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The Obamas, Olympic Games, Republican Party: Your Evening Briefing

#briefing-market-module.interactive-embedded .interactive-caption { display: none; } Market Snapshot View Full Overview Photo Credit Jada Yuan/The New York Times 10. One down, 51 to go. Jada Yuan, The Times’s much-envied new travel columnist, started her yearlong tour of our 52 Places to Go list with a trip to New Orleans. On her first visit to the city, eight years ago, she writes, she danced in the streets so much that she wore holes through the bottoms of her brand-new sneakers. It was “the only place in the world where I’ve had such a good time that the shoes melted right off my feet.” On this visit, she found a city in the midst of an upswing, with a fierce pride and a spirit of forgiveness […]

Trump Issues Appeal for Unity in First State of the Union

But he stepped behind the lectern still popular with his most ardent supporters, who see him as an unpredictable and entertaining commander in chief who posts vitriol on Twitter against the advice of the White House staff, the Republican leadership and those closest to him.Transcript: Trump’s First State of the Union Speech, AnnotatedNew York Times reporters analyze the 45th president’s prepared remarks.Most presidents have made sure that there is a choreographed rollout of political messages and policy prescriptions before a State of the Union address. But Mr. Trump’s past week has been consumed by the revelation that he sought last year to fire Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel leading a Russia investigation, and by the abrupt departure of the F.B.I. deputy director, Andrew G. McCabe, whom the president had railed against as politically corrupt.At the same time, Republicans are pushing to make public a classified memo that they say shows a politically driven effort by the F.B.I […]

John Young, Who Led First Space Shuttle Mission, Dies at 87

As Mr. Crippen put it: “It’s rare when an individual comes along that actually personifies his chosen profession, but rare is what John Young is.”After serving as a Navy test pilot, Mr. Young joined NASA in 1962 at the outset of the Gemini program, a bridge between the missions of the original Mercury 7 astronauts and the Apollo program, which sent men to the moon.Mr. Young flew twice in Gemini spaceships, commanded the Apollo mission that preceded Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s landing on the lunar surface and later drove a rover vehicle through the moon’s highlands. He closed out his explorations of space by flying on two shuttle missions.PhotoMr. Young aboard Gemini 3 in March 1965 awaiting its launching. It was the first manned mission of the Gemini program. He flew with Gus Grissom, who fired rockets to carry out the first manual change of orbit in a spacecraft.Credit NASAMr. Young had a mischievous side and something of a rebellious streak. He smuggled a corned beef sandwich aboard Gemini 3 to the consternation of NASA officials, who feared that crumbs could have damaged the spacecraft’s systems, though that did not happen.On his flight to the moon, he complained graphically to his fellow crewmen about his flatulence, evidently caused by the potassium-fortified orange juice he was required to drink. […]

Air Force Error Allowed Texas Gunman to Buy Weapons

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Tex. — A day after a gunman massacred parishioners in a small Texas church, the Air Force admitted on Monday that it had failed to enter the man’s domestic violence court-martial into a federal database that could have blocked him from buying the rifle he used to kill 26 people.Under federal law, the conviction of the gunman, Devin P. Kelley, for domestic assault on his wife and toddler stepson — he had cracked the child’s skull — should have stopped Mr. Kelley from legally purchasing the military-style rifle and three other guns he acquired in the last four years.“The Air Force has launched a review of how the service handled the criminal records of former Airman Devin P. […]

Schooled in Scandal: What Makes Ukraine a Hotbed of Intrigue

Mr. Poroshenko, unlike his Russian counterpart, President Vladimir V. Putin, also has to contend with a lively free press that delights in probing and exposing government stumbles and the maneuvers of self-dealing insiders.Continue reading the main story“Ukraine, with the exception of the Baltic States, is the only post-Soviet republic which is not authoritarian,” said Serhii Plokhii, a Harvard professor and the author of a history of Ukraine. And unlike the three Baltic States, which enjoyed brief periods of independence between the First and Second World Wars, Ukraine has only an acute awareness of centuries of subjugation by outside powers, among them Poland, Austria and Russia, that left its people inherently wary of authority.“What is Ukraine’s national idea […]

The Seven Wonders: Travel posters celebrate our lost ancient treasures

These vintage-style travel posters are like wonderfully impossible souvenirs from antiquity. […]

Confederate Flags With Cotton Found on American University Campus

The posters included images of the Confederate battle flag, as well as the words “Huzzah for Dixie” and “I wish I was in the land of cotton,” a lyric from the song “Dixie,” something of an unofficial anthem for the Confederacy.They appeared to be posted on bulletin boards for specific programs, including boards dedicated to the Center for Israel Studies and to American Studies month, as well as one outside the university’s center for diversity and inclusion. Ms. Burwell said that the posters were found in four separate buildings on the university’s Washington campus.Dr. […]