Texas, Uber, Sarah Palin: Your Wednesday Briefing

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Volunteers helping a woman flee a flooded neighborhood west of Houston on Tuesday. Credit Andrew Burton for The New York Times

(Want to get this briefing by email? Here’s the sign-up.)

Good morning.

Here’s what you need to know:

• Harvey makes second landfall.

Five days after making its first landfall in Texas, the hurricane-turned-tropical storm hit Louisiana early this morning. It’s a state where memories of Hurricane Katrina are still fresh.

Here’s a quick guide to what’s happening. At least 30 people have died in Texas, and officials cautioned that the rescue-and-evacuate phase was still underway.

Our maps track the storm’s destructive path and the extent of flooding. Water is still rising in some areas.

Continue reading the main story

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

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• The response to the storm.

In a visit to Texas on Tuesday, President Trump urged officials to make their response a model for the future. “We want to do it better than ever before,” he said.

Alongside government actions, there has been an equally giant, largely improvised effort by volunteers.

“We’ve pulled out 81 people, six dogs and one cat,” said a man who took a boat to Houston from 120 miles away.

In a video, we toured a mattress store in Houston that welcomed victims of the storm.

Video

How a Mattress Store Became a Home for Harvey Victims

Houston businessman Jim McIngvale opened his mattress store to flood victims, giving hundreds of men, women, children and pets a place to rest.

By YOUSUR AL-HLOU on Publish Date August 30, 2017. . Watch in Times Video »

• A critic of corruption in the cross hairs.

Claudio González Jr., the son of a businessman in Mexico, has spent nearly two decades fighting corruption and impunity.

Now, he’s being openly criticized by the president and is the target of advanced spying technology.

• In Japan, a more aggressive military.

Pacifism has been a tenet of the nation’s identity since the end of World War II. But government efforts to remove constraints on the military may have gotten a boost when North Korea fired a missile over a northern Japanese island on Tuesday.

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More than 26,000 people attended live-fire drills on Sunday by Japan’s Self-Defense Forces. Applications for tickets were oversubscribed by a factor of nearly six to one this year. Credit Tomohiro Ohsumi for The New York Times

The U.N. condemned Pyongyang missile tests as “outrageous actions,” and President Trump said, “All options are on the table.”

• “The Daily,” your audio news report.

In today’s show, a reporter tells the story of two Americans, an act of vandalism and forgiveness.

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

Business

• President Trump is set to unveil his ideas for a tax overhaul today.

Republican efforts hope not only to reduce the bills of businesses but also to stimulate investment, create jobs, increase competitiveness and promote growth. Economists and tax experts say that won’t be easy.

• Dara Khosrowshahi is officially chief executive of Uber.

Our reporter has the inside story of the 72 hours of power plays and tense negotiations that led to his selection.

• “Alexa, open Cortana.” Amazon and Microsoft plan to announce a partnership today that will allow their voice-controlled digital assistants to work together.

• A judge dismissed a defamation lawsuit Sarah Palin filed against The Times, saying her complaint failed to show that a mistake in an editorial had been made maliciously.

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

Smarter Living

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

• Check out seven ways to save on a kitchen renovation.

• Can psychedelics be used therapeutically?

• Recipe of the day: For a light, summery meal, go with Mark Bittman’s spicy shrimp salad.

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A light recipe still carries a lot of heft. Credit Michael Kraus for The New York Times

Noteworthy

Democracy versus math.

The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear a case in October on gerrymandering. A writer for The Times Magazine explains the key factors, including computer models that can be used to manipulate voter metrics.

She also analyzes how redistricting has upended political maps such as Wisconsin’s, a purple state with a reliably Republican-controlled legislature.

• In memoriam.

Jeannie de Clarens, an amateur spy, passed along information about Germany’s V-1 and V-2 rockets during World War II and survived stays in three concentration camps. She was 98.

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Jeannie de Clarens with her husband, Henri. They both survived stays in concentration camps.

• Fall restaurant preview.

Dig in to our coverage of the season’s most anticipated openings in New York City, and learn how the whole business is changing — or ought to.

• When is a shoe not just a shoe?

Melania Trump, the first lady, accompanied her husband to Texas on Tuesday, but her stiletto heels got all the attention. Our fashion critic explains why.

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.

“Most of our clients have ankle monitors, and we don’t know how these devices will withstand being underwater.”

Miriam Camero, a caseworker in Houston for a legal-aid group, on the added uncertainty many undocumented immigrants face after Hurricane Harvey.

Back Story

What’s billed as the world’s biggest food fight gets underway today in Buñol, Spain: la Tomatina.

Thousands of people from all over the world travel to the town, near Valencia, to throw more than 100 tons of overripe tomatoes at one another on the last Wednesday of August each year. Since 2013, organizers have limited the event to 20,000 people.

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The frenzy of La Tomatina in 2016. Credit Biel Alino/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

According to local lore, it started at the end of World War II, when a street brawl broke out near a vegetable store. So much fun was had that it became an annual event. It was banned for a time in the 1950s, under the Franco dictatorship, but it was eventually declared an official festival after residents protested by holding a “tomato funeral.”

The one-hour food fight won’t start until a competitor climbs a greased pole to retrieve a ham, as the crowd hoots and cheers. Trucks bring in low-quality tomatoes from the province of Extremadura, and water cannons are fired to start the battle. (Participants are encouraged to squish the tomatoes to lessen their impact.)

Afterward, the cobble streets are hosed down, and the acidity of the tomatoes is said to leave them shining.

Karen Zraick contributed reporting.

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Source: New York Times

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