• One caveat from our reporter Julie Hirschfeld Davis: “His directive does not on its own release any additional funds to deal with a drug crisis that claimed more than 59,000 lives in 2016, and the president did not request any, although his aides said he would soon do so.”
Showdown nears in Spain.
• Spain’s prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, urged the Senate today to grant him extraordinary powers to oust the leadership of Catalonia and take control over the region in order to end a secessionist threat.
The Senate will vote on the measure later today.
• Mr. Rajoy’s unprecedented request came amid the country’s greatest constitutional crisis since it embraced democracy in 1978.
Still “100 questions” about Niger ambush.
• After the Pentagon briefed lawmakers on Thursday, Sen. John McCain said he still wanted answers about the shadowy mission in Africa that left four U.S. troops and five Nigeriens dead.
U.S. military officials cannot yet explain why it took two days to find the body of Sgt. La David Johnson, who became separated from a larger group of troops that was attacked by militants.
• The Pentagon said it would need 30 days to wrap up its investigation.
The J.F.K. files: Some, but not all.
• Our reporters are poring over the 2,891 documents released on Thursday and sharing what they’ve found. We’d also like your help.
However, thousands of additional papers related to the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy will remain classified at the urging of the C.I.A. and F.B.I.
• President Trump grudgingly gave the agencies until April 26 to go through the remaining papers again and make their case.
“The Daily”: The opioid epidemic.
In today’s show, we talk to a recovering addict about his former drug dependency.
Listen on a computer, an iOS device or an Android device.
• CVS, the giant drugstore chain, is in talks to buy the insurance company Aetna, a reflection of the health industry’s blurred boundaries.
• Who should lead the Federal Reserve? President Trump is deliberating, very publicly.
• MSNBC dropped the political journalist Mark Halperin after multiple accusations of sexual harassment surfaced from his time at ABC News.
Separately, Harvey Weinstein sued the movie studio he helped found for access to records he said he needed to defend himself against harassment allegations.
• U.S. stocks were mixed on Thursday. Here’s a snapshot of global markets.
Tips, both new and old, for a more fulfilling life.
• Think investing your I.R.A. in friends, family and charity is a good idea? Think again.
• Lap desks, headphones and more: Our latest newsletter focuses on inexpensive improvements for your home office.
• Recipe of the day: A night in the fridge makes classic brioche even better.
• An art studio that’s also a home to birds.
In today’s 360 video, visit an artist’s work space in New York City where dozens of parrots supply inspiration.
• Partisan writing you shouldn’t miss.
Writers from across the political spectrum discuss the tax legislation.
• A glacier melts.
The satellite imagery below shows a glacier in Antarctica shedding massive amounts of ice into the sea.
It is one of two glaciers holding back ice that, if melted, would raise the world’s oceans by nearly four feet over centuries.
• Comment, interrupted.
Christine McMorrow, one of The Times’s most trusted and prolific online commenters (almost 10,000 posts and counting), was trying to respond to a story Thursday. Then this happened.
• Ready for the weekend.
The new season of “Stranger Things” arrives on Netflix today, and it’s familiar but still fun, our TV critic writes. (Need to catch up? We can help.)
Our book critics offer 12 recommendations and review “Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine.”
Finally, “M. Butterfly” has returned to Broadway, a revival that our theater critic Ben Brantley says is heavy and drab: “Maybe they should call it ‘M. Moth.’ ”
• Best of late-night TV.
James Corden has some ideas about what is more “fake” than the mainstream news media.
• Quotation of the day.
“You think we’re getting to a better place and then something like this throws a Molotov cocktail into it.”
— Brent Leatherwood, the former executive director of the Tennessee Republican Party, which complained to Twitter twice about a Russian troll account billing itself as the “unofficial Twitter of Tennessee Republicans” that posted inflammatory, divisive misinformation.
On the lunar calendar, Saturday is the ninth day of the ninth month, and a traditional Chinese holiday: the Double Ninth Festival.
Also referred to as the Chongyang Festival, the celebration has roots that stretch back centuries.
One legend tells of a hero who defeated a disease-spreading river demon with the help of chrysanthemum wine and dogwood.
Mountain climbing, chrysanthemums and dogwood displays are still a tradition on the day, which has a focus on good health and longevity. In fact, China designated the date Seniors’ Day in 1989. (Taiwan named it Senior Citizens’ Day in 1966.)
Japan, which adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1872, honors the holiday on the ninth day of September, the ninth month.
A common link is the chrysanthemum, a flower native to China but long celebrated in Japan. (The country’s royal family is metaphorically referred to as the Chrysanthemum Throne.)
A Times article in 1958 described a centuries-old festival dedicated to the flower: “This ancient court fete became the heritage of lords and nobles. Attired in gorgeous robes, and well provided with sake, they composed poems in honor of the chrysanthemums’ beauty.”
Charles McDermid contributed reporting.
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