G-20, Pennsylvania Station, Tesla: Your Friday Briefing

President Trump said in Warsaw on Thursday that Western civilization was at risk of decline, and under threat from “radical Islamic terrorism” and “the creep of government bureaucracy.”

He also held up Poland as a beacon of freedom, but international rights groups disagree.

A new approach on North Korea.

As the country’s missile program progresses, tiny civilian satellites in the U.S. could help track missiles that Pyongyang launches. The devices were developed to count cars in Target parking lots and to monitor crops.

Amid the posturing on the Korean Peninsula, the South has made a conciliatory gesture, calling for cross-border family reunions.

• More transportation troubles.

A New Jersey Transit train derailed as it entered Pennsylvania Station on Thursday night, causing another round of delays but no major injuries.

The episode came just days before major repairs begin at the transit hub. Here are our suggestions for alternative routes.

• An agreement in Illinois.

After more than two years of political sparring, missed payments and plunging credit ratings, the state finally did what most do every year: It finished a budget.

• No escape, and little chance of surrender.

Our correspondent went with the Iraq counterterrorism force to the old city of Mosul, where Islamic State fighters are hemmed in and civilians are trapped. The resistance was fierce and fanatical, even by ISIS standards.

• “The Daily,” your audio news report.

Twenty minutes a day, five days a week, hosted by Michael Barbaro and powered by New York Times journalism.

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


The European Union’s trade agreement with Japan is a rebuke of President Trump’s policies. Here’s what’s in it, and why it matters.

• France has pledged to phase out the sale of cars that use fossil fuels by 2040. Tesla, though, has lost its spot as the most valuable U.S. automaker.

Dean Baquet, The Times’s executive editor, answered readers’ questions about plans to eliminate a stand-alone copy desk.

• U.S. stocks were down on Thursday. Here’s a snapshot of global markets.

Smarter Living

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

• Instagram can harm body image — but it can also inspire us.

• Long-term travel requires letting go of expectations and plans. Here are our tips.

A Sicilian cook shares a recipe for baked eggplant with ricotta, mozzarella and anchovy.


• Teaming up.

In today’s 360 video, admire the results of a project in which 12 pairs of artists were asked to communicate with each other for five months using only visual tools.

• A culture of brutality.

The death of a Muslim recruit at Parris Island has raised questions about severe hazing at the U.S. military boot camp.

Tiny building blocks.

Researchers at CERN have spotted a particle that could provide insight into how quarks interact.

• Ready for the weekend.

At the movies, we have reviews of “The House,” “The Beguiled” and the documentary “City of Ghosts.” We also spoke with Oscar Isaac, who is returning to the theater to play Hamlet.

For book lovers, we have a piece in praise of Daphne du Maurier, and take a look at a thriller, “The Sisters Chase.”

On the music scene, our writer spent time with Haim: a rock band very much devoted to being a rock band.

• Quotation of the day.

“There isn’t much more I could accomplish at the Office of Government Ethics, given the current situation.”

Walter M. Shaub Jr., the director of the agency, who is stepping down to take a job with an advocacy group.

Best of Late Night will be back on Tuesday. The hosts are taking a break for the holidays.

Back Story

In the U.S. Supreme Court’s 227-year history, only four women have served on its bench (three of them currently). On this day in 1981, President Ronald Reagan followed up on a campaign promise to appoint the first, announcing that he would nominate Sandra Day O’Connor.

Reaction was swift. “Already the flack is starting & from my own supporters,” Mr. Reagan wrote in his diary. “I think she’ll make a good Justice.”

Sandra Day O’Connor in 1981.

George Tames/The New York Times

Viewed as a centrist and moderate conservative, she became a swing vote in decisions upholding voting rights, environmental protection, affirmative action and religious liberty.

Justice O’Connor, born in 1930, graduated third in her class from Stanford Law School. Yet the only position offered to her was legal secretary. She declined.

“It wasn’t until the ’60s that women began to bring to the forefront the continuing concerns that they had about equal opportunity,” she told The Saturday Evening Post in 1985, adding, “I am sure that but for that effort, I would not be serving in this job.”

While she never marched for women’s rights, that didn’t stop scholars from analyzing her feminist credentials.

Does she call herself a feminist? No. She prefers to be called “a fair judge and a hard worker.”

Danielle Belopotosky contributed reporting.


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