Your Evening Briefing
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Good afternoon. As Donald Trump continues his first foreign trip as U.S. president, controversy swirls at home. Former campaign manager Paul Manafort’s Russia ties are back in the spotlight, and Michael Flynn won’t provide documents to the Senate Intelligence committee in response to a subpoena, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter. Just another Monday. —Megan Hess
What Trump is saying abroad. When Trump landed in Israel Monday, he expanded on a core theme of his Sunday speech in Saudi Arabia: The U.S. will stand with Arab nations and Israel against the threat they all agree is posed by Iran. Then, before a meeting with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump appeared to confirm Israel as the source of sensitive intelligence he reportedly revealed to Russian officials in the Oval Office.
Ford replaced embattled CEO Mark Fields with Jim Hackett, a turnaround specialist who has been leading the automaker’s moves into self-driving cars and ride sharing. Fields came under pressure from Ford’s board this month ahead of an annual shareholder meeting. The company’s shares fell 37 percent during Fields’s almost three-year tenure, dropping its market capitalization behind Tesla’s.
America’s cities are running out of room. A shortage of homes for sale has tormented U.S. house hunters in recent years, so why don’t builders build more? One problem is that they’re running out of lots to build on—at least in the places that people want to live. That reality has spurred developers to focus on center-city neighborhoods where high-density building is allowed, and new units command exceedingly high prices.
A divided U.S. Supreme Court rejected two North Carolina congressional districts, saying Republican lawmakers relied too heavily on race when drawing them. The bizarrely shaped voting districts were used until the 2014 election. The case produced an unusual split: Justice Clarence Thomas, perhaps the most conservative justice, joined the court’s four liberals in the majority.
Warren Buffett took out a fine-print newspaper ad to say he’s seeking permission from the Fed to hold as much as 25 percent of American Express’s shares. The notice in the New York Daily News appeared alongside listings for a Brooklyn co-op, a $2,500 Honda Accord, and a liquor license application--plus a quarter-page ad for a strip joint.
Paul Manafort’s lucrative Ukraine years are central to the Russia probe. Trump’s former campaign manager had receded into the background during the uproar over the firings of Michael Flynn and James Comey. But there’s renewed interest in the millions of dollars Manafort made promoting Kremlin-friendly interests. No other Trump associate has profited as handsomely from ties to Russia-linked businessmen and politicians.
Vintage cars are the perfect way to get away from it all. Bloomberg reporter Hannah Elliott nixed all exposure to screens for 24 hours—TV, phone, computer, GPS, and navigation included—and escaped in a 1960 Cadillac El Dorado. “I want to tell you how calm I felt driving 80 mph on an upstate New York highway with no seat belts, Courtney Love blaring on a retro boom box, and a 10-pound Chihuahua sliding around on the red bench seat next to me.”