• Senator Al Franken said he would resign “in the coming weeks” after a sixth woman accused him of an improper advance and his support among fellow Democrats crumbled.
His speech highlighted the different approach Republicans have taken with admissions by President Trump and accusations against a Senate candidate, Roy Moore.
Mr. Trump and Congress are occupied with trying to agree on a short-term spending bill ward off a government shutdown.
• Ferocious wildfires threatening Los Angeles are forcing thousands of evacuations, shutting down schools and highways and leaving California on edge. Check our live briefing.
New fires continue to break out, and winds are expected to strengthen.
• South Korea urged Russian athletes, banned from competing under their own flag in the 2018 Winter Olympics, to compete under a neutral flag. The process is complex, our correspondent writes, and it’s hard to say exactly how many will.
And with tensions on the Korean Peninsula high, Nikki Haley, the American envoy to the U.N., said that it was an “open question” whether American athletes would be able to attend the Olympics.
Separately, in a mystery that has stoked anxiety in Japan, a ghostly armada of boats carrying dead fisherman is washing up on Japanese shores — bearing signs that they came from North Korea.
• We identified the mystery buyer of the Leonardo da Vinci painting of Christ that fetched a record $450.3 million at auction last month.
He’s a little-known Saudi prince with no history as a major art collector — but a close relationship with the 32-year-old Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman. The sale took place amid Prince Mohammed’s sweeping crackdown against corruption and self-enrichment.
“Salvator Mundi” appears headed to the new Louvre in Abu Dhabi, where Prince Mohammed has close allies.
• We need your help!
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• General Electric will cut 12,000 jobs in its power division worldwide in a cost-cutting move that an executive called “painful but necessary.” The company cited global shifts, including overcapacity, growth in renewable energy and the “softening” of traditional power markets.
• To pivot or not to pivot? Letting go of what you thought was a brilliant business idea can be “heart-wrenching” for entrepreneurs, as one of them told our reporter.
In the News
• Indonesia’s top tourism spot, the resort island of Bali, above, is taking an economic hit over fears that the Mount Agung volcano could erupt again at any moment. [The New York Times]
• The memoirs of Hirohito, the Japanese emperor, sold at auction for $275,000, to a Japanese doctor known for right-wing political views. The account suggests that Hirohito feared resisting entry into World War II would plunge his country into civil conflict. [The New York Times]
• China’s military expressed “strong dissatisfaction” over the recent crash of an Indian drone in Chinese-controlled territory along their contested border. [Reuters]
• In India, the police said they had arrested a Hindu man after he allegedly hacked a Muslim man to death and set him on fire, raising fears of unrest. [BBC]
• The Australian government shelved a plan to drug-test welfare recipients, saying that it did not have enough support in the Senate. [ABC]
• Nepal held its final round of parliamentary elections, and India and China were watching to see which of their preferred candidates would prevail. [The Washington Post]
Tips, both new and old, for a more fulfilling life.
• How to build a gingerbread house.
• Choosing the best apps for your child’s tech requires some forethought.
• Recipe of the day: Try a new take on an old favorite with crisp smashed potatoes.
• Sendok Garpu, or “Spoon and Fork,” started as an Indonesian snack bar with a cult following. Now it’s a restaurant near Brisbane that offers a wonderful taste of what’s possible when an expat community’s yearning for a taste of home makes life more delicious.
• Science, not fiction: Neurologists say monkeys were able to interpret direct stimulation of their brains as they played a game. The development suggests that some brain damage might be able to be mitigated.
• A study from Denmark found that women using birth control pills and I.U.D.s that release hormones face a slightly higher risk of breast cancer than those using methods without hormones.
• What is a “porg”? We can help with that and other Star Wars questions. “The Last Jedi” opens in theaters around the world over the next month.
Jerry Garcia once said the Grateful Dead was like licorice: “Not everybody likes licorice, but the people who like licorice really like licorice.”
The Grateful Dead broke up on this day in 1995, four months after Mr. Garcia’s death, and after playing more than 2,300 concerts over 30 years.
Even Mr. Garcia may have underestimated how long die-hard love for the band would last — or how it would evolve, as seen in a trip through the Times archives.
In a 1973 article, “The Grateful Dead Makes a Real Good Hamburger,” our reporter called the band “experts in the art and science of showing people another world.” Another Times writer liked the band’s “feathery locomotive groove.”
Our coverage wasn’t always approving: In “Just What the Tie-Dyed Crowd Wanted,” from 1989, we noted that “Grateful Dead shows are as iffy as blind dates,” and this year we referred to the band’s history as a “30-year hippie-pirate soap opera.”
More recently, the Dead have been praised as music business pioneers. They favored the now common formula of touring over selling records, and were first to encourage fans to make and trade concert recordings.
Your Morning Briefing is published weekday mornings and updated online. Browse past briefings here.
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