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Here’s what you need to know:
When the help hurts
• U.S. corporations have broadly embraced President Trump’s pro-business stance, but some of the industries that he has vowed to help say that his proposals will actually hurt them.
The leader of a nonpartisan research organization in Washington described the administration’s approach as a “whac-a-mole policy” that doesn’t account for the complexity of global commerce. “The law of unintended consequences abounds,” he said.
Our reporters looked at the effects of recent trade actions, and uncertainty, on metal producers in the Rust Belt, the energy sector and automakers.
A White House spokesman, Raj Shah, acknowledged that some plans might not be to the liking of specific industries, but added: “A lot of these groups benefit from broader policies — all these groups benefit from the tax cut and regulatory relief.”
• Separately, our technology columnist in Asia wrote about Made in China 2025, Beijing’s ambitious modernization push. She says it’s certain to succeed, even if the White House tries to stop it.
“Fire and fury” no more
• When North Korea conducted missile tests and detonated atomic bombs last year, President Trump responded with threats and ordered the military to come up with pre-emptive strike options.
But since his summit meeting last month with the North’s leader, Kim Jong-un, Mr. Trump has done an about-face, even as Pyongyang’s nuclear program has continued.
• Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is traveling to North Korea today, with the challenge of negotiating a better nuclear deal than the one reached with Iran, which Mr. Trump has called a “disaster.”
Mysterious poisonings in England
• Two British citizens have been critically sickened by Novichok, the nerve agent that was used to poison a Russian former spy and his daughter four months ago, the authorities announced on Wednesday.
The latest victims, a man and a woman, had visited the English city of Salisbury, including an area near where the former spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter, Yulia, were stricken in March, the police said.
• Officers said they didn’t know if there was a link between the two cases. Britain has accused the Russian government of being behind the earlier attack, a claim Moscow denies.
The wives and children of ISIS
• The Islamic State once controlled an area that stretched across much of Syria and Iraq, drawing tens of thousands of foreigners from around the world to what was billed as a pure Islamic society. Among them were many women, including some accompanying their husbands or fathers.
But as the terrorist group’s so-called caliphate fell to Kurdish militias backed by a U.S.-led military coalition, many of the men were killed or captured. More than 2,000 women and children from Europe, the Middle East and the U.S. ended up in camps, unwanted by anyone.
• Their home countries don’t want them back, fearing they could spread radical Islamist ideology. The Kurdish authorities don’t want them either, saying it isn’t their job to indefinitely detain citizens of other countries. Our correspondent visited a camp in Syria to learn more.
A judicial purge in Poland
• The country’s Supreme Court is in disarray after a new law forced out 27 of its 72 judges this week.
• The justices are refusing to recognize their dismissal, but government officials say they will no longer be allowed to hear cases.
• Data companies are identifying what people are watching on internet-connected TVs, and using that information to send targeted advertisements to other devices in their homes.
• A boom in artificial intelligence research has drawn Amazon, Microsoft and other technology giants to the English city of Cambridge.
• Many tech workers are encouraging their employers to reconsider how their products are used by the government. Our columnist asks when employees might rise up at Twitter.
• U.S. markets were closed on Wednesday for Independence Day. Here’s a snapshot of global markets today.
• “Mrs. Williams” to Wimbledon, if not to you
The tennis tournament has its traditions, including referring to women by their marital status.
So Serena Williams, who married in the fall, now shares a courtesy title with other Wimbledon champions including Mrs. L. W. King, Mrs. J. M. Lloyd and Mrs. R. Cawley (better known as Billie Jean King, Chris Evert and Evonne Goolagong).
• The price of pet pampering
Americans spent $ 69.5 billion on their “fur babies” last year, according to the American Pet Products Association. Kibble and vet bills are only the beginning.
• Posthumous best sellers
The recently deceased authors and influential voices Anthony Bourdain and Charles Krauthammer debut on our monthly audio nonfiction best-seller list with titles that were on our print lists years ago. Find all of our best-seller lists here.
• No late-night TV this week
The comedy shows are on hiatus. Our roundup will return next week.
• Quotation of the day
“This cliché of, ‘If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu’ really felt like it rang true.”
— Representative Grace Meng, a Queens Democrat and a graduate of the Stuyvesant High School in New York City, on the absence of Asian-American representatives when Mayor Bill de Blasio announced plans to change the high school admissions process.
• The Times, in other words
• What we’re reading
Michael Roston, a senior staff editor on our Science desk, recommends this article from Gizmodo: “The idea of landing a spacecraft on an asteroid is less far out than it might seem. In fact, there are multiple efforts to do so this year. Ryan Mandelbaum explains the perils as robotic probes face off with the physics of large rocks in space.”
Spam — the canned meat, not the unwanted email — might deserve more respect.
On this day in 1937, Hormel Foods introduced the mix of pork shoulder and ham, whose name is derived from “spiced ham.” (No, it doesn’t stand for “Something Posing As Meat.”) Since then, Spam has been a muse for poets, comedians and chefs, and it helped win World War II.
The Times’s obituary for Jay Hormel, Spam’s creator, said he was the first to successfully can ham. Cooking the meat inside the can produced a natural gelatin, increased shelf life and made it useful in battle. President Dwight D. Eisenhower wrote a letter praising Spam, and the former Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev said his country couldn’t have fed its troops without it.
“In all of its high-sodium, gravy-drenched glory, Spam has, in every sense, found its way into my heart,” the chef Anthony Bourdain, who died last month, said during a visit to Hawaii for his show “No Reservations.” “I get it now. I feel inducted into the Church of True Knowledge.”
Robb Todd wrote today’s Back Story.
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