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Hurricane Michael, Kanye West, Jamal Khashoggi: Your Thursday Briefing

Hurricane Michael, Kanye West, Jamal Khashoggi: Your Thursday Briefing

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Hurricane Michael is the strongest storm to hit the Florida Panhandle in 167 years of record-keeping.CreditCreditEric Thayer for The New York Times

By Mary Hui

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Good morning.

Here’s what you need to know:

Florida faces a daunting road to recovery after the Category 4 storm left a 200-mile-long trail of destruction on Wednesday, with entire neighborhoods submerged and streets littered with debris and felled power lines. One fatality has been reported so far, but assessments of the toll and damage are just beginning.

The storm, one of the most powerful ever to hit the continental U.S., arrived with a punch, packing winds of up to 155 miles per hour.

After weakening overnight as it crossed Georgia, Michael is expected to gain speed and continue northeast across the Carolinas through late Thursday. Follow our live updates, and track the storm’s path.

A new reality: Scientists are increasingly sure that a warming world produces stronger hurricanes.

When President Trump held a rally the other night, the crowd broke into one of his supporters’ favorite chants: “Lock her up! Lock her up!” Mr. Trump smiled and soaked it in, then assailed the Democrats for becoming “an angry left-wing mob.”

It points to a broader debate about civility, or lack thereof, in the political arena, our chief White House correspondent writes.

As they brace for losses in the House of Representatives, Republican leaders are racing to reinforce their candidates in about two-dozen districts, trying to create a barricade around their imperiled majority.

Coming up today: Mr. Trump and Jared Kushner are expected to meet the musician Kanye West at the White House.

Futures markets that track the expected performance of American shares suggest that a sell-off could continue today, and stocks in Asia and Europe shuddered.

U.S. stocks suffered their steepest drop in eight months on Wednesday, as rising interest rates gnaw at investors and technology shares tumble in the face of growing trade tensions with Beijing.

The Trump administration took those tensions up another notch by announcing new investment restrictions aimed primarily at preventing China from gaining access to sensitive American technology.

Here’s an overview of U.S. stocks, and a snapshot of global markets today.

For President Trump, who has made Saudi Arabia the fulcrum of his Middle East policy, the possible murder of a Saudi journalist in Turkey is a looming diplomatic crisis. For Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, it is a personal reckoning.

Mr. Kushner has bet big on Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, cultivating him as a key ally. But the possibility that Prince Mohammed’s family may have played a role in the disappearance of the journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, threatens to unravel that relationship.

Turkey ratcheted up the pressure on Saudi Arabia on Wednesday by leaking a list of 15 men that it says formed a hit squad that killed Mr. Khashoggi inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, acting on orders from the highest levels of the Saudi royal court.

“I would not be happy at all”: Mr. Trump told Fox that he thought it likely that the Saudis had killed Mr. Khashoggi, and that he would be upset if that were confirmed.

A trail of clues: Here’s what we know about Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance.

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Listen to ‘The Daily’: The Disappearance of a Saudi Journalist

Jamal Khashoggi was a vocal critic of the Saudi government. Then he vanished in Turkey, and grim accounts began to emerge.

Today is the International Day of the Girl. That had us thinking: What does life look like for girls turning 18 in 2018?

We gave 22 young women photographers around the world an assignment: Show us 18 in your community. This is what they came up with.

Meet the photographers: These are the teenagers telling teenager stories.

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CreditThe New York Times

CVS Health will acquire Aetna for $ 69 billion after the Justice Department granted conditional approval of the merger.

WarnerMedia will introduce a streaming service by the end of next year. The move will put AT&T, which acquired Time Warner in June, into direct competition with rivals like Netflix, Disney and Amazon.

Amazon and other tech giants want to put a computer inside everything, connecting everyone. We should be scared of what that future holds, our tech columnist Farhad Manjoo writes.

Tips for a more fulfilling life.

Wireless charging is here. What’s it good for?

The world could use more handwritten cards and letters.

Recipe of the day: Speedy dinners can have complex flavors, like this pasta with fried lemons and chile flakes.

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This is so good that it could well become your favorite pantry pasta dish.CreditAndrew Scrivani for The New York Times

“I can smell the bodies”

Almost two weeks after an earthquake and tsunami ravaged Indonesia, thousands are still missing. Our video reporters talked to survivors trying to find the dead.

Limo firm’s operator is arrested

The authorities have arrested Nauman Hussain and charged him with criminally negligent homicide over the crash in upstate New York that killed 20 people over the weekend.

A social media meltdown

Brandon Truaxe, the C.E.O. of Deciem, which owns skin care brands, posted a rambling Instagram video on Tuesday announcing that the firm would cease all operations. His pattern of unusual behavior may be his company’s undoing.

Here’s more from this week’s Style section.

Best-seller lists

Jodi Picoult’s “A Spark of Light” is No. 1 on our hardcover fiction list. You can find all of our best-seller lists here.

A new biography of Gandhi

Ramachandra Guha delves into the more personal and raw elements of the Indian leader’s life, including his practice of sharing a bed with his teenage grandniece Manu Gandhi when he was 77.

Best of late-night TV

Trevor Noah was pleasantly surprised by Nikki Haley’s amicable resignation from her job as ambassador to the U.N.: “You never see someone leave the Trump White House like this: on good terms with Trump, scandal-free, smiling.”

Quotation of the day

“The economy has grown. And it has obviously helped people at the top. And everyone is working, the unemployment rate is pretty low. But people can’t make it here.”

John Cox, the Republican candidate for governor in California, discussing some of the challenges he expects to face if he is elected.

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

Andrea Kannapell, our briefings editor, recommends this piece in New York Magazine: “I saw one of our top Washington reporters tweet about this story. Then another. And another. Olivia Nuzzi records her strange day at the White House.”

How does 19 hours on a plane sound?

Singapore Airlines is bringing back the longest flight in the world this week, nonstop from Singapore to Newark on a new Airbus A350.

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Singapore Airlines is bringing back its 19-hour flight between Singapore and Newark.CreditSingapore Airlines

(From 2004 to 2013, Singapore flew the route with the less efficient A340. Rising fuel prices ultimately made that operation uneconomical.)

While it may be the longest flight now, 19 hours is nothing compared with some of its predecessors.

In 1936, Pan American Airways started the first passenger service between San Francisco and Manila — via Honolulu, Midway, Wake Island and Guam. The first leg of that trip alone was originally more than 21 hours.

Just eight days after mail service began on that route a year earlier, The Times ran a headline exclaiming, “CLIPPER TRIMMED SCHEDULED TIME; Reached Manila From Alameda in 59 Hours 47 Mins., Instead of 60 Set, Musick Says.”

Even then, airlines wanted to provide as fast a trip as possible. Their passengers probably would have loved seat-back TVs with video on demand, too.

The ability of airlines to deliver fast, direct trips was — and is — constrained by fuel. As one analyst told The Times when Singapore retired its previous Newark-Singapore flights, “ultralong-haul flights like this are essentially flying jet fuel tankers.”

Zach Wichter wrote today’s Back Story.

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Follow Mary Hui on Twitter: @maryhui.

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