We’re covering the release of the whistle-blower’s complaint against President Trump, a reduction in the number of refugees that the U.S. accepts, and the death of the world’s oldest working barber. It’s also Friday, so we have our latest news quiz.
Aides saw trouble in Ukraine phone call
“The story of the past two months is one of a White House scrambling to keep secrets to protect a president willing to cross lines others would not, only to find the very government he frequently disparages expose him,” our chief White House correspondent writes.
A whistle-blower’s complaint released on Thursday said that White House officials tried to “lock down” a transcript of the July phone call in which President Trump asked Ukraine’s leader for an investigation of his political rival Joe Biden.
A record of the call was moved to a system for storing highly classified information, even though it didn’t meet the criteria, according to the whistle-blower, a C.I.A. officer who once worked at the White House. Here are eight takeaways from the complaint, as well as a copy annotated by The Times.
Another angle: The Times’s executive editor, Dean Baquet, addressed concerns about our decision to publish details about the whistle-blower, saying, “We wanted to provide information to readers that allows them to make their own judgments about whether or not he is credible.”
What’s next: Some Democratic lawmakers said it was possible that articles of impeachment would be drafted by the end of October. Congress starts a two-week break after today, but Representative Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said his committee would continue working.
The Daily: Today’s episode is about the complaint.
Reducing America’s role as a haven
The Trump administration plans to cut the number of refugees the U.S. accepts in the next year to 18,000, from 30,000, the State Department announced on Thursday. It’s part of a broader effort to reduce immigration.
The U.S. was the world’s leading destination for those fleeing war and persecution before President Trump took office.
Administration officials said the change would allow them to better address a backlog of almost one million immigration cases, many of which are asylum claims.
Related: The U.S. population gained immigrants at the slowest pace in a decade last year, according to an analysis of new census data.
The white-collar job exodus that didn’t happen
Economists once warned that office jobs in the U.S. would follow factory jobs overseas, but research suggests that they may be moving to other parts of the country instead.
While companies have moved millions of office jobs to countries where they could pay workers less, a research paper published today found, those losses were offset by growth elsewhere in the economy.
Related: This was supposed to be the year when the country’s biggest start-ups would make their triumphant debut on the stock market. But investors have backed away.
If you have 8 minutes, this is worth it
Keeping the ABCs fresh
Songs about the alphabet have been performed a lot on “Sesame Street” during the show’s 50 years.
So how do you reinvent a tune that’s as elemental as language? Elmo and Abby Cadabby, above, stopped by The Times to help explain. Watch here.
Here’s what else is happening
Egypt on edge: New demonstrations are planned today after protests last weekend led to a crackdown by the government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
Voting in Afghanistan: Accusations of systemic fraud and fears about Taliban attacks are threatening Saturday’s already-delayed presidential election.
Cockpit chaos: A federal review said Boeing had failed to account for how a misfire of an automated system could lead to other problems for pilots of the 737 Max.
Hiding “Likes” on social media: Facebook said it was testing making Likes and other metrics on users’ posts private. Internet health advocates have long argued that such measurements have become status symbols, with damaging psychological effects.
Snapshot: Above, Robert Redford and Cliff Robertson shooting “Three Days of the Condor” near Times Square in 1975. One of our movie critics looked back at more than 40 years of filming in New York. (We also survey the New York Film Festival, which starts today.)
In memoriam: Jacques Chirac, the former president of France, was best remembered for his opposition to the U.S.-led war in Iraq and as a vocal advocate of European unity. He died on Thursday at 86.
Separately, Anthony Mancinelli, from upstate New York, was recognized as the world’s oldest working barber by Guinness World Records. He died last week at 108, after recently — and reluctantly — retiring.
News quiz: Did you follow the headlines this week? Test yourself.
Modern Love: In this week’s column, a woman reflects on her family’s long line of absentee fathers, and the powerful matriarchs left in their wake.
Late-night comedy: “Even e-cigarettes were like ‘Trump is having a bad week,’” Jimmy Fallon said.
What we’re watching: This video of child chess players from The Atlantic. “It’s cute cubed, plus thought-provoking,” said Andrea Kannapell, the briefings editor.
Now, a break from the news
Cook: These kitchen sink cookies conveniently use up any extra baking chocolate, pretzels or candy.
Watch: The return of “Bob’s Burgers,” on Fox, is one of our weekend TV suggestions.
Go: Vija Celmins is best known for photo-realistic paintings and drawings of natural environments. A retrospective of her work, at the Met Breuer in Manhattan, is “quietly ravishing,” our art critic writes.
Read: A lawyer’s account of the battle against “revenge porn” is among 11 books we recommend this week.
Smarter Living: Solar panels generate clean energy, but they can be expensive to install. That’s where community solar projects come in. Our Climate Fwd: newsletter explains: The programs allow you to “subscribe” to panels at a nearby solar farm, for a credit on your electricity bill. Most people see savings of about 10 percent to 15 percent, one expert said.
And from Wirecutter, a Times site, here are five cheap(ish) things to beef up your digital security.
And now for the Back Story on …
Blowing the whistle
The term “whistle-blower” owes its origin to a 19th-century English toolmaker named Joseph Hudson, the inventor of referee and police whistles.
The first whistle used in a soccer match was probably an early model made by Mr. Hudson in 1878, and he invented an even more piercing whistle for Scotland Yard in the early 1880s. Soon after, in both sports and on the streets, blowing a whistle became a signal that a situation needed urgent attention.
“Whistle-blowing” as a metaphor sporadically appeared in literature in the 20th century, including in works by P.G. Wodehouse and Raymond Chandler.
Soon, the consumer rights advocate Ralph Nader put a more positive spin on the term with the phrase “responsible whistle-blowing,” which eventually led to the passage of the U.S. Whistleblower Protection Act — a piece of legislation that’s playing a role in the impeachment inquiry against President Trump.
That’s it for this briefing, which has been brought to you by the letters N, Y and T.
See you next time.
Melina Delkic helped compile today’s briefing. 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 us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Today’s episode is about the whistle-blower’s complaint.
• Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Group of whales (three letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• The Chicago public school system announced that it would use The 1619 Project from The Times as a classroom resource.