Donald Trump Jr., Macron, Senate Republicans: Your Weekend Briefing

Here are the week’s top stories, and a look ahead.

1. For President Trump, politics has been hitting home.

Scrutiny of the family sharpened after his son Donald Trump Jr., above, revealed that he’d met with a Kremlin-linked lawyer in June 2016 in hopes of unearthing incriminating information on Hillary Clinton. Also in attendance were a Russian-American lobbyist and top campaign advisers, including Jared Kushner.

Here’s our look at how the meeting fits into the timeline of other events last summer.

Many conservatives don’t seem that bothered by the revelations involving Russia. Why? Our analyst points to admiration for President Vladimir Putin — especially for outmaneuvering Barack Obama on the world stage.

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2. While visiting with President Emmanuel Macron of France in Paris for Bastille Day, President Trump defended his son’s actions and said he was “a wonderful young man.”

The two leaders sought to play down sharp differences over trade, immigration and climate change, and, in the end, forged an unlikely friendship. Above, the presidents with their wives, Brigitte, left, and Melania.

Back in the U.S., the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity — formed by Mr. Trump to investigate possible election fraud — will hold its first meeting this week, without the extensive personal information on voters it requested from states.


3. On Capitol Hill, the Senate majority leader announced Saturday night that he will delay votes on a bill to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, because Senator John McCain, above, is recovering from surgery.

Without Mr. McCain, Republicans would not have the votes they need to take up or pass the bill this week. Two crucial Republican senators have said they remain unswayed by the newly revised health care proposal.

A key change would allow insurance companies to provide the kind of bare-bones plans some deride as “junk insurance.” The bill also provides $45 billion for opioid addiction treatment.

Our magazine writer traveled to a small town in New Hampshire, where one police officer has been tasked with trying to curb the rash of opioid overdoses.


4. China cremated its most prominent political prisoner and only Nobel Peace laureate, Liu Xiaobo, and dropped his ashes into the sea, ensuring that there would be no grave to serve as a magnet for pro-democracy protesters.

Long jailed, Mr. Liu developed liver cancer and died last week under guard at a government hospital, a pointed reminder that human rights issues have receded in Western diplomacy with China.

In 1989, Mr. Liu kept vigil on Tiananmen Square to protect protesters from encroaching soldiers and in 2008 initiated a pro-democracy petition, earning the enmity of the Communist leaders.


5. A gruesome murder case is still unfolding outside of Philadelphia, where the bodies of four missing young men were unearthed at a remote farm.

Cosmo DiNardo, above — who has been described by prosecutors, his own lawyers and the police as mentally ill — confessed and named a cousin as an accomplice. Officials say drug deals were involved.

Here’s what we know so far.

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6. In a medical milestone, a gene-altering leukemia therapy was unanimously recommended by an F.D.A. panel, putting it on track to be the first gene therapy to reach the market.

Emily Whitehead, 12, above, is the first child ever given the altered cells. Now cancer free, she helped lobby the panel for approval.

In other health news, a study found that phthalates — chemicals banned from many products as potentially harmful to children — exist in high concentrations in the processed cheese powder in boxed mac and cheese products.


7. Turning to climate, Antarctica’s landscape has dramatically changed. A massive chunk of floating ice that weighs more than a trillion metric tons broke away.

News organizations trying to help audiences understand the scope of the development compared the size of the iceberg to Luxembourg, Qatar and, in our case, Delaware.


8. Now to the borderlands of the United States and Mexico. To the people who live there, the edges of these two countries are where language, culture, family and business overlap.

We take you there in this three-part video series.


9. The prime minister of Iraq, Haider al-Abadi, declared victory over the Islamic State in Mosul, but the scale of the humanitarian crisis there is only beginning to emerge.

Our correspondent traveled to the battered city to show what ISIS left behind from three years of rule — like a sword, a ruined church and a child’s backpack filled with explosives.


10. Let’s escape briefly to a place where visuals and poetry merge into a singular experience. We asked six photographers to use works by six rising American poets for inspiration.

The photographers approached the assignment in unexpected ways, and each offered insight into his or her process and interpretation.

Damon Winter, immersed in a poem that spoke to grief, took the photograph above in Ithaca, N.Y.


11. In London, Garbiñe Muguruza, above, beat Venus Williams in two sets, becoming the first Spanish woman to take the Wimbledon singles title since 1994.

And Roger Federer won his record eighth Wimbledon title by defeating Marin Cilic in straight sets The victory, his first at Wimbledon since 2012, made him the oldest man to win at the All England Club in the Open era, which began in 1968.

Across the pond, the U.S. Women’s Open golf tournament is in its final round at the Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey. On Friday, when President Trump attended, some activists protested the choice of locale, but most of the players welcomed his presence.


12. For “Game of Thrones” fans, winter is finally here. Before Season 7 kicks off tonight (9 p.m. Eastern, HBO), let’s review what you need to remember. And our in-house G.O.T. obsessives are ready to email you a weekly newsletter with exclusive interviews and explainers. Sign up here.

Also, if you’re using your friend’s ex-boyfriend’s parents’ password to watch “Game of Thrones” or any TV show, you’re not alone. Good news: Our examination of the legalities suggests the practice is probably O.K.


13. Finally, we leave you with a bit of armchair travel to the lonely landscape of the North Dakota Badlands, where dinosaurs and rhinoceroses once roamed.

Travelers join paleontologists to help excavate cinematic favorites like triceratops and Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Our writer said she left a dig “dusty, blistered, sunburned, scraped and exhausted,” but also uplifted by “a greater appreciation of our fleeting place in history, our smallness on this earth and how much there is left to discover about the places we think we know.”

Have a great week.

Photographs may appear out of order for some readers. Viewing this version of the briefing should help.

Your Weekend Briefing is published Sundays at 6 a.m. Eastern.

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