Wednesday Briefing

“I don’t regret standing up for choosing governance over grievance,” Representative Kevin McCarthy said.Credit…Tom Brenner for The New York Times

McCarthy is ousted as speaker

Lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives voted 216 to 210 yesterday to remove Speaker Kevin McCarthy from his leadership position. The vote was instigated by a group of hard-line Republican Party members, and it was the first time in modern history of the House of Representatives that such a vote passed. The House speaker is next in line of succession for the presidency after the vice president.

The effort to oust the speaker, led by Rep. Matt Gaetz, was incited by McCarthy’s reliance last weekend on Democrats to pass a temporary spending bill to keep the government open until mid-November. The rebellion prompted an extraordinary Republican-against-Republican debate on the House floor over McCarthy’s future before the final vote.

There is no clear replacement for McCarthy, and the vacancy essentially paralyzes the House until one is chosen, according to several procedural experts. The House and the Senate must pass appropriations bills to fund the federal government before mid-November or there will be a shutdown.

Background: In January, McCarthy made concessions to hard-line conservatives to get elected as speaker, allowing any member to move to vacate the position — virtually assuring that it would occur.

Related: The move by Gaetz has drawn attention to a long-running House ethics investigation against him involving allegations that he engaged in sexual misconduct and illicit drug use, among other accusations.

President Biden with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine in the Oval Office last month.Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Biden pledges support for Ukraine

On a call with global leaders, including the prime ministers of Britain, Italy and Poland, and the leaders of NATO, the European Commission and the European Council, President Biden said that he remained confident that Congress would approve aid for Ukraine “for as long as it takes,” in spite of opposition among some Republicans that blocked funding over the weekend.

John Kirby, a spokesman for the National Security Council, said that Biden had told the leaders that “we cannot under any circumstances” allow America’s support for Ukraine to be interrupted, adding, “Time is not our friend.”

Biden, his top aides and congressional Democrats and Republicans have said they are confident that further financial commitments will be agreed to in a final spending bill. But the failure to include more aid for Ukraine in the bill the House and Senate passed highlighted the decreasing willingness of some Republicans to fund Kyiv’s war effort.

“Elastic defense”: Russian forces have been ceding ground to Ukraine and then striking back. The goal is to prevent Ukrainian troops from securing a position to be used a base for further advances.

The three physicists helped illuminate the subatomic realm of electrons.Credit…Jonathan Nackstrand/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The Nobel Prize for Physics is awarded

Pierre Agostini, Ferenc Krausz and Anne L’Huillier were awarded physics’ top prize for techniques that illuminate the subatomic realm of electrons, providing a new perspective into a previously unexplored domain.

Electrons’ high speed has long made them impossible to study. The new experimental techniques created by the three scientist-laureates use light pulses that last a tiny fraction of a second to capture an electron’s movement at a single moment in time.


Around the World

Credit…Alejandro Garcia/EPA, via Shutterstock
  • After 140 years, Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia basilica is nearly done.

  • At least 21 people died in Venice when a bus filled with tourists careened off an overpass onto train tracks below.

  • A teenager opened fire in a luxury mall in downtown Bangkok, killing two people and injuring five in one of Thailand’s most popular tourist destinations.

  • The police in New Delhi raided journalists working for NewsClick, a news site that has criticized the Indian government.

  • To cut emissions, global shipping is using an old fuel source: the wind.

Other Big Stories

Credit…Kaylee Greenlee para The New York Times
  • U.S. federal prosecutors have invoked a 200-year-old law to detain thousands of undocumented immigrants without charging them with a crime.

  • The judge presiding over Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial ordered him not to attack court personnel after he posted a message online targeting a clerk.

  • The Russian ruble, which has tumbled since the start of the year, weakened to an exchange rate of 100 against the U.S. dollar.

  • Hunter Biden pleaded not guilty to charges of lying about his drug use on a form he filled out to purchase a handgun.

What Else is Happening

  • A major assembly of the world’s Catholic bishops and laypeople begins today in the Vatican. Traditionalists are not attending.

  • Tom Hanks and Gayle King warned that videos using A.I. likenesses of them were being used for fraudulent advertisements.

  • Paris is experiencing a bedbug infestation, and at Fashion Week, gossip about which locations may be infested has taken on a life of its own.

  • New research that same-sex relationships in mammals could offer evolutionary advantages, such as smoothing over conflicts.

A Morning Read

Credit…Daniel Wilsey High Flight

Dorothy Hoffner first sky-dived at age 100. On Sunday, she took the 10,000-foot plunge once again at age 104, breaking the previous Guinness World Record for oldest person in the world to sky-dive.

Did she feel nervous? “No,” she said.


Cricket World Cup: The tournamentkicks off tomorrow in India and runs through Nov. 19.

Ryder Cup glory: What winning the trophy means to golf’s stars.

EA Sports FC 24: Rebranding FIFA, one of the most celebrated video game franchises in sports.

Nonfungible tokens: How soccer’s digital asset projects dived in value.


Credit…Miguel Medina/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Why do runway models look so miserable?

A reader asked Vanessa Friedman, The Times’s chief fashion critic, this question — and whether smiling on the runway had ever been the norm.

“Designers do sometimes ask their models to smile,” Vanessa responds. But, she adds, “It’s awfully hard to maintain a believable expression of great joy when you are walking in front of hundreds, if not thousands, of strangers, all there to render their judgment on what you are wearing.”

Then, of course, there’s the discomfort of ill-fitting shoes, the blinding flash of cameras and being too hot or too cold. Read more from her answer.


Credit…Linda Pugliese for The New York Times

Cook a luxurious mattar paneer that exceeds the sum of its parts.

Peruse one of the 25 National Book Award finalists.

Choose thebest scented candles.

Glow with a simple skin care routine from the experts.

Play the Spelling Bee. And here are today’s Mini Crossword and Wordle. You can find all our puzzles here.

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

Reach Natasha and the team at [email protected].

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