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Good evening. Here’s the latest.
1. Tributes are pouring in for Aretha Franklin, the universally acclaimed “Queen of Soul” and one of the greatest vocalists of all time, who died at her home in Detroit. She was 76.
In her classic late-1960s hits, including “Respect,” “Think” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” Ms. Franklin defined a female archetype: sensual and strong, long-suffering but ultimately indomitable. Read our full obituary, and our critic’s appraisal.
“Aretha is a gift from God,” the singer Mary J. Blige once said. “When it comes to expressing yourself through song, there is no one who can touch her. She is the reason why women want to sing.”
2. A shake-up of Democratic leadership could be on the way.
The House minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, is bracing for a challenge to her position, and has said she is deliberately building a “bridge” to a new generation of party leaders.
A surge of upstart candidates is reshaping the party, and younger Democrats are crying out for a generational change.
3. John Brennan, the former C.I.A. chief whose security clearance was revoked, struck back at President Trump.
In an Op-Ed for The Times, Mr. Brennan called the president’s claims of “no collusion” with Russia to influence the 2016 election “hogwash” and, argued that the commander in chief was trying to silence anyone who would dare challenge him.
Mr. Trump’s decision to revoke the security clearance drew rebukes Thursday from national security officials and members of both political parties, who called it an extraordinary act of retaliation that reflected authoritarian tactics.
“The fact that the president did this himself leaves him open to the criticism that it looks politically motivated,” Fran Townsend, who served as homeland security adviser in George W. Bush’s White House, said on CBS.
4. It wasn’t President Trump’s only feud.
On Twitter, he lashed out after more than 200 newspapers, including The Times, published editorials about the dangers of his administration’s repeated attacks on the news media.
5. An ethical quandary at Google:
Close to 1,000 employees protested the company’s move to build a censored version of its search engine for China.
In a letter to the company, employees wrote that the project raises “urgent moral and ethical issues.”
They also called on Google to allow its workers to participate in ethical reviews of the company’s products and to appoint external representatives to ensure transparency.
6. “Criminally and morally reprehensible.”
The Vatican responded to a searing grand jury report detailing the violent abuse of children by priests across Pennsylvania, and condemned the alleged abuses. “Victims should know that the Pope is on their side,” the statement said.
Days after the release of the report, Catholics across the country are struggling with the church’s leadership. “Right now, it’s really hard to be a Catholic,” said one faith leader.
Many saw the alleged abuse — including priests who raped and whipped children, and even shared child pornography — as evidence of human frailty, while others said their trust in the church had been fundamentally broken.
Despite the severity of the alleged crimes, it’s unlikely that anyone will be prosecuted.
7. Free tuition for all:
N.Y.U.’s medical school has scrapped its roughly $55,000 annual fee, citing the “overwhelming financial debt” students face. (Students will still be responsible for housing costs.)
Many medical schools have become worried that students saddled with steep debt are pursuing top-paying specialties rather than careers in family medicine, pediatrics and research. N.Y.U.’s plan may spur other schools to follow suit.
8. Happy 60th birthday, Madonna!
Over her decades-long career, she’s touched everything from music to fashion to movies, and positioned herself as a queen of reinvention.
Our writers looked at 60 ways the pop icon has transformed culture.
9. Finally, sorry to break it to the romantics out there, but it turns out even penguins stray.
We tend to think of the animals as monogamous, breaking off into pairs that mate for life. But when researchers at a Utah aquarium noticed some penguins mating outside their pairs, it called for a closer look.
Yes, that meant paternity tests in the penguin house.
But researchers aren’t too disillusioned. “It’s probably not realistic to expect animals to have a higher level of moral perfection than we do,” one said.
With that, have a great evening.
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