North Korea, Puerto Rico, Aaron Hernandez: Your Friday Briefing

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The former New England Patriots tight end, who was convicted of murder in 2015 and found dead in his cell in April, had a severe form of the degenerative brain disease linked to repeated head trauma, medical examinations found.

Germans prepare to vote.

Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected to prevail in Sunday’s election, extending her 12 years in power. Here’s our guide to the vote.

A surge of blue-collar jobs has helped Germany avoid the working-class alienation that fed a right-wing surge elsewhere. But the populist Alternative for Germany is still poised to win seats.

The authorities had prepared for Russian interference; it didn’t materialize.

• “The Daily,” your audio news report.

Caribbean leaders say that recent storms have created a humanitarian crisis — and that humans are to blame.

Listen on a computer, an iOS device or an Android device.

Business

• Uber suffered a major blow when the authorities in London revoked its license to operate in the British capital, citing “a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications.”

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Monsanto has angered some farmers by marketing a weed killer and seeds genetically modified to resist it.

Standard Poor’s downgraded its debt rating on China, citing a surge in lending.

• U.S. stocks were down on Thursday. Here’s a snapshot of global markets.

Smarter Living

Tips, both new and old, for a more fulfilling life.

• A refresher course on protecting your information online.

• Safer cars help older drivers.

Recipes of the day: We collected 35 dishes to greet the fall.

Noteworthy

• A desperate search.

Video

Citizens Mobilize After Mexico Quake

Volunteers are banding together to help rescue workers clear rubble and distribute resources after the 7.1 magnitude earthquake shook Mexico City on Tuesday.


By KIRSTEN LUCE, NEETI UPADHYE and GUGLIELMO MATTIOLI on Publish Date September 21, 2017.


Photo by Kirsten Luce for The New York Times. Technology by Samsung..

Watch in Times Video »

In today’s 360 video, watch volunteers helping earthquake recovery efforts in Mexico City.

Partisan writing you shouldn’t miss.

Writers from across the political spectrum discuss the latest Republican health care bill.

• A lonely road to recovery.

We follow a top soccer player’s painful, repetitive, exhausting — and often demoralizing — journey back to fitness after a serious knee injury.

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Ilkay Gundogan, a professional soccer player for Manchester City, doing rehabilitation exercises. He tore his cruciate ligament last year.

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Kieran Dodds for The New York Times

“There are people who don’t like refugees.”

Our documentary follows Abode, who fled violence in Libya only to encounter hatred in Germany. “On TV, Europe is great. But in reality, it’s not,” he said.

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• A mystery, it is.

Yoda made an unexpected appearance in a Saudi textbook.

• Your entertainment options.

We review “Battle of the Sexes,” a movie starring Emma Stone and Steve Carell about the 1973 tennis match that became a referendum on equality. Our critics also tried “The Lego Ninjago Movie” and “Kingsman: The Golden Circle.” (They weren’t impressed.)

In books, we review Alice Waters’s autobiography “Coming to My Senses,” in which she retraces her path to Chez Panisse. And Stanley Elkin’s “The Dick Gibson Show,” about a talk-radio host, is a landslide of gags, wordplay and imagination.

Finally, Megyn Kelly tells us that her NBC morning show, which starts Monday, is one she was “born to do.”

• In memoriam.

Photo

Liliane Bettencourt in 2009. She tried to live down her family’s fascist associations, and her final years were overtaken by scandal.

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Francois Durand/Getty Images Europe

Liliane Bettencourt, the L’Oréal heiress and richest woman in the world, was vexed by a swindling case. She was 94.


The Evening Briefing by Email

Get a nightly rundown of the day’s top stories delivered to your inbox every Monday through Friday.

Best of late-night TV.

Trevor Noah thinks Paul Manafort got mixed up with the wrong crowd.

• Quotation of the day.

“We got the feast, a Mass and a puppet show — it’s just like it was 70 years ago.”

Bill Russo, director of activities for the Shrine Church of Most Precious Blood in Little Italy in Manhattan, on the street festival for the Feast of San Gennaro.

Back Story

“The Hobbit,” by J.R.R. Tolkien, was published 80 years ago this week.

The book, and the follow-up trilogy “The Lord of the Rings,” gave Sept. 22 as the birthday of the two greatest hobbit heroes, Bilbo Baggins and, 78 years later, Frodo. Fans celebrate it as Hobbit Day.

Photo

Tolkien designed this dustjacket for the first edition of “The Hobbit.”

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Bonhams, via Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Tolkien said he had first written about the invented being on an exam he was correcting while an Oxford professor. He later told a friend, the poet W.H. Auden, “I did not and do not know why.” His inspired scrawl — “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit” — became the opening of his endlessly popular epic.

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A British letter-writer wondered if the hobbits were modeled after “little furry men seen in Africa” and pointed out a “Hobbit” fairy tale from 1904. “My hobbit did not live in Africa, and was not furry, except about the feet,” Tolkien said.

He told The Times in 1967 that the hobbits were inspired by the people of Sarehole, England, where he grew up. The Oxford English Dictionary included “hobbit” in the 1970s, attributing it to him.

In 1971, two years before his death, Tolkien reflected: “Oh what a tangled web they weave who try a new word to conceive!”

Charles McDermid contributed reporting.

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