Senate, Rex Tillerson, Reza Zarrab: Your Thursday Evening Briefing


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Karsten Moran for The New York Times

3. The TV networks are reeling as the media luminaries they built their businesses around fall like dominoes to accusations of sexual misconduct and worse. The latest, Matt Lauer, above, offered a hedged apology.

Accusations against two more major figures came to light: Russell Simmons, the hip-hop mogul who co-founded Def Jam Records; and the charismatic playwright Israel Horovitz.

Our new gender editor offers insights and updates in the first edition of our newsletter The #MeToo Moment.

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Korean Central News Agency

4. Photographs from North Korea are providing valuable clues about the powerful new missile it launched Wednesday, the Hwasong-15, above. Analysts say it appears to have two engines for its first booster stage, giving it greater range.

Washington is revisiting a long-simmering debate: Could the Cold War strategy that worked against the Soviet Union — mutually assured destruction — also work against North Korea?

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Ozan Kose/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

5. Bombshell testimony from a Turkish gold trader on trial in Manhattan: Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, personally ordered banks to participate in a scheme to evade U.S. sanctions on Iran.

The defendant, Reza Zarrab, above, helped orchestrate the billion-dollar oil-for-gold scheme. He has pleaded guilty to conspiring to evade the sanctions and is now a witness for American prosecutors.

The Turkish police uncovered the scheme in 2013, only to have their investigation quashed by the government. Mr. Erdogan, who denies that sanctions were violated, has repeatedly condemned the American investigation.

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Ko Sasaki for The New York Times

6. Huge government apartment complexes in Japan were once a monument to the nation’s postwar baby boom and aspirations for a modern, American way of life.

Now that the country is the world’s most rapidly aging society, the complexes have become known for something else entirely: “lonely deaths.”

Norimitsu Onishi, our former Tokyo bureau chief, painted an intimate portrait of the aging residents of one of the apartment blocks, called a danchi. You might want a tissue handy.

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Mahesh Kumar A./Associated Press

7. Ivanka Trump was in India this week, leading the American delegation to a meeting on global entrepreneurship.

She dressed for diplomacy, donning Indian-ish styles that were largely met with approval by local fashion writers. (One outlet said she looked “like an Indian Barbie doll” — in a good way.)

But was it culturally appropriate, or just cultural appropriation? Our fashion critic noted that Ms. Trump wore designs “by outsiders who dipped into their fantasy of India as opposed to its reality.”

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Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

8. You’ll probably pay more for your Christmas tree this year. Blame the Great Recession.

Growers planted fewer trees in those lean years — and the shortage is now upon us.

And prices have been rising all the while: The average buyer spent $36.50 on a tree in 2008; last year, the figure was $74.70.

Above, the famous tree at Rockefeller Center, which was lit on Wednesday. You can watch the 75-foot Norwegian Spruce’s journey from Pennsylvania in our 360 video.

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Nicole Licht

9. Our critics picked the 10 best books of 2017.

Among the authors on the list: Ali Smith, Mohsin Hamid and Min Jin Lee. We’ve included links to our reviews of each one.

Inevitably, many good books don’t make the cut. You can leave your own recommendations in the comments.

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Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

10. Finally, hurricane season is ending. But a possibly tumultuous Oscar season has begun.

Actors and publicists are grappling with how — or whether — to address the sexual misconduct scandals shaking Hollywood through the three-month stretch of campaigning, and the succession of lesser awards shows, that culminate with the ceremony March 4.

Speaking of, Stephen Colbert criticized President Trump for weighing in on the allegations against the former “Today” co-host Matt Lauer.

“Listen up, you don’t get to comment,” he said. “That is the pot calling the kettle at 3 a.m. and asking what she’s wearing.”

Have a great night.

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Your Evening Briefing is posted at 6 p.m. Eastern.

And don’t miss Your Morning Briefing, posted weekdays at 6 a.m. Eastern, and Your Weekend Briefing, posted at 6 a.m. Sundays.

Want to catch up on past briefings? You can browse them here.

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What did you like? What do you want to see here? Let us know at briefing@nytimes.com.

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