Mueller, Syria, Trade: Your Evening Briefing

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Good evening. Here’s the latest.

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1. President Trump may have tweeted himself into legal trouble.

The president’s tweets attacking Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey are being scrutinized as part of a broad inquiry into possible obstruction of justice.

The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, above, is examining whether the actions add up to attempts to obstruct the investigation by both intimidating witnesses and pressuring senior law enforcement officials to tamp down the inquiry.

Mr. Mueller wants to question the president about the tweets. Mr. Trump’s lawyers said that none of the evidence Mr. Mueller is looking at constitutes obstruction.

2. As details emerge of a potential truce with Europe over tariffs, the outlines of President Trump’s trade plan are sounding very familiar.

He said the U.S. and E.U. would work to lower tariffs and other trade barriers. They would try to reduce bureaucratic roadblocks to industrial goods flowing across the Atlantic, while ending conflicting regulations for drugs and chemicals.

The United States was pursuing much of the same under President Obama. Mr. Trump had shelved his predecessor’s trade talks, and now appears to be back on the same path.

Trade spats aside, do you live in a political bubble? We’ve created an extremely detailed map of the 2016 voting patterns, from your neighborhood to precincts across the country.

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3. Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, a powerful hard-line Republican and rising conservative star, is running to succeed Paul D. Ryan as House speaker.

Mr. Jordan’s announcement throws another wrench in the already shaky succession plan of Mr. Ryan. Publicly, Republican leaders have backed the House majority leader, Kevin McCarthy of California. Privately, they have said Mr. McCarthy does not have the votes. Steve Scalise of Louisiana is also waiting in the wings.

Enter the avidly pro-Trump Mr. Jordan, who is not likely to muster a majority. His announcement was a display of remarkable confidence, especially as he faces accusations of ignoring sexual abuse as a college wrestling coach at Ohio State University in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

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4. 1,634.

That’s how many migrant families the federal government was rushing to reunite by Thursday’s court-ordered deadline.

Families deemed “eligible” for reunification have been reunited in chaotic scenes. Many families in Arizona, Texas and New Mexico were sent to federal offices that were designated as “staging facilities.” In a flurry of activity, migrant children were evacuated overnight from New York.

But there are at least 917 other parents who were not cleared to recover their children this week because they failed criminal background or parental verification checks. Their cases remain uncertain.

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5. Hundreds of Syrian families have suddenly learned that their missing relatives have been registered as dead by the government. How many people, or how they died, is still not known.

It appears to be the first public acknowledgment by President Bashar al-Assad’s government that hundreds if not thousands of prisoners died in custody. The prisoners included rebels as well as political protesters. Above, Syrian prisoners who were released last year.

“The regime is closing one chapter and starting a new one,” one analyst said. “It is telling the rebels and the activists that this chapter is gone, that whatever hope in some surviving revolutionary spirit has been crushed.”

6. “We’re going to run Pakistan in a way it’s never been run before.”

Imran Khan, a former cricket star and fierce critic of the U.S., addressed the nation after early election results showed his party decisively ahead, and Mr. Khan on the cusp of becoming prime minister of the nuclear-armed nation. Above, supporters of Mr. Khan in Karachi.

Friends and foes alike describe Mr. Khan as relentless, charming and highly unpredictable. Yet his links to the powerful Pakistani military have drawn concern: Rights groups said the army and intelligence officers pressured, threatened and blackmailed rival politicians.

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7. Facebook stock fell more than 18 percent, erasing over $110 billion from its market value in minutes.

The social media platform has become increasingly susceptible to political pressure, and the plunge came a day after a poor second-quarter earnings report showed slowing growth. Should Wall Street have seen the problems brewing at Facebook? Here’s what it missed.

In other tech news, our columnist considers President Trump’s criticism of the European Union’s $5.1 billion antitrust fine on Google’s parent company. On the merits of the case, Mr. Trump has a point, he writes.

8. It was long rumored that there were three unpublished chapters of Malcolm X’s autobiography somewhere.

Now, at least one of the chapters has surfaced and was sold at a Manhattan auction house today for $7,000 to the New York Public Library.

The unpublished material, or at least some of it, was auctioned off with another artifact scholars have never seen: the manuscript for the published book, covered in annotations from Malcolm X and his collaborator on the book, Alex Haley.

But no one placed the minimum $40,000 bid for the 241-page manuscript, leaving it unclear where it will end up.

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9. “I want to help you solve problems. I want to be an additive to your life.”

When Gwyneth Paltrow started her Goop newsletter in 2008, she says, she only ever wanted to be someone who recommended things. At first, Goop appealed to an audience that admired Ms. Paltrow’s rarefied lifestyle. Ms. Paltrow wanted you to have what she had.

But Goop has since become a $250 million company making clothes and beauty products, and one that many love to hate.

“There was no part of the self that Goop didn’t aim to serve,” our writer details in a profile of Ms. Paltrow for The New York Times Magazine.

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10. Finally, let’s turn our eyes to the sky.

For the past few weeks, Mars has been growing brighter in the night sky. The red planet has slowly approached a state that astronomers call opposition, when it and the sun are on opposite sides of the Earth.

Yesterday we learned there’s a chance of alien life on the planet. Tomorrow, everyone in the world can enjoy Mars as it reaches its closest approach. Here’s how to see it.

Have a starry night.

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