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We’re covering new evidence related to the Trump impeachment inquiry, reaction to the death of Kobe Bryant, and the Grammy Awards.
New Ukraine details in John Bolton’s book
President Trump told his national security adviser in August that he wanted to continue freezing $391 million in aid to Ukraine until officials there investigated Democrats including the Bidens, according to an unpublished manuscript by the since-ousted adviser, John Bolton.
A key element of Mr. Trump’s impeachment defense has been that the aid holdup was separate from his requests for investigations. Here are five takeaways from Mr. Bolton’s book.
Mr. Bolton has said he would testify at Mr. Trump’s impeachment trial if he were asked to do so, but lawmakers said the Senate was highly unlikely to call new witnesses.
How we know: Multiple people described Mr. Bolton’s account of the Ukraine affair to The Times, but the White House did not answer questions about Mr. Bolton’s assertions. Mr. Bolton’s lawyer accused the White House of disclosing the book’s contents.
What’s next: Mr. Trump’s legal team is to resume his defense today, starting at 1 p.m. Eastern. During an abbreviated session on Saturday, the president’s lawyers attacked his accusers as partisan witch-hunters trying to remove him from office because they couldn’t beat him at the ballot box.
Coronavirus outbreak intensifies
The death toll in China from the respiratory illness rose to at least 80 today, and the government extended the Lunar New Year holiday by three days in an effort to limit travel. Here are the latest updates.
A top Chinese health official warned on Sunday that the virus’s spread was accelerating despite a lockdown affecting 56 million people. The quarantine could make the situation worse, including by exacerbating shortages of medical supplies.
The details: Most of the nearly 3,000 people who have contracted the virus live in China, but it has spread to 10 other countries. Five cases have been confirmed in the U.S.
Go deeper: Compared with China’s response to the SARS epidemic in the early 2000s, the government has responded faster to the current outbreak. But there are signs that officials, especially those at the regional level, were slow to recognize the danger and are continuing to mishandle the crisis.
Another angle: Many airlines are accommodating travelers who want to modify, delay or cancel China itineraries. Here’s what to expect.
Mourning an N.B.A. great
The death of Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others in a helicopter crash in California on Sunday shocked the sports world and generated an outpouring of grief.
Thousands of people gathered at Staples Center, and condolences poured in from presidents and celebrities. Several entertainers paid tribute to Mr. Bryant at the Grammy Awards, which took place at the arena hours later.
The helicopter carrying Mr. Bryant, 41, went down near Calabasas, about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles, in foggy conditions. Here are the latest updates.
Catch up: The helicopter was on its way from Orange County, where the Bryant family lives, to Mr. Bryant’s youth basketball academy, where he coached his daughter Gianna, who died in the crash. A baseball coach at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa was also killed, as were his wife and daughter. The other victims haven’t yet been identified.
Obituary: Mr. Bryant jumped straight from high school to the N.B.A. in 1996 and won five championships with the Lakers before retiring in 2016. He was an unquestioned basketball great, but his legacy is not so straightforward.
Iran’s 72-hour lie
The country’s military officials knew for three days that their own forces had shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet over Tehran this month, but it took a resignation threat from President Hassan Rouhani and an order from Iran’s supreme leader before the government acknowledged its fatal mistake.
We have an in-depth report on the cover-up and its political implications. The main takeaway: The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, the elite force charged with defending Iran’s clerical rule at home and abroad, effectively sidelined the elected government in a moment of national crisis.
How we know: The Times interviewed current and former Iranian officials, ranking members of the Revolutionary Guards, and people close to the inner circle of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Another angle: The Pentagon said 34 American service members had sustained traumatic brain injuries when Iran fired missiles at an Iraqi military base this month. President Trump said last week that the troops’ concussion symptoms were “not very serious.”
If you have 6 minutes, this is worth it
The faces of life after the Holocaust
A ceremony today at Auschwitz will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp in German-occupied Poland.
Before the event, our Opinion section published portraits of 75 Holocaust survivors. Among them are, clockwise from top left: Esther Meron, Motke Weisel, Sara Leicht, Thomas Geve, Batsheva Dagan and Avraham Harshalom.
Here’s what else is happening
A Middle East peace plan: President Trump is expected this week to reveal details of his long-promised proposal to broker peace in the region. But with the Palestinians refusing to participate in the process, diplomats in past peace efforts see the plan as a way to aid the re-election efforts of the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
20 questions with Democrats: The Times interviewed six presidential candidates about foreign policy, the last book they read and more. Watch their answers here.
Changes to your credit score: Under a tweak to the widely used three-digit score, consumers in good financial standing should see their scores bounce higher. But those in financial distress may experience a fall.
Snapshot: Above, Billie Eilish accepted the Grammy Award for song of the year, “Bad Guy,” on Sunday. The 18-year-old won five awards and swept the major categories. Here’s a full list of the winners.
Metropolitan Diary: In this week’s column, a fresh start, a table at Grand Central and more reader tales of New York City.
What we’re reading: This Boston Globe investigation of the U.S. government’s inaction on E. coli outbreaks. The story of a 2-year-old boy who ate some of his father’s salad and developed the illness is “heartbreaking, terrifying and riveting,” writes our Times Insider editor, Jennifer Krauss.
Now, a break from the news
Cook: Slow cooker red beans and rice takes only about 20 minutes to set up in the morning.
Read: In her latest comic book endeavor, Roxane Gay adapts a short story, “The Sacrifice of Darkness,” from her 2017 collection “Difficult Women.”
Watch: “Miss Americana,” a Netflix documentary about Taylor Swift, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last week.
Smarter Living: Wirecutter recommends five cheap(ish) things to make over a cluttered closet.
And now for the Back Story on …
Bill Clinton’s impeachment
We asked Peter Baker, our chief White House correspondent, to reflect on a major moment in the lead-up to the last presidential impeachment and compare it with the current trial. He has covered both.
Twenty-two years ago this week came a milestone moment in the last presidential impeachment drama. President Bill Clinton was on the defensive after The Washington Post, where I was working then, broke the news that Ken Starr was investigating whether the president had committed perjury to cover up an affair with a former White House intern.
Mr. Clinton took to the microphone at the end of an event, glared angrily at the reporters in the room, wagged his finger and, with Hillary Clinton standing behind him, forcefully said, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.”
We were struck by two things: One, that he seemed to briefly blank on her name, referring to her as “that woman,” before summoning it. But the second was the intensity of his denial. He was white-hot mad.
At that time, before the DNA and the grand jury testimony, we didn’t know if the story we were pursuing was bogus or if the president of the United States was lying to us and to the country. Of course, later we found out which it was.
Now, as Ken Starr re-emerges as a lawyer for President Trump in the current impeachment trial, and the administration’s explanations of what happened continue to fluctuate, it’s hard not to feel déjà vu.
That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.
Mark Josephson and Eleanor Stanford provided the break from the news. You can reach the team at email@example.com.
• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Today’s episode is about whether football is too dangerous for children.
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• Monica Mark is our next Johannesburg bureau chief. She has covered some of the biggest stories in Africa for Bloomberg News, The Guardian and BuzzFeed News.