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For Victims of Nassar, She’s Judge and Therapist

Recent Episodes in U.S. U.S. 1:09 Nassar Likely to Die in Prison After 150 Speak U.S. […]

Senate Leaders Speak After Government Shuts Down

Recent Episodes in U.S. & Politics U.S. & Politics 2:05 Senate Leaders Speak After Government Shuts Down U.S. & Politics 0:53 Trump Talks About the Wall During the Campaign U.S. & Politics 2:00 Aziz Ansari and the #MeToo Debate Donald Trump 2:15 Kirstjen Nielsen Grilled on Trump’s Words Donald Trump 0:17 President Trump: ‘I’m Not a Racist’ Donald Trump 1:45 Racist or Not? How TV News Reacted to Trump’s Comment U.S. […]

Emboldened Israeli Right Presses Moves to Doom 2-State Solution

But Palestinians and Israeli supporters of a two-state solution said the moves revealed the true colors of the country’s ascendant right wing.“We hope that this vote serves as a reminder for the international community that the Israeli government, with the full support of the U.S. administration, is not interested in a just and lasting peace,” Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, said Monday, adding that he would respond by revisiting the authority’s existing agreements with Israel. “Rather, its main goal is the consolidation of an apartheid regime in all of historic Palestine.”Daniel Seidemann, director of Terrestrial Jerusalem, which focuses on the Holy City’s fate in a potential two-state solution, said that “what was winked and nodded about before is now being acknowledged publicly: ‘We have no intent of sharing this land with anybody else except as a barely tolerated minority.’”Mr. Netanyahu has publicly said that he supports a two-state solution even as his government has expanded settlements on the occupied West Bank. […]

Fact Check: Take Claims About State and Local Tax Deductions With a Grain of Salt

The deduction is claimed by taxpayers in every state, though larger percentages of taxpayers in the Northeast and the West benefit from it.About 46 percent of tax returns in Maryland — the state with the highest share in the country — used the provision and averaged almost $13,000 each in deductions in 2015, an analysis by the Government Finance Officers Association shows. On the other end, only 17 percent of tax returns in South Dakota took advantage of the provision, and averaged $6,000 each in deductions.Taxpayers in two states, California and New York, claimed more than 32 percent of the total deduction in 2013, the Tax Policy Center estimated.This alone does not mean that Indiana is bankrolling New York. Larger states, like New York and California, are getting bigger subsidies through the state and local tax deduction “because they’re paying substantially more in federal taxes,” said Kim Rueben, an author of the Tax Policy Center report.Multiple studies show that most states that are considered to be a “net donor” — those that pay more in taxes than they get back from Washington — also benefit the most from the state and local tax deduction.Newsletter Sign UpContinue reading the main storyGet the Morning Briefing by EmailWhat you need to know to start your day, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.Thank you for subscribing.An error has occurred. Please try again later.You are already subscribed to this email.View all New York Times newsletters.New York State’s comptroller, in an October report, found that 13 states, including New York and California but not Indiana or Iowa, paid more in federal taxes than they received in federal spending in the 2016 fiscal year. In nine of those states, all of which voted for Hillary Clinton over Mr. Trump in the 2016 presidential election, at least 30 percent of tax returns claimed the state and local tax deduction.New Jersey — where more than 40 percent of taxpayers took the deduction — experienced the largest deficit per capita. […]

Saudis Wonder What’s Next After the King Allows Women to Drive

Built on an alliance between a royal family and the descendants of an ultraconservative Muslim cleric, Saudi Arabia has struggled throughout its history with how to reconcile modernization with loyalty to religious heritage.That debate heated up as oil wealth enriched the state, bringing in unfamiliar customs and technologies like television, public education and automobiles.Over time, competing camps dug in around women and the right to drive.For liberals, the driving ban was a blot on the national brand that was hampering modernization and weakening the economy.Conservatives, including powerful clerics employed by the state, thought that allowing women to drive would be a crack in the dam that would allow secularism to flood in, washing away the kingdom’s unique Islamic identity.The royal decree announced on Tuesday handed victory in that battle to the reformers, who had gained an advantage in recent years because of demographics, economics and the country’s young leadership, analysts said.Saudi leaders, who have been criticized for the war in Yemen, the blockade of Qatar and a range of human rights issues, clearly hoped the step would help the kingdom’s reputation.“There is no wrong time to do the right thing,” Prince Khalid bin Salman, the Saudi ambassador to Washington and a son of King Salman, told reporters after the change was announced.Continue reading the main storyThe government also worked behind the scenes to control the message.At least eight prominent women’s activists received calls and text messages from Saudi security officials warning them not to tweet or speak to the news media about the issue, according to three Saudi activists.They presumed the government did not want to give credit to activists for prompting the change and spoke on condition of anonymity so as not to jeopardize the women — or themselves.Many women cheered the decision, calling it a final victory in a long campaign for social change.Manal al-Sherif, who was jailed for having posted videos of herself driving and who wrote a book about her activism, said her life had tracked the wider social changes in the kingdom.Born into a poor conservative family in Mecca, Ms. Sherif, now 38, was taught that women were to remain at home and that good Muslims were to avoid “infidels” who did not share their faith, she said by phone from Australia, where she now lives.Her worldview changed when as a university student in the Red Sea port city of Jidda, she saw women who did not cover their faces in public and even had boyfriends, though covertly.PhotoManal al-Sherif, who was jailed for posting videos of herself driving, said her experiences tracked the wider social changes in the kingdom.Credit Marwan Naamani/Agence France-Presse — Getty ImagesThen she got a job with the state oil company, Saudi Aramco. […]

Kurds Back Independence by 92% in Referendum; Iraq May Send Troops

Iraq has called the vote illegal and has vowed to ignore the results. The vote has also provoked the Kurdish region’s two powerful neighbors, Turkey and Iran.All three countries have been conducting military exercises near the border of Iraqi Kurdistan this week.Iraqi troops, including Shiite Muslim militias incorporated into Iraq’s armed forces, are already in the Kirkuk area. While the city is controlled by Kurdish forces, Iraqi troops are fighting the Islamic State as part of an American-led coalition about 40 miles southwest of the city.PhotoIraq ordered Kurdish authorities to surrender control of the region’s two international airports, including the one in Erbil, or face a shutdown of all international flights, starting Friday.Credit Chris Mcgrath/Getty ImagesKurdish troops known as pesh merga seized Kirkuk in 2014, when the Iraqi Army fled an assault by militants there.The inclusion of Kirkuk and other disputed areas in the referendum enraged the Iraqi government, which interpreted the move as a land grab […]

At Least 6 White House Advisers Used Private Email Accounts

During the 2016 presidential race, Mr. Trump repeatedly harped on Hillary Clinton’s use of a private account as secretary of state, making it a centerpiece of his campaign and using it to paint her as untrustworthy. […]