Your Monday Briefing – The New York Times


Elaine Chao, the transportation secretary, has improved the profile of Foremost Group, her family’s shipping firm, which has deep ties to the economic and political elite in China.

A Times investigation found that Ms. Chao has repeatedly used her connections and status in China to help Foremost, which benefits from industrial policies in Beijing that are at the heart of diplomatic tensions with Washington.

Ms. Chao has no stake in Foremost, but she and her husband, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, have received millions of dollars in gifts from her father, James, who ran the company until last year. Read the takeaways from our investigation.

Response: Ms. Chao declined to be interviewed, but in a written statement she affirmed her family’s commitment to the U.S. A Transportation Department spokesman said there was no link between Ms. Chao’s actions as secretary and her family’s business interests in China.

Mr. Trump landed in Britain this morning for a five-day tour, including a state banquet tonight at Buckingham Palace with Queen Elizabeth II and a meeting on Tuesday with Prime Minister Theresa May, who is set to step down as the leader of her party this week. The president will also attend commemorations of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. Here are the latest updates.

Related: In a country already roiled by Brexit, Mr. Trump’s penchant for uncensored opinions is likely to capture headlines. (This morning, he called London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, a “stone cold loser.”) In an interview published before his arrival, Mr. Trump said that Britain’s next leader should “walk away” from withdrawal negotiations to extract a better deal from the European Union. He also said Boris Johnson, the pro-Brexit former foreign secretary, would be a good candidate to succeed Mrs. May as prime minister.

Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, the de facto ruler of the United Arab Emirates, is almost unknown to the American public, but he controls sovereign wealth funds worth $1.3 trillion and is among the most influential foreign voices in Washington.

Prince Mohammed has urged the U.S. to adopt his increasingly aggressive approach toward the Middle East, particularly his two enemies, Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood. And he appears to have found a willing audience in President Trump, who has repeatedly supported the prince’s positions, even over the reservations of U.S. officials. Here are five takeaways from our report.

Another angle: The special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election unearthed evidence that Prince Mohammed had tried to help Russia open back channels to Mr. Trump’s team. At least five people working for the prince have been caught up in criminal investigations growing out of that inquiry.

With growing political pressure for scrutiny of tech giants, two federal agencies that handle antitrust matters have split up oversight of Google and Amazon, according to three people with knowledge of the matter. The Justice Department is taking Google, and the Federal Trade Commission is taking Amazon.

That doesn’t mean the agencies have opened investigations, the people said. An Amazon spokesman declined to comment, as did Alphabet, Google’s parent.

Yesterday: Gmail, YouTube and other services that rely on Google’s technology were disrupted for several hours by what the company said were “high levels of network congestion.”

Trump Tower Punta del Este — a 25-story condominium with an indoor tennis court and a helipad — was one of the Trump family’s most ambitious development projects.

But it has fallen behind schedule, the Miami-based broker selling the condos is suing the local developer, and some buyers are selling their units. The problems in Uruguay are a microcosm of the challenges facing the Trump Organization as it stakes its future on projects outside the U.S.

White House aide’s departure: The chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, Kevin Hassett, will depart “shortly,” President Trump said on Sunday.

Virginia Beach rampage: The employee who killed 12 people at a city government building before dying in a shootout with the police last week had submitted his resignation hours earlier, the authorities have said. Read more about the victims.

“Genocide” in Canada: A national inquiry into the widespread killings and disappearances of Indigenous women and girls equates the violence with genocide, according to a long-anticipated report to be released today.

Snapshot: Above, Sister Diane Clyne, left, and Sarah Jane Bradley lived together as part of a project called Nuns and Nones, in which young progressive activists who are not practicing Roman Catholics moved into a convent.

In memoriam: Leah Chase fed civil rights-era activists, musicians and President George W. Bush at her Creole restaurant in New Orleans. She died on Saturday at 96.

N.B.A. finals: The Golden State Warriors beat the Toronto Raptors, 109-104, on Sunday to even the series at one game apiece. Game 3 is Wednesday.

Smarter Living: You can tame Facebook’s aggressive attempts to engage you. In the feed of notifications — which you can see when you click or tap the bell icon in any version of the app — there’s a three-dot button which allows you to adjust future notifications. You can also turn off some notifications in the app settings. Or simply use the mobile web version of Facebook to avoid notifications altogether.

And our writer offers a whimsical solution to the challenging social condition of forgetting someone’s name.

Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting. It’s a time of celebration, with rich desserts, gifts and gatherings.

This year, it may come on Tuesday. But there’s no guarantee.

Islam operates on a lunar calendar, and the official celebration of Eid is the sighting of the first crescent of the full moon. Cloudy weather could prevent the sighting. Since there is no central Islamic authority, Eid can arrive on different days in different places.

In any case, this week you can wish “Eid Mubarak” (“Have a blessed holiday”) to your Muslim friends.

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

— Chris

Thank you
To Mark Josephson, Eleanor Stanford and Kenneth R. Rosen for the break from the news. Melina Delkic, on the briefings team, wrote today’s Back Story. You can reach the team at

• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Today’s episode is about the legacy of Rachel Held Evans, a best-selling author who questioned the culture of evangelical Christianity.
• Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Uncredited movie role (5 letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• The Times won two News and Documentary Emmy Awards in 2018, one for an investigative video of the Las Vegas shooting and the other for an Op-Doc on a man’s friendship with a capuchin monkey.

Source link