Ohio Special Election, Tesla, Alex Jones: Your Wednesday Briefing

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Good morning.

Here’s what you want to know:

A slim G.O.P. lead in a once-safe district

• The excellent news, in case you’re a Republican: Troy Balderson is narrowly ahead in a particular election to fill a House seat in a district exterior Columbus, Ohio.

The unhealthy information: It’s a district that President Trump gained handily in 2016 and that routinely elected Republicans earlier than that.

At Manafort trial, no person appears good

• The testimony on Tuesday throughout the fraud trial of Paul Manafort sullied each his fame and that of Rick Gates, his former aide who’s now the prosecution’s star witness. Mr. Gates, beneath cross-examination, was portrayed as a thief, adulterer and liar.

Our reporters write: “The testimony filled in a picture of two men with few scruples and a powerful thirst for money, hiding payments from Ukrainian clients in foreign bank accounts and deceiving accountants, banks and tax authorities, both individually and together.”

The trial is the primary by the workplace of the particular counsel, Robert Mueller, who’s investigating Russia’s election interference and potential coordination by the Trump marketing campaign.

Kristin Davis, who as soon as had an escort service and ran for New York governor, is about to testify this week earlier than a grand jury. We checked out her possible connection to the Russia investigation.

A file hearth, and 16 extra

• Nearly 600,000 acres burned. More than 13,000 firefighters at work. More than 2,300 members of the National Guard referred to as in.

The numbers, nevertheless, don’t totally inform the story of the complexity of the firefighting effort in California, the place almost thrice as many acres have been scorched as in the identical interval final yr.

“It’s unprecedented to have so many sustained calls for for thus many sources over such a brief period of time,” one official mentioned.

War with out finish

• The battle in Afghanistan has endured and not using a clear exit technique for nearly 17 years, throughout three U.S. presidencies.

There can be the warfare in Iraq, which began in 2003 and continues in a special kind over the Syrian border.

More than three million Americans have served in uniform in these wars, and almost 7,000 of them have died.

Business

President Trump says that tariffs on metal, aluminum and imported Chinese items will generate sufficient income to scale back the federal debt. The math isn’t on his side.

Ikea, the world’s largest furnishings retailer, has opened its first outlet in India. The retailer in Hyderabad has the basic format, however what’s on display is somewhat different.

Elon Musk, the chief government of Tesla, suggested that he might take the automaker private, sending its inventory hovering.

Has social media hit a ceiling? Snap, the maker of Snapchat, lost three million daily active users within the newest quarter, and it’s not alone.

Alex Jones, the right-wing conspiracy theorist, urged his followers to fight back (and buy merchandise) after his programming was faraway from a number of social media platforms.

Smarter Living

Tips for a extra fulfilling life.

Today we introduce Ask, a method for Times subscribers to relay inquiries to our journalists and household of consultants. (Everybody, together with nonsubscribers, can profit from the solutions.) For the following month, we’re specializing in health.

Our first knowledgeable is Jessamyn Stanley, a yoga trainer, physique positivity advocate and creator of “Every Body Yoga.” Have a query about the proper of sophistication, a pose for a sure ache or gear? Ask here.

Recipe of the day: If you’re feeling bold on a weeknight, make buttermilk fried chicken.

Noteworthy

A dream ends on a mountain highway

“I’ve grown tired of spending the best hours of my day in front of a glowing rectangle,” Jay Austin wrote final yr. So he and his companion, Lauren Geoghegan, stop their jobs and set off to cycle the globe.

The younger American couple had a imaginative and prescient of the world. The males who mowed them down in Tajikistan had a starkly completely different one. Our correspondent tells their tragic but inspiring story.

Southern meals, or soul meals?

Two Atlanta cooks, Todd Richards and Virginia Willis, have revealed cookbooks this yr that replicate new methods of excited about Southern meals. One of our writers talked to them about culture, identity and cuisine.

Here’s more from this week’s Food section.

An extended look forward to a forged like this

The final time a significant Hollywood movie set within the current featured a predominantly Asian forged was 1993, with “The Joy Luck Club.”

“Crazy Rich Asians,” which relies on a best-selling novel, opens next week after an arduous casting process.

Best of late-night TV

Trevor Noah relished the testimony of Rick Gates on the trial of his former boss, Paul Manafort: “He’s confessing to stealing from the same guy that he was committing crimes with. Like, Manafort must have been so mad — but also at the same time, so proud.”

Quotation of the day

“Pound for pound, Stan Mikita was one of the greatest players of all time.”

Bobby Hull, the Hall of Fame hockey star, describing his teammate, who was 5-foot-Eight and 150 kilos when he joined the Chicago Blackhawks in 1958. Mr. Mikita died on Tuesday at 78.

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

Kate Phillips, a senior editor for well being and science, recommends this article from STAT: “A pair of medical detectives searching for people with ALS and specific genetic mutations built a 250-page digital family tree, with about 6,700 names, eight generations, two intertwined families. This fascinating story follows the researchers’ forays into a region with a peculiar hold on the disease: the Cumberland Gap.”

Back Story

New York’s Restaurant Week, a promotional occasion providing eating offers throughout town, is underway, so immediately we’re exploring the historical past of eating places.

Dining venues have existed since antiquity. Greeks and Romans ate at thermopolia, the place clients might seize drinks and meals from divots in L-shaped counters.

A restaurant in Paris, the place trendy eating places bought their begin within the 1700s.CreditDmitry Kostyukov for The New York Times

In 13th-century China, eateries featured regional specialties and à la carte menus, and some consider them to be the predecessors of immediately’s eating places.

Globally, taverns and inns served meals, however they centered totally on alcohol or lodging.

The phrase “restaurant” comes from 18th-century Paris, derived from the French verb restaurer, that means to revive. According to the encyclopedia Larousse Gastronomique, a person named Boulanger opened an establishment close to the Louvre in 1765 that served “bouillons restaurants,” or restorative broths.

After the French Revolution, many cooks for well-to-do households misplaced their jobs and started emulating Boulanger’s enterprise.

Although his story is extensively cited, the origin of the fashionable restaurant isn’t so clear.

Rebecca Spang, a historian who has written about eating places, said in an interview in 2000 that “there are simply no direct sources to demonstrate that someone called Boulanger existed and that he opened a restaurant.”

Instead, she suggests the excellence ought to go to Mathurin Roze de Chantoiseau, who opened a bouillon institution in 1766 and called himself “the first restaurateur.”

Matthew Sedacca wrote immediately’s Back Story.

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