Leonardo da Vinci, UCLA Bruins, Ross 128: Your Thursday Briefing

But the company is now in the spotlight after the producer Harvey Weinstein hired it to investigate the actress Rose McGowan, who accused him of sexual assault.

Our reporters got a rare look at the deceptive practices the company used.

The end of an era in Africa.

• In placing President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe under house arrest on Wednesday, the nation’s military may have foreshadowed the end of more than just one political career.

The apparent coup echoed across a continent where the notion of the “big man” leader is defined both by the lure of power in perpetuity and the risk that, one day, the edifice will crumble.

We looked back at key moments in Mr. Mugabe’s nearly 40-year reign.

It’s no “Mona Lisa.”

• One of our art critics, Jason Farago, assessed “Salvator Mundi,” the work attributed to Leonardo da Vinci that sold for a record-setting $450.3 million on Wednesday.

His verdict: “a proficient but not especially distinguished religious picture from turn-of-the-16th-century Lombardy, put through a wringer of restorations.”

Other critics said the astronomical price attested to how much salesmanship drives and dominates the conversation about art and its value.

Video

Crowd Gasps at Record-Setting Art Auction

The last moments of the historic bidding war for Leonardo DaVinci’s “Salvator Mundi”


By ROBIN POGREBIN on Publish Date November 15, 2017.


Photo by Timothy A. Clary/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images.

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The Daily”: The U.S.-led war on ISIS.

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

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President Trump declared his 12-day trip to Asia a resounding success on Wednesday. We assessed his speech, in which he said that he had united the world against North Korea and insisted on reciprocal trade from Asian nations.

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Tom Brenner/The New York Times

Catch up at the end of the day.

• Like the Morning Briefing? Then consider subscribing to our Evening Briefing. It’s a rundown of the day’s biggest news and the stories you won’t want to miss.

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Business

It was one of the banking industry’s toughest watchdogs during the Obama era. Now, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is becoming a vital player in the Trump administration’s campaign to roll back regulations.

Separately, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said on Wednesday that he would leave the agency this month, removing a major opponent to the dismantling of regulations on businesses and on Wall Street.

Time Inc. is said to be in talks to sell itself to the Meredith Corporation in an effort backed by the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch.

A new phone comes out. Yours slows down. A conspiracy? No, our tech columnist says.

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

Smarter Living

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

• Wealth can cause its own anxieties.

• Have a home office? Show it some love.

• Recipe of the day: rich, fudgy chocolate-hazelnut brownies.

Noteworthy

An Austrian village in China.

In today’s 360 video, visit Hallstatt, a small town in the Alps whose distinctive features have been replicated in southern China.

Video

Visit an Austrian Village, Replicated in China

Enter Hallstatt, Austria, a small town in the Alps, and its replica in southern China in 360 video. Explore the towns’ more-than-similar architectural features.


By SARAH LI, SAM WOLSON, GUGLIELMO MATTIOLI and VEDA SHASTRI on Publish Date November 16, 2017.


Photo by Sam Wolson for The New York Times. Technology by Samsung. .

Watch in Times Video »

A prince throws caution to the wind.

Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, 32, is taking on members of the royal family, the country’s business elite, Iran and Hezbollah. Is he ambitious or simply reckless?

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Melania 2.0.

“The clues were in the coats.” Our chief fashion critic, Vanessa Friedman, writes about the first lady’s new look.

In sports.

U.C.L.A. suspended three men’s basketball players who were detained in China for shoplifting but were released after President Trump interceded.

Also on Wednesday, baseball gave its top pitching award, the Cy Young, to Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals and Corey Kluber of the Cleveland Indians.

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Jesmyn Ward won the National Book Award for fiction on Wednesday for “Sing, Unburied, Sing,” a dark, fablelike family epic set in contemporary Mississippi. Ms. Ward also won the award in 2011, for her novel “Salvage the Bones.”

Credit
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, via Associated Press

Best of late-night TV.

Samantha Bee addressed the pervasiveness of sexual harassment across the U.S.: “Each community has to kick out their own creeps.”

Quotation of the day.

“Ross 128 is one of the quietest stars of the neighborhood.”

Xavier Bonfils, the lead author of a paper describing the discovery of an Earth-size planet that could hold the conditions favorable for life.

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An artist’s impression of a newly discovered planet and its red dwarf star, Ross 128, which are about 11 light-years away. The star does not have the violent eruptions of radiation that might wipe out any life on the planet before it had a chance to develop.


Credit
M. Kornmesser/European Southern Observatory, via Associated Press

Back Story

“Le Beaujolais nouveau est arrivé!”

Signs bearing these words appear today in restaurants and cafes across France and around the world, indicating that one of the year’s youngest wines is available on its traditional release day, the third Thursday of November.

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Take the expert’s advice: Today is the day “when great gourmets stop drinking the grands crus and revel in the simplicity of a Beaujolais.”

Credit
Stephen Speranza for The New York Times

The practice has a long history. “It’s a time when great gourmets stop drinking the grands crus and revel in the simplicity of a Beaujolais,” the writer and wine expert Frank Schoonmaker told The Times more than half a century ago.

To this day, the young wine’s release offers an excuse to gather with friends to opine on the year’s harvest and savor its fruitiness.

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(If you have some spare time, do read this essay by Patricia Wells on the Beaujolais savored in Parisian wine bars in 1982.)

The Times first mentioned wine from the Beaujolais region in 1873. In 1955, we recommended it as “a good picnic companion.”

“The wines are as light on the wallet as they are in the glass,” our critic, Howard Goldberg, wrote in 1987. “This frivolity makes them ideal quaffing wines for parties until New Year’s Eve, when Champagne takes over.

“Besides, they are so short-lived they should be pretty much finished by then.”

Patrick Boehler contributed reporting.

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