Migrants, NATO, Supreme Court: Your Tuesday Evening Briefing


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Good evening. Here’s the latest.

1. The family reunions have begun.

Four families that had been separated by border authorities were reunited, and 34 more reunions were planned by the end of the day, officials said. Officials cited safety concerns to explain why the total fell short of the requirement set by an original court order: that all children under age 5 — a total of 102, by the government’s latest count — be reunited by Tuesday.

The reunited families were set up with ankle monitors to make sure they appear at court hearings on their immigration cases. Above, a reunited family in Washington last month.

The government has another deadline to unify older children with their families: July 26.

2. The fight over the Supreme Court nominee is on.

Democrats painted Brett Kavanaugh, left, President Trump’s newly named nominee, as an enemy of abortion rights and health care.

Judge Kavanaugh, a savvy and politically connected Washington insider, could, if confirmed, radically reshape the court rightward.


3. Mission accomplished.

After an ordeal that stretched over 18 days, all 12 boys and their soccer coach have been rescued safely from a flooded cave in Thailand. And the men who stayed with them underground for eight days — a doctor, four divers and Navy SEALs — returned unharmed, too.

4. President Trump doubled down on his criticism of NATO ahead of the alliance’s summit meeting in Brussels on Wednesday.

“The U.S. is spending many times more than any other country in order to protect them,” he tweeted. “Not fair to the U.S. taxpayer.”

Mr. Trump’s remarks prompted a retort from Donald Tusk, the European Council president: “US doesn’t have and won’t have a better ally than EU. We spend on defense much more than Russia and as much as China.”

Our correspondent was on the ground in Latvia, bordering Russia, where NATO is no abstraction. Above, a NATO military exercise in Latvia.

And the first lady will join Mr. Trump on the trip, ending in his one-on-one meeting with Vladimir Putin of Russia next week.


5. President Trump pardoned two Oregon ranchers who had been serving out sentences for arson on federal land.

Dwight Hammond, above, and his son, Steven Hammond, attracted widespread attention to the issue of the management of federal land. Their case inspired an antigovernment group’s weekslong standoff at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

Conservation groups quickly condemned the move as “a dangerous message to America’s park rangers, wildland firefighters, law enforcement officers and public lands managers.”


6. France is headed to the World Cup final.

A goal in the 51st minute propelled France to victory over Belgium and into the final for the first time since 2006.

Tomorrow, England and Croatia will battle for a spot in Sunday’s final. Be sure to keep up with all our World Cup coverage here.


7. Turkey may be sliding toward a financial crisis.

The government has been subsidizing megaconstruction projects, a favorite of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was sworn in for another term this week. But the country’s currency has plummeted in value, and the business world is shaking.

One global economist took a grim view of Turkey: “It has all the ingredients of the beginning of a failed state.”

8. The making of a moral hero:

A new book, “The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela,” contains 255 handwritten letters, which show his heartbreak and inspiration, from the period of his imprisonment in South Africa.

With words as his only ammunition, the writings track Mandela’s intellectual evolution into a clarion voice in the anti-apartheid movement.

Watch four former political prisoners read from the letters.


9. A Chinese empress gets a second look.

Empress Dowager Cixi — a contemporary of Queen Victoria who ruled China from 1861 to 1908 — has long been a contentious, unpopular figure.

But now some scholars are wondering: Did she also bring China into the modern age?

Above, the Hall of Dispelling Clouds, where her birthday is celebrated.

Our correspondent looked at history’s new consideration of this female leader — ruling at a time when “women in China were treated little better than spittoons.”


10. Finally, the late-night TV shows are back.

Jimmy Kimmel, fresh from vacation, didn’t pull punches. He disputed an assertion President Trump made at a rally in South Carolina recently, claiming that the comedian used to wait eagerly outside the studio when he was booked as a guest.

“Even the people who like the president know he makes things up,” Kimmel said. “But still, it’s weird to hear him tell a lie that specifically involves you.”

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Source : Nytimes