deal.

On July 19, Iranian commandos seized a British-flagged tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, the world’s most important waterway for oil shipments, arguing that it had committed violations but formally denying that it was a tit-for-tat response.

Barter system: European officials said a long awaited alternative trading platform, which would allow Iran to bypass the American-linked global financial system and avoid new sanctions, is in its final stages (but they have said this for months).


Regulators at the Federal Aviation Administration didn’t fully understand Boeing’s dangerous new automated system when they approved the 737 Max plane in 2017, a Times investigation found.

The software that played a role in two deadly plane crashes in October and March was never stress-tested, and the F.A.A. eventually handed over responsibility of approving it to Boeing.

How we know: The Times reviewed internal documents and spoke with a dozen current and former employees at the F.A.A. and at Boeing who described a process that has effectively neutered the oversight agency.

Toll: The two plane crashes together killed 346 people. The 737 Max jets remain grounded, and if the ban persists much longer, Boeing says it may have to halt production.


The police unleashed rounds of tear gas and rubber bullets this weekend to push back thousands of people demonstrating against alleged police brutality and attacks by a group of men accused of having ties to organized crime groups.

On Saturday, clashes erupted in the northern town of Yuen Long, where demonstrators were rallying against a violent mob attack that had taken place a week earlier. Barely 24 hours later, riot police officers used tear gas and batons to beat back protesters who were trying to reach the Chinese government’s representative office in the city.

Context: This was the third straight weekend that violence had broken out since the demonstrations began nearly two months ago over an unpopular bill, since shelved, that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China.


A day after an unauthorized election protest he planned drew mass arrests in Moscow, Aleksei Navalny, Russia’s most prominent opposition leader, was hospitalized with a “severe allergic reaction” in jail, his spokeswoman said.

“Over his whole life, Aleksei has never experienced an allergic reaction,” the spokeswoman, Kira Yarmysh, wrote on Twitter. But she said that his face was severely swollen and he had red spots on his skin.

Reminder: The protest Mr. Navalny staged, after several opposition candidates were barred from running for Moscow’s City Council, led to the arrests of more than 1,300 demonstrators. It was the latest in a series of street demonstrations held as President Vladimir Putin’s approval ratings have dropped.

History: Mr. Navalny has been beaten by Russian law enforcement officers and arrested many times. In May 2017, an assailant threw a green chemical into his face, resulting in an 80 percent loss of sight in one eye, he said.

Jair Bolsonaro promised during his presidential campaign last year to open up the country’s vast protected lands for commercial purposes and ease environmental protections.

Seven months into his term, the Amazon has lost more than 1,330 square miles of forest cover — a 38 percent increase over the same period last year. At the same time, the government has pulled back enforcement actions against deforestation, alarming researchers, environmentalists and former officials.

Nigeria: At least 65 people died in an attack by suspected Islamist extremists on a group returning from a funeral in the northeastern Borno region, state television reported on Sunday, in one of the deadliest attacks on civilians in the country in recent years.

Guatemala: An asylum deal between the U.S. and Guatemala, which would require asylum seekers who travel through that country to first seek refuge there, still faces some hurdles. We broke down what it means and how it would work.

Turkey: The country has started to repatriate hundreds of children of Islamic State followers from Iraq. Many have been exposed to psychological and physical trauma.

Italy: Officials said that two American teenagers admitted to fatally stabbing a police officer in Rome who had been trying to recover a backpack that they had been accused of stealing.

U.S. recession signs: Economists don’t know when the decade-long expansion, now the longest in American history, will end. But there are a few indicators — including the yield curve and the unemployment rate — they will watch to figure it out.

Britain: Jacob Rees-Mogg, the new leader of the House of Commons, started his term with the implementation of several new grammar rules for his staff. He banned 18 words or phrases, including “very” and “got.”

Snapshot: Above, the first Fortnite World Cup, held in New York City. Forty million players participated in online qualifiers, and Epic Games will give out $30 million in prize money, including $3 million to the winners in both the solo and duo competitions.

Tour de France: The 22-year-old Egan Bernal, South America’s first winner of cycling’s signature race, said through a translator: “I cannot believe it. It’s just incredible. I am sorry. I have no words.” He is the youngest champion of the post-World War II era.

What we’re reading: This essay in Real Simple, by the Times Magazine writer Taffy Brodesser-Akner. “What if some of us just can’t — or won’t — follow all that advice about becoming mindful, calm and deliberate?” says the briefings editor, Andrea Kannapell. “Taffy explores her own valuation of chaos.”

Cook: Swap your scrambled eggs for tamagoyaki, a Japanese rolled omelet.

Watch: In our profile of David Spade, the comedian was candid about his career and personal tragedies. “Lights Out With David Spade,” his new late-night talk show, premieres today on Comedy Central.

Read: In a new book on the conservationist George Bird Grinnell, our critic writes, “we finally have an exhaustively detailed biography of an inexhaustible man who deserves his place in the pantheon of environmental founders.”

Listen: Art Blakely’s “Moanin’” is one of the albums that defined the legacy of Blue Note Records. The label, which turns 80 this year, is looking to the future with newer artists such as Joel Ross.


Smarter Living: Nearly 70 percent of pregnant women in the United States (and nearly 12 percent of children) use what researchers call “complementary and alternative medicine.” Our Parenting editor, Jessica Grose, has done the same, and now suggests a healthy dose of skepticism.

And we can help you master the art of the tablescape.

Quentin Tarantino’s latest movie, “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood,” hit theaters this weekend. But as eagle-eyed grammarians noticed, the ellipsis shifts on billboards and in trailers to “Once Upon a Time in … Hollywood.”

What gives?

The Times’s film editor, Stephanie Goodman, asked the distributor, Sony, which version was correct, and the answer was, essentially, both. The studio called it “a creative decision.”

That kind of license seems fitting. The ellipsis once simply signified an incomplete statement or the omission of several words in a sentence, but it has taken on new meanings thanks to the casual punctuation style of emails and texts; many apps also use it as a “typing awareness indicator.”

According to a Cambridge researcher, the first use of the ellipsis is in a 1588 translation of a play by the Roman dramatist Terence.

As Quartz reported, the mark became common in the 18th century, often to get around libel laws, and has been notably used since by the columnist Herb Caen, the novelists Ford Madox Ford and Joseph Conrad, and more than a few social media-happy politicians.


That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.

— Melina


Thank you
Alisha Haridasani Gupta helped compile today’s briefing. Mark Josephson and Eleanor Stanford wrote the break from the news. Adam Pasick, editorial director of newsletters, wrote today’s Back Story. You can reach the team at briefing@nytimes.com.

P.S.
• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our latest episode is about Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein’s longtime companion.
• Here’s today’s Mini Crossword puzzle, and a clue: A lot of internet humor (5 letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• The New York Times received 13 News and Documentary Emmy nominations, the most in our history, and the Op-Doc “Traveling While Black” was nominated for a Primetime Emmy.



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