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Trump, McConnell, Yemen: Your Wednesday Evening Briefing

Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, above, had been set to retire within weeks, but his superiors had lost confidence in him.

The Navy is preparing to conduct an extremely rare suspension of ship operations worldwide for a day or two in the next week to review safety and operational procedures.



Credit Tyler Hicks/The New York Times

3. Where is the world’s largest humanitarian crisis? Yemen.

Our correspondents — including one in the capital, Sana — explain how it got so bad. After more than two years of war, cholera is spreading and bombings have heavily damaged vital infrastructure. A soldier who hasn’t been paid in eight months, and whose 6-year-old daughter is being treated for malnutrition, calls it “a slow death.” Above, a camp for displaced people.

Just today, an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition that is fighting Houthi rebels killed and wounded dozens, possibly scores, of people.



Credit Damon Winter/The New York Times

4. After President Trump announced a new strategy for the war in Afghanistan on Monday, the photo editors on our International desk turned to our archives.

They sifted through the work of the photographers they’ve been assigning over 16 years of conflict, and pulled together this powerful collection of their images. Above, soldiers headed to Mazar-i-Sharif in 2010.

And our correspondent Matt Rosenberg, who covered Afghanistan for years, explains on “The Daily” podcast how much the new strategy sounds like the old one.



Credit Miguel Roberts/The Brownsville Herald, via Associated Press

5. The remnants of Tropical Storm Harvey are gaining strength in the Gulf of Mexico, prompting tropical storm and hurricane watches along the Gulf Coast until Friday.

The National Hurricane Center said the storm could make landfall, affecting the cities of Corpus Christi, Tex., Houston and New Orleans, among others. Above, preparations in Brownsville, Tex.

New Orleans could be particularly vulnerable. The city is still recovering from flooding earlier this month, after a turbine pump broke during a severe thunderstorm.



Credit Stash Wislocki

6. Alaska’s permafrost is no longer permanent.

The frozen ground that underlies much of the state is thawing quickly, a development that is both a symptom of climate change and a possible spur for more. Scientists say microbes will convert some of the vast amounts of carbon previously trapped in frozen organic matter into carbon dioxide and methane, which will flow into the atmosphere.

Our science reporter went to the Yukon Delta and recorded what is, and isn’t, known.



Credit Adria Malcolm for The New York Times

7. By some counts, more people in the U.S. speak Spanish than in Spain — more than 50 million.

Our correspondent in the Southwest, Simon Romero, looked at how Spanish is thriving despite English-only laws in more than 20 states. (The latest sign of its strength, of course, is the No. 1 song of the summer, the inescapable “Despacito.”)

And in this accompanying essay, Simon reflects on growing up speaking Spanglish in New Mexico, and how the language is evolving there because of new immigration. Above, a restaurant in Albuquerque.



Credit Kristofer Cheng for The New York Times

8. Ten years ago today, humanity was #BlessedOrCursed with a major tech innovation.

The hashtag was born thus: “how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups.”

That one Twitter user’s idea for a curation tool to organize floods of undifferentiated tweets has become a cultural juggernaut. An average of 125 million hashtags are shared every day on Twitter. They’ve played an important role in social movements from the Tea Party to Black Lives Matter and have migrated to other platforms, like Instagram.

“It’s giving humanity a way to express themselves — as incoherent as it may be,” mused the user, Chris Messina, above.



Credit Kathy Willens/Associated Press

9. Chrissie vs. Martina. Steffi vs. Monica (above in 1996). Venus vs. Serena. For decades, women’s tennis featured rivalries that kept spectators riveted.

But as the U.S. Open kicks off and fans salivate at the prospect of a meeting between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, the women’s game finds itself without a must-see.

Serena Williams’s absence during her pregnancy has created a wide-open season. We’ll be watching to see if the next great matchup is born in Queens.



Credit Comedy Central

10. Finally, the late-night hosts were still chewing on President Trump’s Afghanistan speech.

“I know that he’s been president for seven months, but seeing Donald Trump making military decisions is still weird for me,” Trevor Noah said. “I mean, he must be the first human being in history who gets to command an army after starring in a Pizza Hut commercial.”

Have a great night.


If photographs appear out of order, please download the updated New York Times app from iTunes.

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.

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

Source: NYT > World

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