Tom Price, Rohingya People, Elon Musk: Your Friday Evening Briefing


Twenty-one Americans associated with the embassy became ill, and some experts speculated that some kind of sonic weapon or faulty surveillance device may have been to blame. They suffered significant injuries, including hearing loss, dizziness, visual problems and cognitive issues.

There’s a growing belief among American officials that Cuba is not behind whatever happened. It may have been another country — perhaps Russia — or a rogue government unit.

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Al Drago for The New York Times

3. President Trump stumped for his tax plan at a manufacturing industry convention in Washington, arguing it would be “rocket fuel” to propel economic growth.

A nonpartisan assessment found that the plan would benefit the wealthy and corporations the most. (Mr. Trump himself could save millions under the plan.) We collected the best writing from the right and left on the proposal.

On Capitol Hill, the Senate unveiled its budget blueprint, which would shield a $1.5 trillion tax cut from a Democratic filibuster — and could pave the way for oil drilling in the Arctic.

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Doug Mills/The New York Times

4. Tom Price, the health and human services secretary who racked up at least $400,000 in chartered flights paid by taxpayers, resigned under pressure.

Mr. Price failed to defuse an uproar over his high-priced travel by agreeing to pay back $51,887. The announcement came hours after President Trump said he would decide whether to fire him by the end of the day.

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Sergey Ponomarev for The New York Times

5. At least 500,000 Rohingya people have been forced out of Myanmar over the past month, and many are now living in desperate conditions in Bangladesh.

Our reporter visited one of the muddy makeshift refugee camps and found children wandering around, searching for food and clothing.

The U.N. has said the expulsion of the Rohingya, by the Myanmar authorities and allied mobs employing brutal violence, amounts to ethnic cleansing. Here’s how to help.

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Bay Ismoyo/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

6. In Bali, Indonesia, tens of thousands of people have also fled their homes — but out of fear that a volcano is about to erupt.

The 9,944-foot volcano, called Mount Agung, last erupted in the 1960s, destroying villages and killing nearly 2,000 people in mudflows and clouds of hot gases, lava fragments and ash. The authorities have warned people as far as 7.5 miles from the volcano to evacuate immediately.

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Samuel Aranda for The New York Times

7. Catalans are set to vote on whether to secede from Spain on Sunday, and the central government is vowing to block them from casting ballots.

We went to a small city near Barcelona to get a better sense of what’s motivating residents. Polls suggest about half will vote to break away. Many bitterly remember the years of the Franco dictatorship, when the regime tried to stamp out Catalan institutions and the language.

“All my life, I had the dream of dying in an independent country,” one man told us. “It was a dream that used to seem very remote. But now it is very near.”

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Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports, via Reuters

8. The controversy over “taking a knee” against racial injustice moved beyond the world of professional sports — and into high schools.

Officials in several school districts said they are requiring student athletes to stand during the national anthem.

The American Civil Liberties Union says such policies are unconstitutional. Above, the former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and two teammates last fall.

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Peter Parks/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

9. Elon Musk unveiled a plan for rockets that could take colonists to Mars — and make trips to the moon and around Earth.

The SpaceX founder called it B.F.R. (The “B” stands for “big”; the “R” is for “rocket”) in a presentation at the International Astronautical Congress in Australia.

In other Musk family news, Elon’s mother, Maye Musk, 69, is CoverGirl’s latest brand ambassador. “Aging has been good for me,” she told our reporter.

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John P. Johnson/HBO

10. Finally, “Curb Your Enthusiasm” returns after a six-year hiatus for its ninth season on Monday. It was a pioneer in what has come to be known as “cringe comedy.” We traced the genre’s evolution.

On the late-night shows, the hosts took stock of President Trump’s new tax plan. “I’m starting to wonder if the only reason he ran for president was to lower his own taxes,” Trevor Noah joked.

Have a great weekend.

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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.

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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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