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Your Friday Briefing – The New York Times

President Trump, who became the first U.S. president to be impeached twice, is facing a trial in the Senate that could disqualify him from running for office again.

The trial will probably not start before the presidential inauguration of Joe Biden next Wednesday, leaving a host of next steps up in the air. The Senate’s Republican leader in effect handed responsibility for the process to Democrats, who will soon control the chamber. Here’s what comes next.

A divided party: “The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters,” said the House’s top Republican, Kevin McCarthy. Ten Republicans broke from the president in a remarkable way, and voted to impeach. It wasn’t anywhere near a majority, but as David Leonhardt, the writer of The Morning, put it, it was “an unusually bipartisan” affair, with more defections from his party than any previous president besides Richard Nixon.

Police force in crisis: As security measures envelop Washington, the chief of police for the Capitol building and two top security officials resigned, three officers have been suspended, and more than a dozen are being investigated for their actions during the riot at the Capitol.

More than a year after a new coronavirus first emerged in China, a team of experts from the World Health Organization arrived in Wuhan on Thursday to begin hunting for its source.

But China is making the process harder. Two experts from the 15-member team were barred from entry at the last minute, and it’s unclear how much access they will get for the painstaking process of tracing the source of the virus.

Critics say Beijing’s desire for control means the inquiry will probably be more political than scientific. The pandemic hurt China’s reputation, with many foreign governments still angry that Beijing did not do more to contain the crisis in its earliest stages. Propagandists will most likely try to use the W.H.O. inquiry to help shore up China’s image.

Related: China reported a coronavirus death for the first time since May. Flare-ups may get in the way of W.H.O. investigators.

Here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.

In other developments:


The Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, who is wanted by the U.S. on fraud charges, has been leading a cushy life in her mansion in Vancouver. She is allowed to conduct business for the tech giant, meet her family and go shopping while out on $8 million in bail and awaiting the outcome of her extradition hearing.

But now it turns out that her life is even cushier than previously known and that she wants even more freedoms, like being allowed out without guards, according to new details that emerged during a two-day bail hearing this week.

Details: Ms. Meng receives regular private painting lessons and massages at the mansion. She has gone on private shopping sprees at stores reserved for her and her entourage, albeit with a GPS tracker on her left ankle. She spent Christmas Day at a restaurant that opened just for her, her husband, her two children and 10 other guests.

In comparison: Critics in Canada have contrasted her conditions with the dire, truncated lives of two Canadians jailed by China in apparent retaliation. Her detention has severely strained Canada’s relations with China.

Uganda election: Voting is underway in the East African nation, with the long-serving leader, President Yoweri Museveni, facing 10 rivals, including Bobi Wine, a lawmaker and musician. The vote has been unexpectedly competitive despite fierce government attempts to stifle the opposition.

Cook: These Korean pancakes can be made with virtually any meat or vegetable odds and ends, but they’re especially great with crunchy sauerkraut.

Watch: My Little Sister,” a tender Swiss drama that faces terminal illness with a refreshing emotional candor.

Do: A virtual memorial service offers several advantages: It’s easy for distant guests to attend, and you can record it. Here are some tips.

It’s almost the weekend. At Home has ideas on what to read, cook, watch, and do while staying safe at home.

After last week’s mob attack on the Capitol, Facebook, Twitter and Reddit shut down the accounts of people who were spreading false narratives or had plotted the attack. Our On Tech newsletter spoke with the tech reporter Sheera Frenkel about the move and what she’s seeing from online conversations in these fringe groups.

Does shutting down mainstream social media access make people angrier and push them elsewhere online?

It’s complicated. It’s helpful to push conspiracists and extremists off Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter. But yes, when people move to lesser noticed websites, there are fewer opportunities to dissuade them from extreme beliefs.

People who study extremist movements say that the moment when someone starts to believe in a conspiracy or terrorist propaganda, that’s the most effective time for someone to step in and have a conversation about it. That probably can’t happen if people are talking about false claims of voter fraud on websites where almost everyone else agrees with them.

Since last week’s Capitol attack, what have people discussed on these lesser-known networks?

I’ve seen the debate in these fringe groups of whether people should try to disrupt the inaugural proceedings or — and this is becoming more prevalent — whether they bide their time. It’s important for people to understand that there’s a risk of more violence.

From your reporting on ISIS and far-right groups in America, what are effective tactics against extremism?

Experts say that the fight against extremists can’t just be social media bans. It takes expertise, funding and a commitment to reach people in schools and other places in their community to counter those beliefs.


That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.

— Melina


Thank you
Carole Landry helped write this briefing. Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh provided the break from the news. You can reach the team at briefing@nytimes.com.

P.S.
• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our latest episode is on the impeachment of President Trump.
• Here’s our Mini Crossword, and a clue: Where a coat and safety goggles are worn (three letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• In 2020, NYT Cooking attracted record numbers of home cooks: 113 million people used its recipes, guides and collections, an increase of over 40 percent compared with 2019.

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