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South Korea, Republican Party, Jobs Report: Your Friday Briefing

Good morning.

Here’s what you need to know:

• Push to repeal Obamacare gains momentum.

President Trump heads into the weekend hoping to win over conservatives and senators unhappy with the House Republican health plan. He is expected to hold rallies around the country in the coming weeks to build support for the bill.

On Thursday, two important House committees approved the legislation, which would undo the Affordable Care Act and roll back the expansion of Medicaid.

• “No comment.”

That was a Justice Department official’s response when asked if Mr. Trump was the subject of an investigation.

The official added that the White House press secretary had not relied on any information from the department when he denied the existence of such an inquiry. Last weekend, the president accused his predecessor of tapping his phones, but he provided no evidence.

• South Korean leader is ousted.

In a first in the nation, a court removed the president, Park Geun-hye, today for committing “acts that violated the Constitution and laws.”

The downfall of Ms. Park, who has pressed for a hard line against North Korea’s nuclear provocations, is expected to shift power to the opposition, whose leaders want more engagement with Pyongyang.

• Troubles for the C.I.A.

Julian Assange, whose WikiLeaks organization released documents this week that appeared to reveal cyberweapons used by the C.I.A., says he is prepared to share leaked computer code with companies like Apple and Google, to help them fix security flaws.

The C.I.A. is also facing an attempt by the Trump administration to block the testimony of top officials in a federal lawsuit against two psychologists who helped run the agency’s harsh interrogation program.

• Colombia’s marijuana trade.

A peace deal reached with rebels last year has paved the way for the government and international corporations to get involved in the production of the crop.

The Daily, your audio news report.

In today’s episode, we talk with a doctor who works in rural West Virginia about what the repeal of Obamacare might mean for his patients.

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

The February jobs report, the first reflecting a full month under the Trump administration, comes out today.

A new study has found that men moving into traditionally female jobs tend to be disadvantaged in the labor market in terms of race and class.

Dozens of Fortune 500 companies avoided paying taxes at least once in an eight-year period, according to an analysis that cited an array of loopholes.

• President Trump’s rise has led to discussions about business leaders entering the race for the Democratic Party’s nomination in 2020.

“There is this sense that if Trump got it, why shouldn’t they?” said David Gergen, an adviser to four presidents.

• U.S. stocks were mixed on Thursday. Here’s a snapshot of global markets.

• Prefer cold-brewed coffee? Here’s how to do it right.

• Recipe of the day: Treat yourself to the comfort of Swedish meatloaf and caramelized cabbage.

• The ghost towns of Fukushima.

Thousands of people fled their homes, offices and schools six years ago after an earthquake and tsunami caused a meltdown at a nuclear power plant in Japan. Few have returned.

Our 360 video takes you inside the exclusion zone.

• New to watch and read.

“Kong: Skull Island” brings one of Hollywood’s most famous monsters back to life, in a film our critic calls “digitally turbocharged” with nods to “Apocalypse Now.”

If TV is on your agenda this weekend, here are some recommendations.

In books, we look at theories on human nature, and a history of sleep. We also review “Ties,” a novel by the Italian author Domenico Starnone that has links — fictional and real — to an Elena Ferrante novel.

• What we’re listening to.

The Times Magazine this week looks at the direction of music, based on 25 songs. “In 2017, identity is the topic at the absolute center of our conversations about music,” our writer says.

• Best of late-night TV.

Jimmy Kimmel has an idea for funding the government: He thinks plenty of Americans would pay to see what happened on Wednesday, when President Trump and Senator Ted Cruz had dinner together.

In this age of e-readers and Amazon, it might be surprising that an American mail-order business that started nine decades ago is still supplying readers with literary selections.

Before best-seller lists and well-stocked bookstores, the Book of the Month Club tried to steer a growing middle class to the “right” books. Having such titles in the home became a sign of status.

In March 1926, “Lolly Willowes,” by the British author Sylvia Townsend Warner was gaining acclaim, and a month later it became the club’s inaugural pick.

A panel of literary experts made the choices over lunch and sherry, around an oak table. Their credibility built the fledgling club’s membership.

They had hits like “Gone With the Wind” and “The Catcher in the Rye.” One miss was “The Grapes of Wrath.”

While many critics viewed the club as middlebrow, it became a powerful literary institution in the U.S. Its influence diminished with the spread of bookstore chains in the 1980s, and further declined with online bookselling.

But some of us still want to be guided by their judges. As an early club brochure said, “What a deprivation it is to miss reading an important new book at a time when everyone else is reading and discussing it.”

Adeel Hassan contributed reporting.

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Your Morning Briefing is published weekdays at 6 a.m. Eastern and updated on the web all morning.

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