Israel, Greenland, Haunted Mansion: Your Friday Evening Briefing

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Good evening. Here’s the latest.

1. Representative Rashida Tlaib won’t visit the Israeli-occupied West Bank after several days of controversy and reversals.

On Thursday, after President Trump urged Israel on Twitter not to admit Ms. Tlaib, pictured above, and Representative Ilhan Omar for a planned trip, Israeli officials announced the two women would not be allowed to make an official visit, raising fears about the relationship between the two countries.

On Friday, Israel offered Ms. Tlaib the opportunity to visit her grandmother on humanitarian grounds if she agreed in writing not to “promote boycotts against Israel” during her visit. After being criticized by some Palestinians and other opponents of the Israeli occupation for agreeing to the terms, Ms. Tlaib declined, writing on Twitter: “Visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions stands against everything I believe in.”

The Times caught up with Ms. Tlaib’s grandmother, who is 90, in the small Palestinian village where she lives.

2. Afghan women have made huge strides toward gender equality since American troops forced the Taliban out of power following the 2001 U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. But now, as the Taliban and the United States move toward a preliminary peace agreement, the future of women’s rights there is tenuous.

The agreement, which is expected to detail plans to remove 14,000 American troops from Afghanistan, is not expected to include specific assurances that Afghan women will continue to have equal opportunities in education, employment and government.

The country’s constitution, adopted in 2004, specifically outlaws discrimination and stipulates equal rights for men and women. But recent events, including attacks this year against girls’ schools in Taliban territory, have concerned women’s-rights activists.


3. Senator Elizabeth Warren released a collection of policy proposals aimed at helping Native Americans, in her first major appeal to indigenous communities after a controversy over her ancestry last year.

Her proposals include revoking permits for the Keystone XL pipeline and the Dakota Access Pipeline, two projects that many Native Americans have opposed; creating a nationwide alert system for missing indigenous women; and bolstering funding for Native-focused programs.

Ms. Warren has been dogged by questions over her claims of Native American ancestry, including controversy over her release of a DNA test that purported to prove her Native American heritage.


4. “Greenland is not for sale and cannot be sold.”

That was the reaction of Greenland premier Kim Kielsen, upon learning that President Trump has reportedly been looking into whether the United States could buy the semiautonomous Danish territory. Mr. Trump’s interest in buying Greenland seemingly began as a joke, but sources told The Times he repeatedly mentioned the idea in recent months.

Mr. Trump will make a state visit in less than three weeks to Denmark, which contributes $740 million a year to Greenland’s government. The world’s largest island has vital strategic importance to Denmark, but it’s also an integral part of the country’s history and its self-image as a nation of explorers and sailors.

Citizens of Greenland and Denmark reacted with horror to the idea of a U.S. annexation. “It’s important for us to point out that selling Greenland is not an option,” said a member of the Danish Parliament elected in Greenland. “Nobody can sell a country like that. Denmark doesn’t own Greenland and you can’t sell something you don’t own.”


5. Cathay Pacific Airways said its CEO, Rupert Hogg, had stepped down under pressure from the Chinese government after some employees of Hong Kong’s biggest airline participated in antigovernment protests. Last weekend, protesters occupied Hong Kong International Airport, grounding hundreds of flights.

Mr. Hogg’s resignation could portend greater pressure from Beijing on Hong Kong’s business community as the protests intensify. Companies are scrambling to assert that they side with the leaders of Hong Kong and China, and Beijing may increasingly demand that they prove their loyalty.

6. An autopsy found that Jeffrey Epstein killed himself, the New York City medical examiner’s office said. He appeared to have tied a bedsheet to the top of a set of bunk beds, then knelt toward the floor with enough force that he broke several bones in his neck, officials said.

Mr. Epstein’s death is the subject of four federal investigations, and it has led to wild speculation ever since his body was found by guards on their morning rounds last Saturday. He faced charges of sex trafficking related to girls as young as 14.

After a previous suicide attempt, Mr. Epstein was supposed to be housed with a cellmate and checked on every half-hour at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, pictured above. But his cellmate had recently been transferred, and the two employees assigned to guard him had not checked on him for about three hours before he was found.


7. The E.P.A. backtracks on “cyanide bombs.” The environmental agency was forced to re-evaluate the use of poison devices used to kill wild animals like coyotes and foxes, which prey on livestock.

The devices, smeared with scented bait, eject a capsule of sodium cyanide into the predator’s mouth. A decision earlier this week to approve the devices triggered a massive backlash from environmental groups that have criticized the practice as inhumane.

Separately, the E.P.A. approved the use of antibiotics to treat a deadly bacterial infection that has destroyed Florida citrus trees. But new research suggests spraying the drug on trees is largely ineffective, and experts fear it could worsen the incidence of drug-resistant bacterial infections.

8. How do the effects of slavery echo in the N.B.A.? Nearly 80 percent of the league’s players are black, and the vast majority of coaches and executives are white.

Draymond Green, the All-Star forward of the powerhouse Golden State Warriors, has suggested that the N.B.A. should stop using the term “owner” to describe the men and women, nearly all white, who oversee the league’s 30 teams.

This summer’s flurry of trades and free-agency signings can be seen as something more profound than just money plays, too: It’s about “power, history and the long quest for black self-determination,” Kurt Streeter writes.

Read more from The 1619 Project, a major Times initiative that addresses how slavery and its effects have framed nearly every aspect of American life for the past 400 years.


9. It’s been five years since Gamergate, a leaderless campaign to preserve white male internet culture that has metastasized into a playbook for online harassment.

A project from the Opinion desk explains the chaotic, misogynistic movement that began with a screed posted online by an angry ex-boyfriend. We also trace related abuse campaigns against women of color; what Gamergate has meant for online harassment; and, in first-person accounts, what it feels like to be someone targeted by an internet mob.

“They shot videos wearing skull masks and showing viewers the knives they said they planned to murder me with,” wrote Brianna Wu, a game developer who was one of the movement’s biggest targets. She’s now running for Congress.


10. And finally, happy birthday to a delightfully macabre Disneyland institution.

This month, Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion turns 50. The ride, built to resemble an old New Orleans estate filled with 999 “grim, grinning ghosts,” is an enduring fan favorite. Staffers sometimes even find ashes on the floor, spread by relatives of Haunted Mansion lovers hoping to add a new soul to the mix. (They’re promptly vacuumed up.)

Some memorials at the Mansion are actually Disney-approved. Designers who worked on the ride have been honored with epitaphs in a mock cemetery. And Madame Leota, a floating head who summons ghosts from inside her crystal ball, was played by Leota Toombs, one of Disney’s first female Imagineers; her daughter, Kim Irvine, is now Disneyland’s art director.

Have a spirited evening.

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