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We begin with a take a look at the Trump administration’s Mideast insurance policies, the rising political battle confronting the president, and a academics’ strike in Los Angeles at this time.
The administration’s evolving technique within the Center East
Senior Pentagon officers are voicing concern that President Trump’s nationwide safety adviser, John Bolton, may precipitate a battle with Iran at a time when the U.S. is dropping leverage within the Center East.
At Mr. Bolton’s request, the Nationwide Safety Council requested the Pentagon final yr to supply army choices to strike Iran, Protection Division and senior American officers mentioned on Sunday.
The background: The request got here after Iranian-backed militants fired three mortars or rockets onto the grounds of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. Army officers on the time selected to not retaliate.
One other angle: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, at this time to debate a number of points which have weakened the U.S.-Saudi alliance, together with the warfare in Yemen.
Information evaluation: The void left by America’s rising disengagement within the Center East is being crammed by Russia and Iran, our bureau chief in Beirut, Lebanon, writes.
President Trump faces a rising political battle
Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former lawyer, is scheduled to testify publicly in Congress subsequent month about his work for Mr. Trump. Democratic leaders of Home committees warned the president on Sunday towards attempting to affect witnesses’ testimony.
The Democrats’ warning capped a busy weekend: The Instances discovered that the F.B.I. investigated whether or not the president was secretly engaged on Russia’s behalf, and The Washington Put up reported that the president tried to cover particulars of his conversations with President Vladimir Putin.
Mr. Trump was requested in an interview on Fox Information on Saturday whether or not he was working for Russia. “I believe it’s essentially the most insulting factor I’ve ever been requested,” he answered.
Information evaluation: “Mr. Trump faces the prospect of an all-out political warfare for survival,” our chief White Home correspondent writes.
What’s subsequent: Affirmation hearings are set to start on Tuesday for William Barr, Mr. Trump’s nominee for legal professional normal, who has a broad view of presidential energy. Democrats have demanded that Mr. Barr defend the particular counsel’s investigation into Russian election interference.
Decoding hospital costs
Hospitals started complying this month with a federal requirement to put up costs for his or her providers, theoretically providing shoppers transparency and forcing well being care suppliers into value competitors.
However the info, posted on-line in spreadsheets for 1000’s of procedures, is meaningless to most sufferers. Many hospitals have posted disclaimers warning shoppers to not depend on the info.
Response: “To 99 p.c of the consuming public, these knowledge will likely be of restricted utility — meaningless,” mentioned the president of the Higher New York Hospital Affiliation.
Wave of violence places Puerto Rico on edge
A collection of daytime killings, a few of which have been captured on video and shared on social media, has shaken the island, which has lengthy had one of many highest homicide charges within the U.S.
Twenty-two individuals have been killed to date this yr, making crime one other main problem on an island already damage by chapter and hurricane devastation.
Whereas the political battle over migration drags on, 1000’s of undocumented migrants are granted entry to the U.S. each month whereas their asylum instances are processed. However there may be little federal help for them.
An increasing community of church buildings and different nongovernmental organizations is attempting to get migrants fed, housed and probably reunited with family members within the U.S. “Persons are working 24 hours a day attempting to make this occur,” mentioned the chief of a San Diego help community. “Everyone seems to be strapped.”
Right here’s what else is occurring
Funds deadlock units a document: The partial authorities shutdown is now the longest in historical past. We checked out the way it has underscored the federal authorities’s connection to on a regular basis life in lots of elements of the U.S.
Los Angeles academics’ strike: Greater than 30,000 public schoolteachers are anticipated to stroll out at this time, calling for increased pay, smaller lessons and extra help workers. The strike within the nation’s second-largest college system will have an effect on about 500,000 college students.
Democrats operating in 2020: Julián Castro, the previous housing secretary and onetime mayor of San Antonio, plans to marketing campaign in Puerto Rico at this time after saying he would run for president. He joins a rising area of candidates, together with Consultant Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, who introduced her marketing campaign on Friday.
Asylum for Saudi teen: Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun, 18, who fled what she mentioned was an abusive household in Saudi Arabia, arrived in Toronto, the place she was granted asylum by the Canadian authorities.
Hear: To Radiohead’s “Sick Wind,” a 2016 monitor now out there on streaming providers. The music has “fluty sounds and buzzy ones, swallowing the music earlier than prettily fading out,” Jon Pareles writes.
Smarter Residing: Escaping the frenetic digital world might sound not possible, however Farhad Manjoo, a tech columnist who simply joined our Opinion desk, says he manages because of meditation. “I began with 10 minutes a day, then constructed as much as 15, 20, then 30,” he writes. The advantages went from noticeable to exceptional, one thing he likens to “a software program improve for my mind.” (We now have a information.)
In case you’re organizing your exterior house, too, we’ve concepts on promoting, donating and recycling.
And now for the Again Story on …
What market watchers are watching
On Wall Road, it’s “earnings season.”
Earlier than your eyes glaze over, right here’s what which means — and why it’s extra attention-grabbing than standard.
We’re about to see how company America did up to now three months.
It’s the primary likelihood for buyers to listen to from chief executives because the market went haywire in December. An enormous cause for that sell-off was concern in regards to the economic system and company income.
Within the “preseason,” Apple warned that fewer individuals in China have been shopping for iPhones than it had anticipated, and American Airways mentioned it wasn’t getting as a lot income from each passenger because it needed.
Such particulars assist gauge the well being of the economic system, and that’s the place the difficulty can start. If too many corporations warn about issues forward, buyers may see their worst fears confirmed — and shares may begin to fall once more.
Perhaps don’t examine your 401(okay) till that is over.
That’s it for this briefing.
I depart you with this: Final evening, a photograph of an egg unseated Kylie Jenner’s beginning announcement because the most-liked Instagram put up ever. Only a common egg.
See you subsequent time.
To Eleanor Stanford for the cultural ideas and James Ok. Williamson for Smarter Residing concepts. Mohammed Hadi, our enterprise information director, wrote at this time’s Again Story. You’ll be able to attain the crew at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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