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Michael Cohen, Syria, Valentine’s Day: Your Wednesday Briefing

White House officers had beforehand stated the investigation was underway when the accusations from his two former wives got here to gentle final week. Here’s what we know about the events.

“A private transaction”

• President Trump’s longtime private lawyer paid $130,000 from his own pocket to Stephanie Clifford, the pornographic-film actress often known as Stormy Daniels, who says she had an affair with Mr. Trump.

“The payment to Ms. Clifford was lawful, and was not a campaign contribution or a campaign expenditure by anyone,” the lawyer, Michael Cohen, informed The Times.

He has beforehand stated that Mr. Trump denies the affair.

The lawyer’s involvement was first reported by Maggie Haberman, certainly one of our White House correspondents. She lately discussed the art of interviewing, and gave her predictions for 2018.

Charges really useful for Israeli chief

• Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should be charged with bribery, fraud and breach of trust, the Israeli police stated on Tuesday after a yearlong graft investigation.

He is accused of accepting almost $300,000 in presents, together with costly cigars, jewellery and Champagne, in alternate for favors. If he’s charged, it could be a primary for a sitting prime minister within the nation.

“I really feel a deep obligation to proceed to guide Israel in a method that may guarantee our future,” Mr. Netanyahu later stated in a televised deal with.

Shaun White returns to halfpipe gold

• During right now’s last run, the American snowboarder “opened up with a frontside double cork 1440 followed by a cab double cork 1440,” one of our reporters on the Winter Olympics writes.

Your briefing author doesn’t know what meaning, however the mixture helped White win the gold medal, his third in 4 Olympics.

Here are today’s results from the Games. You can discover all of our coverage here.

Sam Manchester, a Times sports activities editor, is on the bottom in Pyeongchang and sending messages to readers about what it’s like. Sign up here.

The Daily”: The nationwide debt

• President Trump has proposed a price range that may add $7 trillion to the federal deficit. Republicans are saying little.

Listen on a computer, an iOS device or an Android device.

Business

“Stocks are too expensive.” Inflated costs might discourage work and capital funding, setting the stage for extra inequality, our economics columnist writes.

A downturn in California isn’t seemingly anytime quickly, economists say. But the state’s governor, Jerry Brown, wants it to start preparing.

Netflix lured the hit-making producer Ryan Murphy from 21st Century Fox in a deal value as much as $300 million.

U.S. shares were up on Tuesday. Here’s a snapshot of global markets right now.

Smarter Living

Tips, each new and outdated, for a extra fulfilling life.

Bring optimistic power into your house, no matter how tight the space.

Sex shouldn’t be painful. Here’s advice from a gynecologist.

Roman egg drop soup is a simple midweek recipe.

Noteworthy

A fog of battle in Syria

Four Russians, and perhaps dozens more, were killed in current combating between pro-government forces in japanese Syria and members of the U.S.-led coalition combating the Islamic State, in accordance with Russian and Syrian officers.

The Kremlin has sidestepped questions, saying that any Russians who had been killed had been mercenaries, not members of the armed forces.

12,000 methods to say “I love you”

A collection of Valentine’s Day cards, from as early because the 1680s, options pop-ups, cutouts and Civil War troopers.

Today can be Ash Wednesday, which coincides with Valentine’s Day for the primary time since 1945. It’s a dilemma for those observing Lent: extravagant shows of romantic love, or fasting and self-discipline?

Price of privateness: $560 million

New Hampshire won’t give a Powerball winner her cash except she lets her identify be made public.

People are offering solutions, for a cut.

Dogs have their day

Flynn, a bichon frisé with powder-puff fur, was named Best in Show on the 142nd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on Tuesday.

Begging for extra? Here are photos from the competition.

Finding a misplaced pressure of rice

The seek for hill rice led to Trinidad and Thomas Jefferson, and now to excitement among African-American chefs.

Best of late-night TV

Several comedy hosts are taking the week off, so our roundup is, too. It will return subsequent week.

Quotation of the day

“I looked around and saw my competitors, they’re all doing these quads, and at the same time they’re a head shorter than me, they’re 10 years younger than me, and they’re the size of one of my legs.”

Adam Rippon, a determine skater on the U.S. Olympic workforce, on pressures he confronted associated to physique picture and consuming.

The Times, in different phrases

Here’s a picture of today’s front page, and hyperlinks to our Opinion content and crossword puzzles.

Back Story

Valentine’s Day is widely thought to mark a wine-fueled festival for courting in historic Rome.

But in North Korea, Feb. 14 signifies a distinct type of affection. On at the present time in 2012, Kim Jong-il, who led the nation from 1994 till his dying in 2011, was posthumously named a “generalissimo.”

Photo

A tribute in Pyongyang, North Korea, to Kim Jong-il. The “Day of the Shining Star” is widely known in his honor right now.

Credit
Kim Won-Jin/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The announcement got here two days earlier than what would have been Mr. Kim’s 70th birthday, which remains to be celebrated within the nation as “The Day of the Shining Star.”

The solely different North Korean generalissimo is Mr. Kim’s father, Kim Il-sung, who started ruling in 1945 and obtained the title in 1992, two years earlier than his dying. The time period is a transparent lower above the “marshal” title held by North Korea’s present chief, Kim Jong-un.

The youthful Mr. Kim could keep in energy for many years, although, and he already has a number of titles: “Dear respected comrade,” for one, in addition to “supreme commander” of the Korean People’s Army.

Mike Ives contributed reporting.

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