Federal Reserve, Kim Darroch, World Cup: Your Wednesday Evening Briefing

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Good evening. Here’s the latest.

1. The S&P 500 hit 3,000 for the first time — after the Fed chair, Jerome Powell, discussed risks facing the U.S. economy.

The bad news jazzed the market because Mr. Powell’s discussion of the troubles, including President Trump’s trade war and global economic weakness, seemed to signal an openness to cutting interest rates, possibly when the Fed meets again later this month.

But American businesses that had sought tariffs — including in the steel, aluminum, lumber, solar and washing-machine industries — have found that victory can be bittersweet.


2. Britain’s ambassador to the U.S., Kim Darroch, is stepping down, a casualty of the furor over leaked memos in which he described the Trump administration as “clumsy and inept.”

The memos elicited a furious reaction from President Trump. Some British lawmakers were no less furious when Boris Johnson, the likely next British prime minister, pointedly declined to support the ambassador.

But Mr. Darroch, pictured above in 2017, did get support from his fellow ambassadors. Those we spoke with uniformly said they had written the same things to their home offices. “Yes, yes, everyone does,” said a recently retired French ambassador.

In other administration news, an appeals court dismissed one of two lawsuits alleging Mr. Trump violated the Constitution by profiting from his business while in office.


3. All the president’s memes are coming to the White House on Thursday for President Trump’s “social media summit.”

Noting that a Trump activist who promoted the QAnon conspiracy theory and the person who created a doctored video of former Vice President Joe Biden tweeted about being invited, our columnist writes that the gathering illuminates the influence of trolls within the political establishment.

Separately, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was sued by two Twitter users who argued that if the president couldn’t block opponents on social media, then neither could she. Here’s our tech Opinion columnist’s take on yesterday’s ruling.


4. “You got a complaint? You come and talk to me about it.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi dressed down dissident fellow lawmakers and appealed for unity in a closed-door meeting that followed her public dispute with a group of freshmen women, including Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Attendees said Ms. Pelosi, pictured above after the meeting, got a standing ovation.

In other political news, Amy McGrath raised $2.5 million within 24 hours of announcing her bid to unseat Mitch McConnell, the majority leader from Kentucky. It was a record for a Senate campaign.


5. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta publicly defended his role in brokering a plea deal for Jeffrey Epstein more than a decade ago, for sex crimes committed in Florida.

Mr. Acosta said he faced a tough choice because he would have had to go to trial with witnesses who were scared to testify. His appearance was seen as a crucial test of whether he will keep his job.

The labor secretary isn’t the only one facing renewed scrutiny now that Mr. Epstein has been charged in federal court with sex trafficking.

Questions are also being raised about why the office of the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus Vance, sought a reduced sex-offender status for the wealthy financier in 2011.


6. Apprehensions along the southwestern border dropped 28 percent in June.

“We have been startled by the stark decline that happened virtually overnight,” said Kate Clark, senior director of immigration services at a San Diego migrant shelter that is now almost empty.

Immigration experts see a combination of reasons: the normal hot-weather downturn in migrant journeys, the expansion of a Trump administration program that forces migrants to wait in Mexico for court hearings (in shelters like the one pictured above in Tijuana) and Mexico’s crackdown on arrivals at its own southern border.


7. “We have to be better, we have to love more and hate less. Listen more and talk less.”

That was Megan Rapinoe, co-captain of the U.S. Women’s soccer team, which celebrated its World Cup victory in a ticker-tape parade in New York this morning.

The issue of pay equity hung over the event, and was the subject of chants and signs. One team member carried a poster: “Parades are cool, equal pay is cooler.”

And at Wimbledon: Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal both won today, and will face each other in the semifinals on Friday, their first match at the tournament in 11 years. The other semifinal pits Novak Djokovic against Roberto Bautista Agut.


8. The great race to rule streaming TV is on.

In their rush to match Netflix, competitors like HBO, Hulu and Amazon are ordering a slew of content. The Times Magazine looks at the ushering out of “prestige TV” and the ushering in of an age of anything goes.

“That’s why when you open Netflix now, there’s this glut,” one TV producer said. “I’m not hating on it. That’s the business, and cool things will come from it. But they have to feed the beast.”

One show making its way to HBO’s new streaming service: “Friends.” The popular comedy series will leave Netflix and become exclusive to the new platform.


9. A clue to human prehistory:

Scientists in southern Greece have found the oldest fossil of Homo sapiens ever discovered in Europe — a skull fragment more than 210,000 years old in the roof of a cave.

That’s huge. Until now, the earliest remains of modern humans found on the Continent were less than 45,000 years old.

The finding hints that humans began leaving Africa far earlier than once thought. But only those humans who arrived in a migration about 70,000 years ago survived.


10. And finally, how do you make a classic song sound totally different without changing its melody, harmony or a single word of its lyrics?

Our theater critic takes apart “People Will Say We’re in Love” from “Oklahoma!” as it goes from the operetta-like original to the sexy, twangy version on Broadway now, above, — everything from the instruments, key, fills and frills.

One more thing about “Oklahoma!” — the original 1943 show helped build a new audience for Broadway music, with an original cast album that approximated the experience of going to the show. Kind of by accident.

Hope everything’ll be going your way this evening.


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