Florida prepares for an unpredictable storm
Forecasters expect Hurricane Dorian to arrive somewhere along the state’s east coast on Monday afternoon, but exactly where is a mystery: Some models predict that it will deliver a direct blow to Central Florida, others that it will veer north or south.
Because of the uncertainty, all 67 counties in Florida are under an emergency declaration, and residents scrapped their Labor Day weekend plans to prepare.
Key activists are arrested in Hong Kong
The police arrested at least three prominent activists today and blocked plans for a march on Saturday as part of an intensifying crackdown on antigovernment protests.
Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow, who were student leaders in the city’s 2014 pro-democracy demonstrations, were among those arrested, their political organization said.
Background: Five years ago, Beijing announced a plan for limited democracy in Hong Kong that set off the Umbrella Movement, a two-month occupation of several neighborhoods. The current demonstrators had hoped to commemorate the anniversary of that day, known as “the 8/31,” with a huge march on Saturday, although that now seems unlikely.
Related: China has effectively expelled a Beijing-based reporter for The Wall Street Journal after he wrote an article about the cousin of the country’s leader, Xi Jinping.
A stinging rebuke for James Comey
The former F.B.I. director violated policy by disclosing memos about his interactions with President Trump, setting “a dangerous example” for officials, according to a report by the Justice Department’s inspector general that was released on Thursday.
Background: Mr. Comey documented his encounters with Mr. Trump early in his presidency because he worried that the president would lie about their discussions. Mr. Trump fired Mr. Comey in 2017 and tried to undermine his standing as a key witness in the investigation by the special counsel, Robert Mueller.
Response: Mr. Comey noted that the inspector general found that he had broken no laws, and criticized those who had accused him of lying or leaking information.
See for yourself: Read a copy of the Justice Department report.
The policing crisis overshadowing Pete Buttigieg
The two-term mayor of South Bend, Ind., spent years focusing on his city’s economic record. But after a white police officer fatally shot a black resident in June, Mr. Buttigieg’s record on policing has overshadowed his presidential campaign.
A Times review of lawsuits and court documents, along with new interviews, provides disturbing allegations about how a small group of women helped Mr. Epstein recruit teenage girls for sex. Two of the women under scrutiny are pictured above: Sarah Kellen, left, and Ghislaine Maxwell.
Several of the women who said they were abused by Mr. Epstein spoke at a court hearing this week. “Jeffrey is no longer here, and the women that helped him are,” said one. “They definitely need to be held accountable for helping him.”
Here’s what else is happening
Genetics and sexuality: Many genes influence same-sex behavior, not just a single “gay gene,” an ambitious study found. Social and environmental factors have roles, too. In an Op-Ed for The Times, one of the researchers and a colleague, both gay men, parse the implications and limitations of the work.
Shift in Iran: The country’s leaders have concluded that they must eventually negotiate with President Trump, according to several people with knowledge of the decision, on the basis that he may be re-elected and that Iran could not withstand another six years of the current sanctions.
Space Command: President Trump authorized a unified command to coordinate the military’s role in space. It’s a precursor to the Space Force, a sixth branch of the military that he wants to create.
Threat in Colombia: A former top commander of the country’s largest rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces, vowed a return to war almost three years after a peace deal.
Trump aide resigns: President Trump’s personal assistant, Madeleine Westerhout, abruptly stepped down after she was said to have shared details about his family and Oval Office operations.
News quiz: Did you follow the headlines this week? Test yourself.
Modern Love: In this week’s column, a writer whose father left her mother for someone three decades younger is surprised to find how much her feelings about the woman change.
Late-night comedy: Most shows are in reruns, so our column is on hiatus.
What we’re reading: This piece in The Atlantic. Remy Tumin, of the briefings team, says: “My friend and former colleague Peter Brannen puts the fires in the Amazon into the context of humanity’s burning of fossil fuels, which summons ‘creatures long dead to return to Earth’s surface and give up the ancient energy they took to the grave.’”
Now, a break from the news
Smarter Living: One thing you can do for the environment is to drive less. Our Climate Fwd: newsletter did some math: A 10 percent reduction in U.S. auto journeys would equal taking about 28 coal-fired power plants offline for a year. Short trips are the lowest-hanging fruit — you could usually walk, bike or take public transit.
And if you use Slack to escape from email, we can help stop it taking over your life.
And now for the Back Story on …
Namor, the Sub-Mariner
The Marvel Comics character turns 80 on Saturday. Created by the writer-artist Bill Everett, he has been a villain, a hero, a corporate tycoon and more.
In his origin story, published on Aug. 31, 1939, he is a force of nature personified. Two divers who spot him in the ocean depths are in awe of “the long strokes of his powerful arms.”
Under water, his hair and skin color vary. On land, he has brown hair and is Caucasian — closer to his modern look.
The cartoonist Art Spiegelman, writing about how fascism shaped the golden age of comics in the 1940s, noted that the volatile Sub-Mariner was “a marked contrast to the square and square-jawed vigilante do-gooders who lived in the less scruffy DC Comics neighborhood.”
The reason for Namor’s rage resonates today: undersea explosions set off by a scientific expedition. With the kingdom of Atlantis threatened, his mother tells him, “It is your duty to lead us into battle!” And so he has, for eight decades and counting.
That’s it for this briefing. We’ll be off on Monday for the Labor Day holiday but will return on Tuesday.
See you next time.
Melina Delkic helped compile this briefing. Mark Josephson and Eleanor Stanford provided the break from the news. George Gustines, an editor for graphics and video who covers the comic book industry for The Times, wrote today’s Back Story. You can reach the team at [email protected].
• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Today’s episode is about this week’s political maneuvers in Britain and Italy.
• Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Philosopher John who lent his name to a “Lost” character (five letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• The Times distributed 2,000 free copies of our Magazine’s special issue “The 1619 Project,” to readers outside our New York headquarters on Thursday.