The trade agreement is a dilemma for Democrats
The Trump administration reached an agreement with Canada and Mexico on revisions to the North American Free Trade Agreement last year, but the agreement still needs congressional approval.
While lawmakers return to Washington today, the question for Democrats is whether to back the deal and give President Trump a victory amid the political trial investigation.
The details: The agreement is more progressive than traditional Republican views on trade and includes measures that Democrats have always sought. This includes demanding that more auto parts be manufactured in North America, reversing a special arbitration system for corporations and strengthening Mexican unions.
Another angle: Mr. Trump’s lawyers said Sunday they would not participate in the first public trial hearing of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee this week.
Behind the deadly repression in Iran
At least 180 people, and possibly hundreds more, have been killed in recent weeks in some of the worst political unrest in Iran since the Islamic Revolution 40 years ago.
Protests broke out after a sharp increase in the price of gas was announced on November 15. In the repression of the resulting government, Iranian security forces opened fire on protesters. The extent of the violence is now clearing up after the Internet blackout was lifted.
The authorities have not disclosed the number of victims and arrests, and have reported unofficial figures on the number of deaths as speculative.
Many Iranians have directed their hostility towards the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who called the response a justified reaction to a plot of Iran’s enemies.
Background: The increase in the price of gas came when Iran struggles to fill a budget vacuum, created largely by strict US restrictions on the country’s oil exports.
Another angle: In Iraq, the formation of a new government will probably take weeks, if not months, after The resignation of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi over the weekend. He faced widespread anger over political corruption and Iran’s influence on Iraqi politics.
How black voters could help Joe Biden
The former vice president could lose the first Democratic races in Iowa and New Hampshire, but if he maintains his strength with black voters, It will have a structural advantage that is greater than its uneven lead suggests in surveys.
According to party rules, more delegates are awarded in districts with high concentrations of Democrats. Because black people vote overwhelmingly democrat, areas with many black residents tend to have a greater number of Democratic delegates.
A recent poll showed Biden with 44 percent among black voters in South Carolina, which has historically been an omen of how the South will vote as a whole. The same poll showed that his closest competitor, Bernie Sanders, followed him by more than 30 percentage points among black voters.
Test time: Who was the last Democratic presidential candidate to win the nomination without winning the majority of black voters? The answer is at the end of the information session.
The monarch waiting for Britain
While Queen Elizabeth II receives world leaders in London this week to observe the 70th anniversary of NATO, the royal family is at a turning point.
Prince Charles, the son and heir of the 93-year-old queen, Recently it has moved to take a more important role in real affairs. Most notably, he pressed to strip his younger brother, Prince Andrew, of his public duties after Andrew gave a disastrous television interview about his friendship with the convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
Quotable: “The monarchy is a rock of stability that has served this country well in times of crisis,” said Penny Junor, a real biographer. “But we are reaching the end of a rather problematic year, which adds to the problems of the family.”
Related: The deliberately unobtrusive celebration of NATO comes in the midst of caution about what President Trump could say. Last year considered withdrawing the United States from the military alliance.
The weekly: The latest episode of The Times television show is about Mr. Epstein and two of the best lawyers in the United States. Read Backstage notes about the episode, which is available on FX and Hulu.
If you have some time, it’s worth it
“We could have been anything,quot;
The 2000 class at Minford High School in Ohio began classes the year Purdue Pharma introduced OxyContin. In the last year, pain relievers were everywhere, in classrooms, school bathrooms and parties.
To understand the scope and consequences of the opioid crisis, The Times spoke with dozens of class members, many of whose lives have been affected by addiction. Since they graduated, more than 400,000 Americans have died from opioid overdoses.
This is what is happening most.
Arrests in Mexico: Several suspects were arrested in connection with the murders of nine members of a Mormon sect in the north of the country last month.
Supreme Court and firearms: The judges are ready to hear a Second Amendment case today for the first time in almost a decade, during which time the alignment of the court has become more conservative.
Waiver in Malta: Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said he would resign in January, after questions about whether his associates were involved in the murder of a well-known journalist in 2017.
Now, a break from the news
Clock: We highlight the best new movies and TV shows for broadcast services in the US. UU. And for Netflix in Canada.
To go: An exhibition at the Louvre will celebrate 100 years of the French painter Pierre Soulages. The only other artists who gave shows there during their lives were Picasso and Chagall.
Smarter life: A full-time employee in the United States will spend approximately 80,000 hours at work during the course of his life. We have advice for when you are considering a career change.
And now for the backstory in …
The chess queen
Present this in the category “Who knew?” The chess queen was not always as powerful as she is today.
I’m Katharine Seelye, a long time reporter for The Times and a chess player. I learned about the change in the queen’s power last week, while writing an obituary for Marilyn Yalom, a feminist author. His 2004 book, “The Birth of the Chess Queen: A Story,” describes the evolution of the queen from the weakest piece on the board to the owner of the universe.
When the game was first played in the sixth century in India and the Arab world, the chess queen did not exist.
But in real life, powerful queens – see Leonor of Aquitaine in the twelfth century and Isabel I of Castile in the fifteenth century would come to leave their mark.
Ms. Yalom postulates that these examples inspired game creators to reflect such power on the board. Initially, the queen could only move a square, diagonally.
Over time, the queen was granted super powers and became the most powerful of all, at least in chess.
That’s all for this informative session.
The answer to the previous question: the last Democratic candidate to win the nomination without winning the majority of black voters was Michael Dukakis, then governor of Massachusetts, in 1988.
Until next time.
Mark Josephson and Eleanor Stanford provided the break from the news. You can contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• We are listening to “The Daily,quot;. Today’s episode is about the aggressive methods that some hospitals use to force patients to pay.
• Here is today’s Mini Crossword Puzzle, and a hint: August is the only month that ends with one (three letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• Reporters and editors of The Times recently shared some examples of important local reports from other news organizations.