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Good evening. Here’s the latest.
1. Over the past two years, the world has tried to absorb the details of Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
But the narrative is a confusing tangle of unfamiliar names and cyberjargon, further obscured by the shout-fest of partisan politics.
So our reporters have unraveled the story so far in a special report, from the hacked emails and possible espionage to President Trump’s claims that it’s all a hoax.
2. It’s been a year since Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, and the island is still in ruins. Our journalists visited more than 150 homes there to document the damage.
People who asked FEMA for help in getting the most basic kinds of repairs — for missing roofs, collapsed walls, dangerous mold, soaked belongings — waited for months and often did not get enough to even start the process. Above, a couple at home in Punta Santiago, P.R.
“They did a ‘magnificent job.’ President Trump says so himself,” one resident said. “Have him come say that to my face.”
Separately, on the anniversary of the storm, we asked a cross-section of Puerto Rican musicians, actors and comedians to talk about how the storm affected their lives and influenced their work.
3. Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, reopened discussions for testifying before the Senate.
Her lawyers told the Senate Judiciary Committee she “would be prepared to testify next week,” on the condition that senators offered “terms that are fair and which ensure her safety.” Dr. Blasey has received death threats and her family has had to relocate since she publicly accused Judge Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, of sexually assaulting her when the two were in high school.
At the same time, a growing number of evangelical and anti-abortion leaders are expressing frustration that Republicans are not protecting Judge Kavanaugh more forcefully — and warning that conservative voters may stay home in November if his nomination falls apart.
4. Multiple people were shot dead at a Rite Aid distribution center in Maryland, officials said, and the suspect died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The assailant, a 26-year-old woman who was a temporary employee at the center, died at the hospital. The attack was the nation’s third shooting at a workplace in less than 24 hours.
The authorities did not name either the victims or the suspect.
5. One of the leading U.S. cancer centers is facing a new controversy over conflicts of interest.
Staff pathologists at Memorial Sloan Kettering are objecting to a deal between the cancer center and an artificial intelligence start-up that was founded by three hospital insiders.
The company, Paige.AI, has an exclusive deal to use the cancer center’s vast archive of 25 million patient tissue slides, along with decades of work by its world-renowned pathologists.
As we’ve reported, there’s also been a surge in female politicians running for elected office and winning primaries, including Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, above. But according to a new study released by Pew, women aren’t so sure voters are ready to elect them.
7. Cleanup from Hurricane Florence continues, but the task is even more daunting for North Carolina’s most vulnerable communities.
With the country’s urgent attention slipping away, rural areas across the state worry about being washed away unnoticed. “It’s just families, farmland,” said one man, whose home was wrecked. “Small town. Why does it matter if we get flooded?” Above, a view of Boiling Springs Lakes, N.C.
Separately, our reporter investigated the deaths of two women in South Carolina who were being transported in a sheriff’s van after they voluntarily went to hospitals seeking care. The van was driven onto a flooded road — but only the sheriff’s deputies survived.
8. “Wrestlers never die.”
That’s a common Afghan saying that speaks to the sport’s special place in the country’s heart.
And it was cruelly tested after an Islamic State bomber attacked a wrestling club in Kabul, killing as many as 30 people and injuring dozens more.
It was the fifth bombing this year in just the neighborhood surrounding the sports club, its entrance pictured above, leaving many skeptical of the government’s ability to keep them safe.
But against this grim reality, the U.S. military has been trumpeting the body counts of Taliban and Islamic State fighters killed in battle — an apparent strategy to drum up White House support for staying in the conflict.
9. Literary award season is here, but there’s one big absence: the Nobel Prize.
In the wake of a sex abuse scandal, the Swedish Academy announced it would not award the prize this year. (Next year, it will hand out two.)
So The Times’s book critics stepped in, offering their own takes on the prize and what it means today — and naming the authors they think deserve it. Patrick Modiano, above, the 2014 laureate.
Also, the shortlist for the Man Booker Prize was announced today. The picks reflect the dark times we live in, the chairman of the judges said.
10. Finally, it turns out pandas — usually solitary animals — have a lot to say to each other when the moment is right.
When mating season rolls around, both male and female giant pandas turn to their preferred come-hither call: a husky, rapid vibrato commonly known as the bleat. Understanding the call is critical to keeping the vulnerable species thriving, experts say, given its notoriously low libido.
For the curious: We ventured into the bamboo to hear the calls, and you can, too.
With that, have a wonderful evening.
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