Trump Foundation, Russia, Yemen: Your Friday Briefing

Trump Foundation, Russia, Yemen: Your Friday Briefing

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Good morning.

Investigations rattle Washington, Russia tackles its xenophobia and Hungary convicts human smugglers. Here’s the latest:

Two major investigations grabbed U.S. headlines.

A Justice Department report concluded that James Comey, the former F.B.I. director, was “insubordinate” in his unorthodox handling of the investigation of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election. Here are the highlights of the 500-page report.

Mr. Comey, in an Op-Ed, disputed some of the report’s conclusions, but embraced it overall as “good for the F.B.I.” Above, Mr. Comey testifying on Capitol Hill last year.

And the New York State attorney general’s office filed a scathingly worded lawsuit against Mr. Trump’s charitable foundation, accusing it and the Trump family of sweeping violations of campaign finance laws, self-dealing and illegal coordination with the presidential campaign.

Mr. Trump reacted with vitriol, calling the civil suit an attempt by “sleazy New York Democrats” to damage him. Here are the basics of the case.


Soccer, and propaganda.

We’re following every game and every angle of the World Cup as it unfolds in Russia.

As our columnist writes, the tournament is about Russia “proving to its people as much as to its rivals that it can deliver the world’s most-watched sporting spectacle.”

In recent weeks, Russia has tried to tame its habitual xenophobia in anticipation of the 500,000 foreign soccer fans descending on the country. (It even organized a class on how to smile.)

• A painful anniversary.

Al Manaar mosque, a 10-minute walk from Grenfell Tower in London, became the center of relief efforts when a fire at the tower killed more than 70 people a year ago.

Our reporter visited the mosque, where survivors and relatives of those who died worship, as the community prepares for a somber Eid al-Fitr marking the end of Ramadan.

“The more they are not reminded of the tragedy, the better it is for them,” said the mosque’s director.


A Hungarian court convicted a group of smugglers for their role in the deaths in 2015 of 71 migrants who had been locked in a truck and abandoned beside a highway in Austria. The horror became a turning point in the E.U.’s disorganized response to the refugee crisis. Above, a defendant after the verdict. [The New York Times]

Italian prosecutors dropped a sexual harassment case against the former head of the Italian soccer federation, concluding that his 53-year-old accuser was too old to have been distressed by his advances. [The New York Times]

North Korean state TV showed video of President Trump saluting a North Korean general. The awkward encounter stirred debate over military and diplomatic protocol. [The New York Times]

A former Walmart in Texas has become the nation’s largest shelter for migrant children — a warehouse for more than 1,500 boys, aged 10 to 17, caught illegally crossing the border. [The New York Times]

The French authorities charged two men suspected of planning a terrorist attack in the name of the Islamic State. [Associated Press]

Britain said it would relax immigration rules for foreign doctors and nurses to help ease staffing shortages in the country’s National Health Service. [BBC]

Smarter Living

Tips, both new and old, for a more fulfilling life.

Albert Einstein’s travel diaries, kept during an international tour of China, Japan and other countries in the 1920s, include some unsettling stereotyping.

Traces of a Jewish past can be found across the Middle East and North Africa and in Central and South Asia. “It’s in synagogues and cemeteries, in the facades of old buildings, in language, food and the memories of those who left. You just need to know where to look,” our writer finds.

“Man, woman or child, Ella is the greatest,” Bing Crosby once said.

Ella Fitzgerald, who died on this day in 1996 at the age of 79, began her journey to stardom by winning a talent contest as a teenager.

She had originally intended to dance, but stage fright made her decide to sing instead.

The “First Lady of Song” spent more than 60 years in the limelight, working with more musical legends than we can count. She won 13 Grammy Awards and received a National Medal of Arts.

With a range of nearly three octaves, she relished big band, jazz, bebop, scat and swing. She is perhaps best known for her Song Books of the ’50s and ’60s: eight albums, each dedicated to the likes of Duke Ellington, Cole Porter and Rodgers & Hart.

But her young life was filled with hardship.

Her mother died when she was 15 years old. She ran away from an abusive stepfather and had a spell in a reformatory where beatings were common. She was living hand-to-mouth in 1934 when she won that crucial amateur competition.

As she received an honorary doctorate at Yale, she said, “Not bad for someone who only studied music to get that half-credit in high school.”

Follow Dan Levin on Twitter: @globaldan.

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