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Good evening. Here’s the latest.
1. Stephen Bannon, President Trump’s former chief strategist, has been called to testify before a grand jury — the latest twist in the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
This is the first time the special counsel, Robert Mueller, is known to have used a grand jury subpoena to question a member of Mr. Trump’s inner circle.
It could be a negotiating tactic, or a sign that Mr. Bannon is not the focus of the investigation.
2. A Senate hearing meant to be a long-awaited discussion of border walls turned into an impromptu interrogation about the words President Trump used — or did not use — last week to describe African countries.
“I don’t dispute that the president was using tough language,” said Kirstjen Nielsen, the Homeland Security secretary, above, but she denied hearing Mr. Trump call African nations “shithole countries.”
The Trump administration, meanwhile, bolstered its hard-line immigration stance with a report that concluded that three out of four convicted terrorists in the U.S. were foreign-born. Ms. Nielsen called the data “truly chilling.” But the statistics were notable as much for what they did not contain as for what they did.
3. President Trump’s overall health was “excellent,” the White House physician said after a medical exam. But the president’s weight is 239 pounds and, according to the doctor, he does not get enough exercise.
“I’ve found no reason whatsoever to think the president has any issues whatsoever with his thought processes,” the physician said.
And Mr. Trump will need that mental stamina: A government shutdown could come at the end of this week if Congress doesn’t reach a deal on a spending bill. We clarify what’s at stake for lawmakers in both parties.
4. Another false missile alarm, this time in Japan.
Just days after the state government of Hawaii accidentally sent a cellphone alert that North Korea had launched a missile and that citizens should take shelter — Japan’s public broadcaster did the same thing.
One big difference: It took Hawaii nearly 40 minutes to correct the mistake; in Japan it took five.
5. A shocking story emerged from Southern California, where the police reported finding a group of siblings held captive, some in chains, by their own parents, above.
The discovery came after one sibling, a girl, escaped and called the police, who rescued her 12 brothers and sisters, some shackled to their beds.
The officers did not immediately realize that seven of the siblings were adults because they were emaciated. In fact, they range in age from 2 to 29. The girl who called the police, officials said, looked to be 10, but was actually 17.
6. From our Op-Ed desk: An article published by a feminist website that accuses the actor and comedian Aziz Ansari of sexual misconduct is “arguably the worst thing that has happened to the #MeToo movement,” our columnist writes.
To lump a lousy romantic encounter in with the same movement that brought down men who abused their power “trivializes what #MeToo first stood for,” she said.
7. Oil briefly passed $70 a barrel and there is no shortage of reasons for the prices to climb higher.
And U.S. banks are big winners in the $1.5 trillion tax overhaul. And in another win for banks, the Senate is poised to roll back regulations that were put in place after the 2008 financial crisis.
Separately, it was a bad day for General Electric, which took on a $6.2 billion charge to pay for problems in its finance unit.
8. Yes, the bitcoin bubble is driven by greed — but the fever for cryptocurrency could eventually create something much more important than wealth. (Even if it’s a bit complicated.)
To investigate, we went inside the newly megarich cryptocurrency community. We found a tightknit group of friends — developers, libertarians, Redditors and cypherpunks — who talk about changing the world order.
9. Like a lot of Philip Roth fans, our literary critic wondered what the author of “American Pastoral,” “I Married a Communist” and “The Plot Against America” makes of this strange period we are living in now.
Here, in this exclusive interview, the (former) novelist shares his thoughts on President Trump, #MeToo and retirement.
And here’s another tribute to Dolores O’Riordan, above, the lead singer of the Irish rock band the Cranberries who died on Monday in London.
10. Finally, late night hosts like Stephen Colbert, above, and Jimmy Fallon weren’t about to let President Trump’s reported remarks about Haiti and certain African countries go away.
Mr. Fallon had this to say: “Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci defended Trump, saying, ‘At the end of the day, he’s not a racist.’ Then he said, ‘During the day, it’s a different story.’”
Have a great night.
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