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Good morning. Brexit deliberations loom, the Camp Fire continues to burn and Disney makes a big bet on its theme parks.
Here’s the latest:
• Theresa May: “The next seven days are critical.”
The British prime minister, after days of turmoil over Brexit, said in a television interview that she would head back to Brussels this week, where European leaders are scheduled to discuss a draft agreement on Sunday. But anything can happen before then to upend the process.
The deal, reluctantly approved by her cabinet last week, looks unlikely to get a signoff from Parliament. And Mrs. May faces more threats at home.
There has been growing momentum for a second referendum, which could force a vote on the terms of the deal and the option to remain in the E.U., and Mrs. May could face a leadership challenge via a secretive panel called the 1922 committee. The group has been collecting letters from members of Mrs. May’s own party stating they’ve lost confidence in her; if the committee receives 48 letters, it can trigger a no-confidence vote.
Meanwhile, a U.N. poverty expert reported that the British government’s austerity policies are directly linked to a rise in poverty. Brexit, he said, “poses particular risks for people in poverty, but the government appears to be treating this as an afterthought.”
Above, the Houses of Parliament in London.
• Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, depicted left, ordered the brutal killing of the dissident Jamal Khashoggi, depicted right, the C.I.A. concluded.
The intelligence agency, previously hesitant to definitively point fingers in the killing of the journalist, changed its tune following two sets of communications: intercepts of the crown prince’s calls in the days before the killing, and calls by the kill team to a senior aide immediately after.
The new assessment adds pressure on the Trump administration to punish the kingdom, a longtime American ally. President Trump said he would wait for a report from his own administration before deciding how to assign blame, but a top White House aide responsible for policy toward Riyadh resigned on Friday, revealing possible fractures inside the administration over its response.
Separately, although Arab dissidents, journalists and activists on Friday mourned Mr. Khashoggi’s death in Istanbul, the Turkish police made a new round of arrests to further suppress domestic dissent.
Our video team recreated how the killing unfolded at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul last month.
• Reviewing China’s playbook
In a series of articles, The New York Times explains how an isolated, impoverished backwater has evolved into the most significant rival to the United States since the fall of the Soviet Union.
China leads the world in homeowners, internet users, college graduates and, by some counts, billionaires. Extreme poverty has fallen from three-quarters of the population in 1984 to less than 1 percent today.
China has risen so quickly that an 18-year-old’s chances at upward mobility today vastly exceed those of its counterparts in the U.S. Eight hundred million people in China have been lifted out of poverty since 1990, and the average income growth per person in China between 1980 and 2014 is 500 percent.
• Disney, faced with challenges in television, is now focused on expanding its six parks and its cruise line. Above, a visualization of a Marvel-themed ride at the Disneyland Resort.
• Candidates vying to replace Angela Merkel as the head of Germany’s Christian Democratic Union have begun their campaign tour ahead of a vote next month. Above, the three leading contenders, from left: Friedrich Merz, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer and Jens Spahn, right, [The New York Times]
• Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks who has lived for years in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, was secretly charged by U.S. prosecutors in federal court. [The New York Times]
• The wreckage of an Argentine submarine that went missing last year with 44 sailors aboard has been found, ending a confounding maritime mystery. [The New York Times]
• In France, more than 250,000 drivers protested nationwide, blocking highways and roads over planned hikes in gas taxes. [The New York Times]
Tips for a more fulfilling life.
• The kilogram, which has been defined by a platinum-iridium cylinder stored in a vault in Paris since 1889, has been redefined in electromagnetic terms and by abstract constants of nature. Above, the NIST-4 Kibble Balance, which uses electromagnetism instead of gravity to precisely measure the mass of an object.
• Max Hollein, the new director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, gave insights into how the museum will move ahead with renovations of its Southwest Wing, which exhibits modern and contemporary artworks, and one devoted to Africa, Oceania and the Americas.
The Grammys have revoked an award only once.
That happened 28 years ago today, after the German duo Milli Vanilli, above, confessed they hadn’t actually sung on their debut album.
They also admitted to lip-syncing at their many shows, and blamed their producer for putting them up to it.
The scandal cost them the 1989 Grammy for Best New Artist — and their careers.
Since then, Milli Vanilli has become pop culture shorthand for fraud. Last month, Nicki Minaj referred to the group in a thinly veiled shot at Cardi B, her rival.
But the discussion around authenticity has shifted as well. Cardi B and Kanye West openly admit to receiving help with their lyrics, while Mariah Carey and Garth Brooks have survived high-profile lip-sync blunders.
In an era of C.G.I. and android pop stars, the truth behind art is almost beside the point.
We’ll never know if Milli Vanilli was actually years ahead of its time.