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President Trump appeals to the American public, China offers some trade concessions and a fatberg traumatizes a small British town. Here’s the latest:
President Trump takes his case to the public
The president will argue for a wall along the Mexican border in a speech beginning at 9 p.m. Eastern. It is expected to be about 10 minutes long and will be broadcast across the four major American TV networks.
After his speech, the networks will broadcast a response from the Democratic Party leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.
We’ll have a stream of the president’s speech on nytimes.com — and a team of reporters providing live fact-checking and analysis. Here’s what to watch for and the larger issues the president faces.
Details: Mr. Trump will try to persuade Americans that what the White House is calling a “humanitarian and security crisis” on the southern border must be addressed before the government shutdown — now the second-longest — can end.
Another path: Mr. Trump might invoke emergency powers to build his proposed wall without lawmakers’ approval. That could involve redirecting Army troops and the military to help construct the barrier. Here’s how that might work.
China offers concessions in trade talks
Beijing is buying American soybeans again, it has cut tariffs on American cars, and it has promised to allow more foreign investors in and to keep its hands off corporate secrets — offerings it hopes will be enough for the Trump administration to declare an end to the trade war.
But it might not work. U.S. trade hawks are pushing for more, and even the doves worry that many of those promises will need effective enforcement, according to analysts.
President Trump announced on Twitter that midlevel negotiations in Beijing, which wind down today, “are going very well” — a sign that Beijing was moving in what he considered the right direction.
Complications: The North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, is visiting Beijing — a move widely seen as an effort to remind the U.S. that failing to arrive at a trade deal could jeopardize denuclearization negotiations.
Carlos Ghosn lays out his defense
The ousted Nissan chairman and his lawyers presented the most comprehensive case yet that he was not guilty of financial crimes, setting up a legal battle that could keep him in jail for up to six more months.
Details: Mr. Ghosn’s lawyer told prosecutors there was no basis for holding Mr. Ghosn on allegations that he improperly transferred personal losses to Nissan’s books, saying board members had approved the transactions. Mr. Ghosn said he had “acted honorably, legally, and with the knowledge and approval of the appropriate executives inside the company.”
What’s next for a fleeing Saudi woman?
Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun, the 18-year-old Saudi woman who fled her family and avoided deportation from Thailand, is now in the care of the U.N. Refugee Agency in Bangkok.
Agency officials may take up to 10 days to determine whether she qualifies for refugee status and, if so, where she could resettle. Ms. Alqunun has said her family abused her and would kill her if she were sent back to Saudi Arabia.
Her options: Likely candidates for resettlement include Australia, where she had originally hoped to go, and Canada. Human Rights Watch asked the Australian government to clarify her visitor visa status amid concerns that it had been canceled, according to reports.
Here’s what else is happening
Turkey: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan refused to meet with John Bolton, the White House national security adviser, after he said Turkey must agree to protect Syria’s Kurds — making an agreement between the two allies ahead of an announced U.S. withdrawal from Syria more difficult.
Russia: Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who met with President Trump’s campaign team at Trump Tower in 2016, was charged in New York in a separate case that showed her deep ties to the Kremlin.
Brexit: Ahead of a momentous debate in British Parliament next week, the government has been preparing for a possible “no deal” withdrawal from the E.U. So far, it has run a chaotic traffic exercise in Dover and awarded a $17.5 million ferry contract to a company with no ferries.
Emissions: U.S. carbon dioxide output rose by 3.4 percent in 2018, the biggest increase in eight years, according to a preliminary estimate. The uptick came even as a near-record number of coal plants across the country closed last year.
Myanmar: The country’s military has vowed to “crush” an armed insurgent group that attacked four police stations last week in a western border region, adding complexity to clashes with ethnic minorities.
China: A man in Beijing, said to be a maintenance worker at an elementary school, attacked and injured 20 students with a hammer, local authorities said. None of the injuries appear to be life-threatening, and the attacker was taken into custody.
In Opinion: Researchers in Australia, China and elsewhere are infecting mosquitoes with a harmless bacteria that can block or reduce the transmission of the diseases.
Fatberg: A 210-foot mass of oils, fats and wet wipes — longer than the Tower of Pisa is tall — has been discovered under a sleepy coastal town in Britain.
52 Places: The Times will publish its annual list of top travel destinations this evening — and announce our new 52 Places traveler, the lucky writer who gets to visit them all. Here’s how we compile that list and choose among all the applicants looking to voyage around the world.
Tips for a more fulfilling life.
Recipe of the day: Smoky bacon, red cabbage and a bit of cream make for a delicious pasta dinner.
A simple way to better remember things? Draw a picture.
Five carry-on essentials for travelers who love to pack light.
How does The Times decide when to publish leaked information?
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One exception, per the Espionage Act, is information related to national defense that could be used to harm the U.S. And some things, like nuclear secrets, are separately protected.
The Supreme Court has upheld the news media’s right to publish government secrets, citing the First Amendment. The landmark 1971 Pentagon Papers ruling struck down an attempt by the Nixon administration to keep The Times from publishing classified information about the Vietnam War.
Still, the Washington correspondent Charlie Savage notes in our Understanding The Times series, we don’t always exercise that right. Sometimes officials ask us to “consider voluntarily not publishing.”
Because “suppressing information is not something The Times takes lightly,” Mr. Savage explains, those decisions are handled by our most senior editorial leadership.
“It is extremely rare,” he adds, “for The Times to hold or kill such a story.”
Jennifer Krauss, from Times Insider, helped with today’s Back Story.
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