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Michael Cohen, President Trump, Kashmir: Your Thursday Briefing

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Good morning.

Michael Cohen reveals a darkish image of President Trump, Pakistan shoots down Indian jets and the Vatican investigates Cardinal Pell. Right here’s the newest:

That was Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former private lawyer and fixer, describing the president throughout his testimony earlier than a Home committee that painted a scathing image of the president’s motivations and inside workings. Learn his full opening assertion right here.

Republican lawmakers spent a lot of their time within the listening to assailing Mr. Cohen’s credibility, noting that he’s going to jail for beforehand mendacity to Congress.

Mr. Cohen mentioned that Mr. Trump lied in regards to the Trump Tower challenge in Moscow, saying that he personally monitored and directed negotiations to construct the tower.

Mr. Cohen mentioned he additionally suspected that Mr. Trump knew of the June 2016 assembly wherein his son, son-in-law and marketing campaign chairman met with Russians who mentioned that they had “grime” on Hillary Clinton.

Proof: Mr. Cohen offered paperwork to again up components of his testimony, together with copies of checks to pay Stormy Daniels for her silence and monetary statements that he mentioned confirmed how Mr. Trump inflated and deflated his price.

Case research: We broke down two episodes which have drawn the scrutiny of investigators, wherein Mr. Cohen has undermined Mr. Trump’s narrative.

Historical past: Mr. Cohen and Mr. Trump shared a novel, 10-year lengthy relationship, a mixture of the bond between a father and son, the skilled distance of an lawyer and shopper, and the blind loyalty of a mafia henchmen to a criminal offense boss.

The political drama on Capitol Hill was in President Trump’s ideas as he arrived in Vietnam for conferences with the North Korean chief, Kim Jong-un.

Michael Cohen, the president tweeted, was “mendacity with a purpose to cut back his jail time!”

Mr. Trump then had a one-on-one change with Mr. Kim in downtown Hanoi earlier than sitting down for dinner with prime aides from either side. Formal talks between the 2 sides happen right now, with Mr. Cohen’s excoriating characterizations of Mr. Trump echoing from the opposite facet of the world.

One aim: For many years, the U.S. has been monitoring a distant web site in North Korea known as Yongbyon, the place it’s believed the nation produces nuclear gas. If Mr. Trump can cease gas manufacturing there, he would successfully have “frozen” the North’s nuclear program. If not, North Korea may sustain its weapons program whereas talks drag on.

Media: 4 American journalists had been barred from overlaying Mr. Trump’s dinner with Mr. Kim after two of them known as out questions in an earlier look of the 2 leaders — a extremely uncommon retaliatory transfer at a intently watched international occasion.

Go deeper: Thae Yong-ho, a member of North Korea’s political elite who in 2016 grew to become the highest-ranking diplomat to defect in years, mentioned in an interview with our Beijing bureau chief that Mr. Kim has no intention of giving up his weapons and is simply shopping for time.

Pakistan’s army mentioned it shot down two Indian fighter jets that had entered its airspace and captured a pilot, escalating the battle between the 2 nuclear-armed neighbors and elevating issues that they might be veering towards one other struggle.

Indian officers confirmed that one Air Drive pilot was in Pakistani custody. Three movies of the pilot emerged on social media. One confirmed him struggling to fend off a mob in plainclothes in the course of a forest, one other confirmed him answering questions from Pakistani safety forces. He was recognized as Wing Commander Abhi Nandan.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is now confronted with a political disaster forward of coming elections. Lawmakers from 21 opposition events issued an announcement condemning how he dealt with the present “Pakistani misadventure.”

On the bottom: Within the Kashmir area, tons of of residents fled and volunteers painted purple crosses on the roofs of hospitals to guard them in any future airstrikes. In Pakistan, dozens of tanks had been deployed to the border in broad daylight.

Background: A day earlier, Indian warplanes crossed the disputed Kashmir area for the primary time since 1971 to strike a goal inside Pakistan, a response to a suicide assault on Feb. 14 by Jaish-e-Mohammed, a terrorist group that American and Indian officers say operates in Pakistan.

Perspective: In an Op-Ed essay, a Pakistani novelist argues that warmongers within the nuclear-armed neighbors are utilizing social media to fan hostilities. “My technology of Pakistanis have fought for the fitting to talk,” she writes. “We’re not afraid to lend our voices to that almost all righteous trigger: peace.”

The choose presiding over the cardinal’s sexual abuse case set the sentencing on March 13. The crimes, which embrace sexual penetration of a minor, may technically draw as much as 50 years in jail.

Decide Peter Kidd instructed the Melbourne courtroom that Cardinal Pell’s “brazen, callous offending” deserved commensurate punishment.

“He engaged in some surprising conduct towards two boys,” the choose mentioned, “and he had the capability to cause and did it in such brazen circumstances that he clearly felt some extent of impunity.”

The Vatican: Church authorities demoted the 77-year-old Roman Catholic cleric, a former adviser to the pope, and opened an investigation that would result in the second defrocking of a cardinal over sexual abuse, after that of Theodore McCarrick.

Indonesia: A landslide at an unlawful gold mine on the island of Sulawesi killed a minimum of two individuals and will have buried dozens extra, officers mentioned. An estimated a million miners work at unlawful gold mines the place security requirements are barely enforced and collapses are frequent.

Egypt: A rushing practice crashed right into a platform at Cairo’s predominant railway station, setting off a fireball that swept by the crowds, killing 25 individuals and injuring dozens extra. It was the newest in a sequence of accidents on the nation’s dilapidated rail community.

Saudi Arabia: President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the primary time since Saudi brokers killed the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October. A White Home assertion of the assembly didn’t point out Mr. Khashoggi and as a substitute centered on Mr. Kushner’s peace plan for Israel and Palestine.

Britain: On the warmest February day since 1910, wildfires broke out at a few of the nation’s beloved nature spots, together with a forest made well-known by A.A. Milne’s “Winnie the Pooh” books.

Northern Eire: Greater than two dozen ladies dragged suitcases throughout Westminster bridge in London this week to protest Belfast’s restrictive abortion rights and demand reform. “Northern Eire is now remoted as the one a part of the U.Okay. and Eire with a close to complete abortion ban,” mentioned one activist.

China: American automakers, together with Ford, Common Motors and Fiat, that arrange huge manufacturing amenities throughout China to capitalize on native demand and cheaper labor are the newest firms to really feel the pinch of its slowing financial system and Beijing’s commerce stand-off with Washington.

Tiny love tales: Within the Australia version of our widespread sequence, readers instructed us about airport proposals, adventures on a farm and the importance of a white costume. Up subsequent, we’re in search of miniature, private love tales from India. Submit your entry right here.

Ideas for a extra fulfilling life.

Loud night breathing at evening and drained all day? Right here’s a information to the frequent signs of sleep apnea, and what you are able to do in case you have it.

Should you’re planning a marriage, embrace a hashtag to allow your friends to share their pictures of your special occasion in actual time.

This week is the beginning of the Houston Livestock Present and Rodeo, one of many largest such occasions on this planet. It attracts 2.four million guests, tons of of opponents and big-name musicians like Kacey Musgraves and Cardi B.

However what’s a rodeo? A generally harmful showcase primarily based on expertise historically utilized by cattle herders in Spain, Latin America, the U.S. and elsewhere.

In Wyoming, South Dakota and Texas, it’s the official state sport, and college students in Tucson, Ariz., the place your Again Story author grew up, get a two-day “rodeo trip” annually. Different locations, like Britain and the Netherlands, have banned rodeos over animal cruelty issues.

Skilled American rodeo has timed occasions like steer roping and barrel racing, and “roughstock” occasions — bareback using, saddle bronc using and, maybe finest recognized, bull using. That requires staying on an intensively bred bucking bull for an exhausting eight seconds.

“It’s just like the 100-meter race within the Olympics,” one rider mentioned.

Jennifer Jett, an editor primarily based in Hong Kong, wrote right now’s Again Story.

Your Morning Briefing is printed weekday mornings and up to date on-line. Join right here to get it by electronic mail within the Australian, Asian, European or American morning. You may also obtain an Night Briefing on U.S. weeknights.

And our Australia bureau chief gives a weekly letter including evaluation and conversations with readers.

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