Friday, May 31, 2019

Your Friday Evening Briefing

Trade, Missouri, Spelling Bee
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Friday, May 31, 2019

Your Friday Evening Briefing
Good evening. Here's the latest.
Guillermo Arias/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
1. President Trump's threat to punish Mexico with tariffs for immigration issues, and not for trade, sent markets plunging.
Republican lawmakers objected to the move, saying tariffs were the wrong tool to try to address illegal immigration. Mexico's president said that he was dispatching a delegation to Washington. But Mr. Trump remained steadfast.
"Mexico makes a FORTUNE from the U.S., have for decades, they can easily fix this problem," the president said on Twitter on Friday. Above, cargo trucks along the border in Tijuana, Mex.
The White House's various conflicts add up to a broad assault on a postwar effort to build economic ties around the world. Here's a look at where the current trade relationships stand.
Tom Brenner/The New York Times
2. Kim Jong-un was looking for a scapegoat to blame for a disastrous summit meeting with President Trump. He found one in one of his most visible diplomats.
Kim Yong-chol, a former North Korean spymaster and vice chairman of its ruling Workers' Party, pictured above left in June, has become the latest example of how a senior official's political fortune is made or broken at the whims of the North Korean leader.
South Korean officials and analysts cautioned that it was too early to say what was happening inside Kim Jong-un's regime. South Korean news media offered theories, including that the North's special nuclear envoy to the U.S. had been executed.
Whitney Curtis for The New York Times
3. Missouri's last abortion clinic, whose license was set to expire at midnight, can keep providing the procedure for now, a judge ruled.
Judge Michael Stelzer said the clinic, Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region, above, had demonstrated that it would suffer "immediate and irreparable injury" if its license were allowed to lapse. He set another hearing for Tuesday. The license is in jeopardy over a dispute with the state health department.
More than 11 million women in the U.S. live more than an hour's drive from an abortion clinic. We analyzed what abortion access looks like in America.
Jimmy Jeong/The Canadian Press, via Associated Press
4. The N.F.L. has been consumed by the issue of concussions. Why hasn't the N.H.L.?
That's what Joanne Boogaard, mother of Derek Boogaard, wants to know. Mr. Boogaard, above, was 28 and a prized enforcer when he died of an accidental overdose. His death raised awareness of degenerative brain disease from head trauma in the sport.
But the N.H.L., with a lower profile and fewer deaths than the N.F.L., has fought hard against mounting evidence of a connection between head injury and the degenerative brain disease C.T.E., our sports columnist writes.
Joshua Roberts/Reuters
5. There have been marathon spelling bees before, but never like this.
A group of young people broke the Scripps National Spelling Bee, with eight contestants crowned co-champions after the competition said it was running out of challenging words.
"We're throwing the dictionary at you," the event's pronouncer said after the 17th round. "And so far, you are showing this dictionary who is boss."
Final words included auslaut, erysipelas and bougainvillea. Think you know the meanings of the winning words? Take our quiz and find out.
Robert Neubecker
6. And now a financial checklist for newly minted high school graduates (or really, anyone).
If you want to set your child up properly for college, work, military service and the years beyond, there are several things you ought to do, help them do or teach them before too long, our money columnist Ron Leiber writes.
He came up with a list of advice on budgets, retirement accounts, credit, information security and insurance.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
7. Female animals were once deemed too hormonal and messy for science. Some scientists warn it's not enough to just use more female rats in the lab.
In a new paper published this week, researchers argue that making male subjects the norm could have public health ramifications for both sexes. Women make up about half of the population but female animals make up a far smaller percentage of biomedical research subjects.
Mental health disorders are of particular concern. By only looking at male animals in initial research, "we may be missing big pieces of the puzzle," one clinical psychologist said.
Vanessa Carr for The New York Times
8. We're coming to the small screen this weekend.
Our new TV show, "The Weekly," debuts Sunday night on FX and Monday on Hulu. The half-hour show tells one big story every week, featuring different reporters, like Erica Green, above left, and Katie Benner, as they investigate the most important issues on their beats.
The first episode depicts something that often does not make it into conversations about investigative journalism: the behind-the-scenes turmoil of reporters who worry that their coverage will do more damage to the victims of abuse than to its perpetrators.
Dennis Chalkin for The New York Times
9. It's time to pile into the car and hit the road.
In our annual family travel issue, a father takes his two sons on a learning adventure in Asia; a mother and son happily skip the chateau at Versailles in favor of the small pleasures; three generations tempt fate on a four-day cycling trip in Quebec; and more. We also looked through The Times's archive of family vacation photos, like the one above from 1972.
Perhaps a theme park is more your thing. Disneyland's "Star Wars" expansion is the biggest in the park's history, and a bet that Wookiees and Stormtroopers will draw visitors as well as princesses. We got a sneak peak.
Brian Davies/The Register-Guard, via Associated Press
10. And finally, ahhh.
Scientists may finally have an answer to why gulping down a cold drink feels so rewarding. But that pleasing sensation isn't actually linked to your real need for a drink. In a study of mice, researchers found no links between the neural systems related to reward and monitoring water intake.
When the mice gulped the water, there was a flood of dopamine in their brains. But when water was injected into their stomachs directly, nothing happened. Still, "satiation from gulping is a really physical feeling," one scientist said. "But we think that probably the pleasure is coming from the realization that you are drinking something."
Have a refreshing weekend.
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