Thursday, October 31, 2019

Your Thursday Evening Briefing

Impeachment, Chicago, Halloween

Your Thursday Evening Briefing

Good evening. Here's the latest.

Erin Schaff/The New York Times

1. The bitterly divided House voted on nearly exact partisan lines regarding the impeachment inquiry into President Trump. The Democrats' victory laying out the impeachment rules set up a critical public phase of the process.

The vote — just the third of its kind in U.S. history — officially put the investigation on the record, a signal that the Democrats leading the proceedings are confident that they have enough evidence to make their case to the public.

Just two Democrats voted against the measure (and another didn't vote). Republicans unanimously opposed it (though three didn't vote).

Meanwhile, a White House aide testified that he, too, saw signs of a quid pro quo on Ukraine, corroborating an episode at the center of the impeachment inquiry. Here's the latest.


Kyle Grillot for The New York Times

2. New fires broke out in Southern California just as winds eased in the north.

A fast-moving fire in San Bernardino, known as the Hillside fire, above, quickly engulfed 200 acres, forcing residents to flee as strong winds drove the flames. Multiple homes were consumed. New fires also flared up in Riverside and Ventura Counties on Wednesday and Thursday. Here's the latest.


Firefighters in Northern California believe they have "turned the corner" in battling the Kincade fire, which was 60 percent contained this morning. Still, dozens of evacuees have taken refuge in a Walmart parking lot.

For some, it's not even the first time. "Walmart feels like home now," one woman said.

Scott Heins/Getty Images

3. Chicago public-school teachers will return to classrooms on Friday.

An agreement with the city ended a strike that left more than 300,000 students out of school for 11 days, upending the lives of families and challenging the new mayor, Lori Lightfoot. Above, the Chicago Teachers Union president, Jesse Sharkey.

The city said it had agreed to $35 million to reduce class sizes and add hundreds of staff members by 2023. The offer included a 16 percent salary increase over five years.

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

4. The Washington Nationals are relishing their first World Series title.

Anthony Rendon, above, homered to spark the 6-2 comeback victory over the Houston Astros with the Nationals eight outs from elimination. Our baseball writer Tyler Kepner takes a look at the low-key superstar.

For a team that overcame a terrible start to the year and a trying postseason, it was fitting the Nationals needed all seven games to get there, Tyler writes.

Catching up? Houston led Game 7 in the seventh inning. But its hopes for a title disappeared in a blink after its starting pitcher was pulled.

5. Dubious about Medicare for all?

We took a close look at one of the most controversial proposals from Democratic presidential candidates, in which a government-run plan would provide most Americans' health insurance. Above, the existing expected breakdown of next year's health care costs.

There's debate about whether Medicare for all would raise or lower overall spending, but no debate at all that it would shift nearly all the costs paid by states, households and employers into the federal budget.

That's the big takeaway. The more moderate "public option" would preserve the current health care system's basic structure, while allowing most Americans to buy insurance from the government.

Ezra Acayan/Getty Images

6. Measles is far more dangerous than most people realize.

New research shows the virus can have devastating effects on the immune system that persist much longer than the illness itself. Above, a measles patient and her mother in the Philippines in May.

In a study with Dutch children who were not vaccinated for religious reasons, researchers found that measles depleted a "shocking" amount of antibodies against an array of other viruses and bacteria.

The findings make the need for measles vaccination even more urgent, the researchers said.

John Taggart for The Washington Post via Getty Images

7. Deadspin, a sportscentric website, never colored within the lines.

Its energetic and irreverent journalists often went beyond game stories and sports commentary.

So when an editor acting for its new owners — Great Hill Partners, a Boston-based private equity firm — told them to just stick to sports, they quit en masse.

Separately, Americans are relatively more trusting of local media over national news organizations. That could be a problem: There has been a rise in covertly ideological online sites that pass themselves off as local news outlets.

Jody Rogac for The New York Times

8. "As adult women, we're always walking with our younger selves."

In the new film adaptation of "Little Women," the filmmaker Greta Gerwig didn't so much adapt the Louisa May Alcott story as excavate it to make a larger point about the stories we tell about women and girls.

She talked to our critic-at-large Amanda Hess about cracking open the novel's world.

We also have two movie reviews from A.O. Scott: "Harriet," about Harriet Tubman, "a rousing and powerful drama," and "Motherless Brooklyn," a "very smart movie" that "doesn't all quite work."

Anthony Freda

9. Cancel culture is not pretty in high school. Just ask a teenager.

Ignored, blocked, labeled — canceling someone means no longer tolerating or engaging with the person. We talked to teenagers who've been on both sides of the label.

"It's a way to take away someone's power and call out the individual for being problematic in a situation," one 17-year-old said. But a young woman who was canceled reported lasting self-doubts.

Separately, millennials and Generation Z have finally snapped over climate change and financial inequality. Here's how "Ok boomer" became their answer to older people who just don't get it.

Don Hogan Charles/The New York Times

10. And finally, Happy Halloween!

Across the country, people of all ages are embracing their inner witches, goblins, Batmans, and Lady Gagas.

In New York City, where porch lights and front walks are a little more rare, trick-or-treating is its own thing. Above, 1966. One of our Metro editors recalled her own childhood Halloweens ("Raisins? Raisins?").

What are the best and worst Halloween candies according to the presidential candidates? Candy corn split the field.

And if Lucy, Linus and Charlie Brown are more your speed, our Op-Eds today include an ode to "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown." Be prepared for deep thoughts.

And have a spirited evening.

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