Airports, Brexit, Los Angeles: Your Monday Evening Briefing

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Good evening. Here’s the latest.

1. Airports across the country have begun to buckle, bringing the government shutdown into many more Americans’ daily reality.

The Transportation Security Administration’s 51,000 employees were ordered to work without pay, but on this, the 24th day of the shutdown, about one in 13 failed to come in. Airports in Houston, Washington and Atlanta, above, were “exercising contingency plans,” a spokesman said.

Canadian air traffic controllers sent their American counterparts pizza amid a the shutdown. And, yes, some were apparently garnished with Canadian bacon.

2. President Trump’s relationship with Russia was a major focus of news over the weekend. (Catch up here, if you need to.)

Tensions with newly empowered Democrats on Capitol Hill are rising — as are their worries that Mr. Trump’s choice for attorney general, William Barr, above, might end the special counsel’s investigation into Russian election meddling.

Mr. Barr, however, made clear his intention to allow Robert Mueller to proceed in written remarks that he plans to deliver on Tuesday at the start of his two-day confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“It is in the best interest of everyone — the president, Congress, and, most importantly, the American people — that this matter be resolved by allowing the special counsel to complete his work,” he said in the written testimony.


3. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, to discuss several thorny issues that have weakened the U.S.-Saudi alliance, including the killing of the dissident Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents.

At the same time, Mr. Pompeo reaffirmed the two nations’ shared opposition to Iran.

He also said he had raised concerns over the imprisonment of women’s rights activists. “Their commitment was that the process, the lawful judicial process here, would take place,” he said at a news conference.

But many of the most prominent activists being held have not been charged with any crimes, making it unclear what process he was referring to.


4. British Parliament is gearing up for a critical vote on Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plan — and defeat is so widely expected that Mrs. May has been fighting not to avert a loss but to manage its magnitude.

In that vein, the prime minister enlisted fresh assurances from Europe’s most senior officials and warned again of the dangers of a chaotic “no deal” withdrawal. She also tried to cajole hard-line Brexiteers to support her, even if they hate her plan.

The vote could go down as a historically awful defeat. The vote is expected to take place on Tuesday evening in London.


5. Pacific Gas and Electric Company, the largest investor-owned utility in California, intends to file for bankruptcy protection by the end of the month, according to a regulatory filing.

The utility’s equipment has been found responsible for many of the wildfires that killed scores in Northern California in 2017 and 2018. PG&E said it faced an estimated $30 billion liability, which would exceed its insurance and assets.

PG&E’s stock had already lost almost two-thirds of its value since its equipment was linked to last year’s Camp Fire, which destroyed thousands of homes in Paradise, Calif., and killed at least 86 people. Above, PG&E crews repair power lines destroyed by the Camp Fire.

By Monday, the company’s shares had fallen another 52 percent.

6. More than 30,000 public schoolteachers and employees went on strike in Los Angeles on Monday, with demands for higher pay, smaller classes and more support staff in the schools.

The strike affects roughly 500,000 students at 900 schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District, the second-largest in the country. Schools remained open, staffed by substitutes, but many parents said they would not send their children across the picket lines.

Teachers mounted large-scale strikes in six other strikes last year, but this one is different: Teachers are picketing their bosses, not politicians; the Los Angeles union is strong; and the district is trying to keep schools open. We’ll have updates throughout the strike.


7. “Congress has never heard a voice like mine.”

Representative Deb Haaland, a Democrat representing New Mexico, is one of two Native American women elected to the 116th Congress, the first in history. From left, Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Representative Carol Miller of West Virginia, and Ms. Haaland.

The 2018 midterm elections ushered in a change in representation. For the first time, more than 100 women serve in the House of Representatives — out of 435 seats — and members of color were elected in more states than ever before.

We photographed nearly every woman in Congress, Republican and Democrat.


8. Details in the kidnapping of Jayme Closs and the killing of her parents have begun to emerge from court documents that lay out a horrifying narrative of a carefully planned and brutally executed crime.

The man accused in the case, Jake Patterson, 21, told investigators he first saw her getting onto a school bus last fall and decided “that was the girl he was going to take.”

He was arrested on Thursday, shortly after Jayme, 13, escaped and sought help. He was charged in a Wisconsin court on Monday with kidnapping, burglary and two counts of first-degree intentional homicide.


9. Serena Williams is back in Melbourne for the Australian Open, which she won in 2017 while pregnant.

This time, the conversation around her threatens to overshadow the tournament itself. Her outbursts at the umpire at the U.S. Open four months ago propelled her to the forefront of debates about sports, gender, race and power.

Ms. Williams plays Tatjana Maria of Germany in the first round of the Australian Open at 8:15 p.m. Eastern.

Also at the Open: Andy Murray lost his first round match against Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain. And could this have been the tallest match in Grand Slam history?


10. Finally, we end with a plea from the author Stephen King.

The best-selling horror author from Bangor, Me., complained on Twitter that a local newspaper was cutting back on book reviews, which he said the state’s writers depended on “to buy bread and milk.”

In response, The Portland Press Herald challenged him to bring in 100 new subscriptions — and said it would restore the reviews if he could. With help from his five million Twitter followers, he brought in more than twice that number.

“It’s a Stephen King story with a happy ending,” the paper’s publisher said.

Have a thrilling night.

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