Tariffs, Facebook, Joe Biden: Your Friday Briefing

Our Beijing correspondent looks at the challenges China’s president, Xi Jinping, must now confront.



How the Las Vegas Gunman Planned a Massacre, in 7 Days of Video

Using exclusive surveillance footage obtained from MGM Resorts, we pieced together the last days of Stephen Paddock, the Las Vegas gunman. He plays video poker, laughs with hotel staff and hauls bag after bag of weapons into his suite.



Watch in Times Video »

• Before the massacre.

Using exclusively obtained surveillance footage, we pieced together the last days of Stephen Paddock, the gunman who rained lethal fire on a music festival in Las Vegas last October, killing scores.

He plays video poker, laughs with hotel staff — and hauls bag after bag of weapons into his suite.



Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

“The most important thing is that we fix this system.”

Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive of Facebook, gave an unexpected interview to two of our reporters about the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Not everyone was impressed by Mr. Zuckerberg’s statements, days after we broke the story that data from over 50 million profiles had been secretly scraped. “He avoided the big issue,” an analyst said, “which is that for many years, Facebook was basically giving away user data like it was handing out candy.”

On “The Daily” podcast, one of the reporters who interviewed Mr. Zuckerberg described how it went. (Facebook’s outreach was so sudden, they had to ask him to hold the line while they read his just-posted public statement.)



Erin Schaff for The New York Times

Septuagenarian schoolyard taunts.

Joe Biden started it. T he former vice president — who may be considering a 2020 challenge for the presidency — said that if he were younger (he’s 75), he would “beat the hell” out of President Trump for disrespecting women.

Mr. Trump, 71, countered that Mr. Biden “would go down fast and hard” if the two brawled.

Separately, Mr. Trump’s lead lawyer for the special counsel investigation resigned after concluding that his advice was being ignored.



Atul Loke for The New York Times

• The Australia newsletter.

This week’s edition asks: Where is integration working in the country, and where is it failing? (A big inspiration for the piece was an Uber driver who turned out to hold a Ph.D. in literature.)

And many of you connected with the reflection on Nippers in our last newsletter. Here are some of your responses on why you love — or hate — the lifesaving surf program for kids.



Emily Berl for The New York Times

• “Make happy those who are near and those who are far will come”: Peggy and Andrew Cherng spent 45 years building Panda Express into a restaurant empire with more than $3 billion in sales last year.

Tencent Holdings, Asia’s most valuable company, lost more than $26 billion of market capitalization after it warned that it would be reducing spending on content and technology to pursue sustained growth.

• Citigroup is setting restrictions on the sale of firearms by business customers, making it the first Wall Street bank to take a stance in the divisive U.S. gun control debate.

• Time magazine, Sports Illustrated, Fortune and Money are up for sale.

• U.S. stocks were weaker. Here’s a snapshot of global markets.

In the News



The great Pacific garbage patch contains at least 79,000 tons of material spread over 1.6 million square kilometers, according to a new study. That’s about the size of Mongolia or Iran, and as much as 16 times larger than past estimates. [Science News]

• The Queensland police confirmed that two Americans died in a helicopter crash off the Great Barrier Reef on Wednesday. [The New York Times]

• A Perth department store was accused of racial profiling after staff members called security on an Indigenous teenager shopping with his father. [ABC]

• “Dead to me.” The immigration minister Peter Dutton denounced the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and The Guardian after they criticized his plan to fast-track visas for white South African farmers. [The Guardian]

The ashes of Stephen Hawking, the renowned cosmologist, will be interred next to the grave of Sir Isaac Newton at Westminster Abbey. [The New York Times]

Honey Popcorn, a K-pop group made up of Japanese adult video actresses, released its debut mini-album, “Bibidi Babidi Boo.” (Watch the video.) The backlash in South Korea has been intense. [Yonhap]

Smarter Living

Tips, both new and old, for a more fulfilling life.


Craig Lee for The New York Times

• Recipe of the day: End the week with the perfect snack: chips and creamy queso.

• Considering a “green” funeral? Here’s what you need to know.

• Encourage great hotel service by following these tips.



U.S. National Archives, via Associated Press

• The Juneau, a long-lost Navy cruiser blasted apart by a Japanese torpedo in World War II, was discovered off the coast of the Solomon Islands by a team funded by the Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul Allen. Among the hundreds of dead were five brothers from one Iowa family.

In praise of Grandma. As the Overlooked project started, we asked readers to suggest women they felt deserved, but didn’t get, obituaries in The Times. Here are the stories you told us about your grandmothers and great-grandmothers.

• And a team of scientists spend time in the streets of Tokyo and the shark-filled waters of Asia in “The Rising Sea,” a thriller by Clive Cussler and Graham Brown that’s No. 1 on our hardcover fiction and combined print and e-book fiction lists.

Back Story


Frank Duenzl/Picture-Alliance, via Associated Press

It’s a shortcut used the world over — and even beyond, having been uttered at least once during a space mission.

On this day in 1839, The Boston Morning Post published “O.K.” for the first known time, using the abbreviation next to the words “all correct.” (It’s not written “okay,” The Times stylebook says.)

There have been many theories about its origin, but the most likely is that O.K. was an abbreviation for the deliberately misspelled “orl korrect” (all correct), and the expression gained prominence in the mid-19th century.

Allen Walker Read, a longtime English professor at Columbia University, debunked some theories in the 1960s, including that the term had come from Andrew Jackson’s poor spelling, a Native American word or an Army biscuit.

Today, O.K. is “an Americanism adopted by virtually every language, and one of the first words spoken on the moon,” the Times obituary of Mr. Read noted in 2002.

The professor didn’t “appreciate having ‘O.K.’ overshadow the hundreds of other etymologies he divined,” it continued. He also tracked early uses of Dixie, Podunk and the “almighty dollar.”

In the 1920s, Mr. Read hitchhiked through western Iowa hunting down the word blizzard.

“A man called Lightnin’ Ellis had first used the word for a snowstorm in 1870,” he learned. “Within 10 years, it had spread throughout the Midwest.”


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