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President Trump faces tests of his political survival, the U.S. government shutdown has become the country’s longest in history, and the Greek prime minister calls for a confidence vote. Here’s the latest:
Perils mount for the Trump presidency.
The shift of power in Congress and news reports are combining to confront President Trump with the prospect of a political war for survival “that may make the still-unresolved partial government shutdown pale by comparison,” our chief White House correspondent writes.
News reports: A Times report detailed how, after Mr. Trump fired James Comey as F.B.I. director, the bureau became so concerned by the president’s behavior that investigators took the aggressive step of opening a counterintelligence inquiry into whether he had been working on behalf of Russia. That inquiry was taken over by the special counsel, Robert Mueller, when he was appointed.
And The Washington Post first reported that the president had gone to great lengths to conceal his conversations with President Vladimir Putin of Russia over the past two years. Current and former officials told our reporters that this practice has caused anxiety within Mr. Trump’s own administration.
Congress: Democrats in the House of Representatives might move to subpoena interpreters present at the meetings. And on Tuesday, they will grill former Attorney General William Barr, who has been nominated by Mr. Trump to assume his old office, about his approach to the special counsel. Next month, they’ll question Mr. Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, and they cautioned Mr. Trump against any attempt to influence or discourage his testimony.
The Greek government is thrown into turmoil.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras of Greece called for a confidence vote after a coalition partner on the right quit over a proposed pact on Macedonia’s name.
What happened: Days ago, Macedonian lawmakers agreed to officially change their country’s name to the Republic of North Macedonia, in order to end a long-running dispute with Greece and open the door for the small Balkan nation’s membership in NATO and the E.U. But the deal infuriated the Greek defense minister, prompting him to resign.
History: Greece has long effectively blocked Macedonia from NATO, insisting that Macedonians were a Hellenistic people and therefore the name could not be claimed by the Slavic people living in the country today. Many Greeks believe that the new name implies claims to Greek territory, because Greece has a northern region named Macedonia.
What’s next? The confidence vote is expected to be held this week, after two days of debate from Tuesday morning. The deal on the name could go before the Greek Parliament for approval as soon as this month.
A new kind of boatlift on France’s Channel coast.
Boulogne-sur-Mer, France’s largest fishing port, has been spooked by a surge in attempted and even successful thefts of fishing boats. The culprits are migrant smugglers. They are increasingly secreting migrants, mainly Iranians who can afford the high costs, across the English Channel to Britain in small vessels, some of them stolen.
Numbers: Last year, there were 78 crossings and attempts to cross the Channel, involving a total of about 500 migrants — 10 times as many as in 2017. More than half made it across. No one is known to have died so far, but there is fear that a fatality is inevitable.
Impact: The relatively small numbers notwithstanding, headlines and anti-immigration politicians in Britain are calling it a crisis. Some French fishermen are vowing to sit up all night in their boats, cradling their guns.
Here’s what else is happening
Huawei: The Chinese telecommunications giant fired an employee who was arrested in Poland on charges of spying for Beijing, the latest diplomatic tangle for the company after the arrest of its chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, in Canada last year.
Poland: The left-leaning mayor of Gdansk was stabbed in the heart on Sunday night while he spoke at a fund-raiser by an assailant with political grievances, officials said.
Afghanistan: Dozens of boys are imprisoned in Kabul as national security threats, many of them accused of trying to become suicide bombers. What to do with them when they finish their sentences is a conundrum for the authorities.
Nissan: In 1991, the Japanese automaker created a small batch of the quirky Figaro model and never even exported it out of the country. But today, it enjoys immense popularity in Britain.
Paris: Four people were killed in a powerful explosion at a bakery that is believed to have been caused by a gas leak.
Syria: The U.S. military started withdrawing some equipment as part of President Trump’s order to wind down America’s presence there, amid growing confusion and mixed signals over the pullout.
Iran: Senior Pentagon officials are afraid that President Trump’s hawkish national security adviser, John Bolton, could precipitate a conflict with Iran at a time when Mr. Trump is losing leverage in the Middle East.
Saudi Arabia: The young Saudi woman who fled her family and spent a week lobbying for her freedom from Bangkok’s international airport arrived safely in Canada, where she was granted asylum.
Who is MacKenzie Bezos? A novelist who, as the wife of Jeff Bezos, played an integral part in getting Amazon started. And now, after 25 years of marriage, she could be awarded one of the largest divorce settlements to date.
Tips for a more fulfilling life.
Recipe of the day: Start the week with a comforting bowl of Tuscan farro soup.
How to be a writer: There’s no shortage of advice from famous authors, from J.K. Rowling to William Faulkner.
Never miss another supermoon. Or solar eclipse, or meteor shower. Sync your calendar with the solar system.
On Wall Street, it’s “earnings season.”
Before your eyes glaze over, here’s what that means — and why it’s more interesting than usual.
We’re about to see how corporate America did in the past three months.
It’s the first chance for investors to hear from chief executives since the market went haywire in December. A big reason for that sell-off was concern about the economy and corporate profits.
In the “preseason,” Apple warned that fewer people in China were buying iPhones than it would like, and American Airlines said it wasn’t getting as much revenue from every passenger as it wanted.
Such details help gauge the health of the economy, and that’s where the trouble can begin. If too many chief executives start to warn about problems ahead, investors could see their worst fears confirmed — and stocks could start to fall again.
Maybe don’t check your 401(k) until this is over.
Mohammed Hadi, our business news director, wrote today’s Back Story.
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