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Robert Mueller, Londonderry, Sylvia Hatchell: Your Friday Briefing



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Good morning,

We’re covering the many angles on the release of the special counsel’s report, new details about the man arrested at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, and the resignation of a longtime coach at the University of North Carolina.

The release of the special counsel’s report on Thursday brought claims of validation from both the White House and Democrats, but questions about Russia’s efforts to influence American democracy and whether President Trump tried to obstruct justice appear far from resolved. Here are the latest updates.

Attorney General William Barr held a news conference shortly before releasing the report, in which he presented it in the best possible light for President Trump and repeatedly insisted that it showed “no collusion.” We compared the full report with the four-page letter summarizing its contents that Mr. Barr released last month.

Mr. Trump himself said that he was “having a good day,” before heading to Mar-a-Lago for the Easter weekend.

The Democrats: Party leaders have been reluctant to initiate impeachment proceedings against Mr. Trump, but since the report’s release, some lawmakers appeared determined to pursue several lines of inquiry and to hear from Robert Mueller himself. Our chief Washington correspondent explains.

The Daily: On today’s episode, two reporters who have been covering the special counsel’s investigation discuss the report.

Partisan reads: Writers across the political spectrum responded.

Facebook and other platforms have clamped down on the Islamic State and Al Qaeda, but other groups that the U.S. has classified as terrorist organizations, such as Hamas and Hezbollah, continue to spread their messages online.

Avoiding direct threats of violence, the groups mostly post images of parades and religious celebrations, and videos of speeches by their leaders. They also use media organizations or local charities to post content for them.

Closer look: Depending on one’s perspective, the groups can be considered political organizations, and if they don’t post overtly violent material, they arguably merit different treatment.

An outwardly cordial meeting this week between Pope Francis and his predecessor, Benedict XVI, masked a growing concern within the Vatican and beyond: that having two popes could confuse the faithful — and risk creating schisms in the Roman Catholic Church.

The men are vastly different in their style, substance and visions of the church. Benedict, 92, has the allegiance of traditionalists who feel threatened by Francis, 82, a pope they consider a liberal radical and an existential threat to church doctrine.

Background: In 2013, when Benedict became the first pontiff in centuries to resign, he said he would stay “hidden to the world.” That hasn’t always been the case. Last week, he released a 6,000-word letter about the church’s clerical sex abuse crisis, effectively undercutting Francis on the issue.

In three decades of pressing for prison abolition, the activist and scholar Ruth Wilson Gilmore, above, has helped transform how people think about criminal justice.

She spoke to The Times Magazine about a provocative-sounding idea that, in practice, requires a subtler understanding.

St. Patrick’s suspect: The man found with gas cans at the cathedral in Manhattan was also arrested earlier this week at a cathedral in New Jersey, and had a one-way ticket to Rome.

18 opinions on climate policy: The Times asked the Democratic presidential candidates about climate change. They didn’t agree on much.

Unrest in Northern Ireland: A journalist was killed on Thursday during street clashes in Londonderry. It was a reminder of the sectarian violence that plagued Northern Ireland until a 1998 peace agreement.

Hall of Fame coach resigns: Sylvia Hatchell, who led the women’s basketball team at the University of North Carolina for 33 years, has stepped down after an investigation found that she had made racially insensitive remarks in front of her team.

National Enquirer sale: The supermarket tabloid is being sold to James Cohen, a son of the founder of the Hudson News franchise, for a reported $100 million.

Snapshot: Above, at the New York Botanical Garden. In a posthumous collection of writings being published next week, Oliver Sacks, who died in 2015, wrote that in 40 years of medical practice, “I have seen in my patients the restorative and healing powers of nature and gardens.” Read an excerpt in this weekend’s Opinion section.

News quiz: Did you follow the headlines this week? Test yourself.

Modern Love: In this week’s column, a woman who had feared judgment of her interracial relationship stopped hiding after the birth of her son.

Late-night comedy: The hosts were all interested in Robert Mueller’s report, including the fact that it was delivered to Congress on CDs: “I’m disappointed. Everyone knows obstruction sounds more authentic on vinyl,” Stephen Colbert said.

What we’re reading: This essay in Glamour. “After a divorce, the writer Lyz Lenz finds herself dating,” says Dan Saltzstein, our editorial director for special projects. “What does re-entering the dating world look like in the heat of the #MeToo era? In Lenz’s phrase: ‘a very bad time to be in love with men.’”

Watch: “Ramy,” Hulu’s new show, is a coming-of-age story about a millennial Muslim. It’s quietly revolutionary.

Read: Two debut novels — one comic, one terrifying — are among 10 new books we recommend.

Smarter Living: Checking to see if something can be repaired before you replace it is a simple way to save money and the Earth. YouTube often has instructions, and iFixit offers how-to guides and repair discussion forums. In Europe, repair parties and cafes are starting to spring up.

And we have tips to minimize your already low risk of catching an illness in a public bathroom.

As we’ve been covering the fire that tore through the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris, we’ve often wondered why it’s not just Notre Dame. Why would Our Lady Cathedral need extra punctuation?

We got the answer from the national commission that preserves and guides France’s conventions on official names. (The French have earned their reputation for being literate, logical and bureaucratic.)

Elisabeth Calvarin, who helps lead that agency, the Commission Nationale de Toponymie, explained that the hyphen differentiates place names from proper nouns.

The mother of God who is adored at the cathedral is Notre Dame. The cathedral named for her must have a hyphen. Part of the landmark’s address is named after a pope: Place Jean-Paul II. St. Denis is the martyr; St.-Denis is a Paris suburb.

But it’s Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris. Why do the hyphens stop?

Because France has many churches and cathedrals listed as Notre-Dame, adding the name of the location is helpful — but not registered officially.

That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.

— Chris

Thank you
Mark Josephson, Eleanor Stanford and Kenneth R. Rosen provided the break from the news. Daphné Anglès, in our Paris bureau, wrote today’s Back Story, and we also received guidance from the French Studies Program at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y. You can reach the team at [email protected].

• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Today’s episode is about the Mueller report.
• Here’s our mini crossword puzzle, and a clue: CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, etc. (5 letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• The Times takes great care with its use of hyphens. For instance, we use the hyphen in compounds denoting national origin, like Japanese-American, but not when the phrase denotes current group membership rather than origin, as in French Canadian.

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