Your Evening Briefing
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Another day, another White House leak. This time, it’s the transcripts from President Trump’s calls with two world leaders during his first week in office, which make for compelling reading. Among the revelations: Trump described the state of New Hampshire to Mexico’s president as a “drug-infested den” and told him they’d make a deal for the cost of the proposed border wall so it would “come out in the wash”.—Katie Robertson
Special Counsel Robert Mueller impanels a grand jury. Mueller is using the federal grand jury in Washington to help collect information as he probes Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election and possible collusion by Trump campaign associates. It comes as senators in both parties moved to protect Mueller from being fired by President Trump.
Trump transcripts show fraught relationships with world leaders. The phone conversations between Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto offer a window into the U.S. president’s relentless focus on his political image and underscore some of the difficulty he has had navigating foreign affairs.The call transcripts are peppered with Trump’s signature braggadocio and flair for the politically incorrect.
An oil trader known as “God” is closing down his main hedge fund. Andy Hall is shuttering his flagship Astenbeck Master Commodities Fund II after losses of almost 30 percent in the first half of the year. Hall shot to fame during the global financial crisis when he pocketed $100 million in a single year as a star Citigroup trader.
Tesla finishes its first solar roofs. Elon Musk spent the last week making good on promises—the Model 3 electric car, and now the solar roof. The company is trying to make solar ownership more attractive and affordable by eliminating the need to install both a roof and solar panels. Tesla completed its first installations on Wednesday, with its employees (and Musk himself) as the first customers.
Congress is heading for a confrontation with Sessions over marijuana. The attorney general wants to crack down on pot use while U.S. lawmakers from both parties are pushing legislation that would do the opposite. The Justice Department didn’t actively prosecute marijuana offenders during the Obama administration, an approach Sessions has said needs to change.
Americans keep crushing it with their 401(k)s. The stock market is fueling all-time highs in retirement account balances. A string of record 401(k) and IRA account totals now stretches across three consecutive quarters, with the average IRA breaking into the six figures, according to second-quarter data from Fidelity Investments.
The cities where rent hikes leave the most people homeless. Rent hikes are likelier to force Americans into homelessness in markets with less slack. A new study from Zillow found when median rents increased 5 percent in New York, 2,982 more people became homeless. For Los Angeles, the same rent hike would boost the homeless population by nearly 2,000 people.
Why we can’t have the male pill. For years, headlines have promised an imminent breakthrough in male contraception. Time and again, these efforts have fallen short. Male birth control would be a public-health triumph and could be a multibillion-dollar business, yet major pharmaceutical companies have mostly abandoned the chase. What’s taking so long?