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Paul Manafort, Primary Elections, Wildfires: Your Tuesday Briefing ...

August 08,2018 09:18

(Want to get this briefing by email? Here's the sign-up.) Good morning. Here's what you need to know: Iran sanctions are restored. • Economic sanctions that the ...and more »



(Want to get this briefing by email? Here’s the sign-up.)
Good morning.
Here’s what you need to know:
Iran sanctions are restored
• Economic sanctions that the U.S. lifted under a 2015 nuclear agreement went back into effect overnight, increasing pressure on Tehran but straining relations with America’s European allies.
The decision bans any transactions with Iran involving dollar notes, gold, precious metals, aluminum, steel, passenger aircraft or coal.
Washington withdrew from the nuclear deal in May. The other signatories argue that it is the best chance at slowing, and ultimately ending, Iran’s nuclear ambitions. They now worry that pressure in Iran to resume nuclear activities will rise.

Manafort’s protégé turns on him
• Rick Gates took the witness stand on Monday in Paul Manafort’s trial on fraud charges stemming from political work the men did together in Ukraine.
Asked whether he was involved in any criminal activity with Mr. Manafort, Mr. Gates responded, “Yes.” He also acknowledged his own wrongdoing, adding that he knew about the alleged scheme because he “was the one who helped organize the paperwork.”
The case is seen as the first test of whether the special counsel, Robert Mueller, can win a courtroom conviction, and it’s being closely watched because both Mr. Manafort and Mr. Gates held top posts in the Trump campaign.
• Separately, we looked at the shifting explanations for a 2016 meeting at Trump Tower that is a focus of Mr. Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the election.

66 shooting victims, zero arrests
• Twelve people were shot and killed in Chicago over the weekend, a reminder that, despite progress, the causes of the city’s notorious crime problem have yet to be addressed.
At a news conference on Monday, the police superintendent and the mayor blamed too many guns in circulation, the failure of the judicial system and the need for better parenting.
• Community leaders and civil rights groups say the police have given those who live in the neighborhoods hit hardest by the violence little reason to trust them. Chicago has one of the lowest rates of solving killings of any major U.S. city.

The death of a missile maker
• Aziz Asbar was one of Syria’s most important rocket scientists, bent on amassing an arsenal that could be launched against Israeli cities.
On Saturday, he was killed by a car bomb apparently planted by the Mossad, Israel’s spy agency.
• It was at least the fourth attempted assassination by Israel in three years against an enemy weapons engineer on foreign soil, a senior official from a Middle Eastern intelligence agency said on Monday. Read more about the operation here.
Megachurch to investigate pastor
• Willow Creek Community Church near Chicago plans to open an inquiry into allegations of sexual harassment against its founding pastor, the Rev. Bill Hybels.
• The announcement came a day after The Times reported on accusations from Mr. Hybels’s former executive assistant.
Business
• Indra Nooyi, the chief executive of PepsiCo, is stepping down. Over 12 years, she expanded the company’s international presence and began shifting its snacks and beverages to healthier choices.
Ms. Nooyi, 62, was one of a small number of women leading large corporations. Our business columnist examines why female leaders rarely have female successors.

Noteworthy
• California’s record-breaking wildfire
The Mendocino Complex Fire northwest of Sacramento topped 283,000 burned acres on Monday, making it the largest fire in California in a century of record-keeping. Despite its size, it has resulted in no deaths, but the Carr Fire in Northern California has killed at least seven people.
In his first remarks on the blazes, President Trump blamed California’s environmental policies and inaccurately claimed that water was “foolishly being diverted into the Pacific Ocean.”

• A worrisome invader
For the first time in 50 years, a new tick species has arrived in the U.S. In Asia, it carries a virus that kills 15 percent of its victims.
Here’s more from this week’s Science section.
• In memoriam
Joël Robuchon was an inventive French chef whose restaurants collectively earned a record number of Michelin stars, recasting haute cuisine by emphasizing intense flavors and precise technique. He was 73.
He embodied the old-world mentality before setting the stage for a new era in dining, our restaurant critic writes.

• Best of late-night TV
Jimmy Kimmel noted President Trump’s contradictory claims about a meeting involving his son and Russian officials in 2016: “I like to imagine his lawyers’ faces when they see a tweet like this. I bet they carry pillows to scream into.”
• Quotation of the day
“People think twice about even buying an ice cream.”
— Amir Sherafari, who sells fruit and vegetables in Tehran, describing the economic anxiety as Iran faces new U.S. sanctions.
• The Times, in other words
Here’s an image of today’s front page, and links to our Opinion content and crossword puzzles.

• What we’re reading (and watching)
Lynda Richardson, an editor in Travel, recommends this video from The Atlantic: “I saw this on a friend’s Facebook feed — a powerful animated video that shows that grief can be turned into grace, lifting you from despair. The soundtrack is Joan Baez singing ‘The President Sang Amazing Grace,’ a meditation on the June 2015 mass shooting, a hate crime, at a historic black church in Charleston, S.C.”
Back Story
This year, Countess Constance Markievicz finally took her place in the British Parliament.
A century after she became the first woman elected to the House of Commons, her portrait went on display there. It will be up until early October, to commemorate the anniversary of the acts of Parliament that allowed some women to vote and hold office.

A woman held the portrait of Countess Constance Markievicz at an event in Dublin in 2017 to commemorate the anniversary of the Easter Rising.CreditBrian Lawless/PA WireCountess Markievicz never took her seat, in keeping with the abstentionist policy of her Irish party, Sinn Fein, whose members refused to swear an oath of allegiance to the British crown.
Before she was elected, she fought for women’s and labor rights, and Irish nationalism. Her participation in the 1916 Easter Rising, an armed rebellion against British rule, led to a death sentence that was commuted because she was a woman.
After her release, she was again arrested, but was elected to the House of Commons from prison.
A letter the prime minister’s office sent to her after her election began, “Dear Sir …”
She said of women’s rights in 1922, “I would work for it anywhere, as one of the crying wrongs of the world, that women, because of their sex, should be debarred from any position or any right that their brains entitle them a right to hold.”

Countess Markievicz died in Dublin in 1927 at the age of 59.
Aodhan Beirne wrote today’s Back Story.
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