Hong Kong, Fresno, Minnesota Vikings: Your Monday Briefing

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By Mike Ives

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Good morning.

We’re covering explosive document leaks from Iran and China, a reversal on proposed e-cigarette restrictions, and the latest N.F.L. results

A leak of hundreds of secret Iranian intelligence reports reveals the country’s shadow war for influence in Iraq — and the battle within its own spy divisions.

The liquor sank with a Swedish steamship that was attacked by a German submarine in 1917, during World War I. The haul included 50 cases of cognac and 15 cases of Benedictine, a herbal liqueur.

Amanda Schuster, a cocktail expert, said it would be unlikely that the spirits would be safe to drink.

But David Wondrich, senior drinks columnist at The Daily Beast, said the cold water might have preserved them. Spirits, he said, “tend to keep far better than most wines over very long periods. I’ve tasted numerous not just drinkable, but delicious bottles from the 1910s and before.”

The world’s oldest known booze is in the Speyer wine bottle, which dates back nearly 1,700 years. Scientists say drinking it probably wouldn’t kill you — but it would taste terrible.

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

— Mike

Thank you
Melina Delkic and Andrea Kannapell helped compile today’s briefing. Mark Josephson and Eleanor Stanford provided the break from the news. The Back Story is based on a report by Mihir Zaveri. You can reach the team at briefing@nytimes.com.

• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Today’s episode is on the rise and fall of WeWork.
• Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Moray or conger (three letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• The Times’s wine critic recently reflected on his series examining climate change through the lens of wine and agriculture.

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