William Barr, North Korea, Pinterest: Your Thursday Briefing

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Good morning,

We’re covering the scheduled release today of Robert Mueller’s report, North Korea’s claim that it has tested a new weapon, and the growing number of abortion bans in the U.S.

The Justice Department plans to give Congress a redacted version of Robert Mueller’s inquiry into Russian election interference between 11 a.m. and noon Eastern.

The Times will have live updates and analysis of the findings. Here’s what to expect and a link to the special counsel’s website, where the report is to be posted after it’s delivered (1990s-style, on CDs) to Congress. We’re also planning to send a special edition of the Morning Briefing email later today.

Attorney General William Barr plans to hold a news conference at 9:30 a.m. to discuss the report before its release. Mr. Barr determined last month that President Trump did not illegally obstruct justice and said that the special counsel had found no conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia. But some members of Mr. Mueller’s team have told associates that the report was more troubling for Mr. Trump than Mr. Barr has indicated.

Another angle: Justice Department officials have repeatedly discussed the report’s conclusions with White House lawyers, our reporters were told, aiding the president’s legal team as it prepares a rebuttal.


In what appeared to be a warning from Kim Jong-un to President Trump, North Korea said today that it had test-fired a new type of “tactical guided weapon.” There was no evidence that the test involved a nuclear detonation or an intercontinental ballistic missile.

The two leaders have met twice, but they failed to reach an agreement in February, when Mr. Trump rejected Mr. Kim’s proposal to lift the harshest sanctions in return for North Korea’s suspending operations at its largest nuclear facility.

What’s next: Mr. Kim said recently that he would give the U.S. until the end of the year to come up with proposals that would lift sanctions, an implicit warning that North Korea might resume nuclear and intercontinental missile testing. Today’s test suggested that he might raise the stakes sooner.


Donations from wealthy French families and companies to rebuild the fire-ravaged cathedral in Paris are nearing $1 billion, intensifying the resentment that has been on display during the Yellow Vest protests about economic inequality.

“If they’re able to give dozens of millions to rebuild Notre Dame, they should stop telling us that there is no money to pay for social inequalities,” one labor union leader said.

Another angle: The Paris Fire Department’s chaplain, the Rev. Jean-Marc Fournier, has emerged as a central figure in the mission to rescue artworks and relics from the blaze. He told our reporter how more than 100 firefighters carried the precious pieces to safety.

Yesterday: A man carrying two cans of gasoline, two bottles of lighter fluid and two lighters was arrested after entering St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, the police said. The church was undamaged.


So-called heartbeat bills — a ban on abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, often before a woman even knows she is pregnant — have been on the fringes of the anti-abortion movement for years. But four states have passed such measures this year, and heartbeat bills are moving through the legislatures of 11 others, according to one policy expert.

With an increasingly conservative Supreme Court under President Trump, anti-abortion activists hope to overturn Roe v. Wade, the decision that established a federal protection for abortion in 1973.

Quotable: “Now is our time,” said Michael Gonidakis, the president of Ohio Right to Life in Columbus. “This is the best court we’ve had in my lifetime, in my parents’ lifetime.”

The Daily: Today’s episode is the second of a two-part series on abortion. Listen to Part 1 here.

During Susan Wojcicki’s tenure as chief executive of YouTube, she has had to contend with uploads of pedophilia and mass murder. Yet she has largely escaped the public scrutiny that her peers on other platforms have faced.

To get a sense of what she is like as a leader, our reporter spoke to more than a dozen current and former employees, and Ms. Wojcicki herself.

Late-night comedy: Several of the hosts were eager to see Robert Mueller’s report. Jimmy Kimmel said, “Political analysts are going to try to read through these redactions like teenage boys trying to watch scrambled porn on cable in 1985.”

What we’re reading: This piece from The Bulwark. “It’s a compelling counterpoint to the idea that being gay and running for president isn’t a big deal in 2019,” says Jeremy Peters, our national political reporter. “Tim Miller’s reaction to Pete Buttigieg kissing his husband onstage at a rally is a reminder that this is still very new.”


Smarter Living: The summer blockbuster season is near. Before you sign up for a movie subscription service like MoviePass, Sinemia or AMC’s A-List, check which works at the theaters you go to most often. Be sure to read the terms and conditions, since services have caps on the number of films you can see, or limits on the number of showings you can attend.

And we have recommendations on affordable, reusable stand-ins for single-use plastic straws, spoons and containers.

Thailand’s king is Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun. That’s not his entire name, but that’s all we use in The Times.

The leader of the Future Forward Party, which shocked the Thai military establishment in last month’s elections by coming third in the popular vote, is Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit.

Family names — a 20th-century innovation in Thailand — are constructed to be distinct, and that often means extra syllables.

If foreigners find Thai names to be a mouthful, so, apparently, do Thais, who use nicknames in everyday life. Many people are called Lek (Thai for small), Nok (bird) and Poo (crab and, please, it’s pronounced more like “boo”).

This writer’s younger son has played soccer against an Ice, a Python and a Bar Code. A girl in our building is called DTAC, which is the name of a cellphone operator.

But nothing compares with the full name for Bangkok. It starts with Krungthep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya and continues for more than 40 syllables.


That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.

— Chris


Thank you
To Mark Josephson, Eleanor Stanford, Chris Harcum and Kenneth R. Rosen for the break from the news. Hannah Beech, our Southeast Asia bureau chief, wrote today’s Back Story. You can reach the team at briefing@nytimes.com.

P.S.
• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Today’s episode is the second of a two-part series on abortion.
• Here’s today’s mini crossword puzzle, and a clue: Toss in the trash (5 letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• The Times has more than 30 international bureaus. More than a few have cats.


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