Your Evening Briefing
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Good Jobs Friday afternoon. The labor market pulled more Americans than expected off the sidelines and into the workforce last month. Today in Germany, where world leaders are gathered for the G-20 summit, President Trump and President Putin met for the first time. And three years have passed since Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down. Experts expect at least a year until a trial–if there ever is one. –Emily Banks
Justice still eludes the 298 people who were killed on MH17. The families of the passengers and crew await a judicial reckoning, one which has been stymied by Russia’s efforts at the United Nations to block an international tribunal. This week, the five countries investigating the destruction of MH17 said that a criminal trial, whenever it occurs, will be held in the Netherlands, home to almost 200 of the victims.
Trump raised the question of election meddling with Putin when the two met at G-20, according to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Putin denied the allegation, as he has repeatedly in the past. The presidents stretched their first-ever meeting beyond the two-hour mark and emerged with an agreement for a cease-fire in southwest Syria in the hopes of resolving that nation’s civil war.
Weather gets weird, as record rainfall follows record drought. After a six-year drought that made agricultural irrigation a political hot potato, Northern California experienced nearly double the normal rainfall this year, beating the old mark set in 1983. As the planet warms, a less ballyhooed new normal is emerging in weather extremes, and the record book is becoming increasingly difficult to rely on.
Hackers working for a foreign government recently breached at least a dozen U.S. power plants, including a nuclear facility in Kansas. The intruders could be positioning themselves to eventually disrupt the nation’s power supply. The leading suspect is Russia, a particularly worrisome possibility because Russian hackers have previously taken down parts of the electrical grid in Ukraine.
Norway's "voluntary" tax plan has brought in a measly $1,325. Hammered by the opposition for slashing taxes and going on a spending spree with the country’s oil money, the center-right government launched a bold scheme to collect voluntary contributions from those who felt the tax level was too low. Since launching in June, it's received a lukewarm reception, collecting the equivalent of $1,325 in extra revenue so far.
Penn Station's “summer of hell” arrives Monday. Tonight’s rush hour marks the last of what passes for normal commutes in and out of the New York station. All three railroads that use the nation’s busiest terminal have warned their riders, veteran sufferers of delays and crowding, of fewer trains during rush hours while Amtrak makes track and signal repairs.
Could this be North America’s most fun business hotel? The $490 million Parq Vancouver project is using its Las Vegas roots to create a non-Vegas experience. It’s part of the wave of big, new, business traveler-friendly hotels such as the Ned in London. It has 517 hotel rooms and eight restaurant and bars, as well as 600 slot machines, 75 gaming tables, and a high-limit gaming floor with 11 luxury private salons. Parq boasts 60,000 square feet of meeting space and Vancouver's largest hotel ballroom on its fourth floor.