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Here’s what you need to know:
What does Robert Mueller know?
• That’s what President Trump’s lawyers were left wondering after The Times reported this weekend that Donald McGahn, the White House counsel, had cooperated extensively with the Russia investigation by Mr. Mueller, the special counsel.
The president’s lawyers said on Sunday that they were confident that Mr. McGahn had said nothing harmful about the president during 30 hours of interviews that began in November. But they realized they hadn’t been given a full accounting of what Mr. McGahn had told investigators.
Mr. McGahn has repeatedly made clear to the president that his role as White House counsel is to protect the presidency, not Mr. Trump personally. People close to Mr. McGahn have said he fears that Mr. Trump will set him up to take the blame for any possible wrongdoing.
A #MeToo leader stands accused
• The actress and director Asia Argento was among the first women in the movie business to publicly accuse the producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault.
But after her revelations about Mr. Weinstein in October, Ms. Argento quietly arranged to pay $380,000 to an actor and musician who said she sexually assaulted him years earlier in California, when he was 17 and she was 37. The state’s age of consent is 18.
The accusation by Jimmy Bennett, and the arrangement for payments, are laid out in documents between lawyers for Ms. Argento and Mr. Bennett that were sent to The Times.
• Three people familiar with the case said the documents were authentic. Ms. Argento and her representatives have not responded to multiple requests for comment.
Most wildfires’ spark: Humans
• California is having one of its worst fire seasons ever, with one million acres burned so far this year.
Investigators are finding that the blazes almost always begin with a human, whether intentionally or by mistake.
• Many scientists say climate change and rapid development contribute to ever more destructive fires. But “95 percent of these fires are caused by humans, and they could have been prevented somehow,” a California official said.
A new focus for Kim Jong-un
• The North Korean leader said over the weekend that his people were engaged in “a do-or-die struggle” against “brigandish sanctions,” which he said were seriously hurting the economy.
Since late June, Mr. Kim has devoted almost all of his public appearances to visiting factories, farms and construction sites — rather than the military sites he inspected last year — and he has been calling out poor management.
• His message, experts say, is directed as much at the U.S. as at his own people, since his pledge to deliver economic prosperity depends on persuading Washington to ease sanctions.
• At the U.S. gymnastics championship, Simone Biles, 21, became the oldest women’s all-around champion since 1971.
• “Crazy Rich Asians,” the first major Hollywood film in 25 years led by Asian stars, earned $25.2 million and the top spot at North American theaters. We spoke with Kevin Kwan, the author on whose best-selling novel the film is based.
• In memoriam.
Kofi Annan, a soft-spoken diplomat from Ghana, redefined the United Nations as secretary general for 10 years and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001. He was 80.
• Winter is coming …
And that’s a relief for the residents of Dubrovnik, Croatia. Every summer, tourists and “Game of Thrones” fans overrun the ancient coastal city, which is the setting for the fictional King’s Landing on the hit HBO show.
• For cleaner streets, fewer trash cans
New York City’s Sanitation Department removes containers if they’re used for household or commercial trash, saying it cuts improper trash disposal. Residents say the policy has left a mess.
• Quotation of the day
“Truth isn’t truth.”
— Rudolph Giuliani, President Trump’s lawyer, explaining why he feared an interview with the special counsel, Robert Mueller, might be a “perjury trap” for Mr. Trump.
• The Times, in other words
• What we’re reading
Michael Roston, a senior staff editor for Science, recommends this piece on Medium: “Lindsay Robertson’s series about taking responsibility for aging or ill parents is highly useful. Especially if you feel you’re just getting the hang of managing your own life. This entry, on final conversations with a dying parent, is moving, too.”
Chirping crickets. A baby cooing. Crashing waves. A greeting from President Jimmy Carter.
Those were some of the contents of the so-called Golden Record that was attached to NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft, which was launched 41 years ago today to scout Jupiter and Saturn. Voyager 1, which launched on Sept. 5, 1977, carries a similar record.
The spacecraft were to explore the outer solar system, but the records (made of gold-plated copper) also carried a message to any extraterrestrials that might find them: sounds and images that best represented humankind and life on Earth. In addition to sounds of nature, there were musical pieces and greetings in 55 languages.
The astronomer Carl Sagan led the effort to compile the record, an ambitious process that was fraught with indecision. In addition to the technical issues of creating a record that could withstand the pressures of space, there was the philosophical burden of how to paint a picture of our planet.