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Your Weekend Briefing

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Sunday, July 1, 2018

Your Weekend Briefing
By JOUMANA KHATIB AND LANCE BOOTH
Here are the weeks top stories, and a look ahead.
Victor J. Blue for The New York Times
1. The Democratic Party is having an identity crisis.
The primary upsets of establishment politicians including the victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a newcomer, over a longtime incumbent in New York have thrown the future of the party into question.
And a Supreme Court ruling weakened labor unions, a backbone of the party, while another upheld President Trumps travel ban.
Last weeks decisions were the latest in a run of victories for a conservative agenda that has increasingly been built on the foundation of free speech. And Justice Anthony Kennedys retirement leaves the possibility for Mr. Trump to cement a conservative majority in the Supreme Court.
Democrats are split on how far to go to try and thwart Mr. Trumps agenda. And many voters are funneling fear and anger into activism including during nationwide marches on Saturday protesting the treatment of migrants, above raising questions about how far left the partys politics will drift.
Have you been keeping up with the headlines? Test your knowledge with our news quiz. And heres the front page of our Sunday paper, and our crossword puzzles.
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Al Drago for The New York Times
2. In that moment, I thought I was going to die.
When the first shots went rang out in the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, Md., journalists struggled to grasp what was happening.
Five employees were killed, and a suspect, Jarrod Ramos, has been charged with five counts of murder. Mr. Ramos had a history of making threats against the paper. Above, a memorial outside the newsroom on Friday.
Thursdays attack rattled newspapers across the country. Disgruntled readers are hardly a new phenomenon. But in a time when President Trump regularly inveighs against the news media, journalists are on higher alert.
I think we all know this person, or some variation of him, Robyn Tomlin, the executive editor of The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., said of Mr. Ramos.
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T.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York Times
3. Publicly, Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, has shown no hint that he had second thoughts about his role in the firing of James Comey, the former director of the F.B.I.
But privately, sources say, Mr. Rosenstein appeared frantic, nervous, upset and emotionally disregulated, expressing anger about how the Trump administration used him to rationalize Mr. Comeys firing.
And on Thursday, a long-simmering conflict between House Republicans and Mr. Rosenstein broke into an ugly public fight.
Republicans voted to give the Justice Department seven days to hand over documents related to the Russia inquiry and the F.B.I.s investigation of Hillary Clintons use of private email.
The measure put Mr. Rosenstein on notice that lawmakers were willing to take punitive action if their demands were not met.
For more from Washington, check out our roundup of the weeks biggest stories in American politics.
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Chang W. Lee/The New York Times
4. We followed the harrowing journey of a Salvadoran migrant fleeing to the U.S.
It took thousands of dollars, bribes, shakedowns and days in hiding, but theres no other option, the man said. The first thought I had was, I just need to get out of here at whatever cost.
Separately, a House vote on immigration failed this past week, and over 2,000 children remain separated from their families, with no clear path to reunification.
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Jessica Torres/Reuters
5. Mexicans head to the polls on Sunday, in what may be the nations biggest general election ever. The lead-up may also have been the most violent.
Organized crime groups have all but determined the outcome of certain local elections, threatening and even killing candidates. Above, a funeral for a slain candidate.
But one presidential front-runner is pledging to bring down what he calls Mexicos mafia of power and to battle the countrys entrenched inequality.
If polling numbers bear out, Andrs Manuel Lpez Obrador a three-time presidential candidate stands to win by a landslide. His victory would install a leftist leader in Latin Americas second-largest country for the first time in decades.
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Eduardo Munoz/Reuters
6. It had all the trappings of a beautiful friendship: Fox News loved the ratings spike it got from Donald J. Trump, and he saw the network as safe space free of criticism or pushback.
Since his election, the relationship between Fox News and President Trump has only deepened, and both are reaping the benefits.
Fox & Friends, whose talking points frequently pop up in the presidents Twitter feed, can resemble a Trump cheerleading rally one morning and a counseling session the next.
Without a flagship executive like the networks late founder, Roger Ailes, Fox employees say producers and hosts have adjusted their shows after intuiting that their audiences strongly support Mr. Trump.
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Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
7. Did Russia help promote Brexit?
Arron Banks, center, the biggest donor to the Brexit campaign, has long bragged about a lengthy lunch he had with the Russian ambassador months before the vote. But leaked messages suggest he and a close adviser had a more engaged relationship with Russian diplomats than he has disclosed.
Britain is now grappling with whether Moscow used ties to British citizens to bring about an exit from the E.U.
There are parallels in the U.S.: Investigators for the special counsel and Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee have also obtained records of Mr. Bankss communications, including some with Russian diplomats and about Russian business deals.
They have taken a special interest in ties Mr. Banks and other Brexit leaders built to the Trump campaign.
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Jim Huylebroek for The New York Times
8. The war in Afghanistan claimed his father, his uncle and his eyes. But the hardest loss may have been his longtime sweetheart.
Zaheer Ahmad Zindani, one of the founders of the march for peace in Afghanistan, lost his eyes in a Taliban attack. Mr. Zindani, above, knew it dealt a blow to his hopes to marry his love, whose father had always been skeptical of the relationship. Blind and unable to provide for a family, his hopes were dashed.
If I had lost my eyes and had her hand, I would still be happy, he said. But now I neither have eyes, nor her.
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Franck Fife/Agence France-Presse Getty Images
9. It was a stunning end to Argentinas World Cup run. France overtook them 4-3, in what may be Lionel Messis last World Cup appearance. Frances star, Kylian Mbapp, right, scored twice in four minutes to help propel his team to victory. Later, Uruguay beat Portugal 2-1, advancing to face off against France in the quarterfinals.
Find all our World Cup coverage here.
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From left: Jim Wilson/The New York Times, Heather Sten and Alyssa Schukar for The New York Times
10. Finally, a journey into the wilds with Kanye West, our analysis of the chemical attack in Syria and life after sharing #MeToo stories, above. We have those stories and more in this roundup of our best weekend reads.
For more suggestions on what to read, watch and listen to, may we suggest a glance at The Timess best-seller list, new TV and streaming recommendations from Watching, or our music critics latest playlist.
Have a great week.
Your Weekend Briefing is published Sundays at 6 a.m. Eastern.
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What did you like? What do you want to see here? Let us know at briefing@nytimes.com.
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