New York Times

Brett Kavanaugh, Burt Reynolds, North Korea: Your Friday Briefing

Brett Kavanaugh, Burt Reynolds, North Korea: Your Friday Briefing

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Senators on the Judiciary Committee pressed Judge Brett Kavanaugh on Thursday about the constitutional right to abortion and his views on the special counsel.CreditCreditErin Schaff for The New York Times

Good morning.

Here’s what you need to know:

Brett Kavanaugh emails raise new questions

• The leak of previously secret documents on Thursday injected fresh intrigue into the confirmation hearings of President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, as Democrats pressed the judge to explain his comments on abortion rights and affirmative action. In one email from 2003, he appeared to challenge whether Roe v. Wade was the “settled law of the land.”

On Thursday, Judge Kavanaugh said that the comment reflected “an accurate description of all legal scholars.” Republicans, who continue to support his appointment to the Supreme Court, discarded the revelations as insignificant.

Here’s an overview of Judge Kavanaugh’s record on civil rights, and a recap of what happened on Thursday. Our politics team will have coverage when the hearings resume at 9:30 a.m. Eastern.

The confirmation process has been like a campaign audition for Democrats eyeing a 2020 presidential run.

“The Daily”: The Kavanaugh documents

• On the third day of the confirmation hearings, Democrats’ fury over the Republican decision to protect thousands of files came to a head.

Listen on a computer, an iOS device or an Android device.

A parade of denials over anonymous Op-Ed

• One by one, top officials lined up on Thursday to say they had nothing to do with the unsigned essay in The Times that was sharply critical of President Trump.

The White House started a furious mole hunt. The public played an obsessive guessing game.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, directed her Twitter followers to call the main switchboard of The Times to ask who wrote the piece. (We’re always happy to hear from readers, but our operators don’t know the author’s identity, nor was it shared with news reporters covering the White House.)

Here’s how writers from the left and the right have reacted to the Op-Ed. And we explain the 25th Amendment, a mechanism to declare a president unfit for office that the essay said had been considered.

Mr. Trump sought to regain control of the political conversation at a rally Thursday night in Montana, where he looked at home in front of a jubilant audience.

More scrutiny of priests in U.S.

• With Roman Catholics clamoring for more transparency, attorneys general are aggressively investigating possible sexual abuse by clergy members.

On Thursday alone, all eight Catholic dioceses in New York were issued subpoenas, and the New Jersey attorney general announced an inquiry.

“I was deeply troubled to read the allegations contained in last month’s Pennsylvania grand jury report,” the attorney general said in a statement. “We owe it to the people of New Jersey to find out whether the same thing happened here.”

Attorneys general in Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska and New Mexico have also said they will look into their local institutions.

Burt Reynolds dies at 82

• With one hairy-chested centerfold for Cosmopolitan in 1972, the heartthrob actor broke taboos and changed cultural understandings of the female gaze.

Mr. Reynolds, who delighted audiences for four decades, died on Thursday at 82. To many in Hollywood, he was an enigma, both strong-willed and tormented by self-doubt.

“I think I’m the only movie star who’s a movie star in spite of his pictures, not because of them; I’ve had some real turkeys,” he told The Times in 1978.

That steamy centerfold? He came to regret it. “It was really stupid. I don’t know what I was thinking,” he said in 2016.

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Burt Reynolds in 1985. He was a hit with audiences but not always with critics.CreditRed McLendon

Business

The U.S. will release August job numbers at 8:30 a.m. Eastern. Here’s what to watch for.

North Korean hackers caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to the global economy, the Justice Department said in a criminal complaint on Thursday.

Leslie Moonves, the chief executive of CBS who has been accused of sexual harassment, is said to be negotiating his exit.

President Trump’s tweets have done little lasting harm to the businesses he attacks, as their stocks typically recover.

U.S. stocks were mixed on Thursday. Here’s a snapshot of global markets today.

Market Snapshot View Full Overview

    Smarter Living

    Tips for a more fulfilling life.

    Want a raise? Ask for one.

    Money isn’t the easiest thing to handle. Get better at it.

    Recipe of the day: This buttery tart with a fruit filling is based on a gâteau Breton.

    Noteworthy

    The road to tragedy

    The Times reconstructed how a bridge collapsed in Genoa, Italy, in August, a disaster that killed 43 people.

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    When it was built in the 1960s, the bridge in Genoa, Italy, was a 3,600-foot feat of artistry and innovation.CreditNadia Shira Cohen for The New York Times

    There won’t be a “Popular” Oscar category after all

    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences scrapped its unpopular plan to add the award.

    At the U.S. Open

    Naomi Osaka, the No. 20 seed from Japan, will play Serena Williams in the women’s final on Saturday. Rafael Nadal faces Juan Martín del Potro in the semifinals today, and Novak Djokovic plays Kei Nishikori.

    Follow all of our tennis coverage here.

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    Serena Williams, a six-time U.S. Open champion, advanced to the final in New York for the ninth time.CreditBen Solomon for The New York Times

    The week in good news

    A tablet designed for visually impaired people could have an enormous impact. It’s one of seven stories that inspired us.

    No news quiz this week

    It will return next Friday.

    Ready for the weekend

    At the movies, we recommend “Five Fingers for Marseilles,” a post-apartheid drama and western set in South Africa, and “Blaze,” a biopic of the country singer Blaze Foley, directed by Ethan Hawke.

    On TV, a charity telecast will bring actors and musicians together to raise money for cancer research, and we have some streaming recommendations.

    We suggest 11 new books, and, if you’re in New York City, a slate of cultural events.

    Best of late-night TV

    Seth Meyers poked fun at President Trump’s response to the anonymous Op-Ed: “Trump tweeted, quote, ‘TREASON?’ Even weirder, Mike Pence tweeted back, ‘Sure! Let’s do it!’ ”

    Quotation of the day

    “If you lose one stay, the whole thing comes down.”

    Andrew Herrmann, a former president of the American Society of Civil Engineers, describing risks in the design of the collapsed bridge in Genoa.

    The Times, in other words

    Here’s an image of today’s front page, and links to our Opinion content and crossword puzzles.

    What we’re reading

    Michael Roston, a senior staff editor on the Science desk, recommends this podcast episode: “Rose Eveleth’s recounting of American researchers living on the ocean floor is fascinating. If that’s not enough of an inducement to listen to her Flash Forward podcast, wait until you hear the recordings she surfaced of the ‘aquanauts,’ breathing a mixture of helium and oxygen, trying to call President Lyndon B. Johnson.”

    [Editor’s note: We know that’s listening, not reading. But we’re stuck trying to come up with a better label than “What We’re Reading.” Got one? Let us know.]

    Back Story

    “Grandma Moses,” the acclaimed American painter who became a prototype for late bloomers, was born on this day in 1860.

    Anna Mary Robertson Moses, an upstate New York farm wife, began painting seriously in her 70s. She was discovered by a collector who saw her colorful, precise paintings of rural scenes in a drugstore window.

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    Grandma Moses in 1946. She didn’t take up painting seriously until her 70s.CreditAssociated Press

    After her first show, she was seized on by the press, who loved her countrified ways. An early reviewer nicknamed her “Grandma Moses.”

    The Times highlighted her folksiness when she visited Manhattan in 1940: “Modest ‘Grandma Moses’ declared, ‘If they want to make a fuss over me, I guess I don’t mind.’”

    But Moses was no naïf. A believer in women’s autonomy, she said in her autobiography: “Always wanted to be independent. I couldn’t bear the thought of sitting down and Thomas,” her husband, “handing out the money.”

    And her “primitive” painting style was carefully conceived: “I like to paint something that leads me on and on in to the unknown something that I want to see away on beyond,” she wrote.

    She died at 101, having created some 2,000 paintings and received two honorary doctorates.

    “All Americans mourn her loss,” President John F. Kennedy said.

    Nancy Wartik wrote today’s Back Story.

    _____

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