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Security: Your Tuesday Briefing

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Good morning,

We start today with a reported success in the fight against H.I.V., the end of a disputed National Security Agency program, and our obituary for the actor Luke Perry.

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Timothy Ray Brown was the first patient known to be cured of H.I.V., 12 years ago. He celebrated the anniversary on Sunday.CreditGrant Hindsley for The New York Times

Scientists had long tried to duplicate the procedure that led to the first long-term remission 12 years ago, and their surprise success seems to confirm that a cure for H.I.V. infection is possible, if difficult, researchers said. Their findings are set to be published today.

The details: Both remissions came after bone-marrow transplants, which are risky and have harsh side effects that can last for years. But rearming the body with immune cells modified to resist H.I.V. might succeed as a practical treatment, experts said.


Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, acknowledged on Monday that he could not prevent the passage of a resolution overturning President Trump’s national emergency declaration, setting up what would be the first veto of this administration.

With the support of at least four Republican senators, Democrats now have the 51 votes they need to pass the measure. It would apparently be the first time since passage of the National Emergencies Act of 1976 that Congress has voted to overturn an emergency declaration.

What’s next: The Senate is expected to vote on the measure by March 15, when lawmakers leave for recess. Once Mr. Trump issues his expected veto, his effort to build a wall on the southern border is all but certain to be settled in the courts.

Yesterday: The House Judiciary Committee requested documents from 81 agencies, individuals and entities tied to Mr. Trump, beginning a broad obstruction and corruption inquiry.


The National Security Agency has quietly ended a system that analyzed logs of Americans’ domestic calls and texts to hunt for terrorism suspects, a program that has touched off disputes about privacy and security since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The agency has not used the system in months, and the Trump administration might not ask Congress to renew its legal authority, which is set to expire at the end of the year, according to a senior Republican congressional aide. The N.S.A. declined to comment.

Background: President George W. Bush’s administration started the phone records program in the weeks after the 2001 terrorist attacks, and the intelligence contractor Edward Snowden disclosed its existence in 2013. During ensuing debate, it emerged that the program had never thwarted a terrorist attack.

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Members of a private security firm outside the home in Vancouver, British Columbia, where a Huawei executive has been living since she was released on bail.CreditBen Nelms/Reuters

Three months after the Chinese electronic giant’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, was arrested in Canada, she has become a polarizing figure in Vancouver, where she is holed up in a six-bedroom house worth approximately 6 million Canadian dollars, or $4.5 million.

Ms. Meng is under 24-hour surveillance, but she is able to travel relatively freely around the city.

Yesterday: The Chinese authorities accused two Canadians — a former diplomat and a businessman — of espionage. The allegations appear likely to deepen the rift between Canada and China that was prompted by the Huawei executive’s arrest.

Background: Ms. Meng faces fraud charges that U.S. prosecutors have linked to Huawei’s efforts to evade sanctions on Iran. A hearing that could lead to her extradition to the U.S. is set to begin Wednesday.

Related: Huawei is said to be preparing to sue the U.S. government for barring federal agencies from using the company’s products. The U.S. has been leading a campaign to undermine the company, which Washington sees as a security threat.

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CreditGeorge Etheredge for The New York Times

Tyrannosaurus rex, a focus of fascination since it was first described in 1905, has helped foster a surge in paleontology over the past 20 years. Rising numbers of researchers, new fossil finds and high-tech tools of analysis have created “a golden age.”

In an interview with The Times, two longtime researchers explain why T. rex is an astonishing evolutionary achievement and a scientific star.

Alabama tornadoes: An untold number of people remained unaccounted for Monday after the deadliest tornado to hit the U.S. in six years. At least 23 people, including three children, were killed.

Canada’s political crisis: A second minister in the cabinet of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has quit in protest over accusations that Mr. Trudeau and his aides tried to influence a criminal case against a Canadian company accused of bribery.

Back in Venezuela: After more than a week abroad, Juan Guaidó was met by large crowds and diplomats from countries recognizing him as the country’s interim president on his arrival in Caracas. The threat of arrest still hangs over him.

Ocean warming: A new study has found that underwater heat waves are becoming more common, killing off the species that underpin many ecosystems.

The 2020 election: She’s not running. Hillary Clinton officially announced on Monday that she wouldn’t be making another bid for the White House next year.

“Leaving Neverland”: We recapped the second half of the HBO documentary about the allegations of child sexual abuse against Michael Jackson. The film has some of the singer’s fans rallying to his defense.

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CreditAly Song/Reuters

Snapshot: Above, journalists outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing today for the annual session of the Communist Party-controlled legislature, the National People’s Congress.

In memoriam: Luke Perry, best known for his role on the 1990s teen TV drama “Beverly Hills, 90210,” died on Monday at 52 after being hospitalized for a stroke. Read an appraisal.

Late-night comedy: Stephen Colbert addressed President Trump’s appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference, in which he embraced an American flag: “I believe that is the first time a flag has ever volunteered to be burned.”

What we’re reading: The National Book Review website. Joe Drape, a sports reporter, says it’s one of his favorite sites and calls it “a vital one for all of us who read and write.”

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CreditJulia Gartland for The New York Times

Cook: Celebrate Mardi Gras with beignets and a muffuletta.

Watch: Melissa Toogood and American Ballet Theater’s Calvin Royal III dance a difficult duet from Merce Cunningham’s “Scenario.”

Listen: A sizable group of American composers from the mid-20th century remain inexplicably overlooked. Here are seven of their best works.

Go: In Amsterdam, a new show displays works by the British artist David Hockney alongside those of the painter he so admires, Vincent van Gogh.


Smarter Living: There are many ways to minimize age-related falls, a leading cause of fatal injuries for adults. Our 77-year-old health reporter writes that regular exercise — including gentle Tai Chi — maintains leg strength, balance, endurance and coordination that can help you “catch yourself” if you trip. Good lighting and regular vision checks are also important, as are assessing medications and removing clutter.

We also examine the false security of pegging someone as “the money person” in the relationship.

King cake is no ordinary cake. The circular pastry shines with stripes of sugared New Orleans Carnival colors: purple for justice, gold for power and green for faith.

It’s stuffed with fruit and pecans — and a plastic baby that brings luck to the finder (along with the responsibility of providing the next year’s cake).

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One take on a king cake by Debbie Does Doberge, a bakery in New Orleans.CreditPableaux Johnson for The New York Times

The notion of embedding an object in cake dates from at least the Roman Empire. For Saturnalia, a predecessor of Christmas, it was a fava bean. Whoever received the slice containing the bean ruled the day.

But the Romans also associated fava beans with death. That might be because of a genetic disorder, most common in the Mediterranean, that creates an often lethal bean allergy.

So perhaps eating a cake with a fava bean was a morbid joke, a moment on the edge, or what could be thought of as letting the good times roll.


That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.

— Chris


Thank you

To Mark Josephson, Eleanor Stanford and James K. Williamson for the break from the news. James also wrote today’s Back Story. You can reach the team at briefing@nytimes.com.

P.S.

• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Today’s episode is about Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and his evolving relationship with President Trump.

• Here’s today’s mini crossword puzzle, and a clue: Mountain range that divides Europe and Asia (5 letters). You can find all our puzzles here.

Dean Baquet, the executive editor of The Times since 2014, is from New Orleans.

Chris Stanford is based in London and writes the U.S. version of the Morning Briefing. He also compiles a weekly news quiz. He was previously a producer for the desktop home page and mobile site, helping to present The New York Times’s news report to readers. Before joini

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