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We’re covering Turkey’s expected incursion into Syria, the White House’s decision not to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry, and planned power outages across California today.
Turkey says Syrian incursion is imminent
Turkey said today that its planned operation targeting Kurdish militants in northeastern Syria would begin “shortly.”
A Kurdish militia, long supported by the U.S. before President Trump ordered the withdrawal of American troops in the area, warned of a “humanitarian catastrophe.”
Mr. Trump has insisted that he is not abandoning the militia, which has worked with the U.S. to defeat the Islamic State but which Turkey considers a terrorist group.
Quotable: “We will resist,” Mazlum Kobani, commander of the militia, told The Times. “We have been at war for seven years, so we can continue the war for seven more years.”
Go deeper: U.S. and Turkish officials say that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has repeatedly guided Mr. Trump toward positions that are at odds with those of his own national security advisers and Republican allies. Mr. Trump announced on Tuesday that Mr. Erdogan would visit the White House in November.
Another angle: Mr. Trump has faced bipartisan criticism in Congress over his decision to pull back in Syria. Our chief Washington correspondent says that Republicans have been willing to break with the president over foreign policy when they believe there are no political consequences back home.
CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times
White House declares inquiry invalid
The White House said on Tuesday that it would not cooperate with the impeachment inquiry of President Trump, calling it an illegitimate effort “to overturn the results of the 2016 election.”
An eight-page letter signed by Pat Cipollone, the White House counsel, argued that the inquiry had denied Mr. Trump’s due process rights. Mr. Cipollone also said that the executive branch would no longer willingly provide testimony or documents. (Read the letter here.)
House Democrats said that the failure to comply with their requests could be an impeachable offense in itself. Here’s how the impeachment process works.
Go deeper: A White House reporter, Annie Karni, described the administration’s calculation: “They’ve basically decided that looking like they’re hiding something is better than looking like they’re cooperating with what they’re calling an illegitimate investigation.”
Another angle: More details emerged about Mr. Trump’s call with Ukraine’s leader in July. According to a memo from a whistle-blower, a White House official who had heard the call was “visibly shaken” a day later, describing the conversation as “crazy” and “frightening.”
The Daily: Today’s episode follows a Democratic member of Congress as she faces questions about the inquiry from her constituents.
Secret spy unit in Russia targets Europe
An elite group inside the Russian intelligence system has been attempting to destabilize Europe for at least a decade, but its existence has only recently become known to Western security officials.
The group, known as Unit 29155, has been connected to at least four operations, including the attempted assassination of a Russian former spy in Britain last year.
The details: Little is known about Unit 29155, but there are cluesthat suggest links to President Vladimir Putin’s brand of “hybrid warfare”: propaganda, hacking attacks and disinformation, as well as open military confrontation.
If you have 6 minutes, this is worth it
Is a bigger MoMA better?
W.N.B.A. finals: The Connecticut Sun defeated the Washington Mystics, 90-86. The champion will be crowned after Thursday’s game.
Baseball playoffs: In the American League, the Rays beat the Astros, 4-1, to force a series-deciding Game 5 on Thursday. The winners of the two National League division series will be determined tonight.
Late-night comedy: “Trump deserves a little credit here,” James Corden said. “He’s given an enormous boost to the subpoena industry. That sector has never been hotter.”
What we’re reading: This article from The Anchorage Daily News, about a donation of 10 handmade electric guitars to an Alaska school district. “The story twists and turns like a great solo,” writes Gina Lamb, a Special Sections editor. “Don’t miss the video.”
Now, a break from the news
Cook: Here’s how to master maduros, fried sweet plantains.
Go: Along the Spree River in Berlin, artists have revived sprawling industrial buildings in which to let their imaginations roam.
Read: Twenty years after “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” Stephen Chbosky returns with a 700-page novel, “Imaginary Friend.”
Eat: Bread and Salt, in Jersey City, makes Roman-style pizza that includes “some of the most elevated slices in the area.” Read the review by Pete Wells.
Smarter Living: In July, we collected 10 hotel tips that can improve your stay, and the article is still going strong. People seem to like being reminded to clean the remote and rewash the water glasses.
More recently, we compiled environmentally friendly alternatives to plastic straws.
And now for the Back Story on …
President Trump tweeted on Tuesday that he wouldn’t allow a diplomat to testify because he considered it “a totally compromised kangaroo court.”
Paging Ron Ziegler! In July 1974, the White House press secretary attacked the House Judiciary Committee deliberating the impeachment of Richard Nixon, also calling it a “kangaroo court.”
The term — describing an irresponsible body that is preprogrammed to disregard justice — goes back at least as far as Aug. 24, 1841, when The Times-Picayune of New Orleans used it in reporting the lynchings of several men.
The Americanism spread to international English, but its full origins are a mystery.
Some speculate that the meaning may be linked to Australian immigrants, or derive from a similarity between a kangaroo’s jumping and a court’s jumping to conclusions.
That’s it for this briefing. Millions of people have decided that our journalism is worth paying for. Click here to subscribe to The New York Times.
See you next time.
Melina Delkic helped compile today’s briefing. Mark Josephson and Eleanor Stanford provided the break from the news. Jack Begg, our research manager, wrote today’s Back Story. You can reach the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Today’s episode concerns voters’ questions about the impeachment inquiry.
• Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Burst of wind (four letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• Abdi Latif Dahir is joining The Times in Nairobi as our new East Africa correspondent. He speaks Somali, Arabic and Swahili, and comes to us from Quartz Africa.