Harvey, Diana, David Tang: Your Thursday Briefing

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A surveyor in Port Aransas, Tex., on Wednesday inspecting the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath. Credit Christopher Lee for The New York Times

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Good morning.

Here’s what you need to know:

• Harvey’s misery spreads.

The former hurricane, downgraded to a tropical depression, is forecast to move through Louisiana and Mississippi today. Here’s a quick guide to what’s happening.

Explosions were reported overnight at a chemical plant near Houston that was damaged during the storm, and officials warned that further blasts were possible.

The city on Wednesday saw sunshine for the first time in nearly a week, although receding floodwaters contain a toxic stew of health and environmental hazards.

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Hundreds of towns and smaller cities in Texas have been overwhelmed by flooding and rain.

Check here for the latest, and here to help the victims. The Times is providing free digital access to coverage of the storm.

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• The victims’ stories.

“Mama was saying her prayers,” Jordyn Grace, 3, told a relative.

Jordyn was found in the Texas floodwaters clutching her mother’s lifeless body, a haunting tale of survival among terrible stories of death. At least 38 people were killed by the storm.

Among the survivors: The women sitting chest-deep in water at an assisted-living facility whose picture was widely shared on social media.

In an animated map, we show the thousands of requests for help in the Houston area over four days.

• A lift for sanctuary cities.

A federal judge temporarily halted a Texas law that blocks cities from adopting policies to limit immigration enforcement.

The law had been set to take effect on Friday.

• Medical milestone.

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first treatment that genetically alters a patient’s cells to fight cancer.

• “The Daily,” your audio news report.

In today’s show, we discuss the history of Houston, which has faced the threat of flooding from almost the moment it was founded.

Listen on a computer, an iOS device or an Android device.

Business

• President Trump promised on Wednesday that a large corporate tax cut and trims to individual income tax rates would help the middle class.

His plan is to cut the corporate rate to 15 percent from 35 percent, and to simplify the tax code, although he offered few details.

• A Washington think tank that has received more than $21 million from Google fired a scholar who had praised a large fine on the tech giant.

• New ads coming to N.F.L. games will not be much longer than the time it took you to read this.

• U.S. stocks were up on Wednesday. Here’s a snapshot of global markets.

Smarter Living

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

• Here’s how to care for your clothes and accessories.

• What to do if you’re stung by overdraft fees.

• Recipe of the day: Make tonight’s dinner special with mustard-glazed pork tenderloin.

Noteworthy

• “Houston has come together.”

In today’s 360 video, join a volunteer rescue effort on the city’s flooded streets.

Video

On Submerged Streets, ‘Houston Has Come Together’

Follow rescue volunteers in 360-degree video as residents of a Houston neighborhood were evacuated by boats on Tuesday after Tropical Storm Harvey dumped record amounts of rain this week.

By DYLAN ROBERTS, KAITLYN MULLIN, NATHAN GRIFFITHS and JEAN YVES CHAINON on Publish Date August 30, 2017. Photo by Tamir Kalifa for The New York Times. Technology by Samsung.. Watch in Times Video »

• The empire stopper.

Foreign powers have tried to control Afghanistan since the 19th century. It hasn’t generally gone well.

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Afghans shooting from the Khyber Pass, circa 1910. Over an 80-year period, the British fought three wars in Afghanistan before granting the country independence in 1919. Credit Hulton-Deutsch Collection/Corbis, via Getty Images

• A monarchy, and a nation, transformed.

Diana, Princess of Wales, died in a car crash 20 years ago today. Our correspondent in London at the time examines how, two decades on, her influence is still felt in unexpected ways in Britain.

We also looked at Diana’s life in photographs and headlines from The Times.

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Princes William and Harry passed a makeshift memorial to their mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, outside Kensington Palace in London on Wednesday. Credit Jack Taylor/Getty Images

• A football analyst walks away.

Ed Cunningham, who called college games for ESPN and ABC, has resigned from one of the top jobs in sports broadcasting.

“I just don’t think the game is safe for the brain,” he said. “To me, it’s unacceptable.”

• Art on the move.

Crisscrossing Spain, a fleet of trucks provides a new perspective on art as it zooms by.

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Many of the artists in the Truck Art Project started as street artists. Credit Panci Calvo

• In memoriam.

David Tang founded Shanghai Tang, an upscale emporium of Chinese-inspired clothing, accessories and home furnishings. A prominent writer and raconteur in Hong Kong and Britain, he was 63.

• Best of late-night TV.

Most of the comedy hosts are off this week. Our roundup will resume after Labor Day.

• Quotation of the day.

“Why would you live in a hot, humid, flat space if it was expensive?”

Joel Kotkin, an urban theorist who has championed Houston’s laissez-faire approach to development, which he credits with creating affordable housing but may have also worsened the flooding after Hurricane Harvey.

Back Story

Our story last week about how the Spanish language is thriving in the U.S. mentioned the song of the summer, “Despacito.” The remix of a hit by the Puerto Rican musicians Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee features Justin Bieber.

It’s one of only three Spanish-language songs to hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. Can you guess the other two?

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Luis Fonsi, left, and Daddy Yankee. Their song “Despacito” has spent 16 weeks so far at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, tying a record. Credit Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

Time’s up.

The first was the only one of the three songs to be entirely in Spanish: a cover of “La Bamba” by the group Los Lobos that, coincidentally enough, topped the U.S. chart 30 years ago this week.

A Mexican folk song, “La Bamba” was propelled to (renewed) fame by the 1987 film of the same name, a biopic of Ritchie Valens. Valens released what is perhaps the best-known version of the song, in 1958, before dying the next year in a plane crash at 17.

The other hit was “Macarena,” originally released by the Spanish duo Los del Río before a remix by the Bayside Boys became inescapable in 1996. Even delegates at that summer’s Democratic National Convention got into the rhythm. Sort of.

The song made headlines again recently after the police in Saudi Arabia detained a teenager who had been captured on video dancing along to it.

Sandra E. Garcia contributed reporting.

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Source: New York Times

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