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Tornadoes, Donald Trump, Michael Jackson: Your Monday Briefing

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Good morning,

We start today with deadly storms in the Southeast, a crucial vote to oppose President Trump’s national emergency declaration, and a potential deal in trade negotiations with China.

In 2007, Amazon started spending to build a TV and film portfolio, and Mr. Bezos, its founder, became a powerful presence on the red carpet. Eventually, he and the Hollywood insider Lauren Sanchez, pictured with him above, began an affair that splashed over The National Enquirer.

Now, he has effectively ceded control of his narrative to two feuding figures who are prolonging the scandal’s news value: his A-list security consultant and Ms. Sanchez’s fame-hungry brother-manager.

U.S.-China trade talks: An agreement that would roll back tariffs on both sides may do little to achieve the substantive changes to China’s economy that the Trump administration initially sought, according to people with knowledge of the talks.

Awaiting a return to Caracas: Juan Guaidó plans to re-enter Venezuela today after leaving more than a week ago to rally support for his efforts to oust President Nicolás Maduro. Mr. Guaidó risks being arrested, but his absence has sapped the momentum of his opposition movement.

Trump at CPAC: President Trump said on Saturday that he planned to issue an executive order that would help guarantee free speech at colleges and universities. He made the remarks at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, and we fact-checked his speech.

No charges in Sacramento shooting: Two police officers who shot and killed an unarmed black man in his grandmother’s backyard last year will not face criminal prosecution. The death of Stephon Clark touched off waves of protests.

“Leaving Neverland”: The first episode of HBO’s documentary about the allegations of child sexual abuse against Michael Jackson aired Sunday night. Here are key points from Part One. (Part Two is tonight, although it’s already available online.)

Snapshot: Above, Carnival celebrations on Sunday at the Sambódromo, a purpose-built stadium in Rio de Janeiro where thousands of performers appear each year.

Though I was never as big a fan of these fantasy moments as many of my peers (I believed the money could be better spent elsewhere, like on a charitable foundation), they were the markers of a time that is coming to a close, symbols of a vision that bridged the couture and Instagram eras.

Get ready for the farewell hurrah. Given that Mr. Lagerfeld never did anything by half measures, it is bound to be a doozy.

We end with the latest installment of the Times’s copy editing quiz. Because nothing says Monday morning like a grammar test.

See you next time.

— Chris

Thank you
To Eleanor Stanford and James K. Williamson for the break from the news. Vanessa Friedman, the chief fashion critic at The Times, wrote today’s Back Story.
Follow her on Twitter for live updates from this week’s show. You can reach the team at

• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Today’s episode is about what to expect as the special counsel, Robert Mueller, prepares to submit his report.
• Here’s today’s mini crossword puzzle, and a clue: Kind of bean mentioned by Hannibal Lecter (4 letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• The New York Times has been publishing T, a fashion and design magazine, since 2004. @tmagazine has 796,000 followers on Instagram.

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