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Good morning. A power struggle in the Vatican, a Nafta revision and 17,500 DNA samples crack a murder case.
Here’s the latest:
• A power struggle is brewing in the Vatican.
Pope Francis has infuriated Catholic traditionalists by pushing for a more welcoming church. His enemies’ anger came into stark focus this weekend when a former Holy See diplomat blamed a “homosexual current” in the Vatican hierarchy for numerous cases of sexual abuse.
Vatican intrigue usually stays behind closed doors, but the ex-diplomat’s letter publicly weaponized the church’s child abuse crisis in the battle over the question of gay priests.
The letter was published in the middle of Francis’s two-day visit to Ireland, above. From Opinion: On this visit, “the disconnect between the new Ireland and his church was plain.”
• “They used to call it Nafta.”
That was President Trump announcing that the U.S. and Mexico had agreed to revise key portions of the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement. Above, Mexico’s chief negotiators in Washington.
Mr. Trump, who has called Nafta the worst trade deal in history, said the new arrangement would be called “the United States-Mexico Trade Agreement.”
But Nafta, of course, also includes Canada. The White House appeared eager to pressure Canada to join new talks, and the country’s foreign minister is due in Washington on Tuesday.
Steel and aluminum tariffs remain a thorny issue. The Trump administration hit Mexico, Canada and the E.U. this year with steep tariffs to force concessions on other trade issues.
• 17,500 DNA samples.
Each was from a Dutch citizen who voluntarily took part in the Netherlands’ biggest criminal investigation. After 20 years, the police finally made an arrest in connection with the rape and murder of Nicky Verstappen, an 11-year-old boy. Above, the police chief in the city of Maastricht addressing the news media.
Traces of male DNA were found on Nicky’s clothes at the time of his death, but the samples did not match those in any Dutch or international criminal databases.
Thanks in part to a 2012 law that allows for DNA samples from people who could potentially be relatives of a suspect, investigators eventually narrowed it down. The suspect’s identity was made public last week. Within days, a tip led authorities to a 55-year-old Dutchman in a small town outside of Barcelona.
• Serena Williams, back in the U.S. Open after a one-year absence, sailed through her first-round match.
• Nearly three years after Volkswagen admitted to falsifying emissions data, the automaker still has work to do to prevent future scandals, according to a lawyer assigned to monitor its behavior.
• Where does Tesla go from here? After deciding not to go private, the electric-car maker is facing old and new challenges, including the prospect of harsher scrutiny of its bottom line and of its chief executive, Elon Musk.
• Juul, an e-cigarette company with global ambition, says it never sought to lure teenage users. But the U.S. is investigating whether it marketed its devices to youth, hoping to get “customers for life.”
• Myanmar’s top military commanders should face trial in an international court for genocide against Rohingya Muslims and for crimes against humanity targeting other ethnic minorities, a U.N. panel said after a yearlong investigation. [The New York Times]
• Russia’s highest-profile opposition leader, Aleksei A. Navalny, was sentenced to 30 days in prison. He said the authorities wanted to prevent him from organizing protests over plans to raise the retirement age. [The New York Times]
• Is Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s lawyer, shrewd or just “untethered?” Our reporters say the former New York mayor’s strident defense of Mr. Trump has left even old friends questioning his approach. [The New York Times]
• The top U.S. air commander in the Middle East urged the Saudi-led coalition to be more transparent about an airstrike this month in Yemen that killed more than 40 children. [The New York Times]
• German chancellor Angela Merkel condemned two days of street violence by far-right protesters in Chemnitz that left several people injured. [The Guardian]
• First it wouldn’t let a swimmer return to shore; then it tossed a young bather in the air with its nose. Now there’s a swimming ban in the French city of Brest because of an overly friendly dolphin. [BBC]
Tips for a more fulfilling life.
• Pierre Hache, who performs as Kiddy Smile, is taking the energy and inclusive spirit of Paris ball culture to the masses. The openly gay musician of African descent, who grew up in a housing project outside Paris, is even taking it to the presidential palace.
• The 96-year-old French painter Françoise Gilot — famously known as Picasso’s former lover and muse — has a new book of her sketches, offering an intimate glimpse into her inner life.
• The last cave bear went extinct 25,000 years ago in Western Europe. But a new study found that some cave bear DNA lives on in modern brown bears, a finding some scientists say could challenge our view of extinction.
The world’s first female zoo director, Belle Benchley, was born on this day in 1882.
In 1925, Ms. Benchley was recently divorced and looking for a job in order to provide for her son. A former teacher, she landed a temporary job as a bookkeeper at the San Diego Zoo, which had opened in 1916 and was growing. The job turned into a tenure of more than a quarter century that would permanently change the now-famous institution.
She quickly began to do more than her job description required, sometimes instinctively identifying sick animals, even before keepers or veterinarians did.
The zoo’s founder, Dr. Harry Wegeforth, offered her the top job of executive secretary in 1927. “You might as well run the place,” he reportedly told her, “because you’re already doing it anyway.” At the time, she was the only female zoo director in the world.
During the more than 25 years she spent on the job, Ms. Benchley wrote four books, wrote and edited the zoo’s magazine, “Zoonooz,” and became the American Zoological Association’s first female president.
Claire Moses wrote today’s Back Story.
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