Senate, O.J. Simpson, Linkin Park: Your Thursday Evening Briefing

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Good evening. Here’s the latest.

1. The scramble to revive the health bill continues in the Senate, where Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, plans to hold a make-or-break procedural vote next week. He wants to force senators opposing the Republican health care bill to go on the record.

In another blow to that legislative push, the Congressional Budget Office said the latest version of the bill would leave 15 million people without health insurance next year, rising to 22 million in 2026.

Lawmakers did unite in support for Senator John McCain after he was told he has an aggressive form of brain cancer. We have more details on glioblastoma, the type of cancer, here. The prognosis is poor.


2. Attorney General Jeff Sessions vowed to stay in his job “as long as that is appropriate,” a day after President Trump upbraided him for recusing himself from the Russia investigation.

The president made those comments in an exclusive interview with The Times. Read excerpts here. We have audio clips of the interview and commentary from our reporters in today’s episode of our podcast “The Daily.”

In other White House news, banking regulators are reviewing hundreds of millions of dollars in loans made to Mr. Trump’s businesses through Deutsche Bank’s private wealth management unit.


3. The largest online black market, known as AlphaBay, was shut down after the arrest of a Canadian man living in Thailand who had been running the site, the Justice Department announced.

The site had come under scrutiny because of the many vendors using it to sell synthetic opioids, like fentanyl. We wrote about it in a front-page article last month.

That’s not the only site being used in the opioid trade. We also took a close look at how opioid addicts and sellers connected on a now-banned forum on Reddit.


4. O.J. Simpson will be released on parole from a Nevada prison as soon as Oct. 1.

The 70-year-old football legend served nine years for charges stemming from the armed robbery of a sports memorabilia dealer in a Las Vegas hotel in 2007.

His good-guy image had vanished years earlier, when he was acquitted of the 1994 murders of his ex-wife and her friend, in the most-watched trial in history.


5. Chester Bennington, the ferocious lead singer for the platinum-selling hard rock band Linkin Park, died at 41.

The police are investigating his death as a suicide, an official with the Los Angeles County coroner’s office said. Mr. Bennington had been open about his struggles with drug and alcohol addiction.

The band’s most recent record, “One More Light” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart in May. They were scheduled to play a concert tonight in Massachusetts.


6. Fresno, Calif., the largest city in California’s agricultural belt, has seen an influx of Syrian refugees over the last year. Rents are low, but there are few jobs and no resettlement agencies to help them. Abdullah Zakaria, above, hopes to open a restaurant.

Back in Syria, some war-wounded and sick people have gotten help from an unexpected source: Israel. The government says sending supplies into Syria and treating Syrians in Israeli hospitals helps its security and public relations goals.

As the war grinds into its seventh year, literature written in English about the conflict is finally beginning to reach the rest of the world. We review two moving new works that shed light on life in wartime.


7. The death last week of Liu Xiaobo, the imprisoned Nobel Peace laureate, has dealt a blow to the pro-democracy movement in China.

Some say it is now at its weakest point since the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989. The dearth of foreign leaders willing to publicly criticize Beijing — particularly from the U.S. — has added to a sense of despair among activists. Above, a memorial in Hong Kong.


8. Researchers say they found a cheap fix for climate change: pay landowners not to chop down trees.

An experiment in Uganda showed that payments were a simple way to save endangered chimpanzees and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

When trees are cut down and decompose or are burned, they release the carbon dioxide they soaked up from the atmosphere. Simply keeping them intact can help mitigate global warming.


9. We visited the tiny, family-owned plaster workshop south of Paris that produces a face that is so ubiquitous in the country, it became the model for C.P.R. dolls.

It’s called L’Inconnue de la Seine” — the Unknown Woman of the Seine — modeled after an unidentified woman whose body was fished out of the Paris river in the late 19th century.

The mask was mass-produced and sold as a decorative item for years, becoming a muse for writers and artists, including Pablo Picasso, Vladimir Nabokov and Albert Camus. (In the U.S., she’s known as “C.P.R. Annie.”)


10. Finally, Usain Bolt is the fastest sprinter in history. How does he do it?

Biomechanics experts discovered that his right leg hits the track harder than his left, and that may be his secret. This runs (yep, pun intended) counter to conventional wisdom — based on limited science — that an uneven stride tends to slow a runner down.

Have a great night.


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