Thursday Briefing: What’s Next After McCarthy’s Downfall

Kevin McCarthy after being ousted as Speaker of the House on Tuesday.Credit…Maansi Srivastava/The New York Times

What happens after the U.S. speaker’s downfall

The ousting of Kevin McCarthy from the role of House Speaker was a historic first that left an entire branch of the U.S. government paralyzed, putting its legislative work on hold until a successor is chosen.

The rush to fill the post is underway after McCarthy’s removal on Tuesday, setting the stage for a bruising struggle among some of the most conservative Republican leaders. Representative Jim Jordan, a close ally of Donald Trump, and Representative Steve Scalise, currently the No. 2 House Republican, announced that they would run. Here’s a look at the next steps.

With a G.O.P. base increasingly hungry for confrontation and refusing to be governed, McCarthy found himself out of step. He practiced almost abject obeisance to the far right, granting concession after concession in order to become speaker, then went back on promises that proved impossible to accomplish in a divided government.

The vacancy at the top of the House is creating mounting concerns at the Capitol and the White House about the fate of spending legislation — including hoped-for funding for Ukraine. A deadline is looming: The government will shut down in mid-November unless a new funding measure is adopted.

President Biden addressed chaos, calling on lawmakers to change the “poisonous atmosphere in Washington.”

Thailand’s previous mass shootings were in places far away from cities.Credit…Jorge Silva/Reuters

Thailand debates how to stop gun violence

Thailand is in the grip of soul-searching over its gun culture after the deadly shooting Tuesday by a 14-year-old at the Siam Paragon mall in Bangkok.

The tragedy, which left two people dead and five injured, was Thailand’s third high-profile shooting spree in nearly four years. The nation has one of the highest rates of gun ownership and gun homicide in Southeast Asia.

Thailand has strict laws intended to regulate the millions of firearms in circulation, but the head of a risk-assessment firm told The Times that a lack of enforcement makes regulation “nonexistent.”

State officials and law enforcement officers can buy an unlimited number of guns from the government at a steep discount, leading to a thriving black market. Of Thailand’s 7.2 million privately owed guns, only six million are registered.

Pope Francis leading a mass at a previous synod in 2019.Credit…Pool photo by Remo Casilli

A potentially revolutionary Vatican synod begins

The Catholic Church convened a major assembly of bishops yesterday at the Vatican. These multiyear gatherings are generally used to discuss specific issues to better guide the church.

This synod could represent the culmination of Pope Francis’ papacy, and lay the groundwork for change on issues like married priests and gay unions. In what some consider a momentous innovation, Francis invited lay people, including women, to take part and vote in the meeting. Conservative bishops held their own gathering in opposition on Tuesday.

Francis also issued a major new document yesterday that urgently calls to save a planet near “the breaking point.”


Around the World

Sam Bankman-Fried faces seven criminal counts, including securities fraud and money laundering.Credit…Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times
  • Prosecutors at the trial of Sam Bankman-Fried said the FTX founder’s crypto empire was “built on lies” and that he looted billions in customer money to fund his lavish lifestyle.

  • The Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Moungi Bawendi, Louis Brus and Alexei Ekimov for the discovery and development of quantum dots.

  • Manitoba became the first province in Canada to elect a government headed by a First nations member.

  • A former Russian state television journalist who staged an on-air protest of the war in Ukraine was sentenced in absentia to eight and a half years in a prison colony.

  • Prosecutors in a criminal case against Donald Trump have shown an interest in the drinking habits of Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s former lawyer.

Other Big Stories

  • The 2030 World Cup, soccer’s biggest event, will be staged in six countries on three continents. Most of the games will be in Spain, Portugal and Morocco.

  • The authorities in Italy were working to find the cause of a bus crash near Venice that killed 20 tourists and a driver when the bus drove off an overpass.

  • The French government is trying to reassure the world that bedbugs are not turning the City of Light into the City of Bites.

A Morning Read

All six episodes of “Bargain” will begin streaming on Paramount+ today.Credit…Tving Co/Paramount+

“Bargain,” a South Korean series on Paramount+, is hoping to be the next “Squid Game.” Like many of the country’s dystopian dramas, this fight for survival amid sex scams, organ auctions and earthquakes is really about the class issues that plague South Korea.


Liu Yiqian with works from his personal collection in 2013.Credit…Jonah M. Kessel for The New York Times

A surprise sale from China’s top art investor

Liu Yiqian, a former Shanghai taxi driver who got rich through big bets on Chinese real estate and pharmaceutical stocks, made headlines in 2014 and 2015 by paying top prices for paintings and antiquities.

In 2014, Liu paid a record $36.3 million for an ancient Chinese porcelain cup. He paid $170.4 million for Modigliani’s risqué “Nu Couché” painting a year later. One museum was not enough to display the collection he amassed with his wife, so they built two more.

Now, the couple is sending 40 artworks for auction by Sotheby’s this evening in Hong Kong, which the house estimates will take in between $95 million and $135 million. The reason for the auction is unclear, but it does come at a time of economic strife in China.


Credit…Johnny Miller for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Rebecca Jurkevich.

Cook shrimp saganaki with a tomato sauce that gains depth from olives, ouzo and feta.

Listen to standout songs by the jazz singer Sarah Vaughn.

Go onan ice cream tour of Mexico City.

Improve the audio in your videos, podcasts and other creative projects.

Train even in the rain. There can be benefits.

Play Spelling Bee, the Mini Crossword, Wordle and Sudoku. Find all our games here.

That’s it for today’s briefing. See you tomorrow. — Justin

P.S. Matina Stevis-Gridneff wrote about her reporting on a group of asylum seekers who were killed in the wildfires in Greece.

We welcome your feedback. Send us your suggestions at [email protected].

Back to top button