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Trump, Interpol, Brexit: Your Wednesday Briefing

Trump, Interpol, Brexit: Your Wednesday Briefing


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Good morning.

Here’s the latest: President Trump sides with Saudi Arabia, Brexiteers’ revolt fizzles and an oddly shaped skyscraper could loom over London.

• An extraordinary statement.

President Trump declared his loyalty to Saudi Arabia and tried to dispense with questions about the culpability of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the grisly killing of the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

“It could very well be that the crown prince had knowledge of this tragic event — maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!” Mr. Trump said in a statement that was laden with exclamation marks and contradicted the assessment of the C.I.A.

Above, the president speaking to reporters on Tuesday.

In our correspondents’ analysis, the remorseless calculations of Mr. Trump’s foreign policy will be welcomed by autocrats.

Meanwhile, it came to light that Mr. Trump in April sought to order the Justice Department to prosecute Hillary Clinton and the former F.B.I. director James Comey. He was warned that the move could lead to his impeachment.

The president has continued to privately discuss the matter, sources say. And his legal team has also handed over answers to questions from the special counsel, Robert Mueller.

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American and European officials were lobbying behind the scenes to tip votes away from the Russian candidate, Aleksandr Prokopchuk.

The vote today comes just weeks after China detained the previous Interpol president, Meng Hongwei, with little explanation, which raised concerns about Interpol’s independence.

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• Hard-line Brexiteers embarrassed.

Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain won a moment of reprieve when her enemies within the Conservative Party, set to challenge to her leadership, instead face-planted.

Hard-line supporters of Brexit who see her withdrawal plan as a surrender of sovereignty had been confident they would get the 48 letters of support from Conservative lawmakers needed to prompt a no-confidence vote against Mrs. May.

On Tuesday, they didn’t have 48, admitting that their supposed supporters had misled them. But they also said that they wouldn’t give up.

Above, anti-Brexit protesters outside Parliament on Tuesday.

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More selling on Wall Street.

After Asian and European markets tumbled, U.S. stocks fell for a second day, with major indexes down more than 1 percent. Above, a trader at the New York Stock Exchange.

The losses wiped out market gains for the year. They were led by a sell-off in technology stocks amid fears of increased regulation. Weak earnings from the American retailer Target set off worries about a slowdown in the U.S. economy.

Investors were concerned about the broader U.S.-China trade war as well.

In the U.S., unemployment is low, corporate profits are rising and the economy is humming along. But the stock market could be acting as an early warning system.

• The British architect Norman Foster’s studio has announced plans to build by 2025 a 1,000-foot tulip-shaped skyscraper, rendered above, in London’s financial center. [The New York Times]

• German prosecutors are investigating Alice Weidel, a leader of the far-right Alternative for Germany party, and three other party members for accepting “dubious donations” from a Swiss company in last year’s election campaign. [The New York Times]

• An estimated 870 people are listed as missing after the Camp Fire in Northern California, a shocking and fluctuating figure that reveals the anguish in affected areas. [The New York Times]

• An American heir of the Dutch art dealer Benjamin Katz has sued in the U.S., demanding the Dutch government and Dutch museums return 143 works that the Katz family says were sold to the Nazis under duress during World War II. [The New York Times]

• In Copenhagen, a former gangster who left a life of crime to mentor young people was shot and killed while leaving a party for his book launch. [BBC]

• A peanut allergy drug could have “lifesaving” potential, a study found. [The New York Times]

Tips for a more fulfilling life.

It was another year of the woman, with a catch.

On this day a century ago, Rebecca Felton, above, became the first woman in the U.S. Senate.

For one day.

In 1922, Georgia’s governor decided to run for the seat of a senator who had died. Seeking votes from the newly enfranchised women of his state, he appointed the 87-year-old Mrs. Felton to “serve” over a congressional recess.

He lost, but Mrs. Felton was able to take office anyway.

And she was no novice.

Besides being a suffragist and a fighter for temperance, she had worked tirelessly on the campaigns of her husband, a congressman. Complicating her legacy, she was also an outspoken white supremacist.

Her one and only Senate floor speech concluded with a prescient promise to future female lawmakers:

“You will get integrity of purpose, you will get exalted patriotism, and you will get unstinted usefulness.”

Jennifer Steinhauer, a reporter in our Washington bureau, wrote today’s Back Story.

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Your Morning Briefing is off for a couple of days. We’ll be back Monday, Nov. 26. Stay caught up in the meantime by visiting nytimes.com.



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