Europe Edition: Donald Trump, Republican Party, Russia: Your Wednesday Briefing

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Good morning.

Here’s what you need to know:

The U.S. House of Representatives approved a sweeping package of sanctions against Russia, clearing a key hurdle in Congress’s effort to punish Moscow for its interference in last year’s American presidential election. The legislation must be taken up by the Senate before being sent to President Trump, who has opposed further sanctions.

E.U. officials are also uneasy about the move, saying it might cause upheaval in Europe’s energy market. And sanctions are unlikely to change President Vladimir Putin’s behavior, our columnist writes.

Graphic | Local Weather See the forecast for your area.

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• The U.S. Senate voted down a comprehensive plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, in an ominous sign for Republican leaders trying to pass final health care legislation this week.

One approach they are considering is to try to reach agreement on a slimmed-down version of the bill that could then be a basis for negotiations with the House.

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President Trump stepped up his attacks on his own attorney general, Jeff Sessions, above, and put the Boy Scouts of America in the line of fire by making a highly political speech at the Scouts’ national jamboree. Watch Mr. Trump’s news conference in Washington.

Our chief White House correspondent writes that by crossing so many lines, Mr. Trump has radically shifted the understanding of what is standard in the White House.

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After 16 years of war in Afghanistan, the U.S. may have found another reason to stay engaged: the country’s vast mineral wealth.

President Trump has discussed it with President Ashraf Ghani, and the White House may send an envoy to Afghanistan to explore the possibilities for Western companies. But former officials warn that security concerns and declining commodities prices stand in the way of profits.

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• The future of diesel — once the fuel of choice in Europe — is in doubt and, with it, a technology crucial to European automakers.

The backlash began in 2015 after Volkswagen admitted to programming engine software to dupe emissions regulators. But there are also environmental concerns, and German carmakers focused on diesel have been slow to develop hybrids.

A Volkswagen executive accused of knowingly providing false information to regulators in the U.S., where he was based, has agreed to plead guilty.

Interactive Feature | Morning Briefing What you need to know to start your day, delivered to your inbox.

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Business

• Michael Kors bought Jimmy Choo for about $1.2 billion. Our columnist examines whether the shoe fits — and if the deal risks taking the luxury footwear brand down-market.

General Motors reported that its second-quarter profit dropped 42 percent from a year earlier, primarily because of losses associated with the pending sale of its Opel and Vauxhall divisions in Europe.

Greece held its first bond sale in years, raising 3 billion euros. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said that it signaled Greece was on the path to a definitive end to its crisis.

China’s expansion and influence is increasingly evident in Iran, where Chinese investments and entrepreneurs are pouring in as Beijing unspools its “One Belt, One Road” project.

Some Bitcoin investors are defecting to create a rival currency called Bitcoin Cash that can handle more transactions.

Employees at a U.S. tech company are volunteering to have microchips injected between their thumb and index finger, making it easier to open doors and pay for food.

Here’s a snapshot of global markets.

Graphic | What the Markets Are Doing

In the News

The Muslim authorities in Jerusalem told worshipers to continue praying outside the Aqsa Mosque compound, even after Israel removed metal detectors from entrances that had prompted clashes. [The New York Times]

• Mariano Rajoy will become the first sitting Spanish prime minister to appear as a witness in court today. The trial stems from a series of corruption scandals involving members of his conservative People’s Party. [Reuters]

China and Russia held their first joint naval drill in the Baltic Sea, which has been a focus of heightened tensions between Russia and the West. [The New York Times]

Libya’s two main rival leaders have agreed to a nationwide cease-fire after talks hosted by President Emmanuel Macron of France. [The Guardian]

• A meeting between officials from the E.U. and Turkey, which is trying to gain membership, failed to ease tensions over the Turkish government’s crackdown after an attempted coup. [Associated Press]

Europe’s top human rights court ruled in favor of a woman who could not have sex after a botched operation in 1995, when she was 50. Portuguese judges had reduced the damages she was awarded, saying that sex was “not as important” for someone her age. [The New York Times]

The Swiss police have arrested a suspect in a chain saw attack that injured five people. [BBC]

An Australian minister resigned from the cabinet after learning that he might also be an Italian citizen. [Australian Broadcasting Corporation]

Smarter Living

Tips, both new and old, for a more fulfilling life.

• Recipe of the day: Weeknights call for comfort food like delicious chicken curry.

• Can you test the health of your gut microbiota?

• Toss care into the wind. Here’s how not to get a job.

Noteworthy

Jordan Spieth, above, and Rory McIlroy are locked in perhaps the most compulsive contest in men’s golf.

The macaron has gone from fad to fixture in the last decade. Here are eight pastry and chocolate houses in Paris keeping the French classic fresh and relevant.

In memoriam: Anne Dufourmantelle, 53, a French philosopher who urged people to take action when facing grave danger, died last week when she tried to save two children who were struggling to swim off a beach near St.-Tropez, France. And Margaret Bergmann Lambert, a German high jumper who was excluded from the 1936 Berlin Olympics because she was Jewish, has died at 103.

Back Story

“War in a periscope” declared the front page of The Times on this day in 1942.

The headline accompanied a photo from the U.S. Navy, “the first combat action photograph taken through the periscope of an American undersea craft.”

That got us wondering about other photographic firsts at The Times, so we dove into our archives.

The Times published its first photographs on Sept. 6, 1896, in the first edition of its Sunday Magazine. (The pictures were of two of the candidates in the 1860 presidential election. Photos of white, male politicians? Some things never change.)

It took 13 more years for a photo to finally appear on the front page. The Times sponsored a daredevil flight from Albany to New York City and ran a picture of the plane at takeoff.

We experimented with printing in color as far back as the early 20th century, but the front page was strictly black and white until Oct. 16, 1997, when a photo of the World Series-bound Cleveland Indians appeared.

Interested in more photos from The Times’s archive? Check out our blog, The Lively Morgue, and follow @nytarchives on Instagram.

Chris Stanford and Ryan Murphy contributed reporting.

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