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Good morning. A prime minister on the precipice, fallout at Facebook and a record art sale.
Here’s the latest:
• The sales pitch of her life.
Prime Minister Theresa May’s government is swaying on a cliff’s edge. The surprise resignations of two cabinet ministers left her survival in office in doubt, a day after her cabinet grudgingly went all in with a draft plan for Britain’s withdrawal from the E.U.
“Am I going to see this through?” Mrs. May said at a news conference, above, phlegmatic after a day’s pummeling, as the fate of the United Kingdom seemed to swirl around her. “Yes.”
The clock is running down to Brexit in March, with no clear alternative to her plan and perhaps no time for one. Yet in Parliament, many declared it dead on sight or demanded a second referendum on Brexit, as Mrs. May rose again and again to declare her determination to leave the bloc.
Why is Britain finding it so hard to leave the E.U.? Here’s our explainer.
• The U.S. punishes Saudi Arabia.
The Trump administration announced sanctions against 17 Saudis accused of involvement in the killing of the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, above, in Turkey.
The sanctions came just hours after Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor said he was requesting the death penalty for five suspects in the case.
The prosecutor also said that the 15-man team sent to confront Mr. Khashoggi had orders to return him to the kingdom, but decided on the spot to kill and dismember him — changing the kingdom’s story yet again, and contradicting Turkish and U.S. findings.
The twin announcements from Riyadh and Washington may be part of an ongoing effort in both capitals to close the case.
But Turkey’s foreign minister, who has called for an international investigation, declared the latest Saudi explanation “unsatisfying.”
• Escape from Macedonia.
Nikola Gruevski, a former prime minister of Macedonia who ran the country as a mafia state, was due to report to prison on a conviction of abuse of power. Then he mysteriously surfaced in Hungary, where the government announced on Wednesday night that it was considering granting him asylum.
Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary, above left with Mr. Gruevski in 2013, was unable to explain the comparatively unforgiving treatment meted out to migrant asylum seekers — “ask the lawyers,” he said.
Also unexplained: how Mr. Gruevski got out of Macedonia at all.
Mr. Orban’s party said that “Nikola Gruevski is persecuted and threatened by the current Macedonian government, which is under the influence of George Soros,” a reference to the billionaire philanthropist who has become an all-purpose scapegoat for the global right — and even for Facebook (which is scrambling to contain the fallout from that revelation).
Outraged, the Macedonian government demanded Mr. Gruevski’s extradition. The small Balkan nation is in the final stages of a wrenching political battle to change its official name, to clear a path for joining NATO. Mr. Gruevski’s party, which is friendly with Russia and Hungary, had opposed the name change.
• Victim-blaming in Ireland.
At a criminal trial in Ireland, a man was accused of raping a 17-year-old girl in a muddy alleyway. In closing arguments, his lawyer offered a ghastly, age-old defense: that the girl had invited the attack with her attire.
“You have to look at the way she was dressed,” the lawyer said, referring to her underwear. “She was wearing a thong with a lace front.”
The man was acquitted, setting off furious national protests, many thong-themed like the one above in Dublin, and calls for changes to the legal system to protect women. Activists noted that few rape cases lead to convictions in Ireland, which has been experiencing a cultural sea-change — a ban on abortion was overturned by a referendum in May.
• Young computer scientists’ enthusiasm for working at Facebook seems to be waning. Above, a collegiate hackathon in California.
• Meanwhile, Facebook’s chief, Mark Zuckerberg, stepped into incoming fire from Washington lawmakers, shareholders and the general public, holding a lengthy and contentious conference call, after a Times investigation showed how the company obfuscated the extent of Russian infiltration of its network.
• Several top marketers, which give Facebook its advertising lifeblood, were openly critical, even calling the company amoral.
• “Delivery logistics hell”: On the verge of getting their cars, some Tesla customers have encountered delays, mix-ups or quality problems as Elon Musk’s operation struggles to work out kinks.
• U.S. regulators stopped short of a threatened ban on flavored e-cigarettes and will let stores continue to sell them from closed-off areas inaccessible to minors.
• Here’s a snapshot of global markets.
• Investigators are searching for clues to what started the deadly Camp Fire that razed Paradise, California, above. One possibility: a fallen power line. [The New York Times]
• As lawsuits flew and chaos reigned, Florida officials ordered a manual recount in the narrowly contested race for a Senate seat. Meanwhile, another recount, for governor, neared its conclusion, with the Republican candidate, Ron DeSantis, set to seal his victory. [The New York Times]
• Representative Nancy Pelosi insisted she had enough support to become speaker of the incoming House, but opposition to her appeared to be growing, as Democrats debated the importance of keeping a woman in the job. [The New York Times]
• The European Court of Human Rights determined that the Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny had been the victim of a governmental campaign to silence him through multiple arrests. [The New York Times]
• An orderly “invasion”: About 80 L.G.B.T. people from a migrant caravan — which President Trump has called an invading force — came to a California border crossing to make appointments for asylum interviews. [The New York Times]
• Women in Papua New Guinea face high-sky rates of domestic abuse, and more than half the men surveyed in some parts of the country said they had participated in gang rape. [The New York Times]
• Japan’s cybersecurity minister shocked Parliament by admitting he had never used a computer. He also didn’t seem to understand what USB drives are. [The New York Times]
Tips for a more fulfilling life.
• An enigmatic David Hockney painting of two men and a turquoise pool sold at Christie’s for $90.3 million with fees, leapfrogging the previous record for a work by a living artist.
• The rising Spanish musician Rosalía Vila Tobella, 26, is bringing flamenco to a new generation with playful samples and modern attitude.
• Overlooked no more: Pandita Ramabai Saraswati broke every rule for women in 19th century India: She married outside her caste; she traveled the world to give lectures on women’s rights; and she established one of the country’s first women’s shelters and schools. But she never received a Times obituary — until now.
On Fridays, The Times publishes a news quiz, which our U.S. briefing writer, Chris Stanford, compiles with the help of a colleague, Anna Schaverien.
My days are spent scanning headlines and synthesizing the news, and the quiz represents an alternative way to keep you caught up.
Our questions draw on the biggest stories of the week (including sports and pop culture, to the consternation of some readers).
Coming up with the incorrect answers for the multiple choice can be challenging.
We’ve enjoyed your comments. One reader said she competed with her husband and son every week. Another noted, “I LOVE ️this quiz. It can be really tough. Egad!!!”
“You must be great at Trivial Pursuit,” wrote another.
The single most common question we get about the quiz is where to find it. We have an easy answer: here.
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