William Barr, Coronavirus, Harvey Weinstein: Your Friday Briefing

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Good morning.

We & # 39; regarding the Challenge of Attorney General William Barr to President Trump, the latest updates on the outbreak of the corona virus and the good news in the fight against Australia's forest fires .

Attorney General William Barr said in an interview on Thursday that President Trump's attacks on the Department of Justice made it "impossible for me to do my job" "I am not being bullied or influenced by anyone."

Mr. Trump has repeatedly criticized officials in the department and denounced a verdict for his employee Roger Stone. Here is a transcript of excerpts from Mr. Barr's interview with ABC News.

Mr. Trump didn't immediately reply on Twitter, but spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said, "The comments didn't bother the president at all." The attorney general has shared some of his comments with the president and remains on the job, a person familiar with the events told The Times.

Another Perspective: Mr. Barr's critics mostly dismissed his comments as a way to divert responsibility for fulfilling Mr. Trump's political desires. "The tell here will be Trump's reaction," said Joe Lockhart, White House spokesman for former President Bill Clinton. "If he doesn't whip, we'll all know that this was purely political theater."

The experience he gained as a leader South Bend, Ind., Is a key part of Mr. Buttigieg's tenure as President while his rivals try to sow doubts about whether he's prepared for the Oval Office.

His Record Trying to Turn the Midwest The city was also challenged by some residents and activists, particularly because of the problems faced by black residents.

Our correspondent traveled to South Bend to learn more about how the 38-year-old Buttigieg ruled and grew up in his eight-year office.

Yesterday: Elizabeth Warren criticized Michael Bloomberg after posting a video of a lecture 12 years ago in which he linked the 2008 financial crisis to the end of discriminatory housing practices.

A period of nine months that shook the already strained relationship between the two countries began with the escalation of the sanctions by the Trump administration and ended Washington and Tehran in a direct military confrontation.

A team of our reporters traced the path to violent conflict last month and found a story of miscalculations on both sides.

Yesterday: The Senate voted for President Trump to get Congress approval. Before taking further military action against Iran, a mostly symbolic measure that lacked support, to override a promised veto.

An estimated 600 million people worldwide live in coastal, dangerous places in times of climate change. The Times examined how two metropolitan areas, Manila top left and San Francisco, deal with rising sea levels.

Will you try to hold the water back or take people away? Your decisions could draw crucial lessons for coastal cities around the world.

Billions redirected for the wall: The Pentagon said it would provide $ 3.8 billion for this. Congress had that for other purposes Construction of a wall planned on the southwestern border.

Harvey Weinstein's Defense: A lawyer for the former Hollywood producer told the jury during his rape trial that he was the victim of "overzealous persecution" and that his prosecutors had established friendly relationships with him ,

Australian fires controlled: The forest fires that started in September and consumed millions of acres have disappeared in most of them. New South Wales, Australia's most populous state, said emergency services today.

The Weekly: The latest episode of the Times TV show features police action against demonstrators at a university in Hong Kong last year. It premiered on FX today at 10 p.m. Eastern and will be available on Hulu from Saturday.

Snapshot: Above the German city of Dresden in 1945, the year in which it was bombed by the Allies. On Thursday, the Germans commemorated the 75th anniversary of the devastating attack with which a resurgent right promoted a revisionist history of World War II.

News Quiz: Did you follow the headlines? this week? Test yourself.

Modern Love: In this week's column, a woman's worst date became her best.

Late Night Comedy: The hosts watched as President Trump and Michael Bloomberg acted insults. "This is crazy," said Trevor Noah. “Two mega-rich guys who dissect each other in the most personal way. It would be like a rap fight on CNBC. "

What we're listening to now: This episode of" The New York Radio Hour ". Sam Sifton, our food editor, writes:" I enjoyed listening to Hilton As like Louis CK returned to the stage and how it could have been different if Louis had tried art and not trade. "

Koch: Take time for stuffed mussels this weekend.

See: Two paintings by Napoleon, one wearing Timberlands and on display at the Brooklyn Museum, are a meeting between two visions of the political power of art , writes our critic Jason Farago.

Read: In honor of Valentine's Day, we have listed novels of the 50 states that deal with matters of the heart.

Smarter Living: There are good and bad ways for colleagues with different daily rhythms to work together. Here are some tips.

Donald McNeil, a science reporter for The Times, is part of a team covering the spread of the virus. This is a condensed version of a conversation about his observations and concerns.

What do we know and what do we not know about the corona virus?

In At the beginning of every epidemic there is the fog of war.

I would say we are still in this fog. We know that this virus is much more communicable than SARS or MERS. We don't know if it's as communicable as the flu. We know that it can kill people. We know that it is nowhere near as deadly as MERS or SARS.

One of the things we don't know is what the Chinese don't say. We know that they are reluctant to consult external experts and do not share samples of the earliest cases with disease control and prevention centers.

If you ask scientists: "What do you fear for the big one? , the pandemic that will kill us all? "- not that there is a pandemic that will kill us all – but when you ask them about it, they say" flu. "They are concerned about a new flu, bird flu, or swine flu that is very deadly, but between people I only know one or two scientists who said, "You know, I'm also worried that coronaviruses are the big ones."

I don't want to raise the alarm that these are the big ones But this is a new, scary and confusing one, and we still don't know how far it will spread and how many people will kill it.

What do you think of the public's response? Your reporting?

I always try to find out: Am I alarming or am I not alarming enough? I was too alarming about H5N1, avian flu in 2005. I was not alarming in its early days enough of West Africa and Ebola. All previous Ebola outbreaks had killed several hundred people. The latter killed 11,000.

A big part of my tact is to expose the panicked stories. It actually takes almost as much time as reporting.

I try to spread truth instead of panic, even if it takes me a little longer to get it right.

That's what this briefing is for. Until next time.

– Chris

Thank you very much
Mark Josephson and Kathleen Massara provided the break from the news. Alex Traub wrote today's background story. You can reach the team at briefing@nytimes.com.

S.
• We listen to "The Daily". Today's episode is about President Trump after his impeachment.
• Here is today's mini crossword puzzle and a hint: Facebook reaction button, symbolized by a heart (four letters). You can find all of our puzzles here.
• The Times' Visual Investigations team answers questions live and in front of the camera today at 10 AM East.

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