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The Morning

March 26, 2024

 
 

Good morning. We’re covering breaking news of a bridge collapse in Baltimore overnight. More on that below. But first, we explain Trump’s legal troubles.

 
 
 
A close-up image of Donald Trump.
Donald Trump in a New York courtroom in October. Dave Sanders for The New York Times

Financial pressure

Author Headshot

By Maggie Haberman

Senior Political Correspondent

Donald Trump has 10 days to come up with a $175 million bond in his New York civil fraud case. After that, he may be on the hook for the full penalty in the case: almost half a billion dollars.

Could this situation affect his presidential campaign? Yes, it could. I will explain how in today’s newsletter, by answering four questions from The Morning’s staff.

What are the basic details of this case?

The New York attorney general, Letitia James, sued Trump and the Trump Organization in 2022. She accused them of committing widespread fraud over a decade by inflating the values of properties, at times by as much as $2 billion a year.

The net effect, James said, was essentially that Trump was able to get loans and insurance policies at more favorable rates than he was otherwise entitled to. A judge agreed, and ordered Trump to pay $454 million — equivalent to the total of his ill-gotten gains, plus the interest he would have paid. Trump has insisted that since his lenders weren’t stiffed, there were no victims, and that he considers the judgment corrupt.

Yesterday, an appeals court said that the state would accept a far smaller bond — $175 million — while it considers whether to uphold the judge’s findings.

Trump tried, but failed, to come up with the $454 million bond before the appeals court stepped in on Monday. Does it seem likely that he will be able to get the smaller bond?

Trump told reporters on Monday in Manhattan that he would be able to post the bond. There’s no independent way to verify that he has enough cash, and if he decides to seek an outside company to provide the bond, he will still need to put up a large amount of cash and other investments as collateral to secure it, and in a short amount of time.

The facade of Trump Tower.
In Manhattan.  Charly Triballeau/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

However, the amount is less than half what it was previously, so it will almost certainly be easier now. And some legal experts see the appeals court’s decision as evidence that the court may reduce the $454 million judgment set by Justice Arthur F. Engoron.

Trump’s legal problems are serious. So far, though, they don’t seem to have affected his 2024 campaign. He has become the presumptive nominee in a rout. Why might this case be different?

This case goes to the heart of his identity and public image in a way the criminal cases simply do not. The risk of having his bank accounts frozen — or even one of his properties seized — affects him psychologically, and immediately. This is part of why he was so emphatic that the reduced bond requirement was a victory.

Donald Trump, behind crash barriers, speaking to reporters.
Trump after a hearing in New York on Monday. Pool photo by Justin Lane

Trump was in a different courtroom in New York yesterday, where a judge set an April 15 start date for Trump’s criminal trial on charges that he falsified business records to cover up hush money payments during the 2016 election. Even if he’s convicted in that case, though, it’s unlikely that he would be sent to prison before Election Day. What’s more, the question of how he ran his business, according to James’s telling, is likely to become a political cudgel for President Biden’s allies. For his part, Trump is painting it all as an overreach by his political opposition.

What should people watch for now?

The appeals court is probably going to take several months to consider the fraud ruling and Trump’s penalty, based on what they said Monday. If they uphold the decision, Trump would then have to hand over almost half a billion dollars. If not, he will describe it as a smack-down of an overzealous judge and attorney general.

Trump’s social media company, which runs Truth Social, closed a deal last week to become a publicly traded company, and it’s an open question whether he will try to use his stake from that deal to acquire a bond from another company.

For now, Trump’s reprieve in the civil fraud case is temporary.

More on Trump

Continue reading the main story

 
 

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THE LATEST NEWS

Baltimore Bridge Collapse

The mangled remains of the girders and piles of a bridge across a river.
The collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge. Harford County Md Fire & E.M.S., via Reuters

Israel-Hamas War

Diplomatic representatives sitting around a horseshoe-shape table.
At the United Nations.  Angela Weiss/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
  • The U.N. Security Council passed a resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza. The U.S. abstained, allowing the measure to pass.
  • After the vote, Benjamin Netanyahu canceled a plan to send delegates to Washington to discuss an invasion of Rafah. Israel’s defense minister is scheduled to continue meetings with Biden administration officials today.
  • Trump urged Israel to “finish up your war” and “get on to peace.” He said the war in Gaza was hurting Israel’s international support.
  • An Israeli paramedic told The Times that he had seen evidence that two teenagers were sexually assaulted during the Hamas-led Oct. 7 attack. New video undercuts his account.

Russia Concert Attack

More International News

A man in a white robe gives a peace sign as people hold up cellphones and cameras behind him.
Bassirou Diomaye Faye Seyllou/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
  • A 44-year-old political outsider won a surprise victory in Senegal’s presidential election, days after he was released from jail.
  • Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s former president, spent two nights at the Hungarian Embassy in an apparent bid for asylum, security footage obtained by The Times showed. Bolsonaro is facing a number of criminal investigations.

Politics

Speaker Mike Johnson walks through the Capital followed by a group of people.
Speaker Mike Johnson  Kent Nishimura for The New York Times
  • Speaker Mike Johnson has said privately he will ensure that the House approves more Ukraine aid, a step many in his party oppose.
  • Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is expected to name Nicole Shanahan, a Silicon Valley lawyer, as his running mate.

Business

  • The E.U. opened investigations of Alphabet, Apple and Meta over potential violations of a new competition law.

New York City

Other Big Stories

Two officers speak next to a police car behind yellow cordon tape.
Outside the Los Angeles home tied to Sean Combs.  Jenna Schoenefeld for The New York Times

Opinions

Dobbs did not settle the question of abortion in America; it only led to more cases — like the Supreme Court case over medication abortions, Melissa Murray and Kate Shaw write.

Biden and the United States should make longer, healthier lives a national priority, Ashwin Vasan argues.

Here is a column by Paul Krugman on Obamacare.

 
 

For readers of The Morning, enjoy exceptional savings for a limited time.

Take advantage of the complete Times experience with our sale. Save on your first year of unlimited access to news, Games, Cooking and more. Subscribe now.

 

MORNING READS

A dining room ceiling is covered completely in fake plants and flowers.
In Manhattan. Janice Chung for The New York Times

Plastic: Restaurants are filled with fake flowers. Meet a man who is responsible.

Aging: To live past 100, eat less, says an Italian expert who thinks faux fasting is the key to longevity.

Bias: A Black couple who claimed that their home appraisal was biased because of their race won a settlement — and changes to a company policy.

Health: Uncomfortably bloated after a flight? Here are some tips for relief.

The Great Read: Bill Ackman is a hedge-fund manager who became famous on Twitter. Now he wields even more power.

Lives Lived: Lisa Lane was a two-time U.S. women’s chess champion and the first chess player to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated. She protested gender inequality in the sport even as many focused more on her looks than on her ability. Lane died at 90.

 

SPORTS

College basketball: Caitlin Clark and Iowa escaped an upset against West Virginia to advance to the Sweet 16 with a 64-54 victory.

M.L.B.: The Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani denied any knowledge of illegal gambling by his former interpreter. “I’m beyond shocked,” Ohtani said in a news conference.

Continue reading the main story

 
 

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ARTS AND IDEAS

Five people sit and stand, wearing a mix of masculine and feminine outfits, all looking directly at the camera.
Members of the Last Dinner Party. Ellie Smith for The New York Times

Not viral: The Last Dinner Party is trying to become famous the old-fashioned way. The band has rapidly built a following by touring and staging meticulously planned theatrical live shows. They have ignored the temptation to chase fame online.

The group has “become Britain’s buzziest new band,” Alex Marshall writes. They are playing a show in New York today.

More on culture

  • King Charles III hosted a fashion show. It used waste from his garden to promote his work on sustainability.
  • Gisele Bündchen is releasing a cookbook — and speaking publicly after her divorce from Tom Brady. Read the interview.
  • An American teenager won the men’s singles at the World Figure Skating Championships with a performance set to the “Succession” theme song. See it here.
 

THE MORNING RECOMMENDS …

A fluffy, golden biscuit that has been split, filled with melted butter and restacked.
Christopher Testani for The New York Times

Bake easy all-purpose biscuits.

Use this dishwasher detergent.

Reduce air moisture with a dehumidifier.

Buy a toaster oven that doubles as an air fryer.

 

GAMES

mail?url=https%3A%2F%2Fstatic01.nyt.com%

Here is today’s Spelling Bee. Yesterday’s pangram was blooming.

And here are today’s Mini Crossword, Wordle, Sudoku and Connections.

 
 

Thanks for spending part of your morning with The Times. See you tomorrow.

P.S. The Times’s next class of Local Investigations Fellows will cover law enforcement in California, environmental policies in Utah and more.

Sign up here to get this newsletter in your inbox. Reach our team at themorning@nytimes.com.

Continue reading the main story

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The Morning Newsletter Logo

Editor: David Leonhardt

Deputy Editor: Adam B. Kushner

News Editor: Tom Wright-Piersanti

Associate Editor: Lauren Jackson

News Staff: Desiree Ibekwe, Sean Kawasaki-Culligan, Brent Lewis, German Lopez, Ian Prasad Philbrick, Ashley Wu

News Assistant: Lyna Bentahar

Saturday Writer: Melissa Kirsch

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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The Morning

March 27, 2024

 
 

Good morning. We’re covering a crisis of affordable housing in the U.S. — as well as the Baltimore bridge collapse, Israel and Elon Musk.

 
 
 
A row of similar-looking homes with cars parked in driveways.
In San Antonio. Josh Huskin for The New York Times

Too few homes

Author Headshot

By Conor Dougherty

Correspondent covering housing

President Biden worries about high housing costs. So do Republicans in Congress. The consensus reflects a major problem: Tens of millions of families, across red and blue states, struggle with rent and home prices. The reason is a longstanding housing shortage.

But action in Washington won’t make a huge difference. America’s affordable housing crisis is likely to be solved in cities and states. In today’s newsletter, I’ll explain how many are already doing so in bipartisan fashion.

Local laboratories

Home prices are up about 60 percent over the past decade, adjusted for inflation. About a quarter of renters — some 12 million households — spend more than half their income on housing, far in excess of the one-third level that is considered healthy. Homeless camps have expanded, and “super commuters” — who drive for 90 minutes or longer to work — have migrated well beyond the expensive coasts to smaller cities like Spokane, Wash., and fast-growing metropolitan areas like Dallas and Phoenix.

Generally, Republican-led states have been more affordable than Democratic-led ones. They tend to have fewer construction and environmental rules, which allows the housing supply to expand faster. But as rent and home prices climb beyond middle-income budgets in more places, states are racing to add housing.

The legislation in each state varies. But in general it removes permitting and design barriers so new construction can be approved faster. States are also trying to alter zoning rules to allow a greater diversity of units in more neighborhoods.

A person leans out of the front window of a home with a small porch and orange-color fence to look across a neighboring property.
In San Diego.  Sandy Huffaker for The New York Times

One way is to allow more backyard homes — known as granny flats. That way, homeowners can build a space for a renter or family member. Another is to shrink lot sizes so several smaller cottages can be built on parcels currently reserved for only one larger home. Cities and states are also altering zoning rules so duplexes and triplexes can be built in neighborhoods that are currently designated for single-family homes. All these methods aim to increase density within a city’s existing footprint.

Already, Democrats and Republicans in Montana and Arizona have united for housing legislation. A similar coalition has taken shape in other states, including Texas, Minnesota and North Carolina. Even in California and Oregon, whose governments are both dominated by Democrats, Republican votes have helped pass housing bills.

“Some issues become a horseshoe,” said Cody Vasut, a Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives who wants to drastically restrict abortion — but also liberalize land use laws. “We have different views of government, but sometimes we arrive at the same conclusion.”

These coalitions are not always successful. Last week, for instance, the Arizona governor, Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, vetoed a bill that would have allowed smaller homes and lot sizes. She called it “a step too far.”

Most of these laws are too new for us to know their ultimate outcomes. But there’s ample evidence that building more housing reduces prices. In Austin, Texas, for instance, a surge in rent and home prices during the pandemic led to a boom in construction. Now prices are falling, and landlords offer months of free rent to fill empty units.

New coalitions

Why can political parties cooperate on this issue but so little else? Housing politics are hyperlocal and don’t hew to neat ideological lines. Neither party has a hard position that members feel beholden too.

One thing most people agree on is that America has too few homes. According to Freddie Mac, the mortgage finance giant, the nation is short about four million units. The deficit is particularly acute in both low-cost rentals and the entry-level starter homes favored by first-time buyers.

Economists say much of the blame falls on local governments. City councils hold most of the power over where and what types of housing get built, but they are beholden to homeowners who often pack meetings to complain that new developments would destroy nature and snarl traffic.

This is called NIMBYism, short for “Not in my backyard.” The remedy, in both red and blue states, has been to pass laws that strip cities’ power to say no.

State legislatures are close enough to voters to share their concerns about rising housing costs — but far enough that they don’t have to answer for every new local development. They are the Goldilocks level of government for housing reform.

Related: I want to hear from readers about their housing situations. You can submit stories here.

Continue reading the main story

 
 

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THE LATEST NEWS

Baltimore Bridge Collapse

An aerial view of a cargo ship in a body of water. A portion of a bridge is collapsed on top of it.
In Baltimore. Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Supreme Court

Demonstrators holding signs supporting and against abortion rights.
Outside the Supreme Court.  Maansi Srivastava/The New York Times
  • Most of the Supreme Court justices sounded inclined to reject a bid to restrict nationwide access to an abortion pill, mifepristone, during arguments.
  • Several justices seemed skeptical that the plaintiffs, doctors who don’t prescribe abortion pills, had a right to challenge the F.D.A.’s approval of the drug. Read more takeaways.
  • The female justices had candid exchanges about women’s health, The Washington Post reports.

2024 Election

More on Politics

Israel-Hamas War

A woman leaning against a doorway. Behind her is a window.
Amit Soussana in Israel after she was released by Hamas. Avishag Shaar-Yashuv for The New York Times
  • An Israeli hostage said she had been sexually assaulted and tortured in Gaza. Read her story.
  • Hezbollah and Israel fired at each other across the border with Lebanon. At least one person died in Israel and seven were reported killed in Lebanon.
  • Top Israeli and U.S. defense officials met to discuss Israel’s plan to invade Rafah.
  • Israel is deploying facial recognition to conduct surveillance in Gaza, according to Israeli military and intelligence officials.
  • The authorities in Gaza said 12 people drowned while trying to retrieve airdropped aid that had fallen into the Mediterranean.

Other Big Stories

Stella Assange addresses a crowd from a raised platform as people film her and hold posters in support of Julian Assange.
Stella Assange, Julian Assange’s wife, speaking in London in February. Carl Court/Getty Images
  • A British court ruled that the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange could not be extradited to the U.S. until the American authorities made more assurances about his treatment, including protection from the death penalty.
  • Russia extended the detention of Evan Gershkovich, a reporter for The Wall Street Journal.
  • China’s capable workers and cheap parts helped pull Tesla back from the brink of failure. This may give Beijing leverage over Elon Musk.

Opinions

The terrorist attack at a Moscow concert hall shows ISIS is far from defeated, Bret Stephens writes.

Colleges’ optional standardized tests hurt the students they are supposed to help, Emi Nietfeld writes.

Here is a column by Ross Douthat on progressives’ new definition of sexual liberation.

 
 

For readers of The Morning, enjoy exceptional savings for a limited time.

Take advantage of the complete Times experience with our sale. Save on your first year of unlimited access to news, Games, Cooking and more. Subscribe now.

 

MORNING READS

A crowd of celebrants are covered in red and pink powder.
In Uttar Pradesh, India.  Adnan Abidi/Reuters

Holi: The Indian festival is becoming more popular worldwide. Read about the tradition.

Scams: A woman posed as a down-on-her-luck Irish heiress. The man she conned out of thousands started a podcast to track her down.

The Great Read: A legal pot pioneer was busted in Idaho. He has a plan.

Lives Lived: Lee Berry was one of the Panther 21, members of the Black Panther Party who were prosecuted in New York in 1970. His account of abuse in jail was a catalyst for Leonard Bernstein’s Park Avenue fund-raising party that Tom Wolfe satirized in a withering magazine takedown. Berry died at 78.

 

SPORTS

N.F.L.: League owners approved significant changes to kickoff rules, which will go into effect this season.

College basketball: Iowa and West Virginia drew an average of 4.9 million viewers for their second-round women’s N.C.A.A. tournament game, a pre-Final Four record.

Continue reading the main story

 
 

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ARTS AND IDEAS

A portrait of Aya Nakamura wearing a black top with an Eiffel Tower pattern.
Aya Nakamura Charlotte Hadden for The New York Times

French identity: Aya Nakamura, one of France’s most popular singers, might perform at the opening ceremony of the Paris Olympics. The choice has become a flashpoint in the nation’s culture wars. Nakamura was born in Mali and raised in a Parisian suburb, and her music mixes French lyrics with Arabic and West African dialects.

“In a country often ill at ease with its changing population,” Roger Cohen and Aurelien Breeden write, “she stands on a fault line.”

More on culture

An illustration shows Beyonce in three different looks: wearing a cowboy hat in the foreground, a futuristic headpiece and goggles in the middle, and with wavy flowing hair and a red top in the back.
Matt Williams
  • Beyoncé’s coming album, “Cowboy Carter,” is an extension of the artist’s exploration of how Black creativity fuels all corners of popular music. Read Jon Caramanica’s essay.
  • Stephen King’s “Carrie” was published in 1974. Margaret Atwood explains its enduring appeal.
  • “Trump is mashing together the Bible and the Constitution like it’s a Pizza Hut-Taco Bell”: The late-night hosts discussed Trump’s latest business venture.
 

THE MORNING RECOMMENDS …

A plate a gnocchi, pieces of sausage and peas.
David Malosh for The New York Times

Stir together a one-pot crisp gnocchi with sausage and peas.

Prepare kids for puberty with these items.

Clean your oven.

 

GAMES

mail?url=https%3A%2F%2Fstatic01.nyt.com%

Here is today’s Spelling Bee. Yesterday’s pangram was adjourn.

And here are today’s Mini Crossword, Wordle, Sudoku and Connections.

 
 

Thanks for spending part of your morning with The Times. See you tomorrow.

Sign up here to get this newsletter in your inbox. Reach our team at themorning@nytimes.com.

Continue reading the main story

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The Morning Newsletter Logo

Editor: David Leonhardt

Deputy Editor: Adam B. Kushner

News Editor: Tom Wright-Piersanti

Associate Editor: Lauren Jackson

News Staff: Desiree Ibekwe, Sean Kawasaki-Culligan, Brent Lewis, German Lopez, Ian Prasad Philbrick, Ashley Wu

News Assistant: Lyna Bentahar

Saturday Writer: Melissa Kirsch

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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The Morning

March 28, 2024

 
 

Good morning. We’re covering Biden and other world leaders’ unpopularity — plus the Baltimore bridge collapse, Boeing’s quality problems and Lizzo.

 
 
 
Emmanuel Macron and President Biden standing together under a blue sky.
President Biden with the French president, Emmanuel Macron. Doug Mills/The New York Times

The four I’s

By many measures, President Biden is very unpopular. Since at least World War II, no president has had a worse disapproval rating at this point in his term.

Relative to his international peers, however, Biden looks much better. Many leaders of developed democracies have disapproval ratings even higher than Biden’s, as this chart by my colleague Ashley Wu shows:

A chart shows disapproval ratings for leaders in select developed democracies like the U.S., Germany, Britain and Japan. Most leaders shown have a disapproval rating of over 50 percent.
Source: Morning Consult | Data was collected from Feb. 26 to March 6, 2024. | By The New York Times

Many world leaders are also up for re-election. More than 60 countries — half of the world’s population — will vote or have voted this year. Most of the countries in the chart above will vote in national or European Union elections in the coming months.

Why are people so upset with their leaders? Some explanations are local, but four global issues have driven much of the public’s anger. Call them the four I’s: inflation, immigration, inequality and incumbency.

1. Inflation

The world has seen a sharp increase in prices over the past few years. As bad as inflation has been in the U.S., it has been worse in European countries more directly affected by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Rising prices anger voters. Your hard-earned money is worth less. “When prices rise, it feels like something is taken away from you,” my colleague Jeanna Smialek, who covers the U.S. economy, has said. And people direct much of that anger toward their leaders.

People also don’t like the solution to inflation. To slow price increases, central banks have raised interest rates. But higher interest rates also make loans, credit card payments and mortgages more expensive. This helps explain why people are so upset even as inflation has fallen.

2. Immigration

The U.S. and Europe have dealt with multiple migration and refugee crises in the past decade. Those crises have fueled anger against the more mainstream political parties that tend to be in charge in developed countries.

More immigration can have advantages, particularly for growing economies and reducing inflation. But for many people, other considerations win out. They worry that immigrants use government resources, take jobs, lower wages and change their country’s culture. Illegal immigration, in particular, upsets them by contributing to a broader sense of chaos and lawlessness.

And they blame their leaders for it. Sometimes, they will support once-fringe, far-right candidates — as happened in the Netherlands and Italy in the last couple years. These politicians often want to shut down most, if not all, immigration.

“There are a lot of people who are not right-wing themselves, but they really care about immigration,” said Sonnet Frisbie, deputy head of political intelligence at the polling firm Morning Consult. “They feel like centrist and center-left parties don’t represent their views.”

3. Inequality

Across the world, the rich have captured a growing share of income. Big companies keep getting bigger. A few individuals have amassed more wealth than entire countries. Many people now believe that the wealthiest have pulled ahead while everyone else has lagged behind (although some economists disagree).

The growing sentiment has contributed to greater distrust of elites, including national leaders. People feel that those in charge have taken advantage of their power to enrich themselves and their friends. That distrust now appears in approval ratings.

4. Incumbency

Incumbents typically have an electoral advantage over challengers. But that advantage can diminish over time. Voters tend to tire of national leaders the longer they’re in power — what political scientists call “the cost of ruling.” Consider that two-term presidents in the U.S. are rarely succeeded by a president of the same party. The cost of ruling “is a remarkably consistent pattern across countries,” said Lee Drutman, a political scientist at New America, a liberal think tank.

Narendra Modi in a long white shirt and a black vest stands onstage and points up. A crowd is visible behind him.
Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister. Matthew Abbott for The New York Times

Many current world leaders, or at least their political parties, have been in power for a while. Japan’s top party has led the country for most of the last seven decades. Leaders or parties in France, Canada and Britain have ruled for seven to 14 years. In the U.S., Democrats have held the White House for 11 of the last 15 years.

The trend is not universal. India’s prime minister is popular after nearly a decade in office. Germany’s chancellor is unpopular despite coming to power a little more than two years ago. Still, the cost of ruling applies more often than not.

The bottom line

Over the past several years, the world has often felt chaotic and uncertain. Many people hoped that the end of the Covid pandemic would bring normalcy. Instead, inflation spiked. Longer-term problems, such as illegal immigration and inequality, persist. National leaders have struggled to address these issues, often despite many years in power. The result is widespread disapproval of the people running the world. And many of them are now at risk of losing their jobs this year.

Related: These maps show where Biden faces protest voters.

Continue reading the main story

 
 

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THE LATEST NEWS

Baltimore Bridge Collapse

A twisted metal section of bridge is draped over a cargo ship.
The Francis Scott Key Bridge.  Jason Andrew for The New York Times

Trump Media

  • Shares of Donald Trump’s media company continues to surge. His stock is worth billions.
  • If Trump wins the election, his social media site Truth Social could provide a route for foreign leaders or special interests to buy his favor.

2024 Election

More on Politics

Senator Joe Lieberman, a formally dressed man with white hair, stands with other similarly dressed men in front of an American flag.
Senator Joe Lieberman in 2010. Drew Angerer for The New York Times
  • Joe Lieberman, a former U.S. senator from Connecticut who become Al Gore’s running mate in the 2000 presidential election, died at 82.
  • Russia has gotten better at hiding its online influence campaigns, and it’s using them to derail U.S. military funding for Ukraine, American officials said.
  • After a legal setback, Disney dropped its fight against Ron DeSantis, Florida’s governor, over resort development.
  • A Democrat who campaigned on abortion and I.V.F. access flipped an Alabama State House seat in a special election. The win highlighted the continued political power of reproductive rights.
  • A Great Lakes pipeline has become a political fight in Michigan and Wisconsin, two battleground states.

International

The entrance to a grand sandstone building, approached from a cobbled street.
The Garrick Club in London. Leon Neal/Getty Images, via Getty Images
  • The Guardian, a British newspaper, leaked the membership list for an elite private members’ club in London. The club has received criticism for its men-only membership policy.
  • Russia’s security services missed the attack on a concert hall in part because they were focused on Ukraine, experts say.

Other Big Stories

Opinions

Democrats’ promises to help Puerto Ricans affected by hurricanes in the region are empty, Yarimar Bonilla writes.

A.I. chatbots have become political, Zvi Mowshowitz writes. Take a quiz to see how chatbots’ views compare to your own.

Here are columns by Pamela Paul on puritan progressives on Meta’s social media app Threads, and Thomas Edsall on Republicans’ campaign strategy for the Senate.

 
 

For readers of The Morning, enjoy exceptional savings for a limited time.

Take advantage of the complete Times experience with our sale. Save on your first year of unlimited access to news, Games, Cooking and more. Subscribe now.

 

MORNING READS

An older couple sit in their home with a dining room table behind them and colorful paintings on the wall.
Rhonda and Scott Burnett at home in Kansas City. Dominick Williams for The New York Times

Inflated fees: A recent change has upended real estate commissions in the U.S. Meet the homeowners who made it happen.

The Royal Kardashians? The frenzy over Kate, Princess of Wales, reflects a shift in public sentiment: The Windsors are now like any other celebrity family.

Spring curse: Climate change is making seasonal allergies worse. Here’s how to find relief.

Radical honesty: An influencer couple were vulnerable about their relationship online. They were vulnerable about their breakup, too.

Lives Lived: Richard Serra wanted to become a painter but instead became one of his era’s greatest sculptors. His “viewer centered” sculptures had a flowing, circling geometry that often had to be walked through. He died at 85.

 

SPORTS

M.L.B.: Baseball officially begins today. The Los Angeles Dodgers had an impressive offseason.

N.B.A.: Golden State’s Draymond Green was ejected just four minutes into his team’s win over Orlando last night, his fourth expulsion this season.

Women’s soccer: The San Diego Wave was recently sold for $120 million. It’s a sign of American teams’ skyrocketing values.

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ARTS AND IDEAS

Devon Werkheiser, in a light blue polo shirt and dark pants, leans against a table in a podcast studio, with chairs and three microphones visible behind him.
Devon Werkheiser Philip Cheung for The New York Times

A second act: For years, Devon Werkheiser wanted to move past being seen as Ned, the character he played as a child on the Nickelodeon show “Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide.” Now, at 33, he’s embracing his past on a podcast about the show with two of his former co-stars.

The podcast is one of many hosted by former Disney and Nickelodeon child stars that capitalize on a nostalgic Gen Z and millennial fan base, and on the characters they have tried, with mixed success, to move beyond.

More on culture

Lizzo posing in front of a gray backdrop in a teal two-piece swimsuit. She has long dark hair styled in wet waves, and she is wearing shell-shaped earrings and several pearl necklaces.
Lizzo Yitty
  • The singer Lizzo, a trailblazer of fat acceptance, spoke to The Times about her new swim line and her movement from “body positivity” to “body neutrality.”
  • A judge ordered a former curator who is accused by the British Museum of stealing hundreds of artifacts to return any items that are in his possession.
  • Stephen Colbert joked about the drama at NBC over the firing of the former Republican National Committee chairwoman.
 

THE MORNING RECOMMENDS …

A yellow cookie viewed from above.
Johnny Miller for The New York Times

Bake chewy lemon cookies.

Manage adult A.D.H.D. with expert-approved books.

Add these items to your wedding registry.

Live a less sedentary life.

 

GAMES

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Here is today’s Spelling Bee. Yesterday’s pangram was trackpad.

And here are today’s Mini Crossword, Wordle, Sudoku and Connections.

 
 

Thanks for spending part of your morning with The Times. See you tomorrow. — German

P.S. Watch Jack Nicas, The Times’s Brazil bureau chief, discuss his story about Jair Bolsonaro hiding at the Hungarian embassy on Brazilian television.

Sign up here to get this newsletter in your inbox. Reach our team at themorning@nytimes.com.

Continue reading the main story

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The Morning Newsletter Logo

Editor: David Leonhardt

Deputy Editor: Adam B. Kushner

News Editor: Tom Wright-Piersanti

Associate Editor: Lauren Jackson

News Staff: Desiree Ibekwe, Sean Kawasaki-Culligan, Brent Lewis, German Lopez, Ian Prasad Philbrick, Ashley Wu

News Assistant: Lyna Bentahar

Saturday Writer: Melissa Kirsch

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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The Morning

March 29, 2024

 
 

Good morning. We’re covering a crisis of school absenteeism — as well as Sam Bankman-Fried’s sentencing, four presidents in New York City and Beyoncé’s new album.

 
 
 
Empty seats and desks in a classroom.
Kaylee Greenlee for The New York Times

Empty classrooms

Author Headshot

By Sarah Mervosh

An education reporter

 

A few years ago, a troubling phenomenon began to spread in U.S. education: Students were not showing up to school.

This was not particularly surprising. Schools had shut down in the spring of 2020, at the start of the pandemic, and some did not fully reopen until fall 2021. Quarantines for Covid symptoms and exposures were still common. It would take time, many thought, to re-establish daily routines.

What is surprising is how little the numbers have budged since, an issue my colleague Francesca Paris and I explore in depth in a new article published today.

Before the pandemic, about 15 percent of U.S. students were chronically absent, which typically means missing 18 days of the school year, for any reason. By the 2021-22 school year, that number had skyrocketed to 28 percent of students. Last school year, the most recent for which national estimates are available, it held stubbornly at 26 percent.

In interviews, many educators say the problem is continuing this school year.

Perhaps most strikingly, absenteeism has increased across demographic groups, according to research by Nat Malkus, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Students are missing more school in districts rich and poor, big and small.

A chart shows the increase in chronic school absenteeism for all students and different school types from 2019 to 2023. The average absenteeism rate for all students in 2019 was 15 percent; in 2023 it was 26 percent.
Source: Upshot analysis of data from Nat Malkus, AEI | By The New York Times

Even the length of school closures during the pandemic was not a particularly useful predictor of absenteeism. On average, districts that were closed longest have experienced similar increases as those that opened sooner.

What is going on here?

I spoke with school leaders, counselors, researchers and parents. They offered many reasons for the absences: illness, mental health, transportation problems. But underlying it all is a fundamental shift in the value that families place on school, and in the culture of education during the pandemic.

“Our relationship with school became optional,” said Katie Rosanbalm, a psychologist and associate research professor at Duke University.

A cultural shift

To some degree, this is a problem facing society at large since the pandemic. Anyone who works in an office with a flexible remote-work policy will be familiar with the feeling: You diligently show up, but your co-workers aren’t there. What’s the point?

Three elementary-school students are seated around a circular yellow lunch table in a dining hall.
In Victoria, Texas.  Kaylee Greenlee for The New York Times

Something similar may be going on in schools.

Though school buildings are open, classes are in person and sports and other extracurricular activities are back in full, the stability of school seems to have shifted.

For one thing, teachers are also missing more school, often because of professional burnout or child care challenges — or because, since the pandemic, more people are actually staying home when they’re sick.

Some schools have kept their pandemic policies around online class work, giving the illusion that in-person attendance is not necessary.

And widespread absenteeism means less stability about which friends and classmates will be there. This can beget more absenteeism. For example, research has found that when 10 percent of a student’s classmates are absent on a given day, that student is nearly 20 percent more likely to be absent the following day. “We are seeing disengagement spreading,” said Michael A. Gottfried, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania who has studied this issue.

Sign of other problems

This cultural shift is not simply a hit to perfect attendance records.

The share of students missing many days of school helps explain why U.S. students, overall, are nowhere close to making up their learning losses from the pandemic. Students who are behind academically may resist going to school, but missing school also sets them further back. These effects are especially pernicious for low-income students, who lost more ground during the pandemic and who are more negatively affected by chronic absence.

A large atrium-like hallway, with students and teachers milling about.
A high school in Anchorage. Ash Adams for The New York Times

Absenteeism is also closely linked to other challenges schools have faced since the pandemic, including a rise in student anxiety and behavioral problems.

“The pandemic increased stress in every way in our lives, but it really embedded ourselves in our stress response system — fight, flight or freeze,” Dr. Rosanbalm, the Duke psychologist, said.

An increase in behavioral problems in schools is an example of the “fight” response, she said. On the other hand, she added, “flight is absenteeism.”

For more: A tool in our article lets you see the absenteeism numbers for public school districts in most states.

Continue reading the main story

 

THE LATEST NEWS

Bankman-Fried Sentencing

Sam Bankman-Fried is escorted away from a building with a gold door and window frames while surrounded by people and cameras.
Sam Bankman-Fried in Manhattan last year. Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times
  • Sam Bankman-Fried, the cryptocurrency mogul convicted of stealing billions from customers, was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
  • The sentence is among the longest imposed on a white-collar defendant in recent years. Bankman-Fried was also ordered to forfeit about $11 billion in assets.

Politics

Barack Obama, President Biden and Bill Clinton stand onstage in suits without ties.
Barack Obama, President Biden and Bill Clinton. Doug Mills/The New York Times

Baltimore Bridge Collapse

War in Ukraine

Ella Milman and Mikhail Gershkovich lean into each other for a portrait. She is wearing a button that says, “Free Evan.” His says, “I Stand With Evan.”
Evan Gershkovich’s parents, Ella Milman and Mikhail Gershkovich. Gioncarlo Valentine for The New York Times

Climate

  • The last two coal-fired power plants in New England are set to close. New England will be the second region in the U.S., after the Pacific Northwest, to stop burning coal.
  • Garbage dumps release methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, at higher rates than previously estimated, a study found.

Other Big Stories

A young girl in a pink outfit and braids holds her coat in an outdoor area.
In San Diego. Ariana Drehsler for The New York Times
  • A judge is expected to rule on whether the U.S. government must provide shelter and food to migrant children as they wait in outdoor holding areas.

Opinions

The Supreme Court is “traditionalist,” meaning justices interpret the Constitution by enduring political and cultural norms, Marc De Girolami argues.

Antiracism is commendable in art. At universities, it can distort curiosity, John McWhorter writes.

Here are columns by David Brooks on the rise and fall of liberalism and David French on minors using social media.

 
 

For readers of The Morning, enjoy exceptional savings for a limited time.

Take advantage of the complete Times experience with our sale. Save on your first year of unlimited access to news, Games, Cooking and more. Subscribe now.

 

MORNING READS

A collage of various pieces of furniture against a black background including a white plastic chair, a blue office chair, a dark orange sofa, and a cream-colored chaise longue.
Clockwise, from top left: Valentin Jeck; courtesy of Bukowskis; courtesy of Zanotta SpA - Italy; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh/Art Resource, NY © ARS, NY; Ellen McDermott © Smithsonian Institution; Herman Miller Archives; Vitra

Accent chair: See the most influential pieces of furniture from the last 100 years.

Hilarity and wonder: Meta’s glasses are becoming artificially intelligent. We tried them.

Dogs: A German breeding bill could lead to bans for the beloved Dachshund.

Modern Love: “How I learned to trust (some) men.”

Lives Lived: Linda Bean was a granddaughter of L.L. Bean. She used her wealth to support right-wing causes and politicians, to amass paintings and properties associated with the Wyeth art family and to become an entrepreneur in her mid-60s. She died at 82.

 

SPORTS

March Madness: Alabama upset the No. 1 seed North Carolina to reach its first men’s Elite Eight in 20 years.

M.L.B.: Commissioner Rob Manfred said he hoped the league’s investigation into the gambling allegations surrounding Shohei Ohtani’s former interpreter would be “short.”

N.H.L.: A Russian hockey player is expected to finally come to North America after being drafted nearly nine years ago. During the wait, he was arrested and forced into military service.

U.S. Soccer: Korbin Albert, a rising star, apologized yesterday after Megan Rapinoe criticized anti-L.G.B.T.Q. content that Albert had reposted on social media.

Caitlin Clark: The Iowa star was among the 14 players selected for Team USA’s training camp in Cleveland.

Continue reading the main story

 

ARTS AND IDEAS

Beyoncé in a cowboy hat, sunglasses and elaborately bejeweled jacket brings one hand to her chest and smiles.
Beyoncé James Devaney/GC Images, via Getty Images

A new album: Beyoncé has gone country. Her just-released album, “Cowboy Carter,” has plucked banjos, lines about hoedowns and cameos from Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson.

But “that’s only the half of it,” Ben Sisario writes. The 27-track album is a tour of popular music with a Beatles cover and features from Miley Cyrus and Post Malone. “The album’s range suggests a broad essay on contemporary pop music, and on the nature of genre itself,” Sisario adds. Read more about the album.

More on culture

Metro Boomin in a purple outfit performing onstage. In the foreground fans raise their hands. In the background a blue light shines through haze.
Metro Boomin Theo Wargo/Getty Images for MTV
 

THE MORNING RECOMMENDS …

A plate of salmon with radishes and peas.
Julia Gartland for The New York Times

Roast salmon with peas and radishes for a quick dinner.

Jog with these strollers.

Give a good gift to a frequent traveler.

Make over your foyer.

Take our news quiz.

 

GAMES

mail?url=https%3A%2F%2Fstatic01.nyt.com%

Here is today’s Spelling Bee. Yesterday’s pangram was galumph.

And here are today’s Mini Crossword, Wordle, Sudoku and Connections.

 
 

Thanks for spending part of your morning with The Times. See you tomorrow.

Sign up here to get this newsletter in your inbox. Reach our team at themorning@nytimes.com.

The Morning Newsletter Logo

Editor: David Leonhardt

Deputy Editor: Adam B. Kushner

News Editor: Tom Wright-Piersanti

Associate Editor: Lauren Jackson

News Staff: Desiree Ibekwe, Sean Kawasaki-Culligan, Brent Lewis, German Lopez, Ian Prasad Philbrick, Ashley Wu

News Assistant: Lyna Bentahar

Saturday Writer: Melissa Kirsch

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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The Morning

March 30, 2024

 
 

Good morning. If full-on spring cleaning feels intimidating, why not focus instead on tasks that are far less ambitious but no less satisfying?

 
 
 
mail?url=https%3A%2F%2Fstatic01.nyt.com%
María Jesús Contreras

Starting small

Spring arrives, and with it, a semi-annoying, semi-invigorating mandate to spring clean — to clear out spaces both physical and psychological. Because I am constantly looking for reasons to get rid of old things, old ways of thinking and being that have outstayed their usefulness, I’m drawn to spring cleaning as an annual rite.

But because I am also constantly reckoning with a pesky sense of dread regarding obligations of any size, I also find the concept of spring cleaning over-ambitious and intimidating. On days when routine chores like going to the post office or separating the laundry feel like punishments, the project of vacuum-sealing sweaters in mothproof storage bags seems unfeasible.

A friend was telling me about readying for a twice-a-year neighborhood yard sale, how she had begun decluttering in anticipation of the event. I felt a mix of excitement (it’s that time of year again!) and panic (it’s that time of year and, once again, I have waited too long to call the accountant!). Then she mentioned how accomplished she felt after sewing a button on a shirt to ready it for the sale.

I started thinking about those tiny things we put off, the little tasks that aren’t necessarily arduous, but for whatever reason — they’re not part of our regular routines, we don’t have to do them to function — we procrastinate getting done. When we actually do them, the sense of relief we experience is almost transcendent.

Take sewing a button on a shirt. Yes, the shirt has been out of commission for four years, but it’s OK, you rationalized, you have other shirts and always more pressing things to do. But when you actually sit down and sew the stupid button, you feel an outsize sense of achievement that’s totally disproportionate to the effort and time expended. Look at your handiwork! And now you have another shirt!

I started making a list of these tasks, the endlessly put-off, tiny things that occupy space at the bottom of the mind’s running to-do list. Shining shoes. Repotting plants. Sharpening knives. Getting the car washed. I made chicken stock recently from scraps that had been sitting in the freezer for months. I felt a sense of accomplishment that I can only compare to what someone might experience after lifting a car off a trapped child.

It can be a sort of game, thinking of these little annoying tasks and then addressing them, seeing how much asymmetrical relief you can rack up from relatively minor exertion. You might find yourself so energized that you’re up to contemplate some version of spring cleaning. Maybe not a total closet overhaul, but, say, one quick “does this spark joy” pass over your winter wardrobe. Who knows what you’ll be capable of with the confidence accrued from checking off these items. You might even make an appointment with the tax accountant. (Or just gather your paperwork and throw it in a folder — take it slow, no need to do anything crazy.)

For more

Continue reading the main story

 
 

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THE WEEK IN CULTURE

Music

A woman stands with arms on hips against a background of leaves.
Rhiannon Giddens plays banjo and viola on Beyoncé’s new album. Her own work sheds light on the Black roots of folk music. Serena Brown for The New York Times
  • Beyoncé released “Cowboy Carter.” The 27-track album features a cover of the Beatles’ “Blackbird” and contributions from Miley Cyrus. Read about the guests and the behind-the-scenes figures on the album.
  • Shakira performed a pop-up show in Times Square. The performance was quick, but it took months of planning.
  • Eleanor Collins, regarded as Canada’s “first lady” of jazz, died at 104. In 1955, she became the first Black person to host a television program in the country.

Film and TV

  • Louis Gossett Jr., who was the first Black performer to win an Oscar for best supporting actor and who also won an Emmy for “Roots,” died at 87.

Other Big Stories

 

THE LATEST NEWS

A large white tractor-trailer truck is parked in a lot.
A Hight electric truck. Mark Abramson for The New York Times
 
 

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CULTURE CALENDAR

🎥 Monkey Man (Friday): For many, Dev Patel’s breakout role was as Jamal Malik in Danny Boyle’s Oscar-winning movie “Slumdog Millionaire.” I was first introduced to him — as many other British kids were — in “Skins,” a teen drama that was big on sex and drugs. (It was kind of a progenitor of HBO’s “Euphoria.”)

Now, Patel has turned action star in “Monkey Man,” which he also wrote and directed. He plays Kid, a boxer who competes in an underworld street fighting club set in a fictional Indian city.

Continue reading the main story

 
 

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RECIPE OF THE WEEK

A brown cake topped with candy Easter eggs and a serving utensil sits on a gray plate alongside two other gray plates bearing slices of cake and forks.
Jim Wilson/The New York Times

Easter Egg Nest Cake

Easter is on Sunday, and if you’re looking for a dessert to bolster the Easter Bunny’s sugary offerings, you can’t do better than Nigella Lawson’s playful Easter egg nest cake. This beloved recipe from the New York Times Cooking archives consists of a deeply fudgy, flourless cake with a top that puffs dramatically in the oven — only to sink as it cools. But that’s a good thing: The resulting crater makes a perfect nest to be filled with chocolate whipped cream and colorful candy Easter eggs. It’s easy to make, too, and keeps well if you want to bake it today to serve tomorrow. Just don’t top with the candy eggs until just before serving — or, you know, after the Easter Bunny drops them off.

 

REAL ESTATE

A couple stands with a dog in front of a tree in a park.
Matthew Schwartz, Alliana Semjen and Beacon. Katherine Marks for The New York Times

The hunt: After seven years in a one-bedroom apartment in Washington Heights, a couple decided to move to the Upper West Side with a budget of $1.5 million. Which home did they choose? Play our game.

What you get for $750,000: A converted schoolhouse in Phoenixville, Pa.; a one-bedroom condo in Portland, Maine; or a two-story house in New Orleans.

 

LIVING

The interior of a gold band featuring a small diamond next to the word "badass."
Fewer Finer

Diamond in the rough: “Divorce rings,” which signal a new beginning after a marriage ends, are having a moment.

A bursting bubble? The future of luxury e-commerce looks uncertain after the implosions of Farfetch and MatchesFashion.

Members club mania: Private clubs are proliferating in New York. Some city residents belong to more than one.

 

ADVICE FROM WIRECUTTER

The case for always checking a suitcase

It’s a source of pride among some travelers to never check a bag. But a carry-on bag crammed with an entire trip’s worth of stuff can weigh us down as we meander around the terminal and make competitors of our fellow passengers for overhead space. As Wirecutter’s travel expert, allow me to suggest a better way: Check every bag, eagerly and with joy. I’ve floated through airports with nothing but a phone, headphones and a passport, and it feels, every time, transcendent. Start by investing in a great suitcase — like the sleek and durable one we recommend in our guide to the best luggage for checking. If you’re facing lost-bag anxiety, consider keeping tabs with a luggage tracker. Then: Be free. — Kit Dillon

 

GAME OF THE WEEK

Stephon Castle dunks a basketball in the net.
Connecticut guard Stephon Castle. Steven Senne/Associated Press

Connecticut vs. Illinois, N.C.A.A. tournament: The two best offenses in men’s basketball collide in the Elite Eight. UConn, last year’s champion, tore through the first three rounds of the tournament, beating opponents by almost 30 points a game. They have looked like the best team in the field. But they haven’t yet faced an offensive threat like Illinois’s Terrence Shannon Jr., a 6-foot-6 guard who has scored at least 25 points in his last seven games. 6 p.m. Eastern today on TBS

More on sports

 

NOW TIME TO PLAY

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Here is today’s Spelling Bee. Yesterday’s pangrams were evaluated, valuated and vaulted.

Take the news quiz to see how well you followed this week’s headlines.

And here are today’s Mini Crossword, Wordle, Sudoku and Connections.

 
 

Thanks for spending part of your weekend with The Times. — Melissa

Sign up here to get this newsletter in your inbox. Reach our team at themorning@nytimes.com.

Continue reading the main story

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The Morning Newsletter Logo

Editor: David Leonhardt

Deputy Editor: Adam B. Kushner

News Editor: Tom Wright-Piersanti

Associate Editor: Lauren Jackson

News Staff: Desiree Ibekwe, Sean Kawasaki-Culligan, Brent Lewis, German Lopez, Ian Prasad Philbrick, Ashley Wu

News Assistant: Lyna Bentahar

Saturday Writer: Melissa Kirsch

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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  • Members
The Morning

March 31, 2024

 
 

Good morning. We’re covering a new show about life at Guantánamo Bay.

 
 
 
A chain-link fence in front of a sign saying "Camp Justice."
At Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Marisa Schwartz Taylor/The New York Times

Inside prison walls

Around 780 people have been detained at the prison at Guantánamo Bay since it opened in January 2002. Thirty men remain there today, many of whom have not been charged.

The podcast “Serial,” which debuted in 2014 with the story of a questionable murder conviction, has dedicated its new season to Guantánamo. Over nine episodes, it tells the story of the prison through a personal lens, by way of conversations with people who worked or were detained there.

I spoke with the hosts, Sarah Koenig and Dana Chivvis, about the show.

Desiree: There’s an interesting political story to be told about Guantánamo, but why did you decide to tell this story through the people who lived through it?

Sarah: The government threw all of these normal people on Guantánamo, and they had to sort out how on earth are we supposed to behave in here, how are we supposed to make sense of this? So over the course of 20 years, you saw this thing, which was kind of like a terrible spasm in the national response to 9/11, harden into something that was trying to justify and sustain itself. I think that’s what we were interested in: Who were those people who are having to make decisions, who are having to survive a thing not of their own making, and what did that look like and what did that feel like?

In the reporting of the podcast, did anything upend your preconceived notions or surprise you about Guantánamo?

Dana: The people who work in Guantánamo for the military rotate in and out about every nine months, but the prisoners have been there, so very quickly the prisoners learned how the prison operated better than the guard force did. I heard a lot of stories about prisoners who would correct the guards and be like, “No, no, you need to give me 10 squares of toilet paper,” or “You’re not handcuffing me right. Let me show you how to do it.”

And I think the thing that surprised me the most as I started digging into it was that we were told by the Bush administration that these are the worst of the worst, these are the people who did 9/11. As it turned out, they were not, and the people who worked in Guantánamo — and a lot of people in the Bush administration — knew that from within months of the first prisoners’ arriving. There wasn’t a tremendous amount of screening going on. It was really like an overflow room for the war in Afghanistan. And the prisoners who are there, and were there, have now been dipped in this toxic paint of this place forever.

One thing that struck me was that while things at Guantánamo were scary and unsettling, it was also a really surreal place.

Sarah: I think the thing that a lot of people either don’t know or forget is that it’s just a naval base. Like a normal naval base, it has sandwich shops and a coffee shop and a school and a chapel. It’s just when you first visit there, you’re not psychically ready to see that. But by the third time I went, I wasn’t even noticing that stuff. Once, I was there with these young people from various N.G.O.s who were there to observe the court, and one guy goes, “I got a coffee this morning, and then this woman told me to ‘have a nice day,’ and I was like, What are you talking about? How can I have a nice day?” And I was like, “Oh, you’re a newcomer. You’ll get over that.”

How have you seen Guantánamo evolve?

Sarah: When I was first reporting on it in the early 2000s, there were hundreds of prisoners there, and it felt very active and very violent and very scary and very shocking. And in 2015, I think there were 122 people. It wasn’t like the bad wasn’t still happening, but it had dug in for the long term. These people just live here now, and the court is chugging along. It felt very like an institution.

To me it feels like it’s in its last throes, and it’s sort of falling apart. But it’s interesting — I spoke to an attorney who has been working there for more than a decade on the same case, and he was like, “Every time you come, you think this thing is about to fall apart, and I’m here to tell you: You have no idea whether it’s falling apart.”

Listen to the first two episodes of the season here.

For more

Continue reading the main story

 
 

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THE LATEST NEWS

Middle East

Orthodox Jewish men speak with military officers.
In Israel.  Amit Elkayam for The New York Times
  • Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet is divided about whether ultra-Orthodox Jews should be required to join the Israeli Army.
  • Negotiations on a cease-fire in the war in Gaza are expected to resume today in Cairo, according to an Egyptian state-owned TV channel.
  • Airdrops play a prominent role in efforts to deliver food and supplies to Gaza. A Times photographer observed one aboard a Jordanian Air Force plane. See the images.
  • U.S.-led airstrikes against the Houthi militia and inflation have raised concerns about a new humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

More International News

Two men in military uniforms sit at two desks facing each other, both working on laptops.
At a recruitment center in Kyiv, Ukraine. Brendan Hoffman for The New York Times

Other Big Stories

  • A woman in Texas who was falsely charged with murder after using an abortion pill has filed a lawsuit against the local prosecutor’s office and its leaders.
  • Thousands gathered on Long Island for the funeral of a New York City police officer who was shot to death in the line of duty. His killing has become a political flashpoint.
  • Chance Perdomo, an actor known for his roles in the series “Gen V” and “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” died on Friday at 27.
 

THE SUNDAY DEBATE

Will the collapse of Francis Scott Key Bridge hurt the Port of Baltimore?

Yes. The bridge’s destruction has cut off one of the busiest ports in the country. “The biggest generator of who knows how many millions of sticky dollars over the centuries, dollars that stuck right here, is at a standstill,” Will Englund writes for The Washington Post.

No. The problems won’t be as severe as people think. “Given the hard lessons learned during the past decade, significant price shocks or product shortages are unlikely,” Tinglong Dai writes for The Baltimore Banner.

 

FROM OPINION

Vladimir Putin will use the attack on a concert hall near Moscow to escalate his campaign in Ukraine, Hanna Notte argues.

Generative A.I. loves buzzwords. As the technology spreads, it will pollute our language, Erik Hoel writes.

The science writer Ed Yong deepened his connection to animals through birding.

Here are columns by Nicholas Kristof on the benefits of marriage and Ross Douthat on the future of American religion.

 
 

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News. Games. Recipes. Product reviews. Sports reporting. A New York Times All Access subscription covers all of it and more. Subscribe today.

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MORNING READS

Jane Goodall sits on the beach in front of a crowd of people, some sitting, some standing, for a group portrait. Some hold dogs.
Jane Goodall with two- and four-legged friends. Frans Lanting

Jane Goodall: The activist celebrated her upcoming 90th birthday with 90 dogs.

Doomscrolling? Try ringing a doorbell for fish instead.

Mystery: Old newspaper stories helped researchers find a 19th-century shipwreck in Lake Michigan.

Points: Credit card companies are changing the fees they charge merchants. That may affect travel rewards.

Vows: He expresses himself through art, she through math. They have found ways to merge work with love.

Lives Lived: Robert Moskowitz was a painter who was inspired by the New York City skyline. His work took on new meaning after 9/11. Moskowitz died at 88.

 

THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE

A photograph of the chef José Andrés.
José Andrés  PEDEN + MUNK
 

TALK | FROM THE MAGAZINE

An image of Jerrod Carmichael among greenery.
Jerrod Carmichael Joyce Kim for The New York Times

I’ll be part of a new Q. and A. franchise, The Interview, that’s launching in late April. Before then, I’m sharing some of my favorite past interviews. This one, from 2022, is with the stand-up comedian Jerrod Carmichael, who was then dealing with the familial fallout of having publicly come out as gay in his HBO special “Rothaniel.”

You’re trying hard to tell the truth these days, but aside from what’s going on with your family, does committing to honesty present problems in your day-to-day life? It’s not easy to be fully honest with everyone.

Oh, people get mad at you. I don’t like that but I know that’s a part of telling the truth — the reaction isn’t consistent. I used to lie to keep a consistent reaction, which was all about Like me, like me, like me. I told the truth about who I am and now there’s a rift with my mom. I was lying because it was more pleasant.

For other people.

For other people! And thus for me. I don’t like not talking to my mom. But it’s a byproduct of being honest. That’s the part of coming out, the relationship with my mom, that I don’t like. It was a truth I was afraid to say because of that one relationship. But it’s who I am.

What did you feel inside when you delivered material that conveyed one thing about who you were when the truth was another?

I don’t know, man. I don’t know because I wouldn’t have called myself gay. I could not accept that. That’s why it’s important for me to say it now. There are certain phrases that have no substitute. Like “I’m gay” or telling someone “I’m sorry.” But people can live in cognitive dissonance. I did.

Read more of the interview here.

 

BOOKS

The book cover for "Different Seasons" has a circle divided into quarters, with different symbols (the sun, the moon, etc.) in each section.

King of King’s: “Carrie,” Stephen King’s debut novel, was published 50 years ago next month. The Times Book Review’s editor, Gilbert Cruz, offers a guide to the author’s essential books.

Borrowed titles: Many modern book names allude to other works of literature. A.O. Scott explores our habit of dressing up new writing in secondhand words.

Our editors’ picks: “The Morningside,” a book about a version of New York in climate collapse, and seven other books.

Times best sellers: Percival Everett’s book “Erasure” was adapted into the Oscar-winning movie “American Fiction.” His latest release, “James,” a reimagining of Mark Twain’s “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” is new on the hardcover fiction list.

 

THE MORNING RECOMMENDS …

Cool down with a good fan.

Look good in the best cheap sunglasses.

Spend 36 hours in Mumbai, India.

Read “Where Rivers Part,” a memoir by Kao Kalia Yang.

 

THE WEEK AHEAD

What to Watch For

  • Today is Easter.
  • Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island and Wisconsin hold primaries on Tuesday.
  • Donald Trump has until Thursday to post a $175 million bond in his New York civil fraud case, after an appeals court lowered the amount and gave him more time.

Meal Plan

An overhead image of two pink bowls filled with rice that’s been topped with eggs and bacon.
Matt Taylor-Gross for The New York Times

In her Five Weeknight Dishes newsletter, Emily Weinstein encourages you to make rice bowls for dinner. Try out Eric Kim’s extremely delicious and extremely simple bacon and egg don. Or whip up a salmon and rice bowl, which comes together in one pot.

 

NOW TIME TO PLAY

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Here is today’s Spelling Bee. Yesterday’s pangram was jackpot.

Can you put eight historical events — including the chicken, the egg and the reign of Louis XIV — in chronological order? Take this week’s Flashback quiz.

And here are today’s Mini Crossword, Wordle, Sudoku and Connections.

 
 

Thanks for spending part of your weekend with The Times.

Sign up here to get this newsletter in your inbox. Reach our team at themorning@nytimes.com.

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The Morning Newsletter Logo

Editor: David Leonhardt

Deputy Editor: Adam B. Kushner

News Editor: Tom Wright-Piersanti

Associate Editor: Lauren Jackson

News Staff: Desiree Ibekwe, Sean Kawasaki-Culligan, Brent Lewis, German Lopez, Ian Prasad Philbrick, Ashley Wu

News Assistant: Lyna Bentahar

Saturday Writer: Melissa Kirsch

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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The Morning

April 1, 2024

 
 

Good morning. We’re covering ambitious projects that are trying to engineer the atmosphere — as well as protests in Israel, Donald Trump’s rallies and the peace sign.

 
 
 
An industrial building in snowy weather.
A carbon dioxide vacuum in Iceland. Francesca Jones for The New York Times

Engineering change

Author Headshot

By David Gelles

Lead author of the Climate Forward newsletter

 

Infusing clouds with sulfur dioxide to block the sun. Vacuuming carbon dioxide out of thin air. Adding iron to the ocean to draw greenhouse gases down to the sea floor. As recently as a few years ago, technologies designed to change Earth’s atmosphere — what is broadly known as geoengineering — were considered too impractical, too expensive and too outlandish to be taken seriously.

But, as I write in a new article, some of these technologies are being deployed. One is already in place.

The effects of climate change are becoming worse. And nations aren’t meeting their collective goal of slashing greenhouse gas emissions. The stakes are very real: Last year was the hottest in modern history. Oceans around the world are shockingly warm. Floods, fires and droughts are growing more intense.

So investors and entrepreneurs are trying — sometimes unilaterally — to fix that. In today’s newsletter, I’ll explain some of those efforts.

Many scientists and environmentalists worry about the safety and efficacy of geoengineering. And some of the best-funded projects are bankrolled by the very oil and gas companies most responsible for the greenhouse gas emissions. Still, plans to intentionally tinker with the planet’s atmosphere are racing ahead.

Underground bubbles

On a warm winter day last month, I traveled to a massive construction site outside Odessa, Texas. There, Occidental Petroleum is building the world’s largest direct air-capture plant. The company plans to turn it on next year.

The mechanics are relatively straightforward: Giant fans blow air across water that has been treated to absorb carbon dioxide. Occidental then uses chemicals to isolate that CO2, mixes the gas with water and pumps it underground. Extreme subterranean pressure keeps the gas locked away forever.

Dozens of people wearing yellow work vests, along with one person wearing bright orange, walk alongside an industrial construction site with numerous cranes and steel structures.
In Texas. Ariana Gomez for The New York Times

Occidental told me that most of the carbon dioxide it captures will be sequestered in bedrock, removed from the atmosphere for good. But at least some will be used to extract yet more oil from the ground, creating more of the greenhouse gases that are dangerously heating the planet. Earlier this year, I toured a similar factory in Iceland. That one, built by a Swiss company called Climeworks, doesn’t sell any of its CO2 to oil companies.

Other attempts to tweak the climate are still in their infancy. A California start-up claimed to have released sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere in Mexico without permission, hoping to block solar radiation. (Afterward, Mexico imposed a ban on the process.) Researchers in Massachusetts are investigating whether they could generate blooms of phytoplankton that would absorb carbon dioxide and settle on the sea floor.

Who has the power?

Critics of the air-capture plants like those in Texas and Iceland remain skeptical. The projects are enormously expensive and very energy-intensive and snag only a sliver of annual greenhouse gas emissions. Maybe they distract policymakers from the more urgent work of reducing fossil fuel emissions.

Despite these concerns, the market for these ventures is set to boom — from less than $10 billion today to as much as $135 billion by 2040, according to Boston Consulting Group. Occidental is planning to build 100 plants in the coming years, funded in part by $1.2 billion in funding for the technology from the Biden administration. Climeworks wants to build in Kenya, Canada, Europe and Louisiana.

It’s not unusual for a new technology to gain momentum before the major questions about its efficacy, safety and regulation are resolved. Who deserves the right to alter the planet, and what burdens of proof should they first meet?

Right now, there are no international standards governing these new technologies, even though they could affect the whole planet. As one professor of environmental philosophy told me, “We don’t have a great track record of sustained global cooperation.”

For more: Read David’s reporting in Iceland, where carbon capture is a small but growing business.

Continue reading the main story

 
 

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THE LATEST NEWS

Israel-Hamas War

Demonstrators being pushed by police officers.
In Jerusalem.  Ohad Zwigenberg/Associated Press

More International News

Politics

A crowd standing and praying.
A Trump rally in Pennsylvania in July.  Maddie McGarvey for The New York Times

New York City

A man and woman walking down the street arm in arm. He has a mustache with curly ends and is wearing a light suit with a gold fedora and various sparkling accessories. She is wearing a dress with a puffy, peach-pink skirt and an elaborate, multicolor collar, and atop her head is a tall, pointed hat topped with a bird.
In Manhattan.  Kena Betancur/Getty Images
  • The Easter Parade and Bonnet Festival filled Fifth Avenue with color. See more outfits.
  • Residents in Chinatown are angry about efforts to build what could be the world’s tallest jail there.
  • A man accused of pushing a stranger in front of a subway train had been in a homeless shelter for people with serious mental illness. He found little help there.

Other Big Stories

Opinions

The U.S. should work with its adversaries on counterterrorism to prevent attacks like the one in Moscow, Christopher Costa and Colin Clarke write.

Gail Collins and Bret Stephens discuss nominees for their political April fools.

Here are columns by David French on the rise of religious identity politics and Zeynep Tufekci on Boeing airplane safety.

 
 

A subscription to match the variety of your interests.

News. Games. Recipes. Product reviews. Sports reporting. A New York Times All Access subscription covers all of it and more. Subscribe today.

 

MORNING READS

The facade of a multistory building with open balconies covered in colorful murals and plants.
In Miami. David Cabrera for The New York Times

Writings on the wall: Landlords used to scrub graffiti off their buildings. Now, they are willing to pay for it.

Ask Vanessa: Can you wear sandals in the office?

Hiking: The app AllTrails has become a beloved guide for both experts and newbies.

Metropolitan Diary: Worst job interview ever?

Lives Lived: Lorraine Graves was a ballerina who starred as a principal dancer for the groundbreaking Dance Theater of Harlem for nearly two decades. She died at 66.

 

SPORTS

Men’s Final Four: The lineup is set. Alabama will play UConn and Purdue will take on N.C. State.

Elite Eight recap: Purdue beat Tennessee, 72-66, to advance to its first Final Four since 1980. And N.C. State beat Duke, 76-64, to tie a record as the lowest seed to reach the Final Four.

Women’s college basketball: South Carolina is headed to its fourth consecutive Final Four after beating Oregon State, 70-58. More games are tonight, including Iowa v.s L.S.U.

Continue reading the main story

 
 

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ARTS AND IDEAS

A black-and-white photo shows a sea of students at a graduation ceremony. They are wearing peace signs on their mortarboards.
Vassar College in 1970. William E. Sauro/The New York Times

Meaning: The peace sign, which was designed in the 1950s, was once a powerful symbol for antiwar and countercultural movements. Now, for younger generations, the sign is little more than an anodyne lifestyle motif.

“I take one look at the peace sign, and it feels really dated and meaningless,” a 22-year-old college junior told Michael Rock, a designer and academic. “It reminds me of being in elementary school, and this was on everybody’s water bottles or T-shirts.”

Read more about how the sign’s resonance has changed.

More on culture

Three women, one in a large blond wig and another in a cowboy hat, pose for the camera at a crowded party.
In Nashville.  Liam Kennedy for The New York Times
 

THE MORNING RECOMMENDS …

Two halves of an egg sandwich stacked on top of each other.
Christopher Testani for The New York Times

Make an easy deli-style egg salad with any leftover hard-boiled eggs.

Work with your hands. It’s good for your brain.

Start composting.

Break up with single-use plastics.

Take our news quiz.

 

GAMES

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Here is today’s Spelling Bee. Yesterday’s pangram was lollygagged.

And here are today’s Mini Crossword, Wordle, Sudoku and Connections.

 
 

Thanks for spending part of your morning with The Times. See you tomorrow.

Sign up here to get this newsletter in your inbox. Reach our team at themorning@nytimes.com.

Continue reading the main story

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The Morning Newsletter Logo

Editor: David Leonhardt

Deputy Editor: Adam B. Kushner

News Editor: Tom Wright-Piersanti

Associate Editor: Lauren Jackson

News Staff: Desiree Ibekwe, Sean Kawasaki-Culligan, Brent Lewis, German Lopez, Ian Prasad Philbrick, Ashley Wu

News Assistant: Lyna Bentahar

Saturday Writer: Melissa Kirsch

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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The Morning

April 2, 2024

 
 

Good morning. We’re covering China’s efforts to bolster the Trump campaign — as well as Israel, Florida and Iowa’s big win.

 
 
 
The arms of two leaders, Xi Jinping and Donald Trump, before a handshake.
Donald Trump and Xi Jinping meeting in 2017. Damir Sagolj/Reuters

MAGA, Beijing edition

America’s biggest adversaries evidently want Donald Trump to win the 2024 presidential election.

Vladimir Putin’s preference for Trump has long been clear. And now China’s government is taking steps to help Trump’s presidential campaign.

As my colleagues Tiffany Hsu and Steven Lee Myers report:

Covert Chinese accounts are masquerading online as American supporters of former President Donald J. Trump, promoting conspiracy theories, stoking domestic divisions and attacking President Biden ahead of the election in November, according to researchers and government officials.

The accounts signal a potential tactical shift in how Beijing aims to influence American politics, with more of a willingness to target specific candidates and parties, including Mr. Biden ….

Some of the Chinese accounts impersonate fervent Trump fans, including one on X that purported to be “a father, husband and son” who was “MAGA all the way!!” The accounts mocked Mr. Biden’s age and shared fake images of him in a prison jumpsuit, or claimed that Mr. Biden was a Satanist pedophile while promoting Mr. Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan.

This effort has been modest so far, and it remains unclear whether it will grow — or whether Beijing-linked accounts will later try to balance their approach with anti-Trump posts. For now, though, at least parts of the Chinese government appear to have picked a side in the 2024 election. In today’s newsletter, I’ll explain what China and Russia hope to gain from a second Trump term.

Spheres of influence

Putin’s reasons to prefer Trump seem obvious (even if Putin claims otherwise). Biden leads an international coalition opposing Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine, and U.S. support has enabled Ukraine’s much smaller military to stall Russia’s advance. Trump has suggested that he will end this support. A central part of Putin’s war strategy, intelligence experts believe, is to wait for Ukraine’s Western allies to tire of the war.

A head-and-shoulders photo of China’s president, Xi Jinping, left, and Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin. The two men are smiling and wearing suits.
Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin in 2019. Pool photo by Maxim Shipenkov

China’s reasons to prefer Trump are less obvious. Trump, after all, took a more combative stance toward China than any U.S. president since Richard Nixon re-established ties with Beijing. The Associated Press and Washington Post have noted that Beijing seems unhappy with both Biden and Trump.

But there appear to be at least two major ways in which China’s leaders could benefit from a second Trump term.

The first involves America’s engagement with global politics. Biden believes that the world is in the midst of a struggle between autocracy and democracy, and he sees the U.S. as the leading democracy, much as past presidents from both parties did. In Biden’s view, the U.S. is “the indispensable nation” that must defend a democracy when an autocratic neighbor attacks, as Russia did in Ukraine and China may eventually do in Taiwan.

Putin and Xi take a less idealistic view toward global affairs. They instead believe that strong nations should be able to control their own regions. Under Xi, China has become more aggressive not only toward Taiwan but also toward other neighbors. China has also expanded its influence in Africa and Latin America, effectively challenging the U.S.’s status as the world’s lone superpower.

Trump has shown little interest in these issues. He is an isolationist who embraces the slogan “America First.” He prefers that the U.S. avoid international conflicts, and he is skeptical of treaties and alliances. He said at a recent campaign rally that Russia’s leaders should be able “to do whatever the hell they want” to some European countries.

For Moscow and Beijing, the benefits of an American president who holds these beliefs are large.

Potential chaos

The second major advantage of a new Trump term for China and Russia is the domestic chaos that could result in the U.S.

Trump governed as no previous American president did. His White House was often disorganized, and his positions could change quickly. A recent example involves China. As president, Trump favored forcing ByteDance, a Chinese company, to sell TikTok, and many congressional Republicans (as well as Democrats) continue to hold this view. But Trump recently reversed his position. One possible explanation is that a Republican donor whose firm owns a stake in ByteDance — and could lose money from a forced sale — lobbied Trump.

Former President Donald Trump is pictured from behind. He is standing at a lectern and wearing a red cap.
In Dayton, Ohio.  Maddie McGarvey for The New York Times

In a second term, the turmoil could increase. Trump has promised to use the government’s power to investigate and potentially jail his political opponents. He has encouraged his supporters to use violence to get their way. And he has so angered many Democrats that they became radicalized on several issues (including Covid lockdowns, immigration and policing) in ways that have divided the party.

A politically chaotic U.S. could allow other countries to assert more global influence.

I understand that Trump supporters will object to the idea that he could undermine the national interest. Many support him precisely because they believe he can protect the country in a way no other politician will. His central promise, of course, is to make America great again.

What’s striking, however, is that the country’s biggest global rivals believe that a Trump victory will serve their interests instead.

More on Trump

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THE LATEST NEWS

Florida

  • The Florida Supreme Court allowed the state to ban abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, but voters will get to weigh in. A ballot measure in November would protect abortions until around 24 weeks if passed.
  • Voters will also get to decide whether to legalize recreational marijuana in the state, Politico reports.

More on Politics

Speaker Mike Johnson walking in a small group of people at the U.S. Capitol.
Speaker Mike Johnson  Kent Nishimura for The New York Times

Middle East

Three rescue workers stand atop a pile of rubble as smoke rises around them.
In Damascus, Syria.  Youssef Dafawwi/EPA, via Shutterstock
  • Israel struck part of the Iranian Embassy complex in Damascus, Syria, and killed at least seven Iranian officers, according to Tehran. Israel and Iran have been in a shadow war for years.
  • A nonprofit run by the chef José Andrés paused operations in Gaza after seven of its workers were killed in an airstrike. The Israeli military said it was investigating the incident.
  • Benjamin Netanyahu said that he would shut down Al Jazeera in Israel.
  • Israel granted our Jerusalem bureau chief a rare visit to Gaza to see Al-Shifa, a major hospital, shortly before Israeli troops withdrew from it. See images of the damage.
  • Trump’s call for Israel to “finish up” its war in Gaza has alarmed some Republicans and Israelis.

More International News

A man in a factory pushes a cart loaded with mortar shells. Other boxes of shells are nearby.
A munitions factory in Ukraine.  Evgeniy Maloletka/Associated Press

Other Big Stories

Opinions

Money really does buy happiness for about 85 percent of us, according to the work of Daniel Kahneman, the Nobel Prize winner who died recently.

Costa Rica wants to become the Silicon Valley of Latin America. It could give the U.S. a new source for microchips, Farah Stockman writes.

The government should let people sell a kidney to save lives, Dylan Walsh argues.

Here is a column by Paul Krugman on Trump loyalists’ approach to public infrastructure.

 
 

A subscription to match the variety of your interests.

News. Games. Recipes. Product reviews. Sports reporting. A New York Times All Access subscription covers all of it and more. Subscribe today.

 

MORNING READS

An image of restaurant plates.
Tatiana in New York.  Randy Smith for The New York Times

Where to eat: The Times critic Pete Wells revealed his annual ranking of the 100 best restaurants in New York City. See the list.

Murder: The Chinese billionaire behind Netflix’s “3 Body Problem” was poisoned. Read about a case “as bizarre as a Hollywood blockbuster.”

Walking and talking: In London, urban ramblers find friendship and fitness by strolling the city together.

“The plane is fine”: Inside an airline course to help people overcome their fear of flying.

Denmark: A writer returns to his grandparents’ former home — a castle.

Ask Well: Should you eat your vegetables before your carbs for better blood sugar?

Lives Lived: Esther Coopersmith was a long-reigning Washington hostess, a well-connected diplomat and a top fund-raiser. For decades, a place at her dinner table provided access to money, influence and power. She died at 94.

 

SPORTS

A GIF of Caitlin Clark shooting a basket.
Caitlin Clark NCAA

College basketball: Caitlin Clark scored 41 points, including nine three-pointers, as Iowa’s beat L.S.U. to advance to a second straight Final Four.

The lineup: Connecticut will join Iowa in the Final Four after a 80-73 victory over No. 1 seed U.S.C.

M.L.B.: Ronel Blanco of the Houston Astros threw the first no-hitter of the baseball season in a 10-0 win against the Toronto Blue Jays.

N.B.A.: Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers is expected to return soon after an injury.

Continue reading the main story

 
 

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ARTS AND IDEAS

A woman reading an old manuscript, her fingers kept carefully at the very edge of the pages.
In Northern Ireland. Paulo Nunes dos Santos for The New York Times

Recovering history: In June 1922, an explosion destroyed an office in Dublin’s main court complex, causing the loss of sensitive documents and census returns dating to the Middle Ages.

Seven years ago, a group of experts started a project to recover that history. The team has found a quarter of a million pages of duplicates in libraries and archives. Read about the team’s efforts.

More on culture

Three cutouts of the “Star Trek” character Spock stand in a room surrounded by other memorabilia from the science fiction series.
“Star Trek” collectibles.  Connie Aramaki for The New York Times
 

THE MORNING RECOMMENDS …

A bowl of yellow-tinted spaghetti with flecks of parsley and Parmesan cheese on top.
David Malosh for The New York Times

Cobble together an earthy, creamy turmeric pasta with pantry staples.

Watch these movies and TV shows coming to Netflix this month.

Buy a gift for a frequent traveler.

Get better sound from your TV.

 

GAMES

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Here is today’s Spelling Bee. Yesterday’s pangram was virology.

And here are today’s Mini Crossword, Wordle, Sudoku and Connections. Looking for Strands? It’s not yet on the NYT Games app, but you can play it online here.

 
 

Thanks for spending part of your morning with The Times. See you tomorrow. — David

P.S.: Four Spelling Bee enthusiasts explained why they wake up in the middle of the night to write hints for their fellow Bee lovers.

Correction: Yesterday’s newsletter referred incorrectly to Narendra Modi. He is the prime minister of India, not the president.

Sign up here to get this newsletter in your inbox. Reach our team at themorning@nytimes.com.

Continue reading the main story

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The Morning Newsletter Logo

Editor: David Leonhardt

Deputy Editor: Adam B. Kushner

News Editor: Tom Wright-Piersanti

Associate Editor: Lauren Jackson

News Staff: Desiree Ibekwe, Sean Kawasaki-Culligan, Brent Lewis, German Lopez, Ian Prasad Philbrick, Ashley Wu

News Assistant: Lyna Bentahar

Saturday Writer: Melissa Kirsch

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
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Exclusive: NYT to soon offer most articles via automated voice

The New York Times plans to make the vast majority of its articles available to users as narrations read via an automated voice, executives tell Axios.

https://www.axios.com/2024/04/02/exclusive-nyt-to-soon-offer-most-articles-via-automated-voice?

phkrause

By the decree enforcing the institution of the papacy in violation of the law of God, our nation will disconnect herself fully from righteousness. When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near. {5T 451.1}
Link to comment
Share on other sites

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The Morning

April 3, 2024

 
 

Good morning. Today, my colleague Jeanna Smialek explains how interest rates could impact the presidential election. We’re also covering the Middle East, an earthquake in Taiwan and the wrap dress. — David Leonhardt

 
 
 
A view of screens on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
The New York Stock Exchange.  Brendan Mcdermid/Reuters

Political interest

Author Headshot

By Jeanna Smialek

A reporter covering the Federal Reserve

 

The Federal Reserve is in a tough spot. It expects to cut interest rates soon. But doing so before an election will yank the apolitical central bank directly into a partisan fight.

Fed officials have lifted borrowing costs to 5.3 percent, the highest level in decades, to slow inflation. Now that price increases are fading, Fed officials think that they can dial back that response starting later this year. Investors expect the first move to come in June or July — just as the election kicks into high gear.

Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, says rate cuts this year would probably be an effort to help Democrats. Lower rates can lift markets and help the economy, so politicians tend to prefer cheap money when they are in office.

Fed officials insist that rate changes would respond to economic conditions, not politics. Still, they can’t ignore the vitriol. If they ramp up during the campaign, Trump’s attacks could convince his supporters that the Fed is bending to partisan whims. And in the long run, a loss of popular support could expose the central bank, which answers to Congress, to lawmaker censure or even political tinkering.

Prized independence

The central bank sets policy without having to check its decisions through Congress or the White House.

That doesn’t mean that Fed officials are free to do whatever they want. Congress has given the Fed its goals — full employment and low, stable inflation — and it holds regular oversight hearings. The White House influences the central bank by nominating the Fed’s chair, vice chair, and other Washington-based governors.

Jerome Powell sits at a desk in a Senate committee room, people are seated behind him to watch the testimony.
Jerome Powell at a Senate hearing.  Kent Nishimura/Getty Images

But even if elected officials shape it, the Fed is insulated from immediate political backlash as it sets actual policy. That is because its big job — controlling inflation — can be very unpopular in Washington. Its efforts have been blamed for slowing the economy severely enough to harm or even doom both Jimmy Carter’s and George H.W. Bush’s re-election attempts. In fact, incumbent politicians used to frequently harangue Fed chairs for lower interest rates in public and in private. (Lyndon B. Johnson reportedly cornered his Fed chair against a wall at his Texas ranch.)

Such critiques stopped in the 1990s, when the Clinton administration started a tradition of not commenting on Fed policy.

Trump ended that tradition during his term in office, pushing loudly and constantly for lower interest rates to help goose the economy. He called Jerome Powell, his pick for Fed chair, an “enemy.” He looked into firing Powell, only to learn that doing so was nearly impossible.

Now that Trump is back on the campaign trail, he’s much less welcoming to low rates, since presumably Biden would benefit from them. He says it would be political for the Fed to cut borrowing costs, and he has kept up his criticism of Powell, whom President Biden renominated.

“He’s going to do something to probably help the Democrats, I think, if he lowers interest rates,” Trump said this year.

Apolitical Fed

There’s little reason to think that rate cuts by the Fed would be a ploy to bolster Democrats.

“We’re working to serve all Americans, not any particular set of Americans or political parties or leaders,” Powell said during an event last week, one of several times he brought up or addressed the central bank’s independence.

Fed officials have been clear that they are setting policy in response to inflation data. The Fed’s favored inflation gauge has dropped to 2.5 percent from a peak of around 7 percent. Officials are now simply waiting for further confirmation that inflation is under control to make a move.

Not to mention, Fed policies take time to trickle through the economy, so it’s not clear how much a summertime rate cut would reshape the economy before November elections.

Finally, Fed officials have limited reason to cave to political pressure: They serve long terms, are difficult if not impossible to remove and don’t all come from a single political party. Transcripts and inside accounts confirm that in recent years, politics rarely come up at Fed meetings.

But even if the Fed sets policy without an eye toward politics, officials want to make sure America knows and believes that. The Fed relies on public belief to do its job. When people and companies think that the Fed is focused on fighting inflation, they expect inflation to hover at modest levels over the long run. That confidence helps to shape their behavior in ways that can help to keep inflation under control. Businesses don’t jack up prices as quickly, for instance.

“The Fed is, to me, a very important American institution that serves all Americans on a nonpolitical basis,” Powell said last week. “Integrity is everything.”

Related: An earlier Fed chair, Arthur Burns, is remembered as someone who bent to political pressure. Some say that’s not fair.

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THE LATEST NEWS

Middle East

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In central Gaza.  Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
  • The Israeli military took responsibility for a strike in Gaza that killed seven World Central Kitchen aid workers. The top commander said it was a mistake, and Benjamin Netanyahu called it tragic.
  • Biden said he was outraged by the deaths, adding, “Israel has not done enough to protect aid workers.”
  • The seven people killed “were the best of humanity,” José Andrés, the chef who founded World Central Kitchen, writes in Times Opinion. Read his essay.
  • Iran’s leaders vowed to respond to Israeli airstrikes in Syria that killed three Iranian commanders on Monday.
  • The Biden administration plans to sell F-15 fighter jets, worth billions, to Israel.

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A machine designed for cloud brightening in California. Ian C. Bates for The New York Times
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Sex is a biological fact. Saying it is “assigned at birth” is misleading, Alex Byrne and Carole Hooven argue.

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Here are columns by Bret Stephens on the ugly elements of pro-Palestinian protests and Thomas Edsall on the network of people helping Trump’s campaign.

 
 

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MORNING READS

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In New York City.  Yuvraj Khanna for The New York Times

City streets: Orange steam funnels are all over New York City. But what are they actually for?

Viral: People are reviewing sticks — yes, sticks — on the internet.

Electric cars: Tesla had a bad quarter, while its rivals thrived. It could be losing its dominance.

Sustainability: Sick of plastic wrap on your fresh fruit? Changes are coming.

Brain activity: Exercise can improve your cognitive and mental health. Reap the benefits.

Tourism: Rome could soon be more walkable. Officials are planning to create a huge, pedestrian-friendly area in the city’s center.

A five-star stay: In China, some bird nests are turned into an expensive soup. In Borneo, people are giving the birds luxury houses to help them build the nests.

Viewing party: Small cities have big plans for the eclipse.

Lives Lived: Larry Lucchino was an executive with the Baltimore Orioles and the San Diego Padres who oversaw construction of modern stadiums. As president of the Boston Red Sox, he preserved Fenway Park for generations. He died at 78.

 

SPORTS

Elite Eight: Iowa’s win over L.S.U. set a record for the most-watched women’s college basketball game.

N.B.A.: Joel Embiid returned for the Philadelphia 76ers after an injury. He helped his team defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder, 109-105.

Jerseys: Adidas stopped the sale of German soccer shirts bearing the number “44” because the lettering closely resembled a Nazi symbol.

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ARTS AND IDEAS

Two images of Michelle Obama and Kate Middleton wearing wrap dresses.
Michelle Obama and Kate, Princess of Wales.  From left: Omar Torres/AFP — Getty Images; Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Out of style: For decades, women loved the wrap dress, a design popularized by Diane von Furstenberg, because it was both flattering and office appropriate. The style boomed in the 1970s — and again in the 2000s and 2010s. “If you bought Sheryl Sandberg’s ‘Lean In’ when it came out in 2013, you probably owned a wrap dress,” Jessica Testa writes.

In recent years, however, the dress has become unfashionable. One