Friday Briefing: Trump found guilty on all counts in Manhattan trial

Plus, the U.S. will let Ukraine strike Russia with American weapons
Morning Briefing: Asia Pacific Edition

May 31, 2024

Good morning. We’re covering the verdict in Donald Trump’s criminal trial and U.S. permission for Ukraine to use American weapons inside Russia.

Plus, how anglerfish conquered the deep.

Donald Trump in the courtroom.
Pool photo by Mark Peterson

Trump is found guilty on all counts

Donald Trump has been convicted of all 34 felony counts in a criminal case stemming from a hush-money payment to a porn star on the eve of the 2016 election. He is the first American president to be declared a felon, a stain he will carry as he seeks to regain the presidency.

After hearing the verdict, Trump did not visibly respond, my colleague Jonah Bromwich reported from the courtroom. He slowly stood up as the jurors exited, with a frown on his face. He did not look at the jurors as they left, his eyes downcast.

The 12 New Yorkers who made up the jury heard weeks of tawdry testimony describing tabloid deal-making, a sexual encounter between Trump and the porn star Stormy Daniels, and the $130,000 payoff that kept her silent.

Prosecutors contended that Trump engaged in a fraud against the American people, arguing that he falsified records related to the reimbursement of his onetime fixer, Michael Cohen, who paid her out of his own pocket.

Sentencing was set for July 11, four days before the beginning of the Republican National Convention.

The felony conviction calls for a sentence of up to four years behind bars, but Trump may never see the inside of a prison cell. He could receive probation when he is sentenced, and he is certain to appeal the verdict — meaning it may be years before the case is resolved.

Still, the jury’s decision is an indelible moment in America’s history, concluding the only one of four criminal cases against Trump likely to go to trial before Election Day.

Follow our live coverage here.

Two people in dark clothing looking toward a concrete wall. Heavy gray smoke is in the background.
The aftermath of a Russian strike in Kharkiv this month.  Finbarr O'Reilly for The New York Times

Biden will allow Ukraine to use U.S. weapons in Russia

The Biden administration has decided to allow Ukraine to strike inside Russia with U.S.-made weapons with the aim of blunting Russia’s attacks in the Kharkiv area, senior American officials said yesterday.

The decision follows weeks of discussion with the Ukrainians after Russia began a major assault on Kharkiv, the country’s second-largest city. U.S. permission is intended solely for strikes on military sites in Russia being used to attack the Kharkiv area.

The Russian military has been hitting the area around the city with artillery and missiles fired or launched from inside Russian territory, and the Ukrainians have asked the Americans to give them greater leeway, an American official said.

The leaders of NATO, France and Germany had recently urged the U.S. to make that decision. In internal administration discussions, Antony Blinken, the secretary of state, also supported the move.

MORE TOP NEWS

A black bus labeled “HKCS” turns off a road, toward a building. People with video cameras are in the foreground, filming.
A prison bus arriving at court in Hong Kong on Thursday, before verdicts were announced in a national security trial. Leung Man Hei/EPA, via Shutterstock

MORNING READ

A little boy wearing a cap leans in to look at an exhibition of three East German cars displayed inside a museum.
Visitors in the G.D.R. museum in Pirna, Germany, on May Day this year. Lena Mucha for The New York Times

In Germany’s east, the G.D.R. Museum Pirna hosts a May Day event where people can celebrate Communist-era cars. They’re smaller and less powerful than their Western counterparts — the Trabant had a reinforced cardboard chassis — but they are sources of both local pride and political discontent.

CONVERSATION STARTERS

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ARTS AND IDEAS

A view of a female anglerfish, with wide jaws lined with very sharp teeth and a lure sticking out of her forehead, in the dark sea depths.
A female anglerfish, with a bioluminescent lure, in waters off Hawaii. Doug Perrine/Alamy

Why anglerfish meld with their mates

How did the ghoulish creatures known as anglerfish pull off the evolutionary feat that let them essentially take over the ocean’s sunless depths? Extremely peculiar sex.

To mate, tiny males clamp with sharp teeth onto the bellies of much larger females. Some permanently fuse with the females and become organs for sperm production, losing their eyes and all internal organs except for their testes.

The anglerfish is the only known vertebrate that employs sexual parasitism, and that gave it an evolutionary edge in a hard place to find a mate: the dark zone of the ocean.

RECOMMENDATIONS

A large plate with pita bread, tomatoes, parsley, avocado, lamb burgers and bell peppers, surrounded by other plates with squash and tahini.
David Malosh for The New York Times.

Cook: Spicy lamb burgers with tahini are a breeze to put together.

Watch: We Are Lady Parts,” a television comedy about a Muslim punk band, returned for a raucous second season.

Read: Check out these 17 books coming out in June.

Play: Spelling Bee, the Mini Crossword, Wordle and Sudoku. Find all our games here.

That’s it for today. See you tomorrow. — Whet

P.S. Thomas Gibbons-Neff, a former Kabul bureau chief who most recently covered the war in Ukraine, is joining the National desk to cover gun culture and policy.

We welcome your feedback. Send us your suggestions at briefing@nytimes.com.

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