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We start today with the election in Israel, an investigation of the Russia investigation and comedic rebellion in Venezuela.
A count of the broader blocs needed to form a coalition government gave Mr. Netanyahu’s Likud party a clear advantage over Mr. Gantz’s Blue and White. Check back here for updates.
Heated race: Many Israelis said it was the nastiest and most divisive race they could recall.
Mr. Netanyahu appealed primarily to the right, fanning the flames of anti-Arab sentiment, warning Israelis that Mr. Gantz would “hand over parts of the homeland to the Arabs.” Mr. Gantz reached out for allies across the political spectrum, promising to restore a sense of unity, decency and democratic values.
Big picture: Victory would provide Mr. Netanyahu a renewed mandate as he battles a looming indictment on charges of bribery and corruption.
Attorney General William Barr told lawmakers that the inspector general, Michael Horowitz, was looking into the warrant obtained to wiretap Carter Page, a former foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign.
Takeaway: If the inspector general finds fault with the F.B.I., it could help validate Republican accusations that the Russia investigation was politically motivated and draw scrutiny of any new conclusions in the Mueller report.
Mueller report: Mr. Barr promised lawmakers today that he would release to them the special counsel’s findings “within a week.” He said he would be transparent about redactions, but he declined to say whether he had briefed the White House on the report.
Mick Mulvaney, the acting chief of staff, is a former South Carolina congressman and a leader of the Tea Party caucus. To Mr. Mulvaney’s critics, including some Republicans, his approach has unleashed the president in dangerous ways.
When Mr. Trump decided to get rid of his Secret Service director, officials said, Mr. Mulvaney delivered the message. When Mr. Trump considered whether to ask a court to invalidate the Affordable Care Act — despite opposition from his own top legal advisers — Mr. Mulvaney’s response: Follow your gut.
Impact: Some outsiders see signs that Mr. Mulvaney is pushing Mr. Trump to the right. But insiders say he is merely liberating Mr. Trump to pursue the courses he prefers anyway.
Pakistan’s leader seeks to weed out militants
Prime Minister Imran Khan gave an hourlong interview to foreign journalists in which he sought to project resolve, including on one of the biggest issues he faces.
“We have decided, for the future of our country — forget the outside pressure — we will not allow armed militias to operate anymore,” he said.
He acknowledged that “the Pakistan Army created them,” referring to the 1980s, when Pakistan and the U.S. backed Muslim insurgents in Afghanistan against Soviet forces.
Backdrop: An international watchdog group, the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force, is on the brink of blacklisting and leveling sanctions against Pakistan over the militias, which would make it more difficult for the country to obtain financial bailouts and loans.
If you have 11 minutes, this is worth it
A 1960s Boeing design, revamped
The Boeing 737 Max jet that had two fatal crashes in five months relied on decades-old systems and left pilots without some common safety features.
“It was state-of-the-art at the time, but that was 50 years ago,” said a former engineer who helped design the Max’s cockpit. “It’s not a good airplane for the current environment.”
Here’s what else is happening
Britain: Prime Minister Theresa May is likely to get a Brexit delay approved, but European leaders are insisting that Mrs. May explain how she would put that time to constructive use. One German publication described her visit to Berlin and Paris as a “begging tour.”
Germany: In one of the highest-profile cases against a female member of the Islamic State, a German woman is on trial for the death of a 5-year-old Yazidi girl she held as a slave, the authorities said.
Health: The F.D.A. approved an osteoporosis drug that represents the first new treatment approach in nearly two decades. Most osteoporosis drugs don’t build bones. This one does.
2020: Senator Bernie Sanders, a front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, said he would release 10 years of tax returns by Monday and acknowledged that he had joined the ranks of millionaires he has denounced for years.
Venezuela: Comedy has become a form of rebellion and escape in the country, in part a response to a yearslong crackdown by President Nicolás Maduro. “Laughter is as important as breathing, eating and sleeping,” one comedian said.
Female writers: Five of the six nominees for the Man Booker International Prize — arguably the world’s most significant award for literature translated into English — were women. Nominees include Olga Tokarczuk, who wrote a detective novel that also discusses animal rights and the influence of the church in Poland, her home country.
Snapshot: The Bialowieza Forest in Poland, above, is one of Europe’s last remaining primeval forests. It is home to thousands of species of insects, Europe’s largest herd of bison and more than 200 species of birds. But some are afraid logging could resume in the forest and disrupt its rich ecosystem.
Royal baby F.A.Q.: Everything you ever wanted to know about the eagerly anticipated offspring of the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle. (Tip: Try opening several questions at a time to reveal a secret feature.)
What we’re reading: This Twitter thread by Hind Makki, a Sudanese-American woman who lives outside Chicago. Alisha Haridasani Gupta, on the Briefings team, found it illuminating because the thread breaks down the significance of a widely shared image of a woman from the mass protests in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan.
Now, a break from the news
Cook: Miso chicken ramen is a perfect excuse to pull out that pressure cooker.
Go: “Oasis” is a charming, cheering piece of site-specific theater in Lower Manhattan. It’s a Critic’s Pick.
Watch: A boy discovers his superpowers in this scene from “Shazam!” with commentary from the film’s director, David F. Sandberg.
Read: The “Captain Underpants” series and 10 other titles made the American Library Association’s annual list of the “most challenged” books, those that community members tried to get removed from schools and libraries.
Smarter Living: Many of us can tailor our jobs to maximize our satisfaction and sense of purpose. Start with a notebook. Draw a line on the paper and write “love” on one side and “loathe” on the other. For a full week, list your daily tasks as you carry them out according to how they make you feel. With that road map, you can focus on doing more of what energizes you.
Also, we have ideas on adjusting the lighting in your home to best effect.
And now for the Back Story on …
The Stanley Cup
For someone who called Canada home for only about five years, Frederick Arthur Stanley certainly found effective ways for his name to live on.
The signature park that dominates Vancouver’s downtown bears his name. Even more famously, there’s the Stanley Cup, the silver trophy he donated in 1892. (It cost about $50.) Top teams in the National Hockey League begin this year’s competition for it today.
Stanley was a British politician who was appointed governor general of Canada in 1888. Canadians were still British subjects, so the job as Queen Victoria’s representative loomed large.
He created the hockey award because of his sons’ interest in the sport. Originally called the Dominion Challenge Trophy, it was for the best amateur team in Canada.
But there is no indication that the man who first awarded it ever picked up a stick and took to the ice. His real passion was horse racing.
That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.
To Mark Josephson, Eleanor Stanford and James K. Williamson for the break from the news. Ian Austen, our Canada correspondent, wrote today’s Back Story. You can reach the team at [email protected].
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