Your Monday Briefing – The New York Times

Over the weekend, Donald Trump said that he expected to be arrested tomorrow. In a post on his social network, Truth Social, he sought to rally supporters and called for protests. Within hours, Speaker Kevin McCarthy said he wanted House committees to investigate whether federal funds were being used for “politically motivated prosecutions.”

New York prosecutors have signaled that an indictment may be imminent. But they have not told Trump’s lawyers when the charges — expected to stem from a 2016 hush money payment to a porn star — will be sought. If an arrest is made, it will be an unprecedented event. No U.S. president has ever been charged with a crime.

Trump’s political operation is trying to use the news to turn the base of the Republican Party against his expected rival for the 2024 presidential nomination, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida. Immediately after Trump’s post on Saturday, his operatives and friendly media outlets began publicly pressuring DeSantis to condemn law enforcement officials in New York, portraying his silence as bordering on treason.

For more: Here is a look at some of the criminal laws that different prosecutors appear to be weighing and how they might apply to Trump’s actions.

Timing: A statement from Trump’s spokesman did not explain how the former president had landed on Tuesday as an arrest date. But even if the grand jury were to vote to indict Trump today, a person with knowledge of the details said, a surrender tomorrow was unlikely, given the need to arrange timing, travel and other logistics.

Related: Trump faces other inquiries into his efforts to overturn the result of the 2020 election in Georgia; his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol; and his potential obstruction of an investigation into classified documents.

As Xi Jinping, China’s leader, prepares to meet with Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, in Moscow this week, Chinese officials have been framing his trip as a mission of peace. But American and European officials are watching to see whether Xi will add fuel to Putin’s full-scale war in Ukraine.

U.S. officials say China is still considering giving weapons — mainly artillery shells — to Russia for use in Ukraine. And even a call by Xi for a cease-fire would amount to an effort to strengthen Putin’s battlefield position, they say, by leaving Russia in control of more territory than when the invasion began.

American intelligence agencies have concluded that relations between China and Russia have deepened during the war. The two countries continue to conduct joint military exercises, and Beijing has joined Moscow in regularly denouncing NATO. China remains one of the biggest buyers of Russian oil, which has helped Moscow finance its invasion.

Charges for Putin: The International Criminal Court issued a warrant for Putin’s arrest on Friday. It claims that Putin bears individual criminal responsibility for the deportation of thousands of Ukrainian children to Russia. The warrant may affect his ability to travel overseas.

In other news from the war:

Did the coronavirus jump into people from wild animals at a Chinese market, or was it leaked from a lab? Conclusive proof for either hypothesis remains out of reach. At the same time, stonewalling by China has left scientists with incomplete evidence. And in the U.S., Democrats and Republicans have filtered the available evidence through their partisan lenses.

Some Republicans grew fixated on idea of a lab leak after Donald Trump raised it in the early months of the pandemic despite scant evidence. That turned the theory toxic for many Democrats, who viewed it as an effort by Trump to distract from his administration’s failings in containing the spread of the virus.

The intense political debate, now in its fourth year, has at times turned scientists into lobbyists, competing for policymakers’ time and favor. Now, some researchers are pushing journalists, policymakers and skeptical Democrats to take the lab leak idea seriously. Recent polls show that roughly two-thirds of Americans believe that Covid probably started in a lab.

Latest: Findings reported last week bolstered the market theory. Mining a trove of genetic data taken from swabs at a market in Wuhan in early 2020, virus experts said they found samples containing genetic material from both the coronavirus and illegally traded raccoon dogs. The finding, while hardly conclusive, pointed to an infected animal.

After 20 years in Brooklyn, the sisters of the Monastery of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St. Joseph left New York City for rural Pennsylvania in late January. Now there are just four monasteries left in the city, one each in the Bronx and Queens, and two in Brooklyn.

The last straw for the sisters came in 2020, with the explosion of late-night partying on their street involving cars with powerful speakers. “Our walls shook and our windows shattered,” Mother Ana Maria said.

The Premier League manager who turned against his club: Antonio Conte’s astonishing attack on his Tottenham players may speed his exit from the club. Here’s how he set Spurs ablaze.

The identity crisis at the heart of India’s showpiece soccer final: The Indian Super League is a television spectacle, but what is it like in person? The Athletic went to Goa find out.

Christian Pulisic shows a new willingness to be vocal: The U.S. star has preferred to lead the national team by example, but a new interview shows that may be changing.

The leisure industry in the U.S. is facing a surge in demand for afternoon services, especially in fitness and cosmetics, as remote workers are opting to extend their leisure time into the afternoon and tack on extra hours of work after dark.

The rise of afternoon leisure could be playing an under-examined role in driving America’s economic rebound since 2020, researchers said. In the past, the amount of time people can devote to services — shopping, entertainment, beauty treatments — has been constrained by the rigidity of a 9-to-5 grind. Remote work partly did away with that constraint.

“We used to get a lot more people leaving early from class in the morning — they wouldn’t stay for Shavasana,” the chief executive of a yoga chain said, referring to the final resting portion of a yoga class. With more people now working remotely, such an exodus no longer occurs, she added.

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