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Friday, August 30, 2019

Your Friday Evening Briefing

Hurricane Dorian, Vaping, Gem-O-Rama

Your Friday Evening Briefing

Good evening. Here's the latest.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

1. Florida is bracing for Hurricane Dorian.

Forecasters expect the storm, now a Category 3, to arrive somewhere along the east coast of Florida early on Tuesday morning. But exactly where is still unknown, with some prediction models suggesting a direct blow to the central part of the state and others projecting the storm to veer north or south.

"It all depends on this dance of the pressure systems around the storm," one meteorologist said. If the forecast for its strength holds, Dorian would be the first hurricane of Category 4 or higher to hit the state's Atlantic coast since Hurricane Andrew, a Category 5 storm, in 1992.

We're on the ground around the state covering the storm. Here's what our photographers saw.


Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times

2. Beijing is taking a new hard-line approach in Hong Kong: No concessions, more arrests.

The police detained at least three prominent pro-democracy activists ahead of a sensitive political anniversary this weekend — a tactical escalation that China's leaders hope will curb the escalating unrest and street violence. But the approach could actually prolong protests for many more months, our Shanghai bureau chief writes in an analysis.

Separately, China expelled a Wall Street Journal reporter who investigated a cousin of China's top leader, Xi Jinping. Beijing has signaled that it will not tolerate foreign news outlets covering the wealth of China's top leaders.


Emily Hamer/Wisconsin Watch, via Associated Press

3. The C.D.C. issued an unusually broad warning on vaping — for both cannabis and nicotine — amid an apparent outbreak of vaping-related lung sicknesses in more than two dozen states this summer.

There have been more than 200 cases of respiratory illnesses potentially related to vaping across 25 states. The agency advised young people not to buy cannabis e-cigarette products off the street, and told adults to refrain from using legal e-cigarettes if they were concerned about health risks.

4. The long-awaited trial for the men accused of plotting the Sept. 11 attacks is now set for early 2021 in Guantánamo Bay.

A military judge set Jan. 11, 2021, as the start of the death-penalty trial of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, above, and four other men accused of plotting the attacks. All five were captured in Pakistan in 2002 and 2003.

Jury selection alone could take months, meaning the trial itself could continue through the 20th anniversary of the attacks.

Frederic J. Brown/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

5. President Trump's advisers are worried that America could talk itself into a recession.

And they have a point: A downturn isn't inevitable, but if worried consumers stop spending it could create a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The president's whiplash-inducing China trade gambits over the past week left U.S. companies scrambling to adjust. Here's how four companies, including Columbia Sportswear, are struggling to navigate uncertainty.

Christopher Lee for The New York Times

6. Mayor Pete Buttigieg was rising in the Democratic primary polls. Then a white sergeant in his city fatally shot a 54-year-old black resident.

Mr. Buttigieg spent years focusing on his city's economic record, but his record on policing is now overshadowing his presidential campaign. Read more in the latest installment of our Long Run series on the 2020 race.

There have been a lot of new polls out this week. Here's the current state of the race and an explanation of how polling works.

Also from our Politics desk: The Democratic National Committee plans to block a vote-by-phone plan for the Iowa caucuses because of fears about hackers.

Philip Montgomery for The New York Times

7. Tyshawn Jones's jaw-dropping athleticism has made him a skateboarding icon. But is skateboarding a big enough stage?

It has been a long time since skateboarding has seen a figure like Mr. Jones, who irrevocably redefines what's physically possible on a board — blink, and you'll miss him doing an ollie over a New York City subway entrance.

But in a sport and a society increasingly dominated by the influencer economy, he may never be recognized as a world-class athlete.

8. Roger Federer and Serena Williams cruised to wins on a hot day at the U.S. Open. Novak Djokovic's third-round match is still to come. We'll continue to have live updates here.

On Saturday, Coco Gauff, a 15-year-old American tennis prodigy, and Naomi Osaka, the world's No. 1 and defending champ, will meet in the third round. They've never played each other, but both are crowd favorites.

For you tennis die-hards, get a grip on the modern game with our eye-opening interactive explainer, above. Players are moving their grips farther and farther under the racket handle to generate the aggressive topspin and pace that signifies the modern game.

Ike Edeani for The New York Times

9. As Labor Day approaches, we're saluting the workers behind the curtain.

The frame maker, the film projectionist, above, the bingo host, the theater guide, the dancer: Consider all those people who work days, nights and weekends to enrich your cultural experiences. We talked to just a few of them.

If you're in New York City, here are some summer shows to see before they close.

Brian Guido for The New York Times

10. And finally, California's new gold rush.

Searles Lake in Trona, Calif., is mined year-round for minerals to make everything from fertilizer to cleaning products. But for a frantic 36 hours every year, gem hunters reach into the mud and brine of the dry lake bed to extract spellbinding crystals.

"The total chaos is what makes it so fun," one jeweler said. Gem-O-Rama, as it's known, "epitomizes the spirit of the rockhound, somebody who is beyond obsessed." (Before you grab your pickax, note that Gem-O-Rama 2019 was canceled because of severe earthquake damage.)

Have a sparkly weekend. We're off for the holiday and will be back on Tuesday.

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

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