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Here’s what you need to know:
• Tillerson takes a hard line with Moscow.
On the eve of his first trip to Russia as secretary of state, Rex Tillerson said that country was “incompetent” for having allowed Syria to hold on to chemical weapons, and he accused it of trying to influence elections in Europe the way it had done in the U.S.
His comments were far more critical of the Russian government than any made publicly by President Trump.
• The next steps in Syria.
An American-led force has sharply reduced airstrikes against Islamic State militants in the country as it waits to see how the Syrian government and Russia respond to the U.S. missile strikes last week.
Met with a mix of optimism and doubt by people caught up in the Syrian conflict, the strikes followed a deadly chemical attack believed to have been launched by President Bashar al-Assad’s government. That would represent a failure of former President Barack Obama’s agreement with Mr. Assad to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons.
For President Trump, the events in Syria and the recent visit of China’s president suggest an improvisational and situational approach to foreign policy, our chief White House correspondent writes.
• Church bombings in Egypt undercut promise of security.
Two suicide attacks that killed 44 people at Coptic churches on Palm Sunday have called into question President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s image as a bulwark against Islamic extremists.
• The battle for Trump’s ear.
An escalating feud between Stephen Bannon, the chief White House strategist, and Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, reflects a larger struggle to guide the direction of the Trump presidency.
We also look at a book that helped form Mr. Bannon’s provocative political beliefs.
• The new Supreme Court justice.
The addition of Judge Neil Gorsuch, who is scheduled to be sworn in today, is not expected to change the dynamics of the court.
But President Trump could have the opportunity to push the court toward a rock-solid conservative majority.
• Lawsuits say student loans were “designed to fail.”
High-risk loans held by Navient, a spinoff of Sallie Mae, were part of a growth strategy that has left former students buried in debt, according to lawsuits filed by two states.
• “The Daily,” your audio news report.
In today’s show, we examine why President Trump’s decision to launch missiles into Syria is at odds with nearly everything he has said about that country.
Listen on a computer, an iOS device or an Android device.
• Since the U.S. elections in November, the partisan divide has had an enormous impact on consumer sentiment, with Republicans convinced that a boom is at hand and Democrats foreseeing an imminent recession.
• When Dawn Fitzpatrick started on Wall Street in 1992 as a 22-year-old clerk, traders wagered over how long she would last. Now she manages a $26 billion fund for George Soros and his family.
• Here are the business stories to watch this week, including a talk with Janet Yellen, the Federal Reserve chairwoman.
• U.S. stocks were down on Friday. Here’s a snapshot of global markets.
• Can naps make up for sleep deficits? It looks like nothing beats a solid night’s sleep.
• Pancakes are a much-loved breakfast. Follow our guide to making them.
• Recipe of the day: Round out these Utica greens with some crusty bread and a glass of red wine.
• The U.S. rerouted several warships toward the Korean Peninsula on Saturday, days after North Korea tested an intermediate-range missile.
• Delta Air Lines canceled flights throughout the weekend because of the cascading effects of storms that struck Atlanta on Wednesday.
• After 74 attempts, Sergio García won his first major golf tournament on Sunday, slipping on the green jacket at the Masters.
• “The Boss Baby” was again No. 1 at the North American box office, earning about $26.3 million.
• Sculpting America in Japan’s sand.
In today’s 360 video, take a spin through Hollywood, Mount Rushmore and other U.S. icons, all composed of sand and water at a museum in Japan.
• Where rising waters imperil progress.
Our architecture critic teamed up with a photographer to look at how climate change threatens the livelihood of 42 million people in the world’s most dynamic industrial region, the Pearl River Delta of China.
• Mysteries remain after Prince’s death.
The anniversary of the musician’s death is approaching, and investigators still haven’t revealed where he got the drug that killed him.
Today is brought to you by the letter J.
J is for Julia, a redheaded Muppet who is the first “Sesame Street” character with autism. She debuts on the storied children’s television show today.
She is part of the show’s expanding efforts to raise awareness of the developmental disorder. “Sesame Street” has a long history of emphasizing diversity and inclusion over its nearly 50 years on the air.
The show has addressed subjects including racism, breast-feeding, incarceration and the response to the Sept. 11 attacks.
When one of its long-serving actors died, “Sesame Street” had his character die, too, using it as a teaching moment to talk about death.
Last year, “Sesame Street” introduced a girl named Zari to the Afghan version of the show. She was brought on to be a role model for girls.
The show has been widely praised for explaining complicated topics to a younger audience, including by one mother writing in The Times last week. She and her two young children were recently found to have autism spectrum disorder.
“Julia gives me hope that my children and their peers will grow up in a world where autism is normalized,” she wrote, “rather than stigmatized.”
Remy Tumin contributed reporting.
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