Coronavirus, Harvey Weinstein, Brexit: Your Tuesday Briefing

Coronavirus, Harvey Weinstein, Brexit: Your Tuesday Briefing

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Good morning.

We’re covering markets tumbling over the coronavirus, the conviction of Harvey Weinstein and the death of a stellar mathematician.

Growing clusters of infections in South Korea and the northern Lombardy region of Italy spooked markets about the potential for a pandemic that could torpedo the global economy. European markets had their worst day since 2016, and Wall Street indexes fell more than 3 percent.

Harvey Weinstein, a film producer who was one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, faces years in prison after a Manhattan jury found him guilty of two felony sex crimes. While he was acquitted on three other counts, including the two most serious charges, he faces another criminal case in Los Angeles.

More than 90 women have accused Mr. Weinstein of sexual misconduct ranging from lewd propositions to unwanted touching and rape. Their allegations set off the global #MeToo movement. But the New York case was narrowly focused on two women.

Reaction: The Times asked legal experts and some of Mr. Weinstein’s accusers to interpret the verdict.

Another angle: Despite major efforts toward diversity, Hollywood remains largely a man’s world.

As Britain prepares for talks to reset its relationship with the European Union, the government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson is vowing to depart from European rules on everything from fishing access to financial regulations as an assertion of British independence. But the European Union warns that there is a steep price to pay for that.

Facing a difficult Brexit balancing act, Mr. Johnson is hoping to orient Britain toward U.S. demands for a new trade deal, while also aiming for an E.U. deal that avoids tariffs and quotas on trade. But a sharp break with E.U. rules could provoke new barriers on cross-Channel commerce that many British businesses fear.

Looking forward: An army of lawyers, accountants, bureaucrats and experts will hash out the arcana of a new British-E.U. relationship over the next year, by which time Mr. Johnson has promised a final agreement. Experts see that deadline as unrealistic.

Australia’s hellish fire season has finally eased, after a foot of rain ended a crippling drought. But the chaos is far from over. Above, a forest near Lake Conjola in New South Wales.

With floods now destroying homes not far from where the wildfires raged, residents are confronting a cycle of what scientists call “compound extremes” — one climate disaster intensifying the next.

Germany: A driver was arrested after he slammed his car into a crowd at a carnival gathering in Volkmarsen, injuring about 30 people. The authorities said that the driver acted deliberately, but that there was no sign yet of any political motivation.

In memoriam: Katherine Johnson, the leading light of a cadre of black female mathematicians in the early space program who performed NASA’s most delicate calculations, including for the moon landing, died at 101 in Virginia.

India: President Trump joined Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a rally in a 110,000-seat cricket stadium in Ahmedabad. It was an unabashed homage to Mr. Trump, even if a sizable portion of the crowd left before he finished his speech.

Snapshot: Above, people enjoying a red-tinted Monday at the beach ion Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain. Fierce sandstorms from the Sahara have blanketed the islands and have closed airports.

DNA: The rediscovery of a fly species in Wales shows how a novel process called environmental DNA sampling can help monitor endangered species.

What we’re reading: This Bon Appétit report on the makeshift kitchens that have popped up at a camp along the U.S.-Mexico border. Kim Severson, our national food correspondent, calls it “proof that the drive to cook never leaves, even under the most difficult of circumstances.”

Smarter Living: Losing an earring, even a cheap one, can be an emotional experience — maybe it’s the sight of the remaining earring alone in the jewelry box, missing its partner. But if you do lose one, don’t despair: there are online communities that can help you find the right replacement.

An eccentric global celebrity has become an everyday presence in a tightly connected town of about 10,000 people. Jonah Bromwich, a features reporter, visited Cody, Wyo., to learn more about how residents there feel about the new superstar next door: Kanye West. Mr. Bromwich chatted with Lindsey Underwood, an editor, about what he found there.

Lindsey: What’s Kanye doing in Cody?

Jonah: He’s living there, first of all. That was surprising to me. He’s there a lot. He’s made friends with a lot of the people who live there, and people have gotten used to seeing him around. I was there asking questions about him for a couple of days, and it got back to him pretty quickly. He’s also moved his brand, Yeezy, there. So he’s designing shoes, making music, basically being Kanye, but in Wyoming.

Lindsey: Cody has been an enclave for the rich and famous for some time. What’s the appeal?

Jonah: It’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. It’s really close to Yellowstone, and it’s just unbelievable looking. Sky, mountains, wild animals, etc. There are actually a lot of bears, which is probably appealing for some people.

Lindsey: So, missing from the piece is Kanye himself.

Jonah: Yes 😭

Lindsey: What happened?

Jonah: Well it was always conceived and pitched as a piece about Cody itself, not about Kanye. But it was inescapable that I was walking around the place where he lives asking people about him. Word got back to him fairly quickly that I was there. And then we had a weekslong conversation with his publicist, which culminated in them agreeing to an interview. I booked flights to go back to Cody, and the next day my editor called to tell me that they had canceled the interview.

I almost wanted to say, “they pulled on the deal,” because that’s how Kanye would describe what happened to him when he was originally going to be given his record contract in “Last Call.”

This interview was conducted for “Wait …,” our newsletter about how celebrity and technology are changing our world. It has been edited and condensed.

That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.

— Penn

Thank you
To Mark Josephson and Eleanor Stanford for the break from the news. You can reach the team at

• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our latest episode is about the corporate push to fight climate change.
• Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Philosopher who originated the “allegory of the cave” (five letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• Tyson Wheatley, a travel photographer and pioneer on Instagram, is joining The Times to oversee the strategy and development of its presence on the platform.

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