Home US News Israel, Al Franken, Los Angeles: Your Thursday Briefing

Israel, Al Franken, Los Angeles: Your Thursday Briefing


On Wednesday, Republican leaders moved closer to resolving some major differences between the House and Senate tax bills, though several big issues, including the size of the corporate tax cut, remained in flux.

A chorus of “Franken should resign.”

• Senator Al Franken of Minnesota has scheduled an announcement for today, after a sixth woman accused him of making an improper advance.

Dozens of his Democratic colleagues, led by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, have asked him to step down, though his office said, “No final decision has been made.”

Separately, the editor of The Paris Review, Lorin Stein, resigned. And New York Public Radio placed two of its longtime hosts, Leonard Lopate and Jonathan Schwartz, on leave.

Time Magazine named “the silence breakers” its person of the year for 2017, honoring those who came forward to accuse powerful men of sexual harassment.

Flames enter heart of L.A.

• Part of the busiest highway in the U.S. was closed most of Wednesday, as a fast-moving wildfire in Los Angeles burned tens of thousands of acres and destroyed hundreds of buildings.

Here’s a map of the blazes in Southern California.

• What’s making the fires particularly large and destructive this year is the amount of bone-dry vegetation. “Normally by this time of year we would have had enough rainfall to where this wouldn’t be an issue,” a meteorologist with the U.S. Forest Service said.

The Daily”: Anger and resignation over Jerusalem.

• Did Arab leaders give up on the Palestinians long ago?

Listen on a computer, an iOS device or an Android device.


An exhibition in Moscow honoring President Vladimir Putin of Russia. On Wednesday, he announced he would seek a fourth term in a March election that he is expected to win handily.

Yuri Kadobnov/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images


President Trump’s nominee to lead the Consumer Product Safety Commission has, in more than four years with the agency, seldom voted for a mandatory recall, a maximum fine or a tougher safety standard.

A top Volkswagen official in the U.S. was sentenced to seven years in prison for his role in a decade-long scheme to cheat on diesel-emissions tests.

Imagine a future where we get better products for ludicrously low prices. It’s coming, our tech columnist writes, and Amazon will play a crucial role.


Doug Chayka

Starbucks has opened its largest store, in Shanghai. Have a look inside the 29,000-square-foot temple to coffee.

U.S. stocks were mixed on Wednesday. Here’s a snapshot of global markets.

Smarter Living

Tips, both new and old, for a more fulfilling life.

• Want to buy your loved one a book? Consider these.

• How not to talk to a child who is overweight.

• Recipe of the day: Plan a holiday cookie plate with linzer trees.


Seven new wonders: Chichén Itzá

In today’s 360 video, visit the ancient city of the Mayans in Mexico.

It’s part of our series about the sites selected in 2007 as additions to the original Seven Wonders of the World.

A $450 million mystery no more.

A little-known Saudi prince from a remote branch of the royal family bought the Leonardo da Vinci painting “Salvator Mundi” last month, according to documents reviewed by The Times.

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From Words With Friends, to real friends.

After meeting in the online game, a 22-year-old rapper from Harlem and an 81-year-old retiree in Florida met in real life. The unlikely friendship has melted hearts.


Spencer Sleyon and Rosalind Guttman met in Palm Beach, Fla., last weekend.

Rev. Amy Butler

Best of late-night TV.

Trevor Noah noted, “Moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem is like getting an apartment in your ex-girlfriend’s building. It’s not technically illegal, but you’re trying to start some [expletive].”

Quotation of the day.

“When we say, ‘This is going to create eight million jobs,’ people don’t believe it. And they don’t care. They care about one job: their job.”

Corry Bliss, executive director of the American Action Network, a conservative group helping the effort to sell the Republicans’ tax overhaul.

Back Story

It was “a date which will live in infamy.” Or would it “live in world history”?

Seventy-six years ago today, Japan bombed the U.S. naval base in Pearl Harbor, killing more than 2,400 Americans and propelling the U.S. into World War II.


President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war on Japan on Dec. 8, 1941, the day after Pearl Harbor was attacked.

Associated Press

News of the surprise attack in Hawaii “fell like a bombshell on Washington,” The Times reported the next morning. “Administration circles forecast that the United States soon might be involved in a worldwide war, with Germany supporting Japan, an Axis partner.”

A few hours later, President Franklin D. Roosevelt stood in the chamber of the House of Representatives and, in a speech that lasted about seven minutes, asked Congress to declare war on Japan.

An initial draft of his speech said that the day of the attack would “live in world history.” But Roosevelt changed the wording to say “a date which will live in infamy” — now among the most recognizable phrases in U.S. history.

The president’s three-page typewritten manuscript would be lost for more than four decades, until a curator, Susan Cooper, found it during a routine search of Senate files at the National Archives in Washington.

“I hadn’t known that it was missing,” she told The Times in 1984.

Mike Ives contributed reporting.


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