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Studying Fake News About Voltaire, Spread by Voltaire Himself

The invitation, all fancy-looking script, promised “dinner and perhaps a birthday party.”<p>There was definitely dinner. It was served to 70 boldface types — Francophiles, Anglophiles, bibliophiles and, the organizers hoped, philanthropists who would donate to the cause being promoted.<p>Yes, as at so …

Humanism

‘The Zimbabwe of My Youth Is No More’

I couldn’t sleep. I follow twimbos (Zimbabwean Twitter users) and am part of several WhatsApp groups, none of which has anything to do with politics; yet all were a flurry of news — real or fake. Family members on the ground were less sure of what was happening, while those in the diaspora were …

Africa

‘I Remember the Joy’: Readers Reflect on Life Under Mugabe and Hopes for the Future

On Wednesday, Zimbabwe’s military announced it had placed President Robert G. Mugabe under house arrest, and several days later, Mr. Mugabe’s own ruling party ousted him as its leader.<p>Mr. Mugabe, 93, the world’s oldest head of state, has been the country’s leader since it declared its independence …

Robert Mugabe Is Ousted From His Ruling Party in Zimbabwe

After hours of deliberations, Zimbabwe’s governing party on Sunday expelled its leader, President Robert Mugabe, 93, as he remained locked in negotiations at the State House with the country’s army generals about his departure.<p>The stunning rebuke by the central committee of Mr. Mugabe’s party, …

Africa

Robert Mugabe, Roy Moore, Republican Party: Your Weekend Briefing

<i>Here are the week’s top stories, and a look ahead.</i><p><b>1. Now comes</b> the hard part for Senate Republicans.<p>A G.O.P. tax plan passed easily in the House. Above, Speaker Paul Ryan and Representative Kevin Brady celebrated. Members of the Senate Finance Committee also approved their version of the tax …

Listen to ‘The Daily’: A Special Episode for Kids

<i>Listen and subscribe to our podcast from your mobile device</i>: <i>Via Apple Podcasts</i> | <i>Via RadioPublic | Via Stitcher</i><p>Starting next year, girls can decide whether to become a Girl Scout or a Boy Scout. But a handful of girls — kind of secretly — have already made that decision.<p><b>On today’s episode:</b><p>How one …

Kids

Why People in Mississippi Have to Watch the Giants

Most football fans in the South who turn on CBS at 1 p.m. Sunday to watch N.F.L. football will see Baltimore at Green Bay. A much smaller portion of the audience in the South — mostly those living in Florida — will see Jacksonville at Cleveland.<p>And then there is the pocket of TV viewers in …

Deshaun Watson

‘The New Washington’: Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

WASHINGTON — Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Democrat of New York, who holds Hillary Clinton’s former seat, is leading the charge against sexual misconduct on Capitol Hill, building on her work on the same issues in the military and college campuses. Often considered a White House contender for 2020, …

Kirsten Gillibrand

Gerry Adams of Sinn Fein to Step Down

DUBLIN — Gerry Adams, a pivotal figure in the political life of Ireland for almost 50 years, said Saturday that he would step down as leader of Sinn Fein, the main Irish Republican party, after more than three decades.<p>Reviled by many as the face of the Irish Republican Army during its campaign …

Ireland

Honda Recalls 800,000 Odyssey Minivans Because of Seat Latches

Honda announced on Saturday it was recalling about 800,000 Odyssey minivans in the United States because of problems with locking adjustable seats into place.<p>The company said the affected minivans, which include model years 2011 to 2017, have second-row seats that can tip forward if they are not …

Honda

Marked for ‘De-escalation,’ Syrian Towns Endure Surge of Attacks

BEIRUT, Lebanon — A resurgence of deadly attacks by pro-government forces in so-called de-escalation zones in Syria, including a triple airstrike on a busy marketplace that killed more than 50 people, is undermining an agreement portrayed by its sponsors as a crucial step toward ending the …

Syria

Signals Detected From Missing Argentine Submarine as Foreign Navies Join Search

BUENOS AIRES — Argentina’s Defense Ministry said Saturday night that it had detected seven communication attempts throughout the day from an Argentine Navy submarine with 44 crew members aboard that has been missing since Wednesday.<p>“We received seven signals from satellite calls that originated …

Argentina

Dear Nobel Winners, Mr. Trump Has All the Brains He Needs

Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama invited America’s Nobel Prize winners to the White House most years, to celebrate their achievements and thank them for their discoveries. This year, the American winners of Nobels in physics, chemistry, economics and physiology were lauded …

Richard Thaler

The Trump Administration Is Making War on Diplomacy

American diplomats in recent decades have helped bring about an Israel-Egypt peace treaty, the peaceful fall of the Soviet Union, the unification of Germany, the end of the Bosnia war and a deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program. That record testifies to the power and influence of America as well as …

Trump Administration

When the Right Pushes Fake Jews

Bernie Bernstein pretty much fits the mold of a Jew — at least as the alt-right sees us.<p>A strange Northeastern accent, somewhere between New York and Boston? Check. Tossing money, but not too much money, around to no good end (remember, we’re rich, but cheap)? Check. Pursuing the agenda of the …

Anti-Semitism

Nuclear War Doesn’t Seem So Funny After All

In January, I started writing a novel in which a 10-kiloton nuclear bomb was detonated in the center of Washington, where I live. It was meant to be funny. I had read a 2011 report by the Federal Emergency Management Agency that described the effect of such a detonation, and was surprised to learn …

Nuclear War

Our Love Affair With Digital Is Over

A decade ago I bought my first smartphone, a clunky little BlackBerry 8830 that came in a sleek black leather sheath. I loved that phone. I loved the way it effortlessly slid in and out of its case, loved the soft purr it emitted when an email came in, loved the silent <i>whoosh</i> of its trackball as I …

The Hillary Effect

WASHINGTON — Would the war against preying on women be blazing so fiercely had Hillary Clinton been elected?<p>When I interviewed women in Hollywood about the ugly Harvey Weinstein revelations in The Times and The New Yorker, they told me that feelings of frustration and disgust at having an accused …

How First-Generation College Students Do Thanksgiving Break

LINCOLN, Neb. — In 1999, I had been a freshman in college in upstate New York for maybe two weeks — it was still September, no one had gotten winter jackets out yet — when my classmates started booking their flights home for Thanksgiving. They couldn’t wait. They regaled me with stories of family …

Education

The G.O.P. Is Fooling Itself on Taxes

The Republican Party seems to have backed itself into a corner on tax policy.<p>After the failure of their health care plan, President Trump and congressional leaders have understandably decided that they need a win. If they somehow fail to pass a tax cut, they will anger their base and their donors …

Taxes

Anthony Doerr: We Were Warned

Boise, Idaho — Twenty-five years ago this month, more than 1,500 prominent scientists, including over half of the living Nobel laureates, issued a manifesto titled “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity” in which they admonished, “A great change in our stewardship of the earth and the life on it is …

Why Can’t We Protect Elephants?

Lately I’ve been haunted by a photo. In it, a mother elephant and her baby are running across a road in West Bengal, India. The mother has her head down and ears forward, heading for safety in the trees. A ball of fire clings to her right foot; her tail appears singed. The baby’s hind legs are …

Elephants

Blue States Practice the Family Values Red States Preach

As we watch Roy Moore thumping his Bible to defend himself from accusations of child molestation, let me toss out a verbal hand grenade: To some degree, liberals practice the values that conservatives preach.<p>This is complicated terrain with lots of exceptions, and the recent scandals involving …

Religion

Trump Wants More Big Infrastructure Projects. The Obstacles Can Be Big, Too.

President Trump says he is frustrated with the slow pace of major construction projects like highways, ports and pipelines. Last summer, he pledged to use the power of the presidency to jump start building when it became bogged down in administrative delays.<p>“No longer will we allow the …

Malcolm Young, Whose Guitar Riffs Helped Propel AC/DC to Fame, Dies at 64

Malcolm Young, the guitarist and songwriter who helped found the Australian rock band AC/DC, died on Saturday. He was 64.<p>His family confirmed the death in a statement, adding that Mr. Young had had dementia for several years. It did not say where he died.<p>Mr. Young and his brother Angus created …

AC/DC

Why a Firm Believer in Tax Cuts Could Derail the Senate Tax Cut Plan

WASHINGTON — On the eve of the House’s vote to pass a far-reaching $1.5 trillion tax cut, Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin placed a hasty phone call to his state’s senior senator, Ron Johnson, in hopes of resolving an unlikely conflict in his own back yard.<p>Mr. Johnson had become the first Senate …

Taxes

When Unpaid Student Loan Bills Mean You Can No Longer Work

Fall behind on your student loan payments, lose your job.<p>Few people realize that the loans they take out to pay for their education could eventually derail their careers. But in 19 states, government agencies can seize state-issued professional licenses from residents who default on their …

For Roy Moore, a Long History of Combat and Controversy

GADSDEN, Ala. — It was 1982, and four circuit judges from rural Etowah County, Ala., had filed a state bar complaint against a lawyer named Roy S. Moore, accusing him of running “slanderous” political ads that had portrayed the local legal system as corrupt.<p>The response from the 35-year-old Mr. …

Roy Moore

He Fled Myanmar on a Deathtrap. Now He’s the ‘Luckiest Man Alive.’

DALLAS — Mohamed Rafiq was emaciated, close to joining the pile of dead bodies at one end of the boat, when he was rescued.<p>Barely conscious, Mr. Rafiq was too weak to walk. Foreign sailors picked him up and gave him medicine.<p>It was the first time, said Mr. Rafiq, 39, a Rohingya Muslim, that he had …

Myanmar

Azzedine Alaïa, Fashion’s Most Independent Designer, Is Dead at 82

Azzedine Alaïa, one of the greatest and most uncompromising designers of the 20th and 21st centuries, died on Saturday in Paris. He was 82.<p>His company said the cause was a heart attack.<p>Known as a sculptor of the female form, and worn by women from Michelle Obama to Lady Gaga, Mr. Alaïa was equally …

Michelle Obama