• They grow out of an oddly disjointed policy: While President Trump continues to call for good relations with Mr. Putin, Congress and much of the rest of the administration are pushing through increasingly punitive efforts that are sinking relations with Moscow to lows not seen in years.
Wishlist adds to E.P.A. chief’s woes
• At least five officials at the Environmental Protection Agency were sidelined in the past year after raising concerns about spending and management by the agency’s administrator, Scott Pruitt.
Among Mr. Pruitt’s requests, some of which were declined: a $100,000-a-month charter aircraft membership, a bulletproof security desk, a 20-person protective detail and the use of lights and sirens to speed his motorcade’s trips through Washington (including to a trendy French restaurant).
The E.P.A. challenged the assertion that the officials’ reassignments and their objections were related. “We dispute the veracity of the accusations,” an agency spokesman said.
• Senior White House officials say Mr. Pruitt’s fate is uncertain as he confronts a growing series of ethical questions.
Trump denies he knew of hush money
• In his first public comments about the matter, President Trump said on Thursday that he didn’t know about a $130,000 payment to a pornographic film actress who claims to have had a sexual relationship with him.
Asked why Michael Cohen, his personal lawyer, had made the payment, Mr. Trump said, “You’ll have to ask Michael Cohen.”
Mr. Trump’s remarks came after an appearance in West Virginia in which he literally tossed out his “boring” speech to renew his criticism of U.S. immigration law and to assert that millions voted illegally in the 2016 election.
• Some of his claims don’t add up.
Impeached, ousted and now sentenced
• It was a presidential corruption scandal that exposed entrenched ties between South Korea’s government and huge conglomerates like Samsung.
Park Geun-hye, the country’s former president, was sentenced today to 24 years in prison. She and a longtime friend were accused of collecting or demanding large bribes from three big businesses.
• Almost all of South Korea’s presidents have seen their reputations tarnished by corruption scandals involving them, their relatives or their aides.
Listen to ‘The Daily’: Taking Over Local News
Anchors on local stations owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group were forced to read identical scripts warning about “fake news.”
• The shooting at YouTube headquarters this week highlighted security risks in the workplace. Many companies are similarly exposed, as an open-door policy pervades corporate America.
• The U.S. added 103,000 jobs in March, down from February’s pace but strong enough to extend a record run of hiring. The unemployment rate remained 4.1 percent.
• Your briefing writer remembers the 1980s fondly. So does Japan, where mild new prosperity has rekindled nostalgia for the last time the country’s economy truly boomed.
• U.S. stocks were up on Thursday. Here’s a snapshot of global markets today.
Tips, both new and old, for a more fulfilling life.
• Can coffee rev up your workout?
• Here’s how to uninstall Facebook Messenger.
• Recipe of the day: This weekend, make one-pot meatballs and sauce.
What We’re Reading
Our journalists recommend these great pieces:
“As police shootings continue to draw headlines, the noted conservative writer and lawyer David French weighs in. He draws on his 2007 deployment in Iraq to ask: ‘Shouldn’t police at home exhibit at least as much discipline as soldiers at war?’
“While noting that many police shootings are lawful and justifiable, he writes, ‘many others would be surprising to see in a war zone, much less in the streets of America’s cities.’ ” [National Review]
— Lynda Richardson, senior staff editor, Travel
“The Ides of March may have passed, but this history of Julius Caesar is still a fascinating and relevant read.
“Plus it contains good advice like ‘two very good friends could make up for a lot of enemies.’ ” [The New York Review of Books]
— Julie Bloom, deputy national editor
• The week in good news is back
We’re happy to report that our column rounding up some of the week’s uplifting and inspiring stories has returned.
• Quiz time!
Did you keep up with this week’s news? Test yourself.
• Ready for the weekend
At the movies, our critic says after watching the horror film “A Quiet Place” that “you’ll leave elated or I’ll eat my words.”
We also review “Chappaquiddick,” a retelling of the 1969 car crash involving Ted Kennedy, and break down nine film festivals in New York City this month.
Here are 11 TV shows we’ll be talking about, and 11 new books we recommend.
The calendar might say April, but winter hasn’t fully released its grip on New York. We went in search of spring, starting with the annual Orchid Show in the Bronx.
If you’re in the city, we also recommend 10 plays, 15 pop, rock and jazz concerts, 22 art exhibitions and seven things to do with kids.
• Save the date
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will marry in less than six weeks. We have answers to everything you ever wanted to know — and some things you didn’t.
• Best of late-night TV
Facebook is under investigation in Australia, where, Jimmy Fallon noted, “Facebook’s stock actually goes down the toilet in a counterclockwise direction.”
• Quotation of the day
“I can’t imagine a patrol cop doing this who walked those streets or drove those streets.”
— Jeffrey Fagan, a professor and criminologist at Columbia Law School, on the fatal shooting of a mentally ill Brooklyn man by plainclothes anti-crime officers who answered a call of a man brandishing what was thought to be a gun.
• The Times, in other words
Here’s an image of today’s front page, and links to our Opinion content and crossword puzzles.
Who was the first person to reach the North Pole? The answer’s more complex than you might expect.
The American explorer Adm. Robert Peary claimed that he and his party reached the top of the world on this day in 1909.
They sent the news by cable when they reached the nearest wireless station, in September of the same year. The Times ran it on the front page: “Peary Discovers the North Pole After Eight Trials in 23 Years.”
The only problem? A week earlier, The New York Herald had credited Peary’s rival, Frederick Cook, with the feat. He claimed to have reached the pole almost a year before, on April 21, 1908.
Peary had supporters including The Times and the National Geographic Society, and it is his name that has mostly appeared in textbooks. A re-examination of his records in 1988 cast doubt on his account.
True or false, the men’s rival claims have bound them together. As one researcher said: “Peary and Cook are like Siamese twins. If you separate them, you lose some vital parts of each.”
Anna Schaverien contributed reporting.
Your Morning Briefing is published weekdays and updated all morning. Browse past briefings here.
Sign up here to get it by email in the Australian, Asian, European or American morning. To receive an Evening Briefing on U.S. weeknights, sign up here.
Check out our full range of free newsletters here.
What would you like to see here? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Continue reading the main story