Jerusalem, Franken, Wildfires: Your Wednesday Evening BriefingOn December 7, 2017 by Ilene
“The Daily” podcast discusses both Jerusalem and our latest investigation into how Harvey Weinstein engineered a conspiracy of silence to hide his misdeeds.
3. We tracked down the mystery buyer of Leonardo da Vinci’s painting, ‘Salvator Mundi,’ which fetched a record $450.3 million at auction last month.
He’s a little-known Saudi prince who is close to the country’s heir apparent, the 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The splurge came as dozens of Saudi elites were detained in an unprecedented crackdown on corruption.
4. The House easily passed a sweeping expansion of the right to carry concealed firearms virtually anywhere in the country, a top legislative priority of the National Rifle Association.
The bill would require all states to recognize any other state’s concealed-carry permit. But the climb is steeper in the Senate, where passage would almost certainly require 60 votes to overcome a Democratic filibuster.
5. Donors and corporations love the Republican tax plan. The rest of the country isn’t so sure.
Groups like the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity are trying to convince ordinary Americans that the tax plan is good for them, and finding it a hard sell.
That jibes with polling data that shows the legislation is among the most unpopular public policy initiatives taken up by Congress in recent years. Above, canvassing in Florida.
6. In Southern California, evacuation orders covering thousands of people are in effect and Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency as ferocious wildfires burn unabated.
Ash rained down on the 405 Freeway in Los Angeles, and a handful of homes in the exclusive neighborhood of Bel-Air burned.
The high winds that are driving the fires are expected to strengthen through Thursday, with gusts of 60 miles per hour, making firefighting more difficult.
7. Alarming news from the medical world: A new study found that women who use hormonal birth control face a small but significant increase in the risk for breast cancer.
The study followed 1.8 million Danish women for more than a decade, and upends the widely held assumption that modern, low-estrogen contraceptives are safer than those taken by previous generations.
8. It’s the biggest Starbucks in the world. And it’s in Shanghai, a sign of the major investment the company is making in China.
The 29,000-square-foot Starbucks Reserve Roastery has a staff of 400.
“Though many older Chinese like tea, I just like coffee,” said a willing 22-year-old customer. “As the old saying goes, once love has begun, it never ends.”
9. “Grinch bots” are turning the hunt for popular toys into a nightmare quest.
The Fingerling, above, a colorful chirping monkey (or sloth or unicorn) that wraps around your finger, costs just $15 — but is missing from nearly every major retailer, thanks to software that buys out stock at lightning speed. The toys end up commanding vastly inflated prices on eBay or Amazon.
Retailers and elected officials say it’s time for a crackdown.
10. Finally, our two chief film critics, Manohla Dargis and A. O. Scott, unveiled their picks for the 10 best movies of 2017. A handful made both cuts, including “Get Out,” “The Florida Project” and “Lady Bird.”
We talked to Jordan Peele, above, the writer-director of “Get Out,” which is likely to earn an Oscar nomination for best picture. He once thought it would never go into production.
“I didn’t have enough role models telling me this movie could be made,” he said. “But to me, it was the missing piece of the conversation. I’d never seen my fears as an African-American man onscreen in this way.”
Have a great night.
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