Your Friday Briefing

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Afghanistan, Syria, Vin Diesel
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Friday, April 14, 2017

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Your Friday Briefing
By CHRIS STANFORD
Afghan security forces during an operation against the Islamic State in the Achin district on Friday, a day after the U.S. dropped a Massive Ordnance Air Blast in the area.
Afghan security forces during an operation against the Islamic State in the Achin district on Friday, a day after the U.S. dropped a Massive Ordnance Air Blast in the area. Ghulamullah Habibi/European Pressphoto Agency
Good morning.
Here’s what you need to know:
• The “mother of all bombs.”
Officials in Afghanistan said today that dozens of militants had been killed after the U.S. dropped the most powerful conventional bomb in its arsenal on an Islamic State cave complex. The full extent of the damage was still being assessed.
The Pentagon gave no casualty totals for Thursday’s attack, but in a separate announcement it said that an airstrike in Syria had killed 18 fighters allied with the U.S.
The admission raised concerns about whether the White House is being sufficiently careful in approving airstrikes in conflict zones.
When simple issues aren’t.
There’s always a learning curve for a new occupant of the White House. For President Trump, that curve has affected issues as varied as Russia, North Korea and the Export-Import Bank.
We look at several of the president’s policy reversals from the past week, in his own words.
Still, Mr. Trump’s reputation for getting things done means that many conservatives do not think his support will suffer if he abandons some of his stances.
He signed legislation on Thursday aimed at cutting off federal funding to Planned Parenthood and other groups that perform abortions.
A pattern of sexual abuse.
Choate Rosemary Hall, an elite Connecticut boarding school, revealed that at least 12 former teachers had sexually molested — and, in at least one case, raped — students in a series of cases dating as far back as the 1960s.
• Siege is over, but debate rages on.
A year after the armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in rural Oregon, a fight over what and whom public lands are for continues.
• If this world is too much for you.
Scientists may have found conditions for life on the icy moons of Saturn.
We’ve also collected 17 great stories that have nothing to do with politics.
• “The Daily,” your audio news report.
Today’s show tries to reconcile the unexpectedly active U.S. military with the isolationist tone of President Trump’s campaign.
Listen on a computer, an iOS device or an Android device.
Business
Social media has given brands unprecedented access to consumers, but it has also exposed them to new risks, as United Airlines was reminded this week.
On Thursday, a lawyer representing the passenger who was filmed being dragged off a United flight outlined his client’s injuries, including a broken nose, a concussion and two knocked-out teeth.
• Bill O’Reilly, the embattled Fox News host, has expanded his audience through books, speaking engagements and a charity. We look at his extensive reach.
New Zealand has long wanted to be a tech hub, but isolation was an issue. Now, at a time of political upheaval around the globe, it has become a selling point.
• U.S. stocks were down on Thursday, and the markets are closed today for Good Friday. Here’s a snapshot of global markets.
Smarter Living
How the grain in your cereal was processed affects your performance.
Save time at the gym by learning about really, really short workouts.
Recipe of the day: Roast a whole head of cauliflower and serve it with a rich romesco sauce.
Noteworthy
• Tips for a picture-perfect home.
Want to make your place irresistible to buyers, or to social media? In today’s 360 video, a Brooklyn loft is transformed and becomes photo-ready.
• Partisan writing you shouldn’t miss.
Read about how the other side thinks: Why the administration needs Stephen Bannon, the “brilliant incoherence” of President Trump’s foreign policy, and an argument against the first-100-days metric.
• In memoriam.
Dan Rooney, the longtime Pittsburgh Steelers chairman, helped shape the modern N.F.L. He was 84.
Charlie Murphy, a comedian best known for his work on “Chappelle’s Show,” was also the older brother of the actor and comic Eddie Murphy. He was 57.
• Easing into the weekend.
In cinemas, Vin Diesel and his gang of reckless drivers return in “The Fate of the Furious.” We also review “The Lost City of Z” and “Norman.”
For art lovers, we visit the Met and review “The Theater of Disappearance,” an ambitious sculpture installation in a rooftop setting.
The Book Review has two new columns: Match Book, a literary advice column, and The Long View, a look at contemporary issues through the lens of recent and historical books. (Plus, 11 new books we recommend.)
And if you fancy a getaway, we spend 36 hours in Baltimore and find that Charm City has raised the charm quotient.
Best of late-night TV.
Jimmy Kimmel addressed a push to legalize the use of marijuana north of the border: “So Canada’s about to become the stoner living in America’s attic.”
Back Story
Over a dinner of crayfish in Stockholm in 1924, two men decided that Sweden needed its own car manufacturer, one that would make vehicles suitable for the harsh local climate and whose guiding principle was safety.
From their idea came Volvo — a Latin translation of “I roll” — which rolled its first car off the assembly line 90 years ago today. The original model, the ÖV4, was affectionately called “Jakob.”
A Volvo shipment to the U.S. in 1960.
A Volvo shipment to the U.S. in 1960.
Stan Wayman/LIFE Picture Collection, via Getty Images
The Swedes were hardly the first to produce automobiles; Karl Benz and Henry Ford, among others, had been at it for decades.
In 1999, Ford Motor bought Volvo, which was then sold in 2010 to Geely, a Chinese automaker, for $1.3 billion.
For the new owner, buying Volvo was momentous: “We are like a poor farm boy pursuing a famous movie star,” Li Shufu, Geely’s chairman, said.
By the end of next year, the company, which is still based in Sweden, plans to make up to 100,000 cars annually in South Carolina.
It’s a head-spinning tale of globalization that started over a humble meal almost a century ago.
Patrick Boehler contributed reporting.
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Your Morning Briefing is published weekdays at 6 a.m. Eastern and updated on the web all morning.
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