Connect with us

World News

Veterans Day, E.P.A., Hong Kong: Your Monday Evening Briefing




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

Good evening. Here’s the latest.

1. Thousands of SpaceX satellites are posing a threat to “astronomy itself.”

Elon Musk’s rocket company launched another 60 satellites into orbit today as part of Starlink, the company’s planned constellation of tens of thousands of orbiting transmitters that will beam high-speed internet service across the globe. Above, the satellites streaming across the Dutch night sky.

Astronomers say the Starlink satellites — up to 30,000 of them, based on the regulatory filings — could make it “look as if the whole sky is crawling with stars.” In particular, they may make it difficult to detect hazardous asteroids that are best seen during twilight.

People in the Americas with proper viewing equipment — presuming they weren’t obstructed by a Starlink satellite — were able to see an astronomical rarity: the transit of Mercury across the face of the sun. Such events take place about 13 times a century.

That would preclude the consideration of studies — like those linking mercury from power plants to impaired brain development — that rely on personal health information gathered under confidentiality agreements. Above, contaminated water from a Montana mine.

Listen up: Scientists, desperate to convey the urgency of climate change at a personal level, have begun translating its dry data points into heart-rending melodies.

3. Veterans Day was honored across the country.

President Trump did his part, returning to a mixed welcome in New York to kick off the city’s 100th annual Veterans Day Parade, above. There were MAGA hats in the crowd and an “IMPEACH” sign in a high-rise window.

We also have a veteran’s account of seeing his friends die in Afghanistan, and coming to understand the burden of the survivor. “You feel the guilt but it doesn’t feel outsize; it doesn’t seem misplaced and unjustified,” he wrote. “Your own innocence is precisely the thing you can’t see or feel.”

And we’re following the developments in the case of Staff Sgt. Cole Condiff, 29, who fell from a cargo plane off Florida’s Gulf Coast last week and has not been found.

4. The impeachment inquiry begins public hearings this week, and tensions in the capital are rising.

A long-simmering White House feud spilled into the open: John Bolton, the former national security adviser, tried to block Mick Mulvaney, the president’s acting chief of staff, from joining a lawsuit aimed at determining whether those summoned by Congress should comply, or yield to the White House’s order not to. Above, the two flanked Vice President Mike Pence at a military briefing in April.

Our Washington reporters put together a comprehensive account of the White House campaign to pressure Ukraine to investigate Mr. Trump’s political rivals, gathered from interviews with more than a dozen people and thousands of pages of testimony.

5. Monday was an especially violent day in Hong Kong.

A police officer shot an antigovernment protester at point-blank range, while across town a man arguing with protesters was set on fire. Both are in the hospital in critical condition.

6. Bolivia’s former president called for resistance to the country’s new interim government. Above, his supporters complied.

Evo Morales, who resigned after unrelenting protests over a disputed election, said he was the victim of a “coup.” And it’s complicating efforts to hold new elections, with lawmakers set to meet Tuesday morning to figure it out.

The country has plunged into constitutional crisis: All the top officials who could legally form a caretaker government have resigned.


7. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is under fire for withholding a parliamentary report on Russia’s involvement in the Brexit referendum until after British voters go to the polls on Dec. 12.

Unsavory details have been leaking out about how Russian oligarchs funneled money to Conservative Party politicians, fomenting conspiracy theories and stoking fears that Russia could intervene this time, too, with the aim of securing Brexit and weakening the European Union.

Hillary Clinton, in London on a book tour with her daughter, Chelsea, criticized Mr. Johnson’s decision in an interview with The Guardian.

Russia also intervened in elections in Madagascar, a Times investigation found, but the motive appeared simpler: profit.

8. The National League Rookie of the Year will be announced a few minutes after we post this briefing, but all bets are on Pete Alonso.

The New York Mets first basemen, who set a rookie record with 53 homers, would be the sixth member of the team to be so honored.

And our sports reporters digested the first week of college basketball (Cole Anthony!) and Week 10 in the N.F.L. (Ravens!)

9. An Instagram account called @BallerBusters is calling out scammers.

The target: false promises that a lavish life full of cars, money and women can be yours — for a price.

Recently, the account targeted a drop-shipping entrepreneur, or middleman for online sales. He said he was a teenager, and showed off what he said was his $8 million penthouse; @BallerBusters found photographs proving that the home was an Airbnb rental.

The anonymous person behind the account also regularly calls out entrepreneurs for showing off fake watches and posing in rented private jets.

10. And finally, the art and science of darkness.

Natalie Angier, our Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer, looks at how researchers are racing to create efficient light traps, fabricating materials that look “ever darker, ever flatter, ever more ripped from the void.”

She goes into the theory and meaning of black, but also discusses the myriad practical uses for ultra-black: in solar power generators, radiometers, industrial baffles and, of course, telescopes primed to detect light changes in space (if satellite pollution still allows).

Have a starry, starry night.

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

And don’t miss Your Morning Briefing. Sign up here to get it by email in the Australian, Asian, European, African or American morning.

Want to catch up on past briefings? You can browse them here.

What did you like? What do you want to see here? Let us know at [email protected].

Source link