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Good evening. Here’s the latest.
1. The Iran crisis.
U.S. military units are reinforcing their outposts, bases and airfields in Iraq and Syria, preparing for revenge attacks for the American drone strike that killed a senior Iranian general last week — and puzzled both U.S. allies and President Trump’s critics.
The Pentagon has directed about 4,500 troops to join the roughly 50,000 already in the region, but retracted a letter that said U.S. forces in Iraq were being repositioned “for movement out” of the country.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei wept over the coffin of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani at the funeral in Tehran, and throngs filled the streets, above. The general’s successor spoke of retaliation, while Mr. Trump doubled down on his threat to hit all kinds of targets in Iran if it retaliated.
Democrats who want to block Mr. Trump from unilaterally starting a war with Iran are relying on a mostly untested law. But Congress’s control over decisions about going to war has been eroding for generations.
2. John Bolton is now willing to testify in the Senate impeachment trial.
The former national security adviser, who had until now complied with a White House directive not to cooperate in the inquiry, said he would appear if subpoenaed.
Mr. Bolton is a potential bombshell of a witness, with crucial knowledge of President Trump’s actions and conversations regarding Ukraine that could fill in key blanks in the narrative of the case.
But it’s still not clear when Speaker Nancy Pelosi will send the articles of impeachment to the Senate, given that the majority leader, Senator Mitch McConnell, has not provided Democrats the assurance they want that the trial will be fair.
3. Harvey Weinstein: a trial in New York, and new sex crime charges in California.
The Los Angeles County district attorney disclosed the charges shortly after the former Hollywood titan entered a packed Manhattan courtroom for the start of his rape trial, a #MeToo milestone.
The new case accuses Mr. Weinstein of raping one woman and sexually assaulting another the next day in 2013. The charges include felony counts of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of force and sexual battery by restraint.
In New York today, a judge dealt a blow to his defense, ruling that his lawyers could not call as a witness a detective who withheld favorable evidence from prosecutors. Jury selection begins Tuesday.
4. An earthquake shook Puerto Rico.
The 5.8-magnitude quake struck before sunrise, frightening people out of their beds and cracking house walls. Persistent aftershocks terrified residents already scarred by recent hurricanes.
“It started shaking a bit, but then, all of a sudden, we felt a jolt — I’d never seen anything like it,” said one man in the town of Guánica, where several houses were reported to have collapsed. “Everything shook.”
The governor said no one was seriously injured, but officials warned of possible mudslides and schools were closed until Jan. 13 for safety inspections. One casualty: a coastal rock formation known as Punta Ventana, shaped like a round stone window with a stunning view of the ocean.
5. After-hours school shootings are epidemic.
They’ve occurred at a rate of about one a week since August, but the pattern has largely gone unnoticed. Since the start of 2013, at least 19 people have been killed and more than 100 wounded at or near school sporting events.
“There’s a growing problem there, and we know that it’s not some spurious thing — it’s something systematic,” said one sports safety researcher. Above, a shooting at a game on Aug. 30 in Mobile, Ala.
We look at how efforts to prevent these shootings have been halting, piecemeal or virtually nonexistent.
6. Australia is getting a short respite.
Cooler, wetter weather has temporarily dampened raging wildfires, but they’re expected to resume in days, when high temperatures and strong winds return.
Under criticism, Prime Minister Scott Morrison picked up the pace of his response. He committed about $1.3 billion over the next two years to help rebuild ravaged towns.
Smoky air has stirred concern for the Australian Open, which is scheduled to start Jan. 20 in Melbourne. Tennis officials already relocated the Canberra International, beginning today, to a town 400 miles away because the capital’s air quality was deemed too poor even for indoor play.
Since October, the wildfires have killed 24 people, scorched millions of acres of land and destroyed more than a thousand homes. The governments of New Zealand, Canada and the U.S. have all sent firefighters. Here’s how to help, and here’s what travelers need to know.
7. An E.P.A. plan would reduce truck pollution but also avert tougher state controls.
It is the Trump administration’s first step toward curbing highway emissions of nitrogen dioxide, which has been linked to asthma and other respiratory diseases.
The trucking industry had asked for a national regulation to override states that could otherwise impose tighter rules, as California has begun doing.
Public health experts say the E.P.A. proposal falls far short of what is necessary to significantly prevent respiratory illness and premature deaths.
8. Larry Kramer’s score-settling sequel.
In “The American People, Volume 2,” the playwright, screenwriter and activist takes aim at people and institutions he believes were the scoundrels of the AIDS era.
The main character “devours his enemies so ravenously that, when he speaks, their tails are still hanging from his mouth,” writes our critic, Dwight Garner.
The 880-page novel is a mess, he says, “but somehow it’s a beautiful and humane one.”
9. 1 year + 52 places = 7 indelible life lessons.
That’s the nutshell from our 52 Places Traveler, Sebastian Modak, at the end of his whirlwind journey around the world.
After 119,772 miles flown, 6,819 miles driven, 48 boat rides and 45 train trips, he shares with us the memories he is most grateful for, “as they taught me invaluable lessons not only about the world, but also about myself.”
Goat-carcass games and urban lions figure heavily into his reflections.
10. And finally, the Golden Globes, decoded and dissected.
And our fashion critic, Vanessa Friedman, unravels the red carpet choices at last night’s awards ceremony, writing that the most striking styles of the night were “gloriously, sometimes ridiculously, risky.”
Have a gloriously entertaining evening.
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