Weekly News

World Cup, Trump, Putin: Your Weekend Briefing

July 15,2018 19:20

As a special counsel investigates Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, and as Russia's actions in Syria and Crimea come under greater scrutiny, President Trump has often adopted a softer tone toward Moscow than his lieutenants have.



Here are the week’s top stories, and a look ahead.

1. Crossed signals on Russia.
As a special counsel investigates Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, and as Russia’s actions in Syria and Crimea come under greater scrutiny, President Trump has often adopted a softer tone toward Moscow than his lieutenants have.
The disconnect is so jarring it can seem as if Mr. Trump is carrying out a wholly separate approach to Russia from the rest of the government — one driven by an abiding desire to win over the Russian leader, Vladimir Putin.
As the two leaders prepare to meet on Monday in Finland, some experts fear that Mr. Putin may have an advantage over Mr. Trump.

Have you been keeping up with the headlines? Test your knowledge with our news quiz. Here’s the front page of our Sunday paper, and our crossword puzzles.
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2. For the thousands of migrant children in detention centers, the rules are clear: no touching, no nicknames, no sharing your food. And it’s better if you don’t cry.
More than 2,800 such children remain in detention facilities — like one in Brownsville, Tex., above — awaiting reunification with their families after crossing the United States’ border with Mexico.
The centers range in austerity, from a 33-acre youth shelter to hastily converted motels. But most of these facilities, our reporters write, are united by a collective sense of aching uncertainty — scores of children gathered under a roof who have no idea when they will see their parents again.

3. France!
In a surprisingly goal-heavy World Cup match against Croatia, the final score was 4-2.
The assessment of our soccer writers: “This France team will not be remembered as the most elegant champions, or the most creative. But what it achieved — through diligent planning, hard work, relentless discipline and the occasional brilliance of Mbappé and others — was remarkable nonetheless.”
And just for fun, we put together a mash-up of every Goooooool!!! in the World Cup.
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4. Novak Djokovic reclaimed a central place in men’s tennis, beating Kevin Anderson, 6-2, 6-2, 7-6 (3), to win Wimbledon for the fourth time.
Both men had played marathon semifinals, and Djokovic had to bounce back without a customary day of rest after his five-hour face-off with Rafael Nadal, a match that stretched over two days.
And Angelique Kerber overtook Serena Williams, 6-3, 6-3, winning her first Wimbledon title on Saturday.

5. A surge of women’s activism has changed the midterm elections, with a new crop of female candidates reshaping the race.

Now, many are scrapping the prescriptive advice — don’t forget to smile! — that previous candidates have received. They’re running as individuals, something like the voters they are trying to reach.
And with so many women (like Abby Finkenauer, above) running this year, consultants say voters are more willing to accept female candidates as qualified.
“These different women who are running, and the way they’re running, is going to change politics forever,” a longtime consultant to Democratic women said. “They’re rewriting the playbook. But we don’t know exactly what the new playbook will look like.”
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6. Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, has talked at length about his mother, the public servant.
But quieter in this story is discussion of his father. Judge Kavanaugh’s carefully crafted origin narrative plays down his legacy as a Washington insider: His father was a powerhouse lobbyist with ties to the political elite.

If confirmed, Judge Kavanaugh stands to cement a solid pro-business majority on the nation’s highest court. And his ascent would likely achieve for industry incomparably more than all his father’s years of lobbying.
Read our full dive into his early years, politics and career.
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7. In the tug of war between workers and investors, Americans living on a paycheck have seldom been left with a shorter end of the rope.
Profits are soaring, but paychecks are stagnant. Companies complain about a shortage of workers, but they seem reluctant to raise wages.
A sinking nationwide unemployment rate masks many of the struggles workers face: Hourly earnings have moved forward at a crawl, with higher prices giving workers less buying power than they had last summer. Unions are weakening, and companies have the ability to look for cheaper workers overseas.
And in the background, the nation’s central bankers stand poised to raise interest rates and deliberately rein in growth if wages climb too rapidly.
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8. A top Uber executive is under fire for making insensitive comments about women and people of color, complicating the company’s efforts to overhaul its culture.
Employees say they have filed complaints about Barney Harford, above, the chief operating officer, and have been troubled by tone-deaf comments he has made about race.
Though a new chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, has made many changes to the company in recent months, internal issues — particularly around diversity — persist. And many Uber employees are concerned that comments like Mr. Harford’s could make it difficult to hire, promote and retain women and employees of color.
“I am humbled and grateful for the feedback I received, which has been eye-opening,” Mr. Harford said in a statement.
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9. In San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico, one of the country’s rainiest regions, drinking water is scarce. Some neighborhoods have running water just a few times a week, and many households are forced to buy extra water from tanker trucks.
Many people turn to soda, which is often just as cheap and more available than clean water thanks to a Coca-Cola plant nearby.

But the toll on public health has been devastating, with obesity and diabetes rates on the rise.
“Right now, diabetes is hitting the adults, but it’s going to be the kids next,” a doctor at a nearby clinic said. “It’s going to overwhelm us.”
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10. Finally, the story of the Thai soccer team’s rescue; a group of volunteers scouring the desert for the bodies of migrants, above; and the joys of missing out. We have those stories and more in this collection of our best weekend reads.
For more suggestions on what to watch, listen to and read, may we suggest Watching, our guide to TV and streaming services; our music critics’ latest playlist; or a glance at the New York Times best-seller list.

Your Weekend Briefing is published Sundays at 6 a.m. Eastern.
You can sign up here to get our Morning Briefings by email in the Australian, Asian, European or American morning, or to receive an Evening Briefing on U.S. weeknights.
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What did you like? What do you want to see here? Let us know at briefing@nytimes.com.

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