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Climate Protests, Whistle-Blower, Area 51: Your Friday Evening Briefing

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Good evening. Here’s the latest.

2. President Trump’s desire for Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his family is said to be part of the secret whistle-blower complaint.

Mr. Trump repeatedly pushed Ukraine’s leader to talk with his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who had been urging the government in Kiev to investigate the Biden family, according to people familiar with their conversation.

The new revelations have raised questions about whether Mr. Trump’s push for an inquiry into the Bidens was behind a weekslong White House hold on military aid for Ukraine. Above, Mr. Trump and the first lady, Melania Trump, on Friday.


3. The F.B.I. has used secret subpoenas to obtain personal data from scores of banks, cellphone carriers and universities.

The previously undisclosed practice, which the bureau says is vital to counterterrorism efforts, does not require a judge’s approval, and can scoop up user names, locations, IP addresses and purchase records.

Separately, Facebook suspended tens of thousands of apps as part of an investigation into how developers use its members’ data. The scale of suspensions from the inquiry, which began in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, was far larger than the social network had originally revealed.


5. Walmart will stop selling e-cigarettes at its U.S. locations, amid growing medical concerns around vaping.

The nation’s largest retailer had already stopped selling fruit- and dessert-flavored e-cigarettes, which are popular with younger users. On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the number of vaping-related lung illnesses had risen to 530 probable cases and eight deaths.

6. A rare moment of bipartisan agreement: The Trump administration and Democrats in Congress are working together to stem the tide of veteran suicides. More than 6,000 veterans took their own lives each year between 2008 and 2017.

A new program identifies veterans who have the kinds of struggles that often lead to suicide and connects them with services like therapy, health care or even a pet sitter to take care of their animals as the veterans seek treatment. Above, a memorial in Zelienople, Pa.


7. When India’s Chandrayaan-2 moon lander tumbled to the lunar surface earlier this month, it was the latest in a 60-year series of crashes, belly flops and dicey approaches.

We looked at the history of hard landings — some intentional, others unplanned — since a Soviet probe first crashed into the moon on Sept. 13, 1959. It turns out the solar system is littered with the remains of crushed spacecraft.

Back on terra firma, hundreds of people seeking aliens — or just a good time — have descended on a desolate section of Nevada that’s home to Area 51, above, a secret military site long rumored to house extraterrestrial life. They come in peace … for now.


9. Silicon Valley is finally admitting it has a problem.

Bummed out by the state of the world (and their role in creating it), tech workers are going to therapy the way they know best: with metrics, data and online tools that work like dating apps to match therapists with clients.

Meanwhile, on an actual dating app, Tinder has created a choose-your-own-adventure show to help guide swipers from awkward opening lines to more substantive conversation.


“I love the adrenaline rush and riding and the scene that we have. I love the thrill of competing in rodeo,” one rider said. “We are all just chasing the dream. Everyone is just trying to make it.”

Happy trails.


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