Chris Collins, Argentina, Bill Hybels: Your Thursday Briefing

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Good morning.

Here’s what it’s essential know:

G.O.P. is left with little room for error

• With three months till the midterm elections, this week’s voting revealed the vulnerabilities that Republicans face in lots of suburbs and with average voters.

Key races in Kansas and Ohio remain undecided, however occasion veterans have an more and more bleak view of their prospects this fall. Republicans can afford to lose solely 22 seats to keep up management of the House.

“There’s a real likelihood that they not only win the House, but they win it by 10 or 12 more seats than they need,” Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, mentioned of the Democrats.

Separately on Wednesday, Representative Chris Collins, a New York Republican, was charged with insider trading. He mentioned he would stay on the poll in November.

New sanctions in opposition to Russia

The measures announced by the Trump administration on Wednesday are a response to the tried assassination in March of a Russian former spy residing in England and his daughter.

The U.S. had already agreed with Britain’s dedication that Russia was accountable for the assault involving an obscure nerve agent. Western international locations expelled about 150 Russian diplomats, together with 60 from the U.S.

Russia will face even harder measures if it fails to show that it’s now not utilizing chemical weapons, in response to the phrases of a 1991 legislation.

An enormous blow to Uber and Lyft

• New York is the primary main American metropolis to halt new vehicle licenses for ride-hailing services and to set a minimal pay fee for drivers.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Corey Johnson, the City Council speaker, mentioned the measures handed on Wednesday would cut back visitors and enhance drivers’ low wages. Uber warned that the cap might lead to increased costs and longer waits.

The laws, our columnist writes, “suggests the extent to which the false promises of the sharing economy are becoming better understood and, how much more aggressively they still could be counteracted.”

Argentina rejects legalizing abortion

• The nation’s Senate narrowly defeated a measure early today that might have allowed abortions throughout the first 14 weeks of being pregnant.

Promoted by a grass-roots motion, the invoice had galvanized ladies’s teams all through Latin America. In the area, solely Cuba, Guyana, Uruguay and Mexico City enable all ladies to have early-term abortions.

Argentina is the birthplace of Pope Francis, who just lately denounced abortion because the “white glove” equal of the Nazi-era eugenics program.

Puerto Rico toll is quietly raised

• The territory’s authorities acknowledged on-line that 1,427 people died in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in September, greater than 20 instances the official toll.

The new determine appeared within the draft of a report set to be launched right now, requesting $139 billion from Congress.

The island’s authorities was broadly criticized for undercounting deaths after an influence outage stretched for months.

Business

The Treasury Department outlined the forms of corporations and professionals now eligible for a 20 percent tax break. Among the attainable beneficiaries: President Trump’s actual property empire.

Facebook has lengthy been a car for rumor and paranoia all over the world. The debate over the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has introduced that actuality house to Americans, our columnist writes.

Noteworthy

Church officers resign in harassment case

The lead pastor and your entire board of elders resigned on Wednesday from Willow Creek Community Church, one of many nation’s most influential evangelical congregations.

They mentioned that they had made a mistake by failing to imagine the ladies who accused the Rev. Bill Hybels, the church’s founding pastor, of sexual harassment.

A reputation contest on the Oscars

Alarmed by plunging TV scores, the group behind the Academy Awards mentioned it might add a category for blockbuster films, a transfer that was broadly mocked on social media. The telecast will even be shortened.

Relics on the market on the Jersey Shore

Can classic outlets and salvage sellers bridge an financial divide in the newly revitalized Asbury Park, N.J.?

Quotation of the day

“Finally. We’re starving to death.”

Elizabeth Cassarino, a yellow-taxi driver in New York, on the town’s resolution to cap licenses for ride-hailing vehicles.

The Times, in different phrases

Here’s a picture of today’s front page, and hyperlinks to our Opinion content and crossword puzzles.

What we’re studying

Albert Sun, an assistant editor, recommends this presentation from ProPublica and Reveal: “The two news organizations hired engineers to build scale models of different levee systems and to test rising water levels. The conclusions are clear: These flood prevention systems can actually make floods worse.”

Back Story

In the track “Imagine,” John Lennon sang a few world with no faith.

But faith was on the middle of an issue involving the Beatles guitarist, who apologized on Aug. 11, 1966, for favorably evaluating his band’s reputation to that of Jesus.

John Lennon in 1964.CreditHarry Benson, through Getty Images

“Christianity will go,” Mr. Lennon had mentioned in an interview revealed 5 months earlier. “It will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue about that; I know I’m right and I will be proved right. We’re more popular than Jesus now. I don’t know which will go first — rock & roll or Christianity.”

The profile ran in a British newspaper with out controversy. But when a teen magazine in the U.S. reprinted the quote in late July — simply earlier than the Beatles launched into a U.S. tour — Americans took the slight to coronary heart.

Radio stations, significantly within the South, refused to play the Fab Four’s music. Members of the Ku Klux Klan picketed the tour, and conservative teams burned their data.

Mr. Lennon apologized at the start of the tour — which ended up being the Beatles’ final — but it surely was clear he was annoyed by the outrage:

“I suppose if I had said television was more popular than Jesus, I would have got away with it. I am sorry I opened my mouth.”

Matthew Sedacca wrote right now’s Back Story.

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