Tariffs, Parkland, Claude Monet: Your Tuesday Evening Briefing

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Good evening. Here’s the latest.


CreditBrett Gundlock for The New York Times

1. Senate Republicans sent President Trump a sharp message: They are prepared to overturn his tariffs on Mexican imports.

The rebuke came hours after the president affirmed his pledge to impose tariffs on Mexico next week, for items like avocados, and said the senators would be “foolish” to try to stop him.

Mr. Trump’s latest threat — 5 percent tariffs on all goods until the Mexican government stems the flow of migrants — has riled Republican senators who fear its impact on the economy and their home states.

Stocks jumped as Jerome Powell, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, hinted that interest rates could be cut if needed to protect the economy from the trade war.


CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

2. On the second day of his state visit to Britain, President Trump’s agenda shifted to politics.

In a joint news conference with Prime Minister Theresa May, he expressed confidence in Brexit, saying Britain is “a very, very special place and I think it deserves a special place” and that the withdrawal “will happen.” He also said the U.S. and U.K. would “have a very substantial trade deal.”

Throughout the visit, Mr. Trump’s family, including four of his five children, has been very visible. So have protesters, if fewer than during his trip last year, and so has the 20-foot-tall, orange, baby-shaped balloon that they have flown to mock Mr. Trump.

Back in the U.S., the White House instructed two former Trump aides not to cooperate with subpoenas in the obstruction of justice investigation being conducted by Congress.


CreditMike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel, via Associated Press

3. A former sheriff’s deputy who failed to confront the gunman in the Parkland, Fla., school shooting was arrested on charges of negligence and perjury.

The deputy, Scot Peterson, was a school resource officer at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and present during the attack in 2018, above. An investigation found that Mr. Peterson “did absolutely nothing to mitigate the MSD shooting that killed 17 children, teachers and staff and injured 17 others,” an official said in a statement. “There can be no excuse for his complete inaction and no question that his inaction cost lives.”

Separately, Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia called for a special session of the General Assembly to vote on gun control bills, days after a gunman killed 12 people in Virginia Beach.


CreditMaddie McGarvey for The New York Times


CreditAndy Nelson/The Register-Guard, via Associated Press

5. It was a key day in court for 21 young people, pictured above in October, who are suing the U.S. government, demanding protection from the worst effects of climate change.

The Trump administration was granted an unusual pretrial appeal. Three judges from the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Portland, Ore., heard oral arguments today. (There were viewing parties around the country.)

Separately, one of our Metro writers considered the tough choices presented by travel in an age of global warming.

6. Confusing options may be coming to your 401(k).

The House recently passed a bipartisan retirement bill that could open the door to a new retirement option: complex annuities.

The idea is that they offer a regular stream of post-retirement income — but it’s hard to tell if they’re a good deal for anyone but the insurers who sell them.

Separately, the rate of deaths after falls for people over 75 nearly doubled from 2000 to 2016, a new study shows. But most falls are avoidable. We have some tips.


7. California may be due for clusters of large earthquakes, if historic seismic patterns hold. So why doesn’t it build more earthquake-proof buildings?

Japan, frequently hit by tremors, has invested in new technologies and building designs that greatly reduce the damage during quakes. They include base isolation, in which layers of steel and rubber between the building and ground act like shock absorbers.

But since predicting earthquakes is a fool’s errand, the U.S. generally goes with risk over expense. One exception: Apple’s “spaceship”-shaped headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., which rests on 692 stainless-steel saucers that minimize earthquake impact.



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8. A furious debate is swirling around an article about the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Written by the Pulitzer Prize-winning King biographer David Garrow, the article was refused by many outlets but finally published by Standpoint, a right-of-center British magazine that describes its core mission as defending the values of Western civilization.

Mr. Garrow has detailed — and been highly critical of — the F.B.I.’s surveillance and smear campaign against Dr. King, pictured above leaving F.B.I. headquarters in Washington in 1964. But the new article discusses, without offering backup, an F.B.I. document alleging that “King looked on, laughed and offered advice” as another minister committed rape.

The allegation has been seized on by some conservative commentators and social media trolls, stirring more controversy. Mr. Garrow has also been rebuked for including the names of women he says were Dr. King’s lovers.



CreditHerman Wouters for The New York Times

9. A Dutch art conservator found a surprise in a late-period Claude Monet work.

When Ruth Hoppe of the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague took the painting of wisteria down from the wall for the first time since 1961, she noticed that it had been retouched. An X-ray revealed another artwork underneath: one of his famous water lily paintings.

Ms. Hoppe shared a theory that the canvas, “a bridge between the water lilies and the wisteria,” might have been the final water lily Monet painted.



CreditBettmann Archive/Getty Images

10. And finally, a century of voting.

One hundred years ago today, the Senate approved an amendment to the Constitution guaranteeing most American women the right to vote. However, ethnic and racial barriers kept many disenfranchised for decades longer. Above, suffragists protesting in 1919.

The historian Susan Schulten writes about the crooked path of women’s suffrage in our Opinion Section. Think you know the story? Test your knowledge with our quiz.

Have an outspoken evening.

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