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Your Thursday Briefing

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Your Thursday Briefing

President Trump alternated between threatening "the final option" of an attack on Iran over attacks on Saudi oil facilities and pondering what a mistake it had been for the US to engage in the Middle East wars. He even praised the idea of ​​a visit by the president of Iran.

Helping him make his decisions about Iran will be his new national security consultant, Robert O'Brien, the State Department's chief hostage negotiator, who is replacing John Bolton. & # 39; Brien previously worked for Mr. Bolton.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo used the strongest terms from an American official to describe the attacks on Saudi oil sites, calling the attack "an act of war." He also said he plans to work with European partners in a coalition to prevent I ran.

When Parliament was extended, the focus of the Brexit drama went to the courts, where lawyers tried to prove whether the suspension was legal – a conflict that could change the way the British legal system intervenes in government business.

A Scottish high court ruled that Prime Minister Boris Johnson violated the law; an English court ruled not; and Britain's highest court is hearing appeals from both cases. He is expected to decide sometime after three days of oral discussions end today.

Impact: If the court upheld the Scottish ruling, it would push the limits of its reach to resolve disputes in the British political system.

Some legal experts say this could open the door to a form of judicial review such as the US – except that the US has a codified constitution and an active Supreme Court (as opposed to Britain's unwritten constitution).

Quote: "We are in unfamiliar territory," said a law professor.

France has promised to protect its population from pesticides, but dozens of mayors who say the country is not doing enough are taking their hands and using local laws to ban them.

This has put them in a legal battle with the government, regional mayors and some farmers, who say mayors have no right to do so.

On the ground: In many French rural areas, crop fields come to residents' doors – along with the chemicals sprayed on them. Especially in windy locations, this makes it impossible to avoid harmful effects.

Overview: Climate change is a key issue among French voters. President Emmanuel Macron, who demonstrated new environmental initiatives, expressed his cautious support for mayors.

And the country's leading researcher recently described growing environmentalism as possibly the "new matrix" underlying the nation's cultural identity, replacing Catholicism.

For a special project, our At War column follows a Syrian refugee family that rebuilds their lives in Europe. In the most recent part, we follow Souad, the family's 27-year-old daughter, as she rebuilds her sense of self in the Amsterdam counterculture.

In Syria, she felt suffocated. But now, in comedy programs that benefit queer refugees and in hidden subcultures, she has found a community often free of xenophobia, homophobia and sexism.

Justin Trudeau: The Canadian Prime Minister apologized after Time magazine published a photograph of him in brown makeup in 2001 at a private school party where he was a teacher.

Federal Reserve: For the second time since July, the Fed has lowered interest rates by a quarter of a point. President Trump was furious that he wanted more aggressive rate cuts to bolster the economy.

Israel: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to have come second to former centrist army chief Benny Gantz in the election. A new government can meet the wishes of a large majority of Israelis, many of them secular.

Philippines: President Rodrigo Duterte seemed to admit in a speech this week that he ordered an attempted assassination of a politician last year. A spokesman said he had spoken wrong.

Snapshot: Above, the heavy traffic photography on Mount Everest that went viral. We spoke with photographer Nirmal Purja, who was on a mission to climb the 14 highest mountains in the world in record time. He sees the widely shared photo as a blessing – it has helped drive regulatory changes in Everest's climb – and a curse.

Greta Thunberg: The Swedish teenage activist spoke to the US Congress on climate change. "I don't want you to hear me," she said. "I want you to listen to the scientists."

What we are reading: This Vice play about a culinary legend. Food writer Tejal Rao writes: “Cecilia Chiang emigrated to San Francisco in the 1960s and opened a restaurant that expanded American understanding of Chinese cuisine with the super-sophisticated dishes of her youth. I love that his great life lessons at age 99 include drinking champagne for lunch. "

Go: At the same time deeply Swiss and intrinsically international: our latest 36-hour column is in Geneva.

Listen: “Trapcorridos” – love stories, bad guys, heroes and gangsters – are a sensation in California and Mexico.

Smarter life: Medical emergencies on airplanes are rare, but they do happen. If you are taking children for a flight, pediatricians have some advice: keep children 's medicines in your carry – on and do not put them in the aisle where heavy bags may fall.

And many day care centers have guidelines for pink eyes that do not follow the latest medical advice. Here is what parents should know.

Pack heavy items near your back. Use both handles. And do not carry more than 10% of your weight.

These are some of the ABC's School Backpacks of the American Association for Occupational Therapy, which declared yesterday the National Day of Awareness about School Backpacks.

(Don't laugh: The group also has ergonomic advice to load handbags, suitcases and bags.)

The first lightweight nylon backpacks appeared around 1967, designed by JanSport and Gerry Outdoors for use by hikers and backpackers. Soon, college students began to adopt them. In the 1980s, backpack companies made them specifically for textbooks.

The packages filtered by notes and around the world, replacing the strips of books, tote bags and backpacks from earlier times as an indelible part of a student's identity.

That's it in this briefing. See you next time.

– Melina

Thanks
To Mark Josephson and Eleanor Stanford for the news break. Victoria Shannon on the briefing team wrote today's Back Story. You can contact the team at briefing@nytimes.com.

P.S.
• We are listening to "The Daily". Our last episode is the first in a two-part series about a new book about Harvey Weinstein by two Times reporters.
Here's today's Mini Crossword and a clue: game for which there are more possible iterations than atoms in the universe (five letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• The Times Travel section introduced a new column, Tripped Up, which offers advice on how to resolve travel disasters.

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