Thursday Briefing – The New York Times

Donald Trump’s indictment for trying to overturn the 2020 election has thrown the U.S. into uncharted territory ahead of the presidential vote next year. Though the former president has been charged dozens of times across three cases, he can still run for president and faces no campaign restrictions.

But if he is convicted on any of the felony counts, things get complicated. The Constitution and U.S. law have clear answers for only some of the questions that would arise. Many of the huge decisions would rest in the hands of federal judges.

The indictment has put Mike Pence, Trump’s former vice president, at the center of an extraordinary moment in U.S. politics. Pence is among Trump’s rivals in the race for the Republican Party nomination, and he criticized Trump on Tuesday, setting himself apart from several other Republican candidates who largely avoided criticizing the former president, even indirectly.

At first, Niger’s coup, which began last week, resembled others that have roiled West Africa in recent years — soldiers detained the president and declared they had seized power; foreign powers were condemnatory but did nothing. But in recent days, things have taken a different course.

The U.S. and France threatened to cut ties with Niger, endangering hundreds of millions of dollars in aid. The deposed and detained president, Mohamed Bazoum, spoke with world leaders, received visitors and posted defiant messages on social media. And neighboring countries threatened to go to war — some to scuttle the coup, others to ensure its success.

Although Niger has a long history of coups, Bazoum promised a democratic future. Elected in Niger’s first peaceful transfer of power in 2021, he advocated girls’ education and tried to reduce the country’s birthrate, the highest in the world. After years of stagnation, the economy had been forecast to grow 7 percent this year.

Ukrainian troops who were trained and armed by the U.S. and its allies have become bogged down in dense Russian minefields under constant fire from artillery and helicopter gunships. Units got lost. One unit lost its advantage by delaying a nighttime attack until dawn. Another fared so badly that commanders yanked it off the battlefield altogether.

Now Ukrainian military commanders have changed tactics, focusing on wearing down the Russian forces. But early results have been mixed. Ukrainian troops have yet to make sweeping gains, raising questions about the quality of their foreign training and about whether tens of billions of dollars’ worth of weapons have been able to transform the military into a NATO-standard fighting force.

In Ukraine: The high-stakes standoff over grain is not only escalating tensions in the Black Sea and raising worries over the global food supply; it’s also creating challenges for farmers across southern Ukraine.

Two Canadian men — Eddy Ambrose and Richard Beauvais, above — who were switched 67 years ago after being born to families of different ethnicities are now questioning who they really are.

One had a difficult childhood made more traumatic by Canada’s brutal policies toward Indigenous people; the other enjoyed a happy, carefree upbringing, steeped in the Ukrainian Catholic culture of his adopted family and community.

Goals against 100 clubs: From Albacete Balompié to Atlanta United, Lionel Messi’s goals visualized.

Meet Lauren James: England’s golden girl, and the world’s best player in waiting.

Formula One summer break: Why the shutdown is essential.

Women’s World Cup: Jamaica and South Africa head into the round of 16; Sweden won its group and earns a matchup against the U.S.

Through the service Cameo, celebrities and others can be paid to make personalized videos commemorating birthdays, bachelorette parties, divorces and the like. Last month, there was a 137 percent increase in the number of accounts reactivated or created on the service compared with June. (Hollywood actors went on strike on July 14.)

With bills looming, Cheyenne Jackson, an actor who has appeared in the “American Horror Story” TV shows and in “30 Rock,” was among those to make the leap. “My husband cringed a little,” he said. “But you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.”

The latest: Movie and television studios have asked for a meeting tomorrow with the screenwriters’ union to discuss negotiations, the first sign of movement in a three-month stalemate.

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