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Impeachment, Juul, Thanksgiving: Your Weekend Briefing



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Here are the week’s top stories, and a look ahead.

1. It was another momentous week in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

In three days of packed testimony on Capitol Hill, above, an array of witnesses — including some from his own White House — laid out the details of the president’s pressure campaign on the Ukrainian government to investigate, or say it was investigating, the Bidens. Here’s a quick recap.

So what happens next? The House heads toward a likely party-line vote to impeach the president; the Senate will follow with a trial (which Mr. Trump very much wants) and will most likely not convict him.

2. Top Navy officials threatened to quit if their plans to expel an officer from the SEALs in a war crimes case were halted by President Trump, who had tweeted his disapproval.

The threats by the Navy secretary, Richard Spencer, and Rear Adm. Collin Green, who leads the SEALs, are a rare instance of pushback against Mr. Trump from members of the Defense Department.

Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher, above in July after his court-martial ended in acquittal, counts Mr. Trump as one of his most vocal supporters.

The case has spotlighted the president’s broad power to “micromanage in nearly anything in the military,” one military law expert said.

4. Juul says it never targeted teenagers or nonsmokers for its vaping devices and nicotine pods. A Times investigation found that they were always in the picture.

The company planted the seeds of a public health crisis by marketing to a generation with low smoking rates, and it ignored evidence that teenagers were using its products.

Juul’s remarkable rise to resurrect and dominate the e-cigarette business was part of a furious effort to reward investors and capture market share before the government tightened regulations on vaping.

The company says it is refocusing on its core mission.

5. “Only in a totalitarian, distorted society would people be forced to defend it with life and blood.”

K, above, is a volunteer medic who was struck in the eye during violent protests in Hong Kong. Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets over the past few months to defend democratic ideals. To the government, the police and their supporters, the protests present a threat that is damaging the economy and undermining society.

Lam Yik Fei has been photographing the ongoing unrest for The Times. He has captured the faces of both sides of the divide.

The citywide district council election in Hong Kong, normally a quiet, local affair, has become a referendum on the demonstrations.

6. A focus on Boeing after two fatal crashes has given cover to the poor safety record of Lion Air, a Times investigation found.

Interviews with dozens of officials, pilots and airline employees found that despite vowing to make changes in the wake of last year’s crash that killed all 189 people aboard, Lion Air has neither fully admitted to its systemic shortcomings nor moved swiftly to address them.

The airline has a track record of working its pilots to the point of exhaustion, faking pilot training certification and forcing pilots to fly planes they worried were unsafe — including the plane that crashed.

7. Love, not smarts, is what makes dogs special. At least that’s the conclusion of one researcher of animal behavior.

No one disputes the sociability of dogs. But Dr. Clive Wynne, above, a psychologist at Arizona State University, doesn’t agree with the scientific point of view that dogs have a unique ability to understand and communicate with humans. Instead, he argues, dogs have a unique capacity for interspecies love that is built into their genome.

Dogs, Dr. Wynne said, have “an abnormal willingness to form strong emotional bonds with almost anything that crosses their path.”

8. “Queen and Slim” could be one of the great love stories of all time.

The film follows a black man and black woman on the run after a first date gone awry. But at its heart, “the film is a love story — a story about seeing and paying attention to love, to blackness, to our moments even as they are slipping away,” writes Carvell Wallace, a contributor to the Times Magazine.

“Frozen II” was expected to dominate the box office over the weekend, leaving midbudget films in its wake. It’s a growing trend in Hollywood as audiences increasingly go to theaters only to see big franchise movies.

9. “I feel my works are collaborations between paper and me.”

That’s what Koshiro Hatori, a master folder in Japan, told us about the intricate, soothing and enthusiastic world of origami.

The principles of origami are everywhere: car airbags, modular pop-up homeless shelters — even in foldable telescopes. But origami as an art form reaches back thousands of years. It’s the latest in our Surfacing series.

10. And finally, dig into one of our Best Weekend Reads.

This week we detail the curious story of the eccentric royal family of Oudh in India, above, how a girls’ soccer team healed a broken coach, the renaissance of Dolly Parton, and more. And in case you missed it, here are the year’s 10 best books selected by the editors of The Times Book Review.

For more ideas on what to eat, watch and listen to, may we suggest our best Thanksgiving recipes, a glance at the latest small-screen recommendations from Watching, and our music critics’ playlist for this week.

Your briefing writer’s brother plans a Thanksgiving menu around leftovers. Here are a few ideas to send you into the holiday week.

Have a peaceful week.

Your Weekend Briefing is published Sundays at 6 a.m. Eastern.

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