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Here’s what you need to know:
The benefits of being rich
• The Trump administration is considering bypassing Congress to grant a $100 billion tax cut by adjusting for inflation in determining capital gains.
Such a move would be legally tenuous and would face a near-certain court challenge. It could also reinforce a liberal critique of the government’s tax policy as Republicans are struggling to persuade middle-class voters that they will benefit from the tax overhaul President Trump signed in December.
• More than 97 percent of the benefits of indexing capital gains for inflation would go to the top 10 percent of income earners, independent analyses suggest.
Paul Manafort’s trial is set to begin
• Jury selection is scheduled to get underway this morning in the financial fraud trial of President Trump’s former campaign manager. Here’s what’s at stake.
The trial isn’t about collusion or Russian disinformation, and federal prosecutors have promised the judge that no witness will even mention Russia. But the special counsel’s inquiry still looms over the proceedings.
• Mr. Trump has long said that there was no collusion between his campaign and Moscow. On Monday, his lead lawyer in the special counsel investigation, Rudolph Giuliani, presented a new argument: Even if Mr. Trump did collude with the Russians, he committed no crime.
Families reunited, but not the same
• More than 1,800 of the nearly 3,000 children who were separated from their parents as part of the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy have been reunited with their families.
Many are exhibiting signs of anxiety, introversion and regression, according to reports from lawyers, advocates and volunteers working with reunited families.
We interviewed one woman who was separated from her 5-year-old son for 50 days. He now hides when visitors arrive, and his favorite game is patting down and shackling “migrants” with plastic cuffs.
• Separately, we examined how a modest nonprofit specializing in residential programs in New York State has grown into the largest provider of foster care homes for children who arrive at the U.S. border alone.
Mars is having a moment
• This week, the red planet is closer to Earth than it has been in 15 years. That follows the announcement that scientists have discovered a large lake under its southern ice cap, raising the possibility of life there.
One of our science reporters reflected on how Mars continues to inspire our imaginations:
• “It is not crazy in astrobiology circles these days to hold the opinion that the life that now envelops Earth started on Mars and then some pilgrim microbe was brought here on an errant asteroid,” Dennis Overbye writes. “In the fullness of time, everything gets everywhere.”
A peaceful vote in Zimbabwe
• Millions voted on Monday in a general election that many hope will earn the endorsement of Western governments and win economic assistance to repair decades of misrule under Robert Mugabe, who was ousted in November.
The campaigning was largely carried out without the widespread violence, intimidation and fraud of previous elections.
• The race for the top position — pitting President Emmerson Mnangagwa against the main opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa — was considered too close to call.
• Les Moonves, the CBS chief executive who faces multiple accusations of sexual harassment, will not face immediate consequences from the network, after its board of directors met on Monday.
CBS said the board was “in the process of selecting outside counsel to conduct an independent investigation.” Our columnist has one question for Mr. Moonves: “What were you thinking?”
• The Trump administration’s tariffs are making life uncomfortable for some American corporations, but they have found a way to reduce the pain: Pass it on to customers.
• Robotic hands could once do only what engineers programmed them to do. Now they can learn more complex tasks on their own.
Tips for a more fulfilling life.
• Are you using that sunscreen correctly?
• Five cheap(ish) things that every home should have.
• Recipe of the day: If you like spicy, bold flavors, make a cumin lamb stir-fry.
• Echoes of wartime in Brexit planning
As the British government prepares for the possibility of a disruptive departure from the European Union, it has stirred alarm with plans to stockpile essentials like food and medicine, evoking the rationing during World War II.
• Sanctuary for a salamander
Endangered achoques have nearly disappeared from Lake Pátzcuaro in Mexico. But a colony in the care of Dominican nuns offers hope for the species.
• This longtime “Jeopardy!” host hinted at retirement
Who is Alex Trebek?
The 78-year-old has been the host of the trivia show, whose answers must come in the form of a question, since 1984, but he suggested in an interview that he might retire when his contract expires in 2020. He did suggest two possible replacements.
• Best of late-night TV
Stephen Colbert took a serious tone in addressing the sexual harassment allegations against his boss, Les Moonves: “He has stood by us when people were mad at me, and I like working for him. But accountability is meaningless unless it’s for everybody — whether it’s the leader of a network or the leader of the free world.”
• Quotation of the day
“Plants are quietly scrubbing the air of one China’s worth of carbon. What frightens me is knowing this can’t go on forever.”
— Elliott Campbell, an environmental scientist who found that plants are now converting more carbon dioxide into organic matter than they were before the Industrial Revolution.
• The Times, in other words
• What we’re reading
Chris Stanford, your Morning Briefing writer, recommends this piece from ESPN: “I grew up in the Atlanta area in the 1970s and ’80s, when Dale Murphy, the Braves outfielder, was one of the South’s sports heroes. He won back-to-back M.V.P. awards and hit 398 home runs, but he was never elected to the Hall of Fame. In this heartwarming profile, ESPN interviewed Murphy, now 62, a man who has always had to balance the twin demands of fame and family.”
Fifty years ago today, Charles M. Schulz introduced the first black character in his long-running comic strip, “Peanuts.”
The character, named Franklin, was created after Harriet Glickman, a teacher in Los Angeles, wrote to Mr. Schulz after the death of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King a few months before.
“I’ve been asking myself what I can do to help change those conditions in our society which led to the assassination and which contribute to the vast sea of misunderstanding, hate, fear and violence,” she wrote.
She proposed that Mr. Schulz add a black character to his popular comic.
Mr. Schulz was initially hesitant, worried that black parents might think he was condescending. But he eventually wrote back to Ms. Glickman, “I have drawn an episode which I think will please you.”
Franklin was met by praise from many, but a few newspapers in the South refused to run the strip.
Mr. Schulz later recalled: “I did get one letter from one Southern editor who said something about ‘I don’t mind you having a black character, but please don’t show them in school together.’ But I didn’t even answer him.”
Adriana Lacy wrote today’s Back Story.
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