The complications of Trump’s contradictory statements on Iran
Saudi Arabia estimates that damage from the attack on its oil facilities over the weekend has cut production by 50 percent.
While Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen initially claimed responsibility for the attack, the United States dismissed those claims, saying the damage was too extensive and the execution too sophisticated to be done by them.
“The working assumption among U.S. officials is that Iran was behind it,” says White House reporter Anne Gearan, “but the United States has not made a 100 percent determination.”
U.S. officials are reluctant to unequivocally assign blame directly to Iran. On Twitter, President Trump said that the United States was “locked and loaded” to retaliate against Iran. He then abruptly shifted gears, saying that the United States did not “want war with anybody.”
“He’s got competing instincts here,” Gearan says. “At the same time as the president wants very much to confront a tough adversary with greater toughness, the president also very much wants to negotiate with Iran.”
- Trump’s dual instincts on Iran: Big threats and an eagerness to deal
- Tehran rules out talks with U.S. as Trump steps back from directly blaming Iran
- Pentagon urges restraint after strikes on Saudi oil facilities
Hong Kong protests largely absent from Beijing-based TikTok
Protests in Hong Kong are in their 15th week with no sign of abating. Evidence of unrest can be quickly found on social media sites such as Twitter and Instagram. But on the Beijing-based social media app TikTok, Hong Kong protests are almost nowhere to be found.
“This might be censorship,” says tech reporter Drew Harwell. “The Chinese government and the Communist Party are extremely heavy-handed in the kind of materials they allow online.”
TikTok is one of the most popular mobile apps in the United States and is China’s most successful social media export abroad. But its opacity is igniting fear and suspicion that the company is censoring the pro-democracy protests at the expense of its users and shaping their understanding of world events.
- TikTok’s Beijing roots fuel censorship suspicion as it builds a huge U.S. audience
- Under Hong Kong’s streets, the subway becomes a battleground for protesters and police
- Hong Kong activists press U.S. to counter China’s erosion of city’s freedoms
More than guacamole
Food writer Maura Judkis takes us into the kitchen to whip up some recipes from “Queer Eye” food star Antoni Porowski’s new cookbook.
Joel Achenbach reports on chronic pain and opioids. Sarah Kaplan on how American teens are channeling their anxiety over climate change into activism. And Max Bearak visits a Kenyan community whose members say its source of power was stolen.
Monday, September 16, 2019
Robin Givhan examines Sen. Kamala Harris’s political and racial identity. Ruth Eglash breaks down the negotiations for a new government in Israel. And Caroline Kitchener on who die-hard Hillary Clinton supporters will back in 2020.
Wednesday, September 18, 2019