Elections, Brexit, Facebook: Your Wednesday Briefing

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Good morning. A check on Trump’s power, allegations of lawbreaking by Cambridge Analytica and renewed bombing in Yemen.

Here’s the latest:

• One-party rule in Washington is over.

It wasn’t the electoral sweep the Democrats were hoping for. But in Tuesday’s midterm elections in the U.S. — with unusually high participation, and characterized by President Trump as a referendum on himself — the Democratic Party reclaimed the House .

In the Senate, Republicans retained their majority and gained at least three seats, and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas held on against a vaunted challenger, Beto O’Rourke.

In Georgia, Stacey Abrams was trailing Brian Kemp, above, in her bid to become the country’s first female black governor.

Faced with a Democratic-controlled House, Mr. Trump may now have to choose between escalating the partisan warfare in Washington or trying to reach across the aisle, our correspondent writes.

Our reporters have live updates, and here are results.


• A British report on data skulduggery.

The political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, if it weren’t already bankrupt, would be hit with a major fine for purloining the Facebook data of tens of millions of users to aid Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, according to a long-anticipated report by Britain’s top data protection watchdog.

The data was harvested to create profiles of voters.

Another finding: An insurance company owned by Arron Banks, above center, the so-called godfather of Britain’s withdrawal from the E.U., improperly shared private email addresses to be sent pro-Brexit campaign messages.

• A geriatric former SS guard in juvenile court.

As a teenager, Johann Rehbogen, above with a cane, was a guard at the Stutthof concentration camp in Germany during World War II.

He is 94, but because of his age at the time, his trial on charges of assisting in the murder of hundreds of the 60,000 people who died at the camp is being held in juvenile court.

If convicted, he could go to prison for up to 10 years.

The case reflects a big change in the German justice system. A 2011 precedent has allowed charges against low-ranking Nazis who would have had knowledge of war crimes.


• Fighting escalates in Yemen.

The Saudi-led coalition has launched a bombing wave against the rebel Houthis in Yemen, deepening the humanitarian crisis there even as the U.N. warns that half the population could fall into famine.

Warplanes have hit the capital, Sana, as well as a port city, Hudaydah, while ships carrying emergency grain wait to dock. Above, anti-Houthi forces outside the city.

The Saudis may be trying to rack up gains before any peace talks, which the U.S. is now urging.

China granted Ivanka Trump, above, initial approval for 16 new trademarks for an array of items, including shoes, sunglasses and even voting machines, and reviving questions about the Trump family’s conflict of business and political interests.

• Amazon is finalizing plans to split its second headquarters between two locations — Long Island City in New York and Arlington, Virginia, according to people familiar with the decision-making process. Critics said the news proved that Amazon’s hunt for a new headquarters was a farce.

• Facebook acknowledged that its platform was used to “foment division and incite offline violence” in Myanmar, where the military unleashed an online campaign targeting the Rohingya Muslim minority that led to murder, rape and forced migration.

Here’s a snapshot of global markets.

“One day I will kill myself”: Those are the words of an 8-year-old refugee from Sri Lanka who has been stuck for five years on Nauru, a Pacific island nation that houses increasingly desperate asylum seekers for Australia. Above, a refugee camp on Nauru. [The New York Times]

Rescuers found the bodies of four people in the rubble of two collapsed buildings in Marseille, France. [The New York Times]

Germany’s interior minister, Horst Seehofer, fired a former spy chief, Hans-Georg Maassen, who was seen as fueling anti-immigrant sentiment. That did not quell criticism of Mr. Seehofer’s initial refusal to dismiss Mr. Maassen. [The New York Times]

• Indonesian investigators said that the brand-new Boeing Max 8 that crashed into the Java Sea with 189 people on board had experienced problems in its final four flights — but was cleared to fly anyway. [The New York Times]

• As President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey demands justice in the killing of the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, many Turks are deeply conflicted, watching as Mr. Erdogan detains thousands and tramples on dissent at home. [The New York Times]

• Bill Gates, the billionaire software tycoon who spent $200 million researching safe sanitation, has pledged another $200 million to reinvent the toilet. [The New York Times]

• Archaeologists in Egypt have discovered a 4,500-year-old ramp that may help solve the mystery of the Giza pyramids’ construction. [CNN]

Tips for a more fulfilling life.

• The Church of Sweden has female priests and bishops, and many are married, including some in same-sex unions. A photographer went inside their lives, finding a powerful contrast to the Catholicism she grew up with. Above, Evelina Gilberg, a theology student.

• Charles Dickens’s “Great Expectations” begins in the marshes of the Hoo Peninsula near London. More than 150 years later, a traveler goes there to retrace the footsteps of Pip and other characters from the novel.

• The scientist David Hu studies oddball topics like how snakes slither, the ideal eyelash length for mammals and why mosquitoes can fly in the rain, all to glean inspiration for human-made engineering feats.

We finally reviewed the 1978 horror classic “Halloween” last month, which got us thinking about the newspaper strike in New York City that prevented coverage of the movie’s release at the time.

Forty years ago, The New York Times was just resuming publication after a shutdown of 88 days during a strike by press workers and other labor disputes. The Daily News was also affected, but Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post resumed printing about a month earlier.

A parody “Not The New York Times” published a single, sparkling edition.

The Times returned on Nov. 6 with an “88 Days in Review” special section. In the time the newspaper was away, turmoil in Iran intensified, the Camp David accords were signed and a new papacy began and ended. There was also arts news (a Nobel in Literature to Isaac Bashevis Singer).

Sports ran a brief roundup of what was missed: Three paragraphs were devoted to the World Series (the Yankees won), with just one each for the Muhammad Ali-Leon Spinks fight (Ali won) and the U.S. Open (Jimmy Connors and Chris Evert won).

But then it was back to business in baseball, with a column that began: “More than ever, the Mets are the tragedy of New York sports.”

Sarah Anderson wrote today’s Back Story.


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