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Climate Deal, Rittenhouse Trial, Pies: Your Weekend Briefing

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Here are the week’s top stories, and a look ahead.

1. Nearly 200 countries reached an agreement to do more to fight climate change.

With the bang of a gavel at the COP26 summit in Glasgow, diplomats struck an agreement that called on governments to return next year with stronger plans to curb emissions. The agreement states clearly that all nations will need to slash their carbon dioxide emissions nearly in half this decade to hold warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

It also urges wealthy nations to “at least double” funding by 2025 to protect the most vulnerable nations from the hazards of a hotter planet. And it explicitly mentions the need to curb fossil fuels, the first time a global climate agreement has done so.

But it still leaves many developing countries far short of the funds they need to build cleaner energy and cope with extreme weather. And it leaves unresolved the crucial question of exactly how the burden of those cuts will be shared and what action is expected of individual nations. Here are the key takeaways from the deal.

In Opinion, the senior climate adviser at NASA, Gavin Schmidt, shows what climate change looks like from space.

2. An appeals court barred President Biden’s vaccine mandate for large employers.

The three-judge panel declared that the rule, which requires that big companies force their workers to get vaccinated or submit to weekly testing, “grossly exceeds” the authority of the occupational safety agency that issued it.

But it is unlikely to be the final word. Some challenges to the mandate are in other circuits, and the cases will be consolidated before one of those jurisdictions. The Supreme Court is expected to eventually decide the matter.

In other virus news, school nurses say they are juggling Covid-19 cases and quarantines — and more furious parents than ever.

In Portugal, lawmakers are bolstering protections for remote workers, including barring employers from contacting them during their off hours.


3. The U.S. military hid an airstrike that killed dozens of civilians in Syria.

In the last days of the battle against the Islamic State in Syria in 2019, an American jet dropped a 500-pound bomb on a crowd of women and children huddled by a river bank. Then, a jet tracking them dropped two 2,000-pound bombs, killing most of the survivors.

The Baghuz strike was one of the largest civilian casualty incidents of the war against the Islamic State, but it has never been publicly acknowledged by the U.S. military. The details, reported here for the first time, show that a legal officer flagged the strike as a possible war crime. But at nearly every step, the military made moves that concealed the catastrophic strike.


4. Jury deliberations are expected to start this week in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse.

Jurors will be tasked with a complex set of decisions. Here’s a guide to the six criminal counts against Rittenhouse that the jury will be considering. It may also be asked to weigh lesser charges. Closing arguments are expected on Monday morning.

In the Ahmaud Arbery case, a lawyer for one of the men accused of murdering Arbery drew scrutiny after he said that the presence of the Rev. Al Sharpton in the courtroom had been “intimidating,” and added, “We don’t want any more Black pastors coming in here.”

Together, the two trials raise a question: Can self-defense laws stand up in a country awash in guns?


5. Migrants say Belarusians took them to the E.U. border and supplied them with wire cutters to get in.

The sudden surge of Middle Eastern migrants was hardly an accident. Belarus loosened its visa rules and increased flights by the state-owned airline, funneled migrants to its frontiers and gave them directions on how to cross over into the E.U. — even handing out tools to cut through border fences.

Cities like Sulaimaniya, in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, have turned into bustling ports of departure, but thousands are stranded and freezing on the other end of the journey.

In other international news, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the son of the former dictator of the Philippines, hopes to succeed Rodrigo Duterte as the country’s president. On Saturday, he announced that Duterte’s daughter Sara would be his running mate.

6. Sam Asghari is more than Mr. Britney Spears.

A nascent actor and erstwhile personal trainer, the 27-year-old met his fiancée in 2016 when he appeared with her in a music video. They announced their engagement on Instagram in September — one of few details about Spears’s private life that is public knowledge.

He’s since spoken out about the conservatorship that has veiled her recent history. But none of his posts satisfied onlookers’ most pressing curiosities: Who is Mr. Asghari? What is his life like?

In other celebrity news, Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, is on the American A-list. Back in Britain, she’s still polarizing.


7. The U.S. men’s national soccer team beat Mexico, then rubbed it in.

After winning 2-0 in an important World Cup qualifier, Michael Jackson’s 1988 song “Man in the Mirror” played over the stadium speakers — a response to Mexico’s goalkeeper, who had suggested that when the U.S. looked in the mirror, it hoped to see a team like Mexico.

The rivalry got a bit ugly, with two on-field kerfuffles, a red card and borderline inscrutable taunting wrapped inside layers of allusion. Now the teams are tied at the top of the standings.

For the U.S., the key may be 18-year-old Ricardo Pepi. He collected three goals and two assists in his first four appearances, a bright spot in the team’s somewhat shaky start.


9. Serve the absolute best pumpkin, apple and pecan pies this Thanksgiving.

The Times’s Melissa Clark has spent every Thanksgiving of her baking lifetime striving to perfect recipes for these three quintessential pies. Over the past six months, she’s gotten even more methodical about it. Here are the results.

Or, start with the easiest part of the meal: choosing the wines.

And T Magazine sees the world through a grain of ricescorched, Senegalese, Bedouin and more.


10. And finally, take a break with some great reads.

The secret to a better green salad. How to buy nothing new for the holidays. A new perspective on why the Beatles broke up. Our editors picked 11 stories for you to enjoy in The Weekender.

Our staff also recommends 11 new books, 15 new songs and three shows — including the new series “The Shrink Next Door” starring Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd.

Did you follow the news this week? Test your knowledge. And here’s the front page of our Sunday paper, the Sunday Review from Opinion, and today’s Mini Crossword and Spelling Bee. If you’re in the mood to play more, find all our games here.

Have a cheerful week.


David Poller compiled photos for this briefing.

Your Weekend Briefing is published Sundays at 6:30 a.m. Eastern.

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