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Impeachment, Wuhan, Derek Jeter: Your Tuesday Evening Briefing

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Good evening. Here’s the latest.

1. Day 1 of President Trump’s impeachment trial.

Bitter partisan clashes over how to run the trial began in the Senate this afternoon and are likely to go until mid-evening or later. Opening statements begin Wednesday. Here’s the latest.

Exactly how many people are watching C-Span’s coverage is not yet clear. But there has been movement: Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, agreed to allow the presentations of the House managers and the defense to unfold over three days rather than two. He also allowed the House’s evidence from its inquiry to be admitted into the Senate record.

2. And in Davos, Switzerland, Mr. Trump proclaimed “the American dream is back.”

Though Mr. Trump spoke mostly about the economy, the annual meeting of global business leaders opened with a focus on global warming — and the dynamic between Mr. Trump and Greta Thunberg, the 17-year-old climate activist.

While Mr. Trump said it was “not a time for pessimism,” Ms. Thunberg gave a characteristically cutting speech to those who had not taken action on climate change.

“Our house is still on fire,” she said, referring to her address at the same conference a year earlier. “Your inaction is fueling the flames by the hour.”

3. The first U.S. case of the Wuhan coronavirus was confirmed in Washington State, meaning the virus has now spread to at least four countries beyond China. We mapped it.

The World Health Organization has called a meeting on Wednesday to discuss whether to declare the outbreak an international health emergency, since it’s now moving from human to human. In one case, a patient appeared to have infected 14 medical workers. Above, travelers in Beijing.

At least six people have died and hundreds more are infected, and there are scientific reasons to fear a pandemic. Airports around the world are continuing to check passengers from Wuhan, where the virus began in a seafood and poultry market. North Korea temporarily closed borders to tours from China. Here’s what else we know.

4. Quite a day for Bernie Sanders.

Hillary Clinton criticized her former primary rival in a documentary, saying “nobody likes him” and declined to commit to supporting him if he is the nominee. She later stood by her comments in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

In a statement, Mr. Sanders said he was focusing on the impeachment trial.

The Vermont senator, who has been trying to quell a feud with Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, also apologized to Joe Biden after a Sanders campaign surrogate wrote an opinion article accusing the former vice president of having “a big corruption problem.”


5. An architect of the “enhanced interrogation” program testified at a military court Guantánamo Bay, facing five men on whom the now-outlawed torture tactics were used.

James E. Mitchell, a former contract psychologist for the C.I.A. who personally waterboarded the man accused of masterminding the Sept. 11 attacks, was defiant at the pretrial hearing, saying that he’d been the focus of “untrue and malicious” reports.

The defendants are arguing that the confessions they gave the F.B.I., after sometimes years of detention at black sites and torture, should be thrown out. Above, Dr. Mitchell in 2017.


7. Women have been doing better in the labor market, but the numbers conceal a problem: Their jobs still don’t pay well, and still don’t appeal to men.

The latest jobs report shows that male-dominated occupations (like those in manufacturing) tend be shrinking while those that are growing (like health care and education) are female-dominated. That, our Upshot reporter writes, puts men at a disadvantage and also keeps female-dominated jobs devalued and underpaid.

And what if women ruled the world? The artist Judy Chicago posed the question on one of her 21 embroidered banners for Christian Dior’s spring 2020 haute couture show in Paris. Our chief fashion critic pondered that, and the other themes of the shows.


Six players on this year’s ballot were part of a remarkable 2001 playoff game between the Yankees and Oakland Athletics when Jeter saved a crucial run in a play baseball fans know simply as The Flip. We looked at his most memorable moment in an extraordinary career.

Larry Walker was also elected.

Also happening tonight: Naomi Osaka, the reigning Australian Open champion, is a heavy favorite against Zheng Saisai in a second-round match. If she wins, Osaka could potentially face Coco Gauff in the next round. The match is set for 7 p.m. Eastern.


9. Researchers have pinpointed Earth’s oldest extraterrestrial scar in Western Australia. The cause was a large asteroid strike more than 2.2 billion years ago.

That time frame coincides with the end of one of the planet’s ice ages, and there’s a real possibility that the asteroid actually triggered the change. The impact could have liberated an enormous amount of water vapor — which is a greenhouse gas.

In other news from the cosmos, today’s Great Read is about an Armenian research station built decades ago to study cosmic rays. More than 100 scientists worked there in its heyday. Now it’s down to a cook and two technicians, who watch for the kind of quantum news that could change the universe.

10. And finally, what do your eardrums want for dinner?

Our restaurant critic, Pete Wells, hears a lot from readers about noise levels in restaurants. Often they implore him to do something about it — apparently beyond the impression of acoustics he gives in every review.

Now, he’s taking a stance. He doesn’t have a problem with loud restaurants. In fact, generally speaking, he loves them.

“A noisy restaurant is the end product of a business that helps us have a good time, just as purring is the end product of scratching a cat’s chin the right way,” he writes.

So far, the reader response is … spirited.

Have a lively night.


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