Your Friday Evening News Briefing: Tropical Storm Florence, Paul Manafort, Brett Kavanaugh


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Good evening. Here’s the latest.

1. News from Tropical Storm Florence: The first deaths connected to the storm were reported, including a mother and her infant child. As much as two feet of rain has already fallen in some places, combining with a wind-driven storm surge to cause catastrophic flooding. The storm was pounding the Carolinas with as much as three inches of rain an hour.

We’ve dropped our paywall on our storm coverage and will continue to have live updates.


As part of the agreement, he pleaded guilty to reduced charges stemming from consulting work he did for pro-Russia political forces in Ukraine. The news is a blow to Mr. Trump, who has praised Mr. Manafort for fighting the charges against him.

Separately, Senator Dianne Feinstein received a letter claiming that Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Mr. Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, tried to assault a woman when they were in high school. She turned the letter over to the authorities, she said. Judge Kavanaugh has denied the allegations.

3. Massachusetts was reeling after a night of sudden explosions and fires that killed one person, injured more than 20 others and left behind charred homes and piles of rubble in three Boston suburbs.

Officials turned their attention to the gas lines of Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, which had been working on the pipelines. The authorities were looking at the possibility that gas may have been placed under a level of pressure that was too high for the pipelines it was moving through, creating cascading crises in more than 8,500 homes and businesses across the three towns.

The fallout was severe: More than 80 buildings were burned and thousands of people were being urged to stay out of their homes, which were deemed unsafe. Roughly 17,000 people did not have electricity Friday afternoon, and many may have to sleep in shelters again this evening.


5. Gender expectations for a new generation.

In a new nationwide poll, girls were slightly more likely than boys to say being a leader was a very important life goal. And many girls are seizing opportunities closed to previous generations — in science, math, sports and leadership.

Boys’ lives are still constricted by traditional gender norms: being strong, athletic and stoic.

And in this week’s Gender Letter, our writer examined the consequences women face for expressing their anger — especially in the workplace. (Want to keep up with all our gender coverage? Sign up for the newsletter here.)


6. “Ineligible.”

Even minor misdemeanor convictions are keeping some migrant parents from being reunited with their children, who must remain in federal shelters.

While the government has complied with a federal judge’s order to return most of the nearly 3,000 children taken from their parents as part of a clampdown on illegal border crossings earlier this year, federal authorities have deemed some parents “ineligible” for reunification because they have a criminal history or have raised other “red flags.”


7. The U.S. is cutting off its last source of aid to Palestinian civilians.

An American aid agency is blocking Palestinian access to $10 million intended for peace programs with Israelis. In the past, these designated funds went mostly to programs that organized people-to-people exchanges between Palestinians and Israelis, often for youth.

On Thursday, Jared Kushner defended the U.S.’s punitive actions against Palestinians, saying President Trump had actually improved the chances for peace by stripping away the “false realities” that surround Middle East peacemaking.


8. Some bittersweet news for children and fans of the 1960s: Volkswagen said it would stop making its iconic Beetle in July 2019.

The German carmaker’s United States unit was the only division still turning out Beetles, and sales have declined sharply in recent years.

The original Beetle was designed for Hitler in the 1930s. But despite its history, the car became a symbol of ’60s counterculture and a form of protest against materialism and the gas guzzlers churned out by the big American carmakers.


9. This week in the Magazine, we profile Maya Rudolph, the star of “Forever.”

The actress and comedian can move up and down the scales of race, age and gender with hilarious ease — a talent that grew from finding her place in a world where no one looked like her.

As our writer put it: “Traditionally, one of the slipperiest things about talking to God is trying to tell someone else about it after the fact. It’s the same with Maya Rudolph.”


10. Finally, this is your periodic reminder that it’s not all bad news out there.

A 100th birthday party that became a surprise wedding; cats that are getting their therapeutic due, above; and a play accessible to both deaf and hearing audiences: We have these stories and more in The Week in Good News.

Have a wonderful weekend.


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Source : Nytimes