Tuesday Briefing – The New York Times

Speaker Mike Johnson said this week he plans to push forward a long-stalled national security spending package to help Israel, Ukraine and other U.S. allies, along with a bill to appease conservatives opposed to the support from Kiev.

Johnson, a Republican, has agonized for weeks over whether and how to push through crucial aid for Ukraine despite stiff resistance from the far-right faction of his conference. His announcement was the first concrete indication that he had chosen a path to follow.

This path appears complex. Johnson has said he will put together a legislative package that more or less mirrors the $95 billion relief bill passed by the Senate two months ago, albeit in pieces. Lawmakers would vote separately on aid to Israel, Ukraine and allies such as Taiwan, and then on another measure containing policies popular among Republicans.

It's unclear whether the convoluted strategy will succeed in the House, where Johnson has a tenuous hold on his caucus and a slim majority. Republicans could try to block the package from passing, and even if they let the legislation pass, its success would depend on a complicated mix of bipartisan coalitions to pass. And the plan could endanger Johnson's speakership, which is reeling under the threat of ousting him.

The first criminal trial of a former US president began yesterday in Manhattan, with hundreds of citizens summoned to potentially join the jury that will decide Donald Trump's fate.

More than half of the first group of 96 potential jurors raised their hands to say they couldn't be fair to Trump. The judge immediately fired them.

The Manhattan case, one of four indictments against the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, may be the only one to go to trial before Election Day.

Trump, who faces up to four years in prison if convicted on charges of falsifying documents to cover up a sex scandal, appeared in court looking alternately irritated and exhausted. When he arrived, he called the case “an assault on America,” and later appeared to doze off.

For more, the trial pushes the presidential campaign into uncharted territory; here's a glimpse of the classroom and five takeaways from the first day.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces a delicate calculation. He must decide how to respond to Iran so as not to appear weak, while trying to avoid alienating the Biden administration and other allies who have helped defend Israel despite their impatience with Netanyahu's handling of the war in Gaza .

An Israeli official briefed on the government's discussions said it was considering several options, from diplomacy to an imminent attack. But there was no immediate public statement from the ministers or Netanyahu.

The world's coral reefs are in the throes of a global bleaching event that is expected to affect the most coral reefs ever recorded.

Bleaching is caused by stressors, in this case extraordinarily high ocean temperatures, and can kill corals. Currently, more than 54% of the world's coral area has experienced heat stress equivalent to bleaching levels in the past year, and that number is increasing by about 1% a week, an expert said.

Novelist Salman Rushdie was speaking at an event in New York in 2022 when a man armed with a knife ran onto the stage and stabbed him 10 times.

In his memoir “Knife: Meditations After an Attempted Murder,” which comes out today, Rushdie addresses the attack and credits his wife, the poet and writer Rachel Eliza Griffiths, with helping him recover. The book is very different from his previous third-person memoir “Joseph Anton,” Rushdie told my colleague Sarah Lyall.

“This is not fictional,” Rushdie said. “I mean, someone sticks a knife in you, that's pretty personal.”

For more: Our critic said “Knife” was “an enlightening book. It reminds us of the threats the free world faces.”

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