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Good evening. Here’s the latest.
1. The details of a whistle-blower complaint focused on President Trump proved explosive.
“In the course of my duties,” the declassified complaint states, “I have received information from multiple U.S. government officials that the President of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election.”
The whistle-blower, described to our reporters as a C.I.A. officer assigned to work at the White House, also said that senior officials tried to “lock down” records of a call between Mr. Trump and the president of Ukraine. Here are eight takeaways from the complaint and a guide to all our coverage from today. And here’s an explanation of why we decided to publish details of the whistle-blower’s identity.
The contents of the complaint were released just ahead of testimony by Joseph Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence, above, before the House Intelligence Committee. He said the situation was “totally unprecedented.”
2. President Trump told U.S. diplomats that whoever gave the whistle-blower information was “close to a spy.”
“You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart with spies and treason, right?” Mr. Trump said at the United Nations on Thursday. “We used to handle it a little differently than we do now.”
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, echoing the language of Watergate, accused the White House of engaging in “a cover-up” of the Ukraine call.
Republicans largely stayed in line behind Mr. Trump: Senator Mitch McConnell dismissed the developments as “laughable,” and Representative Kevin McCarthy complained that the whistle-blower “has no primary sources,” contrary to the report.
Media allies of the White House wasted no time constructing their own version of events. Here’s how they’re talking about impeachment.
3. Boeing underestimated the chaos a software failure in the 737 Max could cause in the cockpit, a federal agency’s review of two fatal crashes found.
The National Transportation Safety Board, after a monthslong review, said the company had failed to account for how a misfire of an automated system could lead to other problems for pilots. The system, known as MCAS, contributed to the crashes that killed 346 people.
The agency challenged the company’s assertion that pilots should have easily handled a malfunction on the 737 Max, and pushed for broader changes in the way airplanes are certified.
4. They survived Hurricane Dorian. Their community will not.
Residents of Sand Banks, a Haitian immigrant community in the Bahamas, rode out the storm together in a nearby church. But with their village almost entirely destroyed, they are now stuck in uncertainty. This three-dimensional model shows what remains.
In other climate-related news, Rupert Murdoch’s daughter-in-law Kathryn Murdoch is stepping out of her family’s shadow to reveal more than a decade of behind-the-scenes climate activism. She hopes to remove partisan obstacles on the issue that the Murdoch media empire helped build.
5. The U.S. population gained immigrants last year at the slowest pace in a decade, a new analysis of census data shows. President Trump’s approach to immigration is seen as the likely cause.
The net increase of immigrants in the American population dropped to about 200,000 people in 2018, a decline of more than 70 percent from the year before. The largest declines were among people from Latin America and Asia. Above, Jackson Heights in Queens.
Separately, the Trump administration will slash the American refugee program by almost half, setting a cap at 18,000 refugees during the next 12 months, down from the current limit of 30,000.
6. The number of vaping-related illnesses continues to surge, now at 805 patients in 46 states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
The latest tally includes 275 more reports, and there are now 12 deaths linked to vaping lung injuries. Many people who became sick have said they were vaping THC, the ingredient in marijuana that induces a high, but some patients reported vaping only nicotine.
A C.D.C. official told a House committee on Wednesday that she was “extremely frustrated” at the pace of the investigation into the cause of the spate of illnesses. “I actually think there may be a very complex set of root causes here that are going to be difficult for us to address as a nation. And we need to take it very seriously.”
7. In today’s daily dose of animal news: The creator of the labradoodle said the breed was his life’s regret.
“I opened a Pandora box and released a Frankenstein monster,” said Wally Conron, who developed the mopheaded mix of Labrador and poodle. He originally bred it for “a blind lady whose husband was allergic to dog hair,” adding, “why people are breeding them today, I haven’t got a clue.”
Separately, the ancestors of dolphins and whales survived in the seas by shedding genes involved in sleep, DNA repair and other critical activities, a new study found.
8. “I wanted a funny movie to remind them that they liked me.”
Eddie Murphy is bringing Eddie Murphy back. In a wide-ranging interview with our comedy critic, the star explains why he’s returning to stand-up (and the big screen), why he regrets leaving, and why it’s hard to watch himself in his earlier stand-up specials.
And is there an Oscar for Best Supporting ZIP code? New York City could certainly nominate a few. From “Funny Girl” to “Do the Right Thing,” we looked at 40 years of sets in the city.
9. Now rising to the top of the beer world: foam.
That billowy head of bubbles, long dismissed as empty fluff, is finally getting some attention from American brewers as modern craft beers emphasize pungent scents and taste. In the right beer, bubbles can trigger a fleeting fragrance. Above, Bierstadt Lagerhaus in Denver.
“If you don’t do the last 5 percent, which is clean glassware and a proper pour, you’re undoing a lot of a brewery’s hard work,” one bar owner said.
And in this week’s Wine School, our wine critic, Eric Asimov, recommends wines from ancient vineyards. Many have disappeared, but some vineyards have been saved by the efforts of imaginative younger winemakers who understood the value of these old vines.
10. And finally, some people eat peanuts; others purl.
As baseball games have steadily gotten longer, a subset of fans has embraced the plodding pace by knitting, stitching together sweaters, mittens and scarves in the stands. Call it a stitch ’n pitch.
Events for knitters have been popping up at stadiums across the country, like at Miller Park where the Milwaukee Brewers play, above. Some prefer to sit in the upper deck to avoid being hit by a foul ball.
“I just like going because the baseball is sort of the background noise,” one knitter said. “And I like to get a hot dog and beer, and it’s just fun.”
Have a darn good night.
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