Here are the week’s top stories, and a look ahead.
1. We’re keeping a close eye on the baffling, fast-moving developments in the Middle East that are fueling anxieties about a possible military conflict in Lebanon. Above, a poster of a key player — Lebanon’s prime minister, who is missing — being put up in Beirut.
The full rundown is here. In short form: The impulsive young Saudi crown prince had more than 200 royal relatives and businessmen arrested, consolidating power and then sharply escalating a proxy war with Iran that threatens millions of people in Yemen with starvation.
As speculation built that the kingdom could be holding the Lebanese prime minister hostage, the leader of the Shiite militia Hezbollah, an Iranian ally, said the Saudis had asked Israel to attack Lebanon. At least four countries have urged their citizens to leave Lebanon. Elsewhere, President Trump’s advisers are working on “the ultimate deal” for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
2. In Asia, President Trump is nearing the end of his lengthy trip with less discipline than he started it. Notably, he sought to woo the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, with flattery, but came away with no significant concessions on North Korea or looming trade disputes. Above, the Trumps at the Forbidden City in Beijing.
Mr. Trump pressed his case for “America first” trade policies at a regional forum in Vietnam, striking a jarring note before leaders who had supported the Obama administration’s efforts to close the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. His comments also sharply contrasted with Mr. Xi’s projection of cooperation and engagement minutes later on the same stage.
Our photographer has been traveling with Mr. Trump, documenting each stop on the 12-day trip. The president returns to the U.S. from Manila on Tuesday.
3. Upon his return, President Trump will find a Republican Party in disarray. A year after his election, anger against him helped fuel strong Democratic turnout in the suburbs and a rising coalition of women, minorities, and gay and transgender people that gave Democrats groundbreaking wins across the country.
And Republican senators are exploring ways to stymie the candidacy of Roy Moore for a Senate seat in Alabama after the emergence of allegations that he made sexual advances on teenagers when he was in his 30s. Mr. Moore has denied any sexual misconduct and is moving to discredit the women who came forward.
The accusations are distracting from Senate Republicans’ newly unveiled tax plan, which diverges from the evolving House bill in key ways. Both, however, would raise taxes for millions of middle-class families.
He is one of least 20 men to have been accused of sexual misconduct since we reported on allegations of harassment and worse against Harvey Weinstein last month. As with Kevin Spacey and others, Louis C. K.’s media partners are severing ties.
Our writer Amanda Hess argues that it’s time to do away with the notion that artists and their work must be considered independently.
5. Funerals have begun for victims of the shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Tex. The small town’s cemetery is struggling to figure out how to manage burials for the more than two dozen victims of Devin Kelley’s killing spree.
The former airman’s court-martial and conviction on charges of assaulting his first wife and his toddler stepson should have prevented him from legally buying weapons. Air Force authorities are investigating why the information wasn’t entered into the federal database for firearms background checks. “He was just problem after problem after problem,” said a former Air Force staff sergeant who said that years ago, she feared he would “shoot up the place.”
One of our most-read articles this week was an Interpreter column that examined mass shootings around the world and found an explanation for the extraordinary prevalence of mass shootings in America. (It’s not likely to surprise you.)
6. “He said he didn’t meddle — I asked him again.” President Trump told reporters that he believed Vladimir Putin was sincere in his repeated denials of involvement in the U.S. election last year.
The Russian president’s account is squarely at odds with the U.S. intelligence agencies, whose assessments Mr. Trump did not dispute on Sunday. The comments came as new information has emerged about a 2016 meeting at which Joseph Mifsud, above left, a Maltese professor, told the Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos of “thousands of emails” that could be used against Hillary Clinton.
7. The Modern Love column began 13 years ago. We’re celebrating the milestone by following up on a few of the most resonant essays and sharing 13-word love stories from readers (“I thought I was straight. She thought she was straight. We were wrong.”).
Writing for the Vows column, our arms and conflict reporter C.J. Chivers revisits the story of a former Marine rifleman with post-traumatic stress disorder and the woman who has loved him since childhood, above. Mr. Chivers’s profile of the Marine, Sam Siatta, earned a Pulitzer Prize this spring.
8. Our reporters dived deep into the Paradise Papers, a 13.4-million-document leak that illuminates how trillions of dollars move through offshore tax shelters.
Much of the information focuses on a law firm in Bermuda that has helped its wealthy clients, including Madonna, Bono and Queen Elizabeth II, invest, and that has helped major U.S. colleges skirt taxes on their endowments.
9. We checked in on hurricane recovery.
In Houston, pictured above in mid-October, much of the devastation was a direct result of a quintessentially American defiance of nature’s boundaries. The latest installment in our immersive Changing Climate, Changing Cities series focuses on what rebuilding in that coastal city says about diverging attitudes toward, among other things, race, liberty and science.
In Puerto Rico, figures show that 472 more people died in September compared with the same month last year, a sharp contrast with the official storm death toll of 55. And in parts of the U.S. Virgin Islands, day-to-day survival continues to be a struggle.
The governors of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands will testify before a Senate committee on hurricane recovery on Tuesday.
10. On “Saturday Night Live,” there was no shortage of targets amid the growing number of accusations of sexual misconduct by prominent men, including Louis C.K. and Roy Moore (played by Mikey Day, above left).
But on the episode, hosted by the “Girls Trip” star Tiffany Haddish and featuring the musical guest Taylor Swift, some of the accused got rougher treatment than others.
11. Finally, it’s time to talk turkey.
Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away. If you haven’t started planning, don’t panic.
Our Food section walks you through a “400-Degree Thanksgiving” (one oven, four burners and a single day of work) with vivid video guidance. And we have four rules for Thanksgiving wines, an argument for a beer-and-bird pairing, a rundown of essential kitchen equipment, and a suggestion for a casserole for everyone at your table.
Have a great week.
Your Weekend Briefing is published Sundays at 6 a.m. Eastern.
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