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Glasgow, Migrant Crisis, Britney Spears: Your Friday Evening Briefing

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Good evening. Here’s the latest at the end of Friday.

1. A grand jury indicted Stephen Bannon on a charge of contempt of Congress after he refused to comply with subpoenas from the Jan. 6 panel.

The House voted last month to hold Bannon, a former top aide to Donald J. Trump, in criminal contempt after he refused to testify or provide documents sought by a House select committee investigating the attack on the Capitol, a position taken by a number of former Trump aides. The committee then referred the matter to the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington.

Bannon was part of a planning meeting at a Washington hotel in the hours leading up to the riot, which tried to stop the certification of President Biden’s victory.

The former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows defied a similar subpoena from the committee today. Each count of contempt of Congress carries a minimum of 30 days and a maximum of one year in jail, as well as a fine of $100 to $1,000.

Meanwhile, we spoke to experts who warned of a dark shift in U.S. politics as threats of violence have become commonplace among a significant segment of Republicans.

2. After more than 13 years, a Los Angeles judge set Britney Spears free.

At a hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court, Judge Brenda Penny said the conservatorship that has long overseen the singer’s life and finances should be terminated effective today. The judge said Spears’s current estate conservator would continue working to settle ongoing financial concerns related to the case.

James Spears, the pop star’s father, first petitioned the court for authority over his adult daughter’s life and finances in 2008, citing her mental health struggles and possible substance abuse. But Spears, in her first extended comments on the conservatorship in court, said its authority went too far, claiming that those in charge forced her to take medication, work against her will and use a birth control device. She called for them to be investigated and jailed, pointing to her father as “the one who approved all of it.”


3. Crucial climate negotiations in Scotland went into overtime after nations were unable to reach an agreement to limit global warming.

Three vital sticking points remain: stronger targets to slow down temperature rise, money for developing countries to cope with climate impacts, and — improbably — the mere mention of fossil fuels. Negotiators, who were supposed to conclude talks today, said they still had hours of closed-door discussions ahead of them.

A new draft agreement released this morning called for a doubling of money to help developing countries cope with climate impacts, and for nations to strengthen their emissions-cutting targets by next year.

Twenty-three nations are responsible for half of historical carbon dioxide emissions, with the United States by far the leading culprit. Here’s a visual breakdown.


5. More than 4.4 million U.S. workers quit their jobs in September, more than any other month on record.

Nearly a million workers quit in leisure and hospitality businesses alone, reflecting the competition for workers after pandemic-induced shutdowns. There were 10.4 million job openings in the U.S. at the end of September, down slightly from August but still extraordinarily high by historical standards.

Vietnam, one of the world’s largest suppliers of apparel and footwear, is also experiencing a labor shortage. Many employees are reluctant to return after a harsh summer lockdown. Retailers in the U.S. have warned that production delays in Vietnam could affect holiday deliveries.


6. Misinformation about Covid-19 is spreading across podcasts and radio, even as some hosts die of virus complications.

iHeart Media, Spotify, Apple and many smaller audio companies have done little to rein in what radio hosts and podcasters say about the coronavirus and vaccination efforts. Audio industry executives appear less likely than their counterparts in social media to take action.

In other virus news:


7. “You know his name, give him that respect, especially since you took his life.”

Larry Miller, a top Nike executive, recently disclosed that he had killed a man as a teenager. He kept the secret of his murderous past for more than half a century, revealing it in a recent Sports Illustrated interview and a forthcoming book.

8. Yemeni coffee dates back hundreds of years. Now a growing number of young entrepreneurs are turning it into a specialty offering worth more than $100 a pound.

In Brooklyn, a borough full of people who will gladly pay $24 for a bag of coffee with the crop year and elevation printed on the label, businesses see an opportunity to make a living while honoring their heritage and contributing to Yemen’s struggling economy. Plus, the coffee is extremely good. “Sometimes you can literally taste the dirt and the air,” said one cafe owner.

Our Food team is still cooking up options for your Thanksgiving table. For Arab Americans, it’s not Thanksgiving without hashweh, a rice-based stuffing. And for others, it’s not Thanksgiving without mashed potatoes. Here’s the secret to the best, fluffiest mash.

And don’t forget to leave room for pie.


9. It’s been a familiar and infuriating story during the pandemic: hours waiting for an airline agent, which compounds the agony of rescheduling canceled flights.

Virtually every airline’s social media account is overflowing with stories of hourslong waits to speak to someone, even on relatively normal days. The issues, like many these days, have to do with staffing, the airlines say. Our Travel reporter unpacked why their customer service can’t keep up — and what it’s like as an agent talking to customers after your boss canceled 1,800 flights.

Now that we’ve elevated your heart rate, consider the joy of fly fishing in Italy. The country is not often mentioned as a casting destination, but the wonder of Italian alpine fishing is now making itself known.


10. And finally, when the neighbors come marching down.

Jack Le Vine had no plans for Veterans Day, but his Brooklyn neighbors had other ideas. “A WW2 Vet lives on 18th St. He’s 97, lives alone, and may not see another Veterans Day,” one woman wrote on an online bulletin board. “Please consider leaving a little token of gratitude.”

Did they ever: The tributes from strangers, young and old, began to pour in with flowers, baked goods and cards with “Jack the Hero” written on it. “These people must love me on this block!” Le Vine said. And when you check out this story in full, be sure to read to the very end.

Have an honorable weekend.


Eve Edelheit compiled photos for this briefing.

Your Evening Briefing is posted at 6 p.m. Eastern.

Want to catch up on past briefings? You can browse them here.

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