Your Thursday Briefing

U.S. lawmakers traded shots for six hours on the House floor on Wednesday, ahead of a vote almost certain to put President Trump on trial in the Senate within weeks over “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

They are expected to vote soon, around noon Sydney time, on two charges against Mr. Trump: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. A majority of House members support impeachment, largely along party lines. Here’s where every lawmaker stands.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi opened the debate with a solemn message: “He gave us no choice.” Republicans, as expected, tried to slow down the process, while President Trump mounted an indignant, all-caps defense on Twitter: “SUCH ATROCIOUS LIES BY THE RADICAL LEFT, DO NOTHING DEMOCRATS.”

Reminder: Drawing on testimony and evidence gathered during a two-month inquiry, Democrats accused Mr. Trump of misusing the power of his office when he pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.

Yesterday: Mr. Trump denounced the process as an “illegal, partisan attempted coup” in a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Read the letter, which The Times fact-checked.

What’s next: If Mr. Trump is impeached, a Senate will follow in the new year. With Republicans in the majority, his removal from office appears highly unlikely — though senators must take an oath to “do impartial justice.”


Individually, none of the tracking techniques are beyond the capabilities of other countries, including the U.S. But together, they could propel China’s spying to a new level, making its cameras and software smarter and more sophisticated.

The surveillance networks fulfill a longtime goal of ensuring social stability, but it’s unclear how well the police are using the capabilities, or how effective they are.

Big picture: The surveillance push has empowered the police, who are taking a greater role in China under President Xi Jinping and using fears of unrest to win power and resources. They can track criminals as well as online malcontents, sympathizers of the Hong Kong protests, critics of the police and more. It often targets vulnerable groups, like the Uighurs.

Quotable: “You’re uncomfortable with it,” said one technology worker. “But if you don’t do it, then there’s no possibility of living a life. There’s no way out.”


President Xi Jinping of China is visiting Macau this week, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its return to Chinese rule. The territory stands in direct contrast with the more rebellious Hong Kong, a former British holding, just 40 miles away.

A global gambling hub, Macau has been more willing to accept Beijing’s authority, denying entry to Hong Kong residents, broadcasting glowing praise for the mainland and even adopting laws that curb dissent, like one in 2009 that made subversion against the Chinese state a crime.

And it’s reaping the rewards. Mr. Xi is expected to announce new measures to knit Macau further into an ambitious project that would make the city a regional hub for tourism and entertainment beyond gambling.

Quotable: “As we used to say, good boys get candy,” said a retired professor in the city. “Macau is a good boy.”

Dissent quelled: Young activists in Macau were denied permission to demonstrate their support for Hong Kong protests. Several who turned out anyway were arrested.

Unrest on the mainland: Dozens of students at Shanghai’s Fudan University staged protests against efforts by the Communist Party to extend its control over campuses. Fudan was one of three schools to rewrite its charter to emphasize loyalty to the party over values like academic freedom and independence.

Why did the transition from preschool to kindergarten turn a sweet 5-year-old into a screaming bundle of tears?

In a deeply emotional essay for The Times Magazine, the writer Rivka Galchen watches her child grow up.

Japan: A Tokyo court sided with Shiori Ito, ordering the prominent television journalist she accused of raping her to pay damages worth about $30,000. Ms. Ito, a feminist icon in a country where few women speak out about sexual assault, called the decision a milestone.

Australia: A confluence of meteorological factors drove the country’s average temperature to a record 40.9 degrees Celsius (105.6 Fahrenheit) on Tuesday. Even hotter temperatures are forecast, increasing the threat of fires.

South Korea: Outrage is spreading over the secret repatriation of two North Korean fishermen to what rights activists said was a certain execution by the North. The details leaked after a photographer captured the texted report of the handover on a presidential aide’s smartphone​.

Haiti: United Nations peacekeepers fathered and left behind hundreds of children in the country, researchers found in a newly released academic study. They sexually abused girls as young as 11, the researchers said, and left women stuck with stigma and poverty.

Auto merger: Fiat Chrysler and PSA of France, which makes Peugeot and Citroën vehicles, said they had reached a deal to create the world’s fourth-largest automaker, overtaking General Motors.

Snapshot: Above, Bich Dong Pagoda in Tam Coc, Vietnam. Conservation groups are battling to stop the killing of animals in the country’s rich, biologically diverse forests.

What we’re reading: This self-elegy written with unshrinking clarity by the art critic Peter Schjeldahl. Our obituaries editor, William McDonald, calls it “brave, accepting, self-deprecating, even good-humored,” and says, “Mr. Schjeldahl’s time is short, but remarkably, he seems at peace.”

Kim Jong-un has sent repeated signals that he will abandon diplomacy unless Washington meets his Dec. 31 deadline to return to nuclear negotiations with more concessions.

Over the last few months, he has twice done something to publicize his resolve, visiting a mountain sacred to his people as their mythical birthplace. That’s Mount Baekdu, a 9,029-foot peak near the Chinese border.

In 2013, he traveled there two weeks before he executed his uncle, then No. 2 in his regime.