Trade War, Australia, ‘Game of Thrones’: Your Weekend Briefing
Here are the week’s top stories, and a look ahead.
1. The threat of an all-out global trade war has been quelled, at least for now.
President Trump delayed a decision on whether to impose tariffs on automobiles imported from Europe, Japan and other countries, while also reaching agreements with Canada and Mexico to lift import tariffs on metals. Above, a shipment terminal in Fukuoka, Japan.
Together, the actions allow Mr. Trump to focus on pushing China to agree to U.S. trade terms, as well as pressure Europe and Japan to reach a trade deal before the 2020 election.
Compounding trade war tensions are fears that the U.S. could be on the brink of conflict with Iran. Our national security correspondent breaks down the president’s strategic goals.
Our news quiz is on hiatus this week. Here’s the front page of our Sunday paper, the Sunday Review from Opinion and our crossword puzzles.
2. The cultural momentum of the anti-abortion movement has taken over, and it shows no signs of slowing.
Last week, Alabama’s governor signed a law nearly banning the procedure, and Missouri became the latest state to prohibit abortion as soon as a fetal heartbeat is detected. The measures are part of a sustained effort by a network of disparate activists, each with their own strategy honed over decades of work. Above, a group of abortion rights advocates at the Missouri State Capitol.
The Alabama bill was purposefully crafted to be a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade. But our Supreme Court reporter says that the court is likely to chip away at smaller bills first. As soon as Monday, the court could announce whether it will hear challenges to three provisions of Indiana abortion laws.
3.Australia’sconservative prime minister, Scott Morrison, secured a surprise election victory, another swell in a global wave of populist fervor.
The win stunned election analysts, and signaled Australians’ unwillingness to bet on a new leader at a time when the economy has not suffered a recession in nearly 28 years.
Separately, a far-right official in Austria resigned over a video that raised questions about Russian influence in that country. Now the chancellor is calling for snap elections.
And looking ahead, the far-right populists of the E.U. are banding together for a frontal assault on the political establishment in this week’s elections for the European Parliament.
4.From the Australianelection to the 2020 U.S. election.
Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York, above left, and Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana announced their presidential bids last week. We also took a look at how Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont infused left-wing activism into local politics and how Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York is trying to jumpstart her campaign.
America’s culture wars will be at the heart of the 2020 election. Our political reporters explain how that might pan out for both parties.
Lastly, do you love town halls? Join our reporters on Sunday at 7 p.m. Eastern time, on the NYTimes app or at NYTimes.com, as our reporters analyze an appearance by Pete Buttigieg on Fox News.
5.San Francisco banned city agencies from using facial recognition technology, becoming the first major American city to block a tool that many police forces are turning to.
But many police departments say the technology is used no differently from DNA databases or other crime-fighting tools. It has been used to arrest men accused of child sex abuse and has helped nab a trio of jewel thief suspects, among other cases we looked at.
Separately, Facebook has heralded artificial intelligence as a solution to its toxic content problems. We talked to its chief technology officer, who says artifical intelligence won’t solve everything.
6. Heroin is disappearing up and down the Eastern Seaboard. In its place: fentanyl.
The rise of the more potent synthetic drug has put a generation of older users, like William Glen Miller Sr., above, who had managed their addiction, at far greater risk of overdose. Federal data shows that the rate of overdose deaths involving fentanyl increased nearly 54 percent in 2017 for people ages 55 to 64 — more than for any other age group.
The reason fentanyl is everywhere is economic: It is much cheaper to produce and distribute than heroin.
7.Reckless loans have devastated a generation of New York taxi drivers.
After a spate of suicides revealed the financial plight of taxi drivers, officials blamed Uber and Lyft. But a two-part New York Times investigation shows the roots of the crisis go far deeper.
Over a decade, a handful of powerful industry leaders steadily drove up the price of taxi medallions, creating a bubble that eventually burst. They channeled thousands of drivers into the deceptive loan scheme and extracted hundreds of millions of dollars.
And agencies at every level of government did little to help taxi drivers as they became crushed under overwhelming debt.
8.“Game of Thrones” is going out fighting. So will its audience.
The arguments over HBO’s dark fantasy made it the signature show of an era when no one agrees on anything, our TV critic writes ahead of tonight’s series finale. We want to see how you celebrate the series finale — you can submit your photos here.
Who will win the Iron Throne? Your guess, or bet, is as good as anyone’s. There has been a flurry of offshore and European wagering on the finale of the hit show, but betting on a scripted series has its drawbacks. Here are some theories on the series.
9. And now for a touch of wanderlust.
For its travel issue, T Magazine asked writers to reveal a little-known aspect, story or place of ancient culture. The countries visited in the issue — including Morocco, above, India and Greece — are home to some of the oldest cultures in history.
Separately, we also paid a visit to Axminster Carpets, which was founded in 1755 and produces plush floor coverings for Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and other prestigious addresses. But thanks to social media, its best-known client is a chain of cut-price bars.
10. Finally, here are some of our Best Weekend Reads.
We followed the first female regimental commander of the Citadel for her senior year; talked to Thomas Harris, the creator of Hannibal Lecter; and had Samin Nosrat, above, the author of “Salt Fat Acid Heat” and star of the related Netflix show, choose the dishes that define Persian cuisine for her.
For more on what to read, watch and listen to, may we suggest these 10 new books our editors liked, a glance at the latest small-screen recommendations from Watching, and our music critics’ latest playlist.
Have a springy week.
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