New York Times

Space Force, Trump, Yemen: Your Thursday Evening Briefing

Space Force, Trump, Yemen: Your Thursday Evening Briefing

By Joumana Khatib and Marcus Payadue

(Want to get this briefing by email? Here’s the sign-up.)

Good evening. Here’s the latest.

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CreditSaul Loeb/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

1. “The next great chapter in the history of our armed forces.”

Vice President Mike Pence shared details about a new branch of the military: the Space Command.

Proponents say it’s necessary to compete with countries like China and Russia. And once-reluctant Pentagon officials have backed the proposal, saying they will do what they can to bring it to fruition. But Congress still has plenty of skeptics.

Another branch of the armed forces has reached a milestone: We profile First Lt. Marina A. Hierl, the first woman in the Marine Corps infantry to lead a platoon.

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CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

2. Remember how President Trump disrupted a G-7 summit meeting in Canada, refusing to sign off on its final communiqué?

And how there were warning signs that he might do the same at the NATO summit last month? Now we know why he didn’t.

Senior U.S. officials urged the alliance to finish a policy document before last month’s summit meeting even began, ambassadors said.

The rush to get it done, as demanded by John Bolton, the national security adviser, above right, is just another sign of the lengths the president’s top advisers will go to protect the longstanding international alliance from Mr. Trump’s antipathy.

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CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

3. Other White House news:

Thousands of documents from Brett Kavanaugh’s time in the Bush administration have been released.

There’s already a partisan debate over one email, but there are many more documents to sort through, and many many more that have not been released.

And in New York, the parents of the first lady, Melania Trump, were sworn in as U.S. citizens.

A new Pew study offers more insights about President Trump’s base. Our interactive approach to the data lets you test your assumptions.

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CreditSergey Ponomarev for The New York Times

4. It’s getting hotter, faster — and the world isn’t ready.

2018 is the fourth-hottest year on record, trailing the previous three years. And temperatures haven’t plateaued.

For many scientists, this is the year they started living climate change rather than just studying it. “What we’re seeing today is making me, frankly, calibrate not only what my children will be living but what I will be living, what I am living currently living,” one said.

In one Uzbek town, tourism is booming because of these changes: Visitors are flocking to a dried-up port. As it turns out, “a lot of people want to see an ecological crisis.”

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CreditErika P. Rodriguez for The New York Times

5. The Puerto Rican government quietly acknowledged a far higher death count from Hurricane Maria.

A new report says the figure is likely over 1,400 — more than 20 times the official toll of 64.

The government was widely criticized for undercounting hurricane-related deaths after Maria struck last September, causing power failures — and health care disruptions — that endured for months.

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CreditNaif Rahma/Reuters

6. Saudi-led forces bombed a school bus full of children in Yemen. They said they had aimed at rocket launchers.

At least 43 people were killed and 63 were injured, an official said. At least 29 of the dead were children under age 15, the Red Cross said.

“No excuses anymore!” a Unicef official said on Twitter. “Does the world really need more innocent children’s lives to stop the cruel war on children in Yemen?”

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CreditAngela Major/The Janesville Gazette, via Associated Press

7. In media news: A proposed merger between Tribune Media and Sinclair, the country’s largest operator of local TV networks, fell apart, ending the prospect of a conservative outlet to rival Fox.

And we identified a new threat to local journalism around the country. Small papers that have been struggling with everything from shrinking revenue to layoffs to accusations of “fake news” now have to contend with prohibitive U.S. tariffs on Canadian newsprint.

“I fear it’s going to be a very difficult time,” one publisher said. “I think there’s probably going to be some casualties.”

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CreditDavid Lee/Focus Features, via Associated Press

8. It’s Spike Lee vs. the Klan.

In his new film, “BlacKkKlansman,” the director builds on the real-life story of a black police officer infiltrating the Klan’s ranks in the 1970s.

Our critic A. O. Scott calls it “a furious, funny, blunt and brilliant confrontation with the truth,” and he rates it Mr. Lee’s “best nondocumentary feature in more than a decade and one of his greatest.”

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CreditThe Unexpected President/Da Capo Press

9. Our “Overlooked” project looks at Julia Sand, a housebound woman who wrote a series of remarkable letters that helped inspire President Chester A. Arthur.

“Great emergencies awaken generous traits which have lain dormant half a life,” she wrote when he was hiding after the death of James Garfield unexpectedly elevated him from the vice presidency. “If there is a spark of true nobility in you, now is the occasion to let it shine.”

And our Gender Letter looks at the how few women are memorialized in monuments — and the push for women to get their due. Progress: A statue of Ida B. Wells is coming to Chicago next year.

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CreditTBS

10. Finally, the late-night hosts were back in action, touching on everything from the trial of Paul Manafort to the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with Russia.

Samantha Bee didn’t pull any punches on “Full Frontal,” saving her sharpest jabs for Donald Trump Jr.

“Any time there was collusion going on, Donnie was there,” she said. “He shows up everywhere. He’s like the Forrest Gump of collusion!”

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

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