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Rugby Chris Stanford

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Good morning.

We’re covering revelations in the American influence campaign inUkraine, a government push for a loophole inFacebook’s encryption plans, anda ban on masksin Hong Kong. It’s also Friday, so there’s a newnews quiz.

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CreditErin Schaff/The New York Times

The texts between Mr. Trump’s top diplomats to Ukraine and an aide to President Volodymyr Zelensky included a discussion about language for a proposed statement, which the Ukrainians never released. Kurt Volker, the American former special envoy to the country, is said to have told House investigators that the idea for the statement came from Rudy Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer.

Yesterday:Mr. Volker became the first witness in the impeachment inquiry against Mr. Trump. He turned over text messages indicating a dispute among American diplomats about whether Mr. Trump was seeking a quid pro quo from Ukraine, the charge at the heart of the inquiry.

Related:Ukraine’s top prosecutor said today that he would review several investigations handled by his predecessors, including a case involving a company that employed Joe Biden’s son.

Go deeper:The Times has untangled the discredited conspiracy theory — involving Democrats, the 2016 election and hackers — that Mr. Trump raised in his July call with Ukraine’s leader.

Another angle:Already facing an inquiry for asking Ukraine to investigate the Biden family, Mr. Trump on Thursday publicly called on China to do the same. Here’s what we know about the Chinese business ventures of Mr. Biden’s son Hunter.


Attorney General William Barr and his counterparts in Australia and Britain are asking the company to create a loophole in its plan to fully encrypt WhatsApp and other messaging services.

In a letter dated today, the law enforcement officials write, “Companies should not deliberately design their systems to preclude any form of access to content even for preventing or investigating the most serious crimes.”

Response:A spokesman said that Facebook respected the role of law enforcement but believed that people had a right to communicate privately.

Background:In 2016, a judge ordered Apple to help the F.B.I. unlock an iPhone recovered after a mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif. The F.B.I. ultimately cracked it without Apple’s help.


For more than a decade, New York’s taxi industry leaders have steadily seized control of the market for medallions in Chicago and other U.S. cities, a Times investigation has found.

Using tactics honed in New York, they made millions but ultimately helped gut the industry, leaving the lives of immigrant drivers on the edge of ruin.

Quotable:“They came in, they juiced up the medallion, a superficial value,” a Chicago cabdriver from Greece said. “We took out their loans, and we were wiped out.”

Background:A two-part Times investigation in May detailed the devastation of New York’s taxi industry.


The R-rated film starring Joaquin Phoenix opened last night and is expected to be a hit for Warner Bros.

But its empathetic depiction of a character with similar psychological traits to those of gunmen in real-life mass shootings has caused deep un

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