Friday Briefing

Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Trump pleads not guilty to plotting to overturn election

In a Washington courthouse, Donald Trump pleaded not guilty to charges that he had conspired to remain in office despite his 2020 election loss. Asked for his plea to the four counts he faces, the former president replied, “Not guilty.”

It was the third time in four months that he had stood before a judge on criminal charges. But it was the most momentous, and the beginning of what prosecutors say should be a reckoning for his multipronged efforts to undermine democracy.

The judge has ordered Trump not to communicate about the case with any witnesses except through counsel or in the presence of counsel. At the request of his lawyers, she set an Aug. 28 date for the first hearing before the trial judge — the latest of the dates she offered. Delaying the proceedings as much as possible is widely expected to be part of Trump’s strategy, given that he could effectively call off any federal cases against him should he win the 2024 election.

Comments: Following the hearing, Trump spoke briefly at Reagan National Airport, saying it was “a very sad day for America.” He described himself as a victim of “persecution” by President Biden’s Justice Department. “This was never supposed to happen in America,” he said before boarding his private plane to return to Bedminster, N.J.

Related coverage:

  • Mike Pence, the former vice president, said in a Fox News interview that Trump and his advisers had tried to get him “essentially to overturn the election” and that the American people needed to know it.

  • The indictment this week did not accuse Trump of inciting the mob that attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, but it did show that some people close to him knew violence might be coming.

Credit…The New York Times

Extraordinary ocean heat across the planet

Amid brutal heat waves this summer, Earth’s oceans are the hottest they have been in modern history, by an unusually wide margin. The planet’s average sea surface temperature spiked to a record high in April, and the ocean has remained exceptionally warm ever since. In July, widespread marine heat waves drove temperatures back up to near-record highs, with some hot spots approaching 38 degrees Celsius.

The North Atlantic has seen some of the most exceptional warmth, with recent temperatures consistently reaching more than 1.1 Celsius higher than what is typical for this time of year.

Quotable: “I find it kind of astonishing,” Gregory Johnson, an oceanographer at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said. “This is a pretty big step up.”

Rescue workers at a scene where at least 14 people were wounded yesterday in a stabbing and car rampage in a Seoul suburb.Credit…Yonhap News Agency, via Reuters

Mass stabbing near Seoul

At least 14 people were wounded yesterday in a stabbing and car rampage in Seongnam, a city southeast of Seoul, officials said. Five of the victims were struck by a car being driven onto a sidewalk, and nine others were stabbed with a knife, an official said. The attacker’s motive was not immediately clear.

Context: Stabbings and car rampages are rare in South Korea. But this is the second mass stabbing in the greater Seoul area in less than a month, after an attack at a subway station in the city last month left one person dead and three others wounded.


Around the World

Credit…Luca Marino/Greenpeace United Kingdom, via AFP— Getty Images
  • Greenpeace activists, angered by Britain’s decision to issue new licenses for oil and gas exploration, scaled the rooftop of one of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s homes.

  • Russia’s military blogosphere has erupted into conflict, with some analysts accusing one another of helping the Ukrainian government.

  • The Colombian government began a cease-fire with the country’s largest remaining insurgent group after decades of combat.

  • Saudi Arabia, in a move to support oil prices, said it would extend the decision to cut oil production by one million barrels a day for another month.

  • Two U.S. Navy sailors were arrested and accused of providing military secrets and sensitive information to Chinese intelligence officers.

Other Big Stories

Credit…Rory Doyle for The Washington Post, via Getty Images
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics renewed its support for gender-affirming care for children, even as the influential group of doctors commissioned a review of medical research on the treatments.

  • Economists are increasingly interpreting reports of G.D.P. growth and a consistently strong labor market as evidence that the U.S. economy is resilient.

  • DNA was used to link 27 African Americans buried in a Maryland cemetery for slaves with 42,000 living relatives.

  • Researchers claim to have discovered a superconductor that works at room temperature, a breakthrough that would transform electronics. Scientists are calling for more evidence.

  • The rules of travel to Europe are changing. Travelers from more than 60 countries will need to apply for travel authorizations.

The Week in Culture

  • Four of the 13 books that comprise the Booker Prize longlist are debut novels.

  • “The Notebook,” a musical based on the best-selling Nicholas Sparks novel, is coming to Broadway in the spring.

  • A wheel of Brie, a teddy bear, a vape pen: Recent weeks have seen a spate of objects flying from fans toward artists performing onstage.

  • Australia will return three centuries-old Buddhist sculptures to Cambodia, where they were looted nearly 30 years ago.

A Morning Read

You’ve heard of dating apps, but how about “date-me docs”? These online profiles, sometimes stretching to 1,000 words, read something like the personal ads of yore and aim at a more meaningful connection than a swipe might allow.

“There is something kinda dorky about ‘date-me docs’ that reminds me of the early days of the internet,” Connie Li, above, said. “I’m still on the apps, though I’ve pulled back heavily in the last few months.”


Soccer and faith: The role of religion in the Saudi Arabian soccer revolution.

Jamaica moves mountains: From fund-raising their way to the Women’s World Cup to reaching uncharted territory.

FedEx Cup playoffs: What’s at stake for Justin Thomas and other PGA Tour pros at Wyndham?

World Cup results: South Korea knocked Germany out of the Women’s World Cup; Colombia and Morocco will advance.


“Barbie” vs. “Oppenheimer”

It’s been an epic matchup, but it’s time to declare a victor. We devised nine superscientific tests to determine whether “Barbie” or “Oppenheimer” rules. Read the full list — and see our winner.

Depiction of governance. Men rule the world in “Oppenheimer,” and their government is filled with vipers. The female-led government in “Barbie” rules over a comparative utopia that posits that a dangerous coup perpetrated by angry, addled men can be undone simply by tricking them into a musical number. Advantage: “Barbie”

Usage of the color blue. “Oppenheimer” is about the moral cost of unleashing upon mankind the most terrifying and powerful weapon it has ever known: Cillian Murphy’s gigantic blue eyes. The cerulean sky of Barbie Land simply can’t compare — even in the black-and-white portions of “Oppenheimer.” Advantage: “Oppenheimer”

Depth of ensemble. Both films raced to cast half of Hollywood in their ever-swelling ensembles. Each cast features a former Batman villain, a hot young auteur and a next-generation Marvel star. Sure, “Oppenheimer” might have a few more Oscar winners, but “Barbie” had the good sense to wonder what Rhea Perlman has been up to lately. Tie


What to Cook

Credit…Alex Lau for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Susie Theodorou.

Start a dinner party (or just dinner) with this feta dip.

Triple Word Score

Our columnist tried to get very good at Scrabble. (Here’s what he learned.)

What to Watch

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem” is fun, if tiring, our critic writes.

Now Time to Play

Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Computer memory unit (four letters).

And here are today’s Wordle and the Spelling Bee.

You can find all our puzzles here.

That’s it for today’s briefing. Have a fabulous weekend. — Natasha

P.S. The Athletic and State Farm announced yesterday the launch of a new partnership aimed at increasing on-the-ground coverage of the Women’s World Cup.

You can reach Natasha and the team at [email protected].

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