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We’re covering the latest developments in Syria, Tuesday’s Democratic presidential debate and a fatal shooting by a police officer in Texas.
A turning point in the Syrian war
Syrian troops entered Kurdish-controlled territory today for the first time in years after a deal between the government and Kurdish leaders.
The agreement came in the face of a Turkish invasion and President Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops who had long fought alongside the Kurds against the Islamic State. Here are the latest updates.
The American pullback effectively cedes control of the region to President Bashar al-Assad of Syria — who is supported by Iran and Russia — and jeopardizes hard-won gains against ISIS.
Related: The Kurds have operated detention sites in northern Syria that held about 11,000 ISIS fighters, whose fate is now unclear. The U.S. had been working to get dozens of high-value detainees out of northern Syria, but has extracted only two.
The Daily: Today’s episode is about the commander of the Kurdish-led militia.
Another angle: The Russian Air Force has repeatedly bombed Syrian hospitals to crush resistance to Mr. Assad, according to a video investigation by The Times.
Bernie Sanders, back in action
Two weeks after having a heart attack, the Vermont senator will be trying to convince voters that he has the strength to run a forceful campaign when he joins the Democratic debate on Tuesday.
Yesterday: In an acknowledgment that his overseas business dealings have become a political liability for his father, Hunter Biden intends to step down from the board of a Chinese investment fund manager, his lawyer said. Hunter Biden also said he would agree not to work for foreign-owned companies if Joe Biden became president.
Another angle: Last week, Trey Gowdy, the former South Carolina congressman known for leading investigations of Hillary Clinton, was named to President Trump’s impeachment defense team. That arrangement has fallen apart.
The Weekly: The latest episode of The Times’s TV show is about Rudy Giuliani, who was hailed as “America’s Mayor” after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and is now at the center of the impeachment inquiry. Read behind-the-scenes notes about the episode, which is available on FX and Hulu.
How vaping went unchecked for a decade
E-cigarettes and vaping devices, with $7 billion in annual sales, have become a part of daily life for millions of Americans, particularly teenagers. The federal government has repeatedly delayed or weakened efforts to regulate the devices.
In interviews with The Times, federal officials and public health experts blamed an intense lobbying effort, fears of a political backlash in tobacco-friendly states and a late reprieve by an F.D.A. commissioner who had served on the board of a chain of vaping lounges.
Quotable: “If this was romaine lettuce, the shelves would be empty,” a woman whose daughter nearly died after vaping told a House panel last month. Manufacturers and retailers say their products offer a potentially safer alternative to traditional cigarettes.
Go deeper: John Steffen, a 68-year-old from Nebraska, tried e-cigarettes in an effort to quit smoking. He is one of at least 29 people who have died of a vaping-related illness.
Another angle: An interim trade deal between the U.S. and China came together as both countries’ leaders faced mounting political pressures and rising economic worries.
If you have some time, this is worth it
How Italians became ‘white’
Today is Columbus Day, a federal holiday to honor the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus. But the day was also central to the process through which Italians became fully ratified as white in the U.S.