—The negotiated evacuation of citizens in Aleppo’s rebel-held eastern district has been halted, trapping between 50,000 and 100,000 people. More here
—The FBI and the director of national intelligence now agree with the CIA’s assessment that the Russian government intervened in the presidential election to help President-elect Donald Trump win. More here
—A Chinese Navy warship seized an unmanned, underwater glider drone from an American vessel in the South China Sea. More here
—We’re live-blogging the news stories of the day below. All updates are in Eastern Standard Time (GMT -5).
Princeton's Men's Swimming and Diving Team Is the Latest to Be Suspended for Sexist Messages
Princeton University joined the growing list of academic institutions that have suspended sports teams for exchanging offensive remarks online. The New Jersey school on Thursday announced its decision to suspend the men’s swimming and diving team’s season after discovering content on the team’s mailing list that the university described as “vulgar and offensive, as well as misogynistic and racist in nature.” John Cramer, a Princeton spokesman, told the university’s student newspaper, The DailyPrincetonian, that the specific contents of the emails were being withheld to ensure the privacy of “members of the women’s swimming and diving team,” though he did not confirm whether the women’s team members were the subject of the emails.
Other university sports teams have faced similar allegations resulting in suspensions. Massachusetts’ Amherst College announced Sunday the suspension of its men’s cross-country team after several of the team’s emails published by Amherst’s student magazine, The Indicator, revealed its members used lewd comments about eight of their female peers—including language referring to some of the women as a “meatslab” or a “walking STD”— that the university described as “racist, misogynist, and homophobic.” Harvard University canceled its men’s soccer team’s season last month after it was revealed that the team produced a “scouting report” of the women’s soccer team’s recruits, assigning each one a numerical rating and a hypothetical sexual position. Columbia University also announced last month its decision to suspend members of its wrestling team after eight of its members were revealed to have sent racist and sexually explicit messages in a group text.
Report: FBI Backs CIA Assessment That Russia Intervened to Help Trump
Multiple news outlets are reporting that the FBI and director of national intelligence now agree with the CIA’s assessment that the Russian government intervened in the presidential election to help President-elect Donald Trump win. TheWashington Post reported Friday that CIA Director John Brennan recently told the agency’s employees that there is a “strong consensus” among himself, FBI Director James Comey, and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper “on the scope, nature, and intent of Russian interference in our presidential election.” According to NBC News, the FBI now believes Russian support for Trump was “one part” of a broader effort to undermine American democratic institutions. News outlets first reported last week that the CIA, which had already deemed Russia the culprit in the hacking, had revised its assessment to conclude the Russian government hoped to clandestinely aid Trump by undermining his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton. President Obama has ordered all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies to prepare a report on foreign interference in recent presidential elections by January 20, the day Trump takes office.
It was an emotional few days for people in New York City who hoped to save a deer that wandered into Jackie Robinson Park in Harlem. For two weeks the “Harlem Deer” or “Lefty,” as the white-tailed, one-horned buck came to be known, had attracted crowds of excited locals. Meanwhile, city and state officials bickered over its fate. The city, citing state law, said the deer should be euthanized, because its chances of survival were low. Governor Andrew Cuomo, however, wanted to see the deer alive. The battle drew out to the final moment, with the deer’s execution scheduled for Friday. Friday morning, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on The Brian Lehrer Show on WYNYC radio, “If a deer is already in a natural location and you can leave them there, then they have a chance of survival, but if not, you don’t really have another option. It’s a question of is it going to be a quick and merciful death versus potentially a very long painful process.” Still, Cuomo, who has a reputation for inserting himself in city matters, was obstinate. Just before noon, the state Department of Environmental Conservation drove to the East Harlem shelter where the deer was kept and drove it, away heading somewhere beyond the city where it could live safely. Alas, on the way to freedom, the deer died. City officials blamed the stress of captivity.
U.S. Official: Chinese Navy Seized American Drone in South China Sea
A Chinese Navy warship seized an unmanned, underwater glider drone from an American vessel in the South China Sea, the Department of Defense said Friday in a statement. The Pentagon says the incident took place Thursday in international waters off the coast of the Philippines at noon local time, officials said. A Chinese Navy vessel retrieved the U.S. drone from the water. An official said the USS Bowditch, an oceanographic research vessel, had deployed the drone as part of a survey mission to collect data on ocean and weather patterns. When the Bowditch’s crew asked for the drone back, the Chinese vessel reportedly ignored the request and left. The act prompted the State Department to file a demarche, or formal diplomatic request, asking that the drone be returned. This isn’t the first time the U.S. and China have clashed on the South China Sea. Beijing and Manila have both claimed portions of the area. The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled unanimously in favor of the Philippines in July when it declared that China has no legal rights to the contested waters, but China has rejected the ruling, and the international tribunal cannot enforce it. President-elect Donald Trump has promised to take a more hardline approach to China—and tensions have been heightened since Trump’s recent phone call with President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan, marking a departure from U.S. protocol, which treats Taiwan as an ally but does not recognize its independence.
Did Rodrigo Duterte Personally Kill 3 People or Not?
Did Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte shoot and kill three men while he served as mayor of Davao? As of Friday, it would seem so. Since his election this summer, the bellicose president has brought a bloody war on drugs and crime to his country, with the most recent estimates putting the death toll at about 6,000. His idea to purge the Philippines of drug users and pushers was implemented and tested first when Duterte served as mayor of Davao, a once-troubled city on the country’s south, which has since become a financial center. A rumor—perpetuated in part by Duterte himself—has said he oversaw a death squad in Davao, and that he even killed three men personally. On Wednesday, Duterte admitted for the first time to a group of businessmen that he rode the streets of Davao on a motorcycle, “looking for a confrontation so I could kill." But on Thursday Duterte's spokesman chalked that up to the president being flip. Then on Friday, in an interview with BBC, Duterte put it bluntly: "I killed about three of them ... I don't know how many bullets from my gun went inside their bodies. It happened and I cannot lie about it." It’s not clear what repercussion this admission will have for Duterte—if any. He has publicly said he hopes to kill hundreds of thousands of people, and his approval rating as of October was 86 percent.
Cuba Offers to Repay Its Debts to the Czech Republic With Rum
Cuba owes the Czech Republic millions of dollars in Cold War-era debt—an obligation the country has offered to repay with its famous rum. The unusual proposal, which was announced Thursday by the Czech Republic’s finance ministry, would allow Cuba to repay its $276 million debt with its trademark liquor—enough to last the Czechs more than a century, based on their current intake of $2 million of Cuban rum per annum. The Czechs have been amenable to similar requests in the past. In 2010, the central European country considered allowing North Korea to repay a portion of its $10 million debt, which it also dates to the Cold War era, with ginseng. Though the Czech finance ministry said it would prefer that at least part of Cuba’s debt still be paid with cash, it is still weighing the offer, according to the Associated Press. We’ll drink to that. Na zdravi!
The negotiated evacuation of citizens in Aleppo’s rebel-held eastern district has been halted, trapping between 50,000 and 100,000 people. The cause of the stoppage was not immediately clear, and all sides blamed one other. The evacuation was brokered by Turkey and Russia to allow civilians to flee as Syrian government forces retake the city from rebels, and it was carried out by the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and the Red Cross. Evacuations began Thursday, and about 8,000 people escaped to rebel-held towns further east. But the column of buses, cars, and ambulances shuttling civilians out ground to a halt Friday morning. A World Health Organization official said Russia, which backs the Syrian government, ordered the evacuation stopped. The Syrian government accused rebels of trying to smuggle out weapons, and the rebels blamed the Syrian government for firing on evacuation buses. The Guardianreported the breakdown came after an al-Qaeda-affiliated group refused to allow the evacuation of wounded Syrian government supporters. In the past week Syrian government troops have swept through the city, which rebels have held since 2012, about a year after the civil war began. The Assad regime, with aid from Russia, has bombed the eastern district into rubble, and the status of the remaining civilian holdouts has become a humanitarian crisis. It is not yet clear when or if the evacuations will resume.
Obama Promises to Take Action Against Russia's Election Meddling
In an interview with NPR’s Steve Inskeep that aired Friday, President Obama said the U.S. must retaliate for Russia’s cyberattacks during the presidential election. Obama did not say what form this retaliation would take, partly because he’s waiting for a final report on the matter, but he promised to take action “at a time and place of our own choosing. Some of it may be explicit and publicized; some of it may not be." U.S. intelligence officials have concluded hackers working on behalf of Russia broke into the Democratic National Committee's computer network, and the email of John Podesta, a top adviser for Hillary Clinton. The question remains what Russia’s motivation was. Last week, The Washington Post published a secret CIA assessment claiming Russia aimed to help Donald Trump win. Reports this week have directly implicated Russian President Vladimir Putin in the hacks. Trump continues to dispute the intelligence assessments, and Thursday he tweeted:
If Russia, or some other entity, was hacking, why did the White House wait so long to act? Why did they only complain after Hillary lost?
The PGA Tour wants to team up with LIV Golf to eliminate competition. Federal antitrust enforcers aren’t going to like that.
On Tuesday morning, the PGA Tour and LIV Golf announced a planned merger that ended nearly a full year of antitrust litigation between the two rivals. Until recently, LIV Golf, an upstart league founded in 2021, had portrayed the PGA Tour as a monopoly that illegally controlled the market for professional golf competitions. Meanwhile, the PGA Tour and its commissioner, Jay Monahan, had blasted LIV Golf for partnering with the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, which is largely controlled by the Saudi royal family and has been accused of funding terrorism. The announcement brought sudden peace to a bitter, dramatic conflict.
The logic of the deal is easy to see. The PGA Tour was feeling pressure from LIV Golf, which had poached some marquee golfers. To keep up with the Saudis’ lavish spending, it was forced to pay out bigger prizes and dip deeper into its reserves. And the two organizations were enmeshed in an expensive lawsuit. “We were competing against LIV,” Monahan said after the deal was announced. The merger, he explained, was a way “to take the competitor off the board, to have them exist as a partner.”
CEO Chris Licht felt he was on a mission to restore the network’s reputation for serious journalism. How did it all go wrong?
Updated at 11:34 a.m. ET on June 7, 2023.
“How are we gonna cover Trump? That’s not something I stay up at night thinking about,” Chris Licht told me. “It’s very simple.”
It was the fall of 2022. This was the first of many on-the-record interviews that Licht had agreed to give me, and I wanted to know how CNN’s new leader planned to deal with another Donald Trump candidacy. Until recently Licht had been producing a successful late-night comedy show. Now, just a few months into his job running one of the world’s preeminent news organizations, he claimed to have a “simple” answer to the question that might very well come to define his legacy.
“The media has absolutely, I believe, learned its lesson,” Licht said.
Kyiv needs to show Russians that the war is not worth fighting.
Groups calling themselves the Free Russia Legion and the Russian Volunteer Corps have launched raids inside Russia. Drones have flown over Moscow, damaging what may be the homes of Russian intelligence officers and buzzing the Kremlin itself. Unusually intense fighting has been reported this week in several parts of eastern Ukraine, with completely different versions of events provided by Russians and Ukrainians. Conflicts have also been reported between the Russian mercenaries of the Wagner Group and the soldiers of the regular Russian army.
What does it all mean? That the Ukrainian counteroffensive has begun.
In a week that also marks the 79th anniversary of D-Day, we should note the many ways in which this military action does not, and probably will not, resemble the Normandy landing. Perhaps at some point there will be a lot of Ukrainian troops massed in one place, taking huge casualties—or perhaps not. Perhaps there will be a galvanized, coordinated Russian military response—or perhaps the response will look more like it did on Tuesday, when a dam that was under direct Russian control collapsed, leading to the inundation of southern Ukraine. Nor was that the only disaster: A series of smaller man-made floods has also washed over Russian-occupied territories in the past few days.
Gen Z is poised to massively expand its influence in the 2024 election. But its impact may be more complex than typically assumed.
As many as 7 million to 9 million more members of the racially and culturally diverse Gen Z could cast ballots in 2024 than did in 2020, while the number of the predominantly white Baby Boomers and older generations voting may decline by a corresponding amount, according to nonpartisan forecasts. As a result, for the first time, Gen Z and Millennials combined could account for as many votes next year as the Baby Boomers and their elders—the groups that have made up a majority of voters for decades.
That generational transition represents a clear opportunity for Democrats, who have consistently amassed solid, sometimes overwhelming, margins among both Millennials and Gen Z voters. But an analysis of previously unpublished election data from Catalist, a Democratic targeting firm, by Michael Podhorzer, the former political director for the AFL-CIO, shows that even the emergence of these new voters may not break the larger political stalemate that has partitioned the country into seemingly immovable blocks of red and blue states.
As Trump faces federal charges, the evidence seems stronger, and the legal issues simpler.
Donald Trump has been indicted by federal prosecutors in connection with his removal of documents from the White House, the former president announced on his social-media site tonight. He said that he has been summoned to appear on Tuesday at a U.S. courthouse in Miami. Several outlets reported that he faces seven counts, but more information was not immediately available.
“I never thought it possible that such a thing could happen to a former President of the United States,” Trump wrote in a post, adding, “I AM AN INNOCENT MAN!”
In fact, the indictment is, like so many of the signal moments of his presidency, both eminently foreseeable and utterly astonishing. If it never seemed possible that a former president would face such charges, that’s mostly because it never seemed possible that a president would abscond with a large number of documents and then defy a subpoena to return them. Trump’s shock also reflects his feeling that he was, or ought to be, immune to consequences for his actions and not subject to the same rule of law as other citizens.
How to rock your work rather than let the work rule you
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If the job-search firm Monster.com is right in its survey research, you are probably looking for a new job. According to its data at the end of last year, that’s what an eye-popping 96 percent of Americans workers reported doing. And yet, you probably won’t actually make that change: One Pew Research Center study found that only about 30 percent of workers changed jobs at least once in 2022, which was roughly on par with the level of turnover in 2021.
What accounts for the 66-point difference between aspiration and action? Psych Central, a mental-health website, notes that a common reason people stay in jobs they want to leave is fear of the unknown: Will the new job be worse than the old one? This is a powerful emotion, liable to dominate other ones because evolutionarily it was so important to our survival. Our ancestors passed on their genes because they did not say, “I don’t know what kind of mushrooms those are, but I bet they’re delicious!”
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The first time it happened, I assumed it was a Millennial thing. Our younger neighbors had come over with their kids and a projector for backyard movie night—Clueless, I think, or maybe The Goonies.
“Oh,” I said as the opening scene began, “you left the subtitles on.”
“Oh,” the husband said, “we always leave the subtitles on.”
Now, I don’t like to think of myself as a snob—snobs never do—but in that moment, I felt something gurgling up my windpipe that can only be described as snobbery, a need to express my aesthetic horror at the needless gashing of all those scenes. All that came out, though, was: Why? They don’t like missing any of the dialogue, he said, and sometimes it’s hard to hear, or someone is trying to sleep, or they’re only half paying attention, and the subtitles are right there waiting to be flipped on, so … why not?
A new report of secretive government programs investigating “non-human” vehicles and “pilots” bears a striking resemblance to many that came before.
If ever a headline has demanded a wide-eyed, scrambling-to-click reaction, it might be this one: “Intelligence Officials Say U.S. Has Retrieved Craft of Non-human Origin.”
A website called The Debrief—which says it specializes in “frontier science” and describes itself as self-funded—reported this week that a former intelligence official named David Grusch said that the U.S. government has spent decades secretly recovering “intact vehicles” and “partial fragments” that weren’t made by humans. (A section of The Debrief is dedicated to coverage of UFOs.) Officials, Grusch said, sought to avoid congressional oversight while reverse-engineering these materials for the government’s own purposes. In a separate interview with NewsNation, which has advertised itself as an alternative to major cable networks, Grusch said the military had even discovered the “dead pilots” of these craft. “Believe it or not, as fantastical as that sounds, it’s true,” he said.
They impede learning, stunt relationships, and lessen belonging. They should be banned.
In May 2019, I was invited to give a lecture at my old high school in Scarsdale, New York. Before the talk, I met with the principal and his top administrators. I heard that the school, like most high schools in America, was struggling with a large and recent increase in mental illness among its students. The primary diagnoses were depression and anxiety disorders, with increasing rates of self-harm; girls were particularly vulnerable. I was told that the mental-health problems were baked in when students arrived for ninth grade: Coming out of middle school, many students were already anxious and depressed. Many were also already addicted to their phone.
Ten months later, I was invited to give a talk at Scarsdale Middle School. There, too, I met with the principal and her top administrators, and I heard the same thing: Mental-health problems had recently gotten much worse. Even many of the students arriving for sixth grade, coming out of elementary school, were already anxious and depressed. And many, already, were addicted to their phone.
JFK Terminal 8—It is 9:22 a.m., and I am learning about consumer protections from a food-safety inspector who is on her second Bloody Mary. There is nothing quite like alcohol to facilitate an expansive conversation: I should encourage young people, she tells me, to consider careers in food safety. She’s on her way back from a work trip, and I learn that she always drinks Bloody Marys when she travels, which is often, but never drinks them at home. We move on to other topics: reincarnation, ExxonMobil, karma, the state of labor unions. The only thing that seemed to be off limits was her full name (her job, she said, prevents her from speaking with the media).
We’re sitting in the New York Sports Bar across from Gate 10, which is next to Solstice Sunglasses and a vending machine selling ready-to-eat salads in plastic mason jars. In the corner, two blond women drink white wine. A passing traveler pops her head in: Does the bar serve French fries? The bartender says no, they don’t start serving French fries until 10:30. It is too early for French fries. But it is not too early for white wine.