New York Times

NATO Summit, Papa John’s Pizza, Stormy Daniels: Your Thursday Briefing

NATO Summit, Papa John’s Pizza, Stormy Daniels: Your Thursday Briefing

Collecting scrap metal in Raqqa, Syria, in June. Citizens are trying to rebuild and recover their lives after the city was the de facto capital of Islamic State territory for more than three years.CreditIvor Prickett for The New York Times

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Good morning.

Here’s what you need to know:

Day 2 at the NATO summit

• President Trump is attending the second and final day of the military alliance’s meeting in Brussels. He’s scheduled to speak with the leaders of Georgia and Ukraine and to join a discussion on Afghanistan. We have live updates.

On Wednesday, Mr. Trump again demanded that allies meet a commitment to raise their military budgets, and then surprised them by saying they should double that spending target. He also criticized Germany for being a “captive” of Russia’s energy supply. (Our fact-check suggests otherwise.)

The president did, however, join other NATO leaders in signing a statement that harshly criticized Russia, days before he is to meet with its leader, Vladimir Putin.

Mr. Trump leaves this afternoon for Britain, which he recently described as being somewhat in turmoil. His visit, which is expected to be greeted by protests, could test the “special relationship” between London and Washington.

Judge has defended presidential power

• As they comb through the writings of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Democrats have found what they see as a promising stick with which to attack the judge.

In two law journal articles, Judge Kavanaugh raised questions about whether a sitting president could be indicted, and suggested that presidents should be shielded from civil suits and criminal investigations. Both issues are relevant to Mr. Trump and the investigation into Russia’s election interference.

The nominee’s paper trail is so long that Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, has asked federal prosecutors to help review the writings, an unusual insertion of politics into federal law enforcement.

Returning home after ISIS

• In 2014, the Islamic State announced that the city of Raqqa was the capital of its self-declared caliphate in Syria.

Raqqa was liberated from the militant group after a U.S.-led bombing campaign last year, but much of the city was destroyed and there’s little money to rebuild.

One of our Middle East correspondents traveled to Raqqa with a photographer to see how residents are trying to recover from the scars ISIS left.

Those hot summer nights

• More than 100 million people sweated it out under heat warnings or advisories in the U.S. last week.

Low nighttime temperatures usually provide respite from scorching summer days, but summer nights have been warming at nearly twice the rate of days, putting older people, the sick and young children at greater risk.

Our reporters examined a pattern that is in keeping with climate change models and that is expected to continue.


Listen to ‘The Daily’: The (Misunderstood) Story of NATO

President Trump called U.S. allies “delinquent” on military spending and attacked Germany as “captive” to Russia. We examine the source of his frustration.

Some of the 12 young soccer players who were rescued this week from a flooded cave in Thailand, pictured at a hospital in the city of Chiang Rai on Wednesday. A Thai public health official said that while some tests were still pending, all of the boys and their coach were recovering swiftly.CreditPrd/EPA, via Shutterstock


Smartphones contain special minerals known as rare earths, almost all of which come from China. That dominant position is one of Beijing’s weapons in its trade dispute with the U.S.

How much will the dispute cost a typical American family? So far, about $ 60 a year.

Twitter will begin removing tens of millions of suspicious accounts from users’ followers today, part of an effort to restore trust in the popular but embattled platform.

The founder of Papa John’s Pizza, John Schnatter, resigned as chairman of the board hours after he apologized for using a racial slur during a conference call.

U.S. stocks were down on Wednesday. Here’s a snapshot of global markets today.

Smarter Living

Tips for a more fulfilling life.

Exercise may aid in weight loss. But there’s a catch.

How to deal with a wild-animal encounter while vacationing.

Recipe of the day: Need a quick dinner? Go with pan-roasted salmon with jalapeño.


The Avenatti effect

In representing the porn star Stormy Daniels, the lawyer Michael Avenatti thinks he can bring down a president — one cable-news hit at a time. Read more in The Times Magazine.

Early today, Mr. Avenatti said his client, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, had been arrested at a strip club in Ohio. He said she was expected to be charged with a misdemeanor “for allowing ‘touching.’ ”

In sports

Croatia will appear in its first World Cup final, against France on Sunday, after outperforming England to win, 2-1, in extra time.

And at Wimbledon, Roger Federer, the No. 1 seed and defending champion, lost to Kevin Anderson of South Africa. Angelique Kerber will face Jelena Ostapenko, and Julia Görges will play Serena Williams in the women’s singles semifinals today.

Copy-edit this

How well can you spot grammatical errors from The Times? Take our quiz.

Soap as a status symbol

It used to be just something you had in the house. Now it’s a way for the 1 percent to show off.

Here’s more from this week’s Style section.

Non-required reading

Looking for summer book ideas for the children in your life? We have four best-seller lists for kids: picture books, middle grade hardcover, young adult hardcover and series. Many of the titles are also enjoyed by adults.

Best of late-night TV

Stephen Colbert reflected on President Trump’s criticism of Germany as “totally controlled by Russia”: “Now, I’m not ready to say that our president is a Russian agent, but I have an agent — and he doesn’t do as much for me as Trump does for Russia.”

Quotation of the day

“We are no captives — neither of Russia nor of the United States.”

Heiko Maas, the German foreign minister, responding on Twitter to President Trump’s accusation that Germany was “captive to Russia” because of its energy dependency.

The Times, in other words

Here’s an image of today’s front page, and links to our Opinion content and crossword puzzles.

What we’re reading

Tim Herrera, editor of Smarter Living, recommends this article from The Atlantic: “I’m a Twitter obsessive, so I eagerly lapped up this story about ‘Local Twitter.’ Remember the ‘away status’ from your angsty youth, where you’d post inane-yet-personal statuses meant to broadcast feelings more than messages? Taylor Lorenz dives into how it’s sort of coming back on Twitter.”

Back Story

The history of Aboriginal Australians stretches back more than 40,000 years, but a flag representing them wasn’t flown until this day in 1971.

In the late 1960s, Aboriginal Australians were battling for land rights. Demonstrations featured numerous banners and posters, but for Harold Thomas, an Indigenous artist and activist, representation of Aboriginal identity was missing.


The flag representing Aboriginal Australians.CreditDaniel Munoz/EPA-Shutterstock

He designed a flag to correct that: A yellow circle symbolizing the sun divides a black half (representing Aboriginal Australians) and a red one (their relationship to the land).

The Aboriginal athlete Cathy Freeman made waves in 1994 when she took a victory lap at the Commonwealth Games with both the Australian national flag and the Aboriginal flag.

The aboriginal design was officially adopted as a flag of Australia in 1995.

Last year, it earned digital recognition when Twitter added an emoji for it. (The emoji also includes the flag of the Torres Strait Islanders, another group of Indigenous Australians.)

“The Aboriginal flag is central to our national identity,” Mr. Thomas told The Times when the emoji was released. “We are the first people here, for a very long time, and we’ll stay here until eternity.”

Remy Tumin wrote today’s Back Story.


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