Nobel Prize, Paul Ryan, China: Your Friday Briefing
The Kilauea volcano in Hawaii erupted on Thursday, forcing evacuations. The eruption followed days of small earthquakes in the area. Credit Kevan Kamibayashi/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

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Good morning.

Here’s what you need to know:

Trump’s attack dog may have bitten him

• Rudolph Giuliani, who recently joined President Trump’s legal team, may have made things worse for his client by revealing the existence of payments to Michael Cohen, the president’s personal lawyer.

The transfers were used, in part, to reimburse Mr. Cohen for the $130,000 he had paid to the porn star known as Stormy Daniels. Mr. Trump had previously denied knowing about the transactions but confirmed their existence on Thursday.

Catching other White House aides off guard, Mr. Giuliani said his comments were meant to show that no campaign finance laws had been broken. We explain how the disclosures could open Mr. Trump to other legal trouble.

Mr. Giuliani’s revelation came during an interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News, traditionally a safe space for the president.


Stormy Daniels: Timeline of a Trump Scandal

Accusations, payoffs and lawsuits: Here’s a guide to the latest White House scandal, which involves a porn star named Stormy Daniels.

By DREW JORDAN on Publish Date March 9, 2018. . Watch in Times Video »

Cutting back in South Korea

• President Trump has ordered the Pentagon to prepare options for withdrawing some of the 28,500 U.S. troops stationed on the Korean Peninsula.

According to several people briefed on the deliberations, reduced troop levels are not intended to be a bargaining chip in Mr. Trump’s planned talks with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un. But peace on the peninsula could reduce a need for the American military presence, for which the U.S. isn’t adequately compensated, Mr. Trump says.

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In South Korea, President Moon Jae-in is determined to avoid the failures of past peace talks. Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim appear likely to meet at Panmunjom, a village in the Demilitarized Zone, by next month.

A Nobel Prize is postponed

• The Nobel Prize in Literature will not be awarded this year, after a sexual abuse scandal engulfed the panel that selects it.

The Swedish Academy announced today that it would postpone the 2018 award, naming two laureates next year.

It will be the first time since World War II that one of the world’s most revered cultural honors has not been bestowed. Other Nobel Prizes are not affected.

Jean-Claude Arnault, who has close ties to the Swedish Academy, has been accused of sexual assault or harassment by 18 women, allegations that he has denied. The crisis escalated after charges that the academy had mishandled the situation.

Talking politics, and religion

• Last month, Speaker Paul Ryan asked the Rev. Patrick Conroy to step down as chaplain of the House of Representatives. Father Conroy, who had been in the post since 2011, complied despite not knowing what he’d done wrong.

He was later told that a prayer he delivered in November, during the debate over the tax overhaul, was “too political.” Father Conroy is a Jesuit, an order of priests viewed by some as liberal, while Mr. Ryan is a conservative Catholic.

Father Conroy rescinded his resignation on Thursday, and Mr. Ryan reinstated him hours later. “It is my job as speaker to do what is best for this body, and I know that this body is not well served by a protracted fight over such an important post,” Mr. Ryan said in a statement.

Nobel Prize, Paul Ryan, China: Your Friday Briefing
The Rev. Patrick Conroy in 2016. After his reinstatement, he joked, “The upside of the whole story is people are actually reading my prayers.” Credit J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press

Teachers notch another win

• Arizona has become the fourth state this year in which protesting teachers left classrooms and won concessions from conservative lawmakers. (The others are West Virginia, Oklahoma and Kentucky.)

Gov. Doug Ducey signed a budget bill on Thursday that he said would provide teachers with the 20 percent raises they had demanded, as well as additional funds for classrooms.

At least one more state, North Carolina, is expecting a widespread teacher walkout in the coming weeks.

Nobel Prize, Paul Ryan, China: Your Friday Briefing
Arizona teachers protested at the State Capitol in Phoenix on Thursday. Credit Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press
The Daily
Nobel Prize, Paul Ryan, China: Your Friday Briefing

Listen to ‘The Daily’: The Hunt for the Golden State Killer

The decades-long effort to catch a serial murderer and rapist reached a turning point when an investigator decided to upload DNA evidence to a genealogy website.



The U.S. economy added 164,000 jobs in April, the Labor Department reported today. The unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent, the lowest rate since 2000.

Boeing has a lot riding on a healthy U.S. relationship with China. A congressional race in Washington, where the company is a major employer, has become a test of whether a growing trade dispute will hurt Republican candidates.

A U.S. trade delegation has arrived in Beijing for talks. But the Chinese officials sitting across from the Americans have limited experience in trade matters.

It’s hard to make a case that the proposed Sprint-T-Mobile merger would benefit consumers. Our business columnist explains.

Where are all the teenagers? Fast-food restaurants helped the economy recover, but a shortage of workers could change the equation.

U.S. stocks were mixed on Thursday. Here’s a snapshot of global markets today.

Smarter Living

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

Traveling the country is a great way to learn about civil rights.

How to handle an old boss who won’t let go.

Recipe of the day: Keep it simple with fettuccine Alfredo.


The week in good news

Humpback whales are making a comeback. Read about that and six other things that inspired us.

Want the good news roundup by email? Sign up here.

Quiz time!

Did you keep up with this week’s news? Test yourself.

Ready for the weekend

At the movies, we review “Tully,” starring Charlize Theron, and “RBG,” starring the Supreme Court justice and pop culture phenomenon Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Find all of this week’s film reviews here.

Our chief movie critics also shared some of their thoughts and complaints about Hollywood.

On TV, here are 10 shows we’ll be talking about this month, as well as May’s best offerings on streaming services.

We also picked eight new books, and have lots of recommendations if you’re in New York: 15 plays and musicals, 14 pop, rock and jazz concerts, and seven things to do with kids.

And for art lovers, our critics tell you what not to miss at Frieze New York and Tefaf New York.

Nobel Prize, Paul Ryan, China: Your Friday Briefing
A display at Tefaf New York, an art fair that started in the Netherlands and moved to try to capture the American market. Credit 2018 Max Ernst/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, ADAGP, Paris; 2018 Francis Picabia, via Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, via ADAGP, Paris; Rebecca Smeyne for The New York Times

Best of late-night TV

Jimmy Fallon suggested that maybe it’s Rudolph Giuliani, not Stormy Daniels, who needs hush money.

Quotation of the day

“New Yorkers have spoken. We’re going to need bigger boats.”

— Mayor Bill de Blasio, announcing an expansion of New York City’s ferry service.

The Times, in other words

Here’s an image of today’s front page, and links to our Opinion content and crossword puzzles.

What we’re reading

John Schwartz, a climate reporter for The Times, recommends this piece from The New Yorker: “The story behind the Shirelles’ recording of ‘Will You Love Me Tomorrow’ is wonderful. The video of a performance that goes with it, including what the author Elon Green calls ‘essentially, a 10-second dance party,’ is irresistible. And the brief interview with Beverly Lee, with her summing up the beautiful song — ‘What am I worth to you?’ — well, perfection.”

Back Story

Saturday is Cinco de Mayo, a day that is often mistaken in the U.S. for Mexico’s Independence Day.

In fact, that is Sept. 16, now a national holiday. On that day in 1810, a priest named Miguel Hidalgo implored the nation to revolt against Spain, leading to Mexico’s war for independence.

Nobel Prize, Paul Ryan, China: Your Friday Briefing
During a Cinco de Mayo celebration in Mexico City last year, participants dressed as Mexican and French troops, re-creating the battle that led to the holiday. Credit Eduardo Verdugo/Associated Press

Cinco de Mayo, which commemorates an underdog victory over France in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, isn’t widely celebrated in Mexico.

The victory was short-lived, as France later occupied Mexico for a few years. But Cinco de Mayo was still celebrated in Puebla and, perhaps more significantly, by Mexican-Americans north of the border.

The holiday gained popularity in the 20th century, and in 1989, an ad campaign by an importer of beers such as Modelo and Corona was introduced around the holiday.

The commercialization of Cinco de Mayo (and criticism of cultural stereotypes) has since taken off. The research firm Nielsen reported that in 2013, Americans bought more than $600 million worth of beer during the week of Cinco de Mayo, more than during the weeks of the Super Bowl or St. Patrick’s Day.

Claudio E. Cabrera wrote today’s Back Story.


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Correction: May 4, 2018

Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this briefing misidentified the month for which U.S. jobs numbers were reported today. It is April, not May.

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