Your Monday Briefing – The New York Times


Hundreds of relatives of Islamic State fighters fled a detention camp run by Kurds after Turkish airstrikes hit the surrounding area in northern Syria.

The escapes are a sign that a Kurdish-led militia, fighting to push back the Turkish invasion, is losing control of a region it recently freed from the extremists.

The U.S. said it would withdraw about 1,000 of its remaining troops, calling the escalating conflict a “very terrible situation.” Green Berets describe feeling “ashamed” at orders to abandon their Kurdish allies.

Analysis: President Trump’s abrupt shift in Syria and acquiescence to the Turkish invasion have alarmed America’s allies in the Middle East.

Watch: Our video investigation shows how the Russian Air Force has repeatedly bombed hospitals in rebel-held areas of Syria in order to crush remaining resistance to President Bashar al-Assad.


Vast swathes of Japan were reeling after being pummeled by the typhoon, the largest to hit the country in decades. Scores of rivers flooded, levees burst, and roads and bridges were destroyed. The death toll currently stands at 35.

Rescue workers pulled people off roofs by helicopter or rowed them out of the floodwaters in boats. About 370,000 households were without power and 15,000 without water, an official said.

Even major cities suffered severe damage — a reckoning for a country with sophisticated infrastructure and extensive preparedness for natural disasters.

Photos: Bullet trains and buildings were submerged, nursing homes evacuated and debris scattered.


A police officer was stabbed in Hong Kong on Sunday during flash-mob protests across the city, an escalation of outbreaks of street violence since a ban was issued early this month on face masks at public gatherings.

Hoteliers, salesclerks, restaurateurs and tour guides across Hong Kong have seen business plummet as images of months of clashes are broadcast around the world.

China’s tightly controlled media outlets depict the protest movement as being separatist in nature, which has enabled it to fan nationalist outrage on the mainland.

An inside perspective: “The Communist Party has spent decades preparing the Chinese people for a moment like this.” The Times columnist Li Yuan describes her own experience of absorbing the government’s narrative and then, outside China, discovering more of her country’s unvarnished history.

International business: The N.B.A. most recently felt the effect of China’s willingness to use its media messaging and vast economic clout to crush anything that threatens the party’s legitimacy or policies. But many other icons of U.S. culture — Apple, Disney, Gap, Lady Gaga — have also faced tough choices in trying to do business in China’s vast market.


Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, plans to step down from the board of BHR, a Chinese equity investment fund manager, by the end of this month, according to a statement from his lawyer.

His ties to foreign businesses have become a target for President Trump, who is aggressively attacking the elder Mr. Biden, a top rival in the U.S. presidential race.

Mr. Trump has publicly urged China to investigate the Bidens, and his pressure campaign on Ukraine to do so is at the heart of the intensifying impeachment inquiry against the president. (Here’s our most recent Impeachment Briefing, which follows the inquiry weekdays.)

Related: Mr. Trump had lunch with Rudy Giuliani, his personal lawyer, on Saturday, one of several gestures of support for Mr. Giuliani, who is being investigated over possible lobbying violations in Ukraine.

Go deeper: How did Mr. Giuliani get here? A special episode of “The Weekly” examines how the man once known as “America’s Mayor” came to be at the center of a scandal of the Trump presidency. (“The Weekly” is streamable in Australia on SBS on Demand.)

What made it possible for Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya to break the two-hour barrier for a marathon? Lindsay Crouse, a marathoner and former sportswriter who works with The Times’s Op-Docs team, breaks it down.

To reach 26.2 miles in 1:59:40 on Saturday, he looped a course in a Vienna park, flanked by pacers running in patterns scientists devised to decrease drag. He wore Nike’s special, controversial speed shoes. And while the event could be dismissed as a branding stunt, Lindsay writes, “the joy and inspiration of the moment are hard to take issue with.”

Women’s marathon record: Brigid Kosgei of Kenya blew away the field in winning the Chicago Marathon in a world record of 2:14:04.

Kashmir: Cellphone service should be partly restored starting today, according to Indian authorities, who cut off communications in the disputed Himalayan region two months ago. The internet will remain blocked.

Australia: With the conservative federal government dismissive of climate change, small-town leaders are left to try to grapple with flood planning and response, rising insurance costs, drought monitoring and fire prevention.

Jeffrey Epstein and Bill Gates: A Times investigation found that the financier, who killed himself after being jailed on sex trafficking charges, and the Microsoft billionaire were closer than previously known.

Perspective: A mother describes in our Sunday Review how white supremacists work to recruit youths online, and how she intervenes to keep her own two boys from uncritically accepting objectionable opinions.

Snapshot: Simone Biles, above, won the gold in the balance beam and the floor exercise in Stuttgart, Germany. With 25 medals — 19 of them gold — she is the most decorated gymnast in world championship history.

Modern Love: This column from 2006 is one of the most emailed Times articles ever. In it, a wife tries to improve her husband by using animal training techniques.

What we’re reading: This deep dive into “The End of Silence,” in The Atlantic. “If you have any kind of sound sensitivity, or live near a data center, or just want to track another element of our strange modern life, you’re likely to find it fascinating,” writes Andrea Kannapell, the Briefings editor. “And there’s a great passage about my borough, Brooklyn.”

Watch: “El Camino,” a feature-length sequel to “Breaking Bad,” arrives today on Netflix. Catch up on the major characters.

Read: A biography of Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, is among 10 new books we recommend.

Listen: The online lives of Teejayx6, DaBaby, Megan Thee Stallion and other breakout rappers are as important to their success as their music.


Smarter Living: Not every new mother bonds immediately with her baby. If that’s you, it may help to know that doctors say it’s normal. Despite societal pressure for instant adoration, you and the baby may need time to fall in love. It can help to make eye and skin-to-skin contact as often as possible, and to carry the newborn close, in a sling. For some, the baby’s first smile solves it all.

And our Parenting team put together a guide on what to know about surrogacy.

Childlike, informal to the point of frivolity: Comic Sans turns 25 this month.

Its designer, Vincent Connare, says he was helping develop an easy-to-use operating system for Microsoft in 1994 when he sketched a talk bubble for “a cute little yellow dog” — and had to invent a typeface suitable for dog talk.

There were haters from the start.

Twitter once said that its most reliable sources of traffic were complaints about airlines and Comic Sans. Designers call the font the “punchline” of the artistic community. A couple in Indiana, Holly and David Combs, launched a “Ban Comic Sans” movement.

Still, it keeps showing up in surprising places. In 2012, CERN used it for the landmark announcement of the Higgs boson particle, and in 2018, the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers used it to reassure fans when LeBron James left the team.

Last week, it got another 15 minutes of fame. A lawyer representing two of Rudy Giuliani’s associates told Congress that his clients wouldn’t comply with impeachment inquiry demands — in a letter printed in Comic Sans.


Thank you for reading.

Journalism is worth paying for. Please subscribe to The New York Times to support our mission: to seek the truth and help people understand the world.

See you next time.

— Jillian


Thank you
To Mark Josephson and Eleanor Stanford for the break from the news. Emma Goldberg, a researcher for the Times editorial board, wrote today’s Back Story. You can reach the team at briefing@nytimes.com.

P.S.
• We’re listening to Part 2 of the fifth episode of the audio series for “The 1619 Project,” on discriminatory lending practices that have robbed black farmers of their land.
• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our latest episode is about China’s dispute with the N.B.A.
• Here’s our Mini Crossword, and a clue: Major screw-up (5 letters). You can find all our puzzles here.