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Your Wednesday Briefing - The New York Times

Parliament is preparing to vote, as of this writing, to seize control of the legislative agenda from the government of Boris Johnson.

If the lawmakers succeed, they would pass a law on Wednesday forcing him to request an extension from the European Union instead of crashing out of the bloc without a deal on Oct. 31. Prime Minister Johnson has parried with the threat of a snap general election, the third in four years.

A group of “Conservative rebels” from Mr. Johnson’s party, starchy grandees who just months ago held the reins of power, have joined the effort to thwart the prime minister’s plans.

One Conservative lawmaker, Phillip Lee, actually quit the party, writing that it had “become infected by the twin diseases of English nationalism and populism.”

The territory’s dispirited chief executive, Carrie Lam, is insisting that she is not seeking to step down, as protesters have demanded, even though an audio recording emerged of her telling local businesspeople last week that she yearned to.

But if she tried, our reporting shows, China’s leaders would almost certainly stop her, fearing the move would be read as a sign of weakness that would only encourage more of the pro-democracy, anti-Beijing protests that have roiled Hong Kong for months.

And there’s another problem: She has no clear successor.

First person: Andrew Higgins, our Moscow correspondent, is a longtime China hand. He returned to Hong Kong recently after many years away, and was struck by the loss of what, before the British handover in 1997, had been a “deeply felt role as a place inextricably tied to the rest of China, not just economically but intellectually and emotionally.”

At least five people have been killed in the Bahamas as Dorian, one of the strongest Atlantic hurricanes on record, pummeled the islands for more than two days, with a highly unusual near-halt for many hours.

Frantic calls have poured in for help, but many police and government vehicles are submerged from the storm surge and flooding rains. “We are seeing unprecedented levels of water,” one official said.

Dorian’s winds have lost some of their force — dropping it to Category 2 from 5 — but they extend farther from its center. Here’s the latest.

Who's next: Rain is pelting Florida, and forecasts put the hurricane “dangerously close” to the coast in coming hours, where it is expected to move slowly northward along Georgia and South Carolina. By the end of the week, it is expected to be shadowing the coasts of North Carolina and Virginia. We mapped it.

Denmark leaned into the reality that Silicon Valley is a global superpower, assigning it an ambassador: Casper Klynge, 46, a career diplomat who has worked in some of the world’s most turbulent places.

Two years into the job, it’s not going all that well.

U.S. gun sales: In response to a recent mass shooting at its El Paso store, Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, is dropping sales of some kinds of ammunition and will stop selling handguns in Alaska, the last state in which it does so. The company also said it was “respectfully requesting” that customers refrain from carrying guns openly into its stores in states where that is legal.

Deportations reconsidered: The Trump administration said it would reconsider its decision to force immigrants facing life-threatening health crises to return to their home countries.

Iran bailout: A senior Iranian delegation is in Paris to work out the details of President Emmanuel Macron’s proposed plan to compensate Iran for oil sales lost to U.S. sanctions if the country agrees to return to compliance with the 2015 nuclear accord. If the talks fail, Iran has said it will escalate its nuclear activity starting Friday.

Afghanistan: After yet another devastating blast aimed at Green Village, a fortified Kabul enclave of foreigners, hundreds of enraged neighbors demanded that the outsiders leave. Some climbed the compound’s wall and burned rows of armored S.U.V.s in the parking area.

China school attack: The authorities in a city in Hubei Province withdrew most of its public account of an attack at an elementary school on Monday that left at least eight students dead.

Huawei: The Chinese technology giant accused the American government of using F.B.I. harassment, entrapment and cyberattacks to hound its employees and disrupt its operations. The F.B.I. declined to comment, but the U.S. has a track record of using cyberoperations to fish out information about the company.

Snapshot: Above, a researcher testing bar-headed geese in a wind tunnel at the University of British Columbia. The newly published results of the study help reveal how “the astronauts of the bird world” manage their oxygen-poor migrations over the Himalayas.

U.S. Open: Daniil Medvedev, 23, has been trolling the tennis crowds in New York, to his advantage. As of this writing, the Russian is playing his first Grand Slam quarterfinal against Stan Wawrinka. Serena Williams and Roger Federer also play today.

What we’re watching: This video, from Humor and Animals. Need a reminder of joy? Join a water-loving Labrador on a pelt for the water. Splash!

(Re)watch: Our writer went from loving the chaotic movie “Spice World” as a child to dismissing it in college to now loving it more than ever.

Smarter Living: Unlike many physical illnesses or disabilities, mental illness isn’t always visible. In the workplace, anti-discrimination laws can provide some protections, but they go only so far. So you need a strategy, whether it’s communicating with your boss about reasonable accommodations or, as our writer puts it, “giving yourself space to cry into your lunch for no good reason and coming back to your work when you’re ready.”

And Julia Moskin, our food reporter, has guidance for home cooks on the murky world of olive oil (in short, seek the freshest and use it generously).

After a controversial stay in Ireland, Vice President Mike Pence is meeting today with top officials in Iceland, a remarkably beautiful country with a bent toward pacifism and environmentalism.

The focus, according to Icelandic news outlets, will be Russian and Chinese activities in the Arctic Circle.

Last week, the U.S. sent two B-2 bombers to its air base at Keflavik, shared with Iceland’s international airport. It was a show of force in Iceland, a NATO ally that has a (modest) Coast Guard but no standing army.

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