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Good evening. Here’s the latest.
1. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta is resigning.
President Trump asked Mr. Acosta to make the announcement himself, as they stood together on the White House lawn. Mr. Acosta said stepping down was “the right thing to do,” given the uproar over the sex crimes plea deal he struck for the financier Jeffrey Epstein more than a decade ago. Watch the video.
Mr. Epstein, now facing sex-trafficking charges in New York, was accused of witness tampering today. Federal prosecutors said he had wired $250,000 to a former employee and $100,000 to a second person, both of whom were potential witnesses against him.
Mr. Trump’s presidency has set a first-term record for White House staff and cabinet turnover. When Mr. Acosta’s resignation is effective on July 19, four cabinet secretaries and the White House chief of staff position will all be “acting,” unconfirmed by the Senate.
2. A dangerous deluge is set to to drench Louisiana.
Tropical Storm Barry is gathering strength in the warm water of the Gulf. It’s expected to become a hurricane, making landfall before dawn on Saturday.
Morgan City, home to 12,000 people and surrounded by water, is right in the storm’s path, and flash flooding is likely to hit Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Above, Algiers Point in New Orleans today.
Barry could be the biggest test to New Orleans’s complex pump-and-levee protection system since Katrina. Follow live updates here.
3. “Nothing to be secret about.”
That was President Trump, telling reporters at the White House that raids to arrest and deport undocumented migrant families in nearly a dozen cities would begin Sunday, reviving the large-scale action he delayed a month ago.
Officials told our reporters that ICE could start the raids even sooner. Above, a 2017 ICE raid in California.
Democratic-led state and local officials, including Mayor Lori Lightfoot of Chicago and Governor Gavin Newsom of California, are mobilizing in opposition, and four nonprofit groups filed a lawsuit in New York seeking an injunction to block the operation.
4. Turkey got its first shipment of a Russian missile system.
The S-400 surface-to-air system, which includes truck-mounted radars, command posts and missiles and launchers, risks provoking American sanctions and testing Turkey’s place in the NATO alliance.
The Pentagon is concerned that the Russian engineers who would set up the system would be able to learn too much about the American-made F-35 fighter jets that are also part of Turkey’s arsenal.
More broadly, there are worries about Russia renewing ties with Turkey, which had broken over the Syrian war.
5. Facebook’s $5 billion privacy settlement.
We learned that the Federal Trade Commission approved the record-setting fine.
It’s by far the largest penalty for violating an F.T.C. order, in this case a 2012 consent decree in which Facebook agreed to better protect users’ privacy. Instead, Facebook failed to prevent Cambridge Analytica, a data analysis firm that worked for President Trump’s campaign, from accessing the personal data of tens of millions of Americans.
The F.T.C. voted 3-2, with the Republican commissioners backing the fine and Democrats opposing. It awaits approval from the Department of Justice.
6. Ford Motor and Volkswagen are teaming up on self-driving and electric vehicles.
The auto giants are putting aside their rivalries as the industry tries to fend off Silicon Valley challengers and obsolescence.
The companies already cooperate on commercial vehicles and pickups, but the new arrangement could invite the kind of power struggles among managers and engineers that have doomed many other alliances.
7. More charges for R. Kelly.
The singer was arrested in Chicago on Thursday night while walking his dog, and faces new charges that include making child pornography, obstructing justice, withholding food and water and other crimes relating to sex with underage girls. Above, Mr. Kelly leaving court in Chicago in March after a hearing on earlier charges.
According to a 13-count indictment unsealed today, he bought the silence of an earlier underage accuser and her family for more than a dozen years. A separate indictment in Brooklyn charges Mr. Kelly with racketeering and violating the Mann Act, which prohibits transporting people across state lines for prostitution.
Two dogged journalists played notable roles in exposing the allegations against R. Kelly and Jeffrey Epstein: Jim DeRogatis, a Chicago music journalist who has chronicled Mr. Kelly’s case for almost 20 years; and Julie K. Brown of The Miami Herald, who revealed the plea bargain agreement brokered by Alexander Acosta.
8. When white nationalists take a DNA test, they see what they want to see.
On the hate site Stormfront, one of the largest online discussion forums dedicated to “white pride,” sharing DNA results has become a rite of passage — even when members discover they’re not as white as they thought. Above, a neo-Nazi rally in Arkansas last year.
Two researchers found that the white nationalists tended to console the m with skepticism about the tests’ methodology, conspiracy theories about Jewish-owned genetic testing companies’ multicultural agendas, and reminders about alternative ways of measuring whiteness.
The basic conclusion: It’s hard to get people to alter their views, even with stark evidence to the contrary.
8. Roger Federer beat Rafael Nadal to reach the Wimbledon final.
Unlike their famous twilight duel in 2008, the semifinal match was not a contender for the greatest match of all time — but it had its thrilling moments, and a different finish.
Federer won 7-6 (3), 1-6, 6-3, 6-4, finishing off his fifth match point by playing as boldly as he had from start to finish.
The victory earned Federer, 37, a chance to renew another great rivalry: this one with Novak Djokovic, the world No. 1, in Sunday’s final. On Saturday, Serena Williams plays Simona Halep in the women’s final (9:15 a.m. Eastern, ESPN).
9. Beyoncé’s “Lion King” anthem goes full gospel.
Her showpiece for the Disney remake, in which she co-stars, chants “Long live the kind” in Swahili, but Beyoncé’s exhortation is not just for this lion king — it’s for every righteous striver facing doubts, writes Jon Pareles, our pop music critic, in this week’s Playlist of 10 new songs.
Her vocal, urged on by a choir, builds from breathy eagerness to full-throated cry, reaching a different kind of humility at its peak: just piano and Beyoncé’s soprano, envisioning a biblical transcendence, “to be one with the Great I Am.”
10. And finally, where are all those happy little trees?
Bob Ross is one of America’s most beloved artists. Before he died in 1995, he created more than 1,000 landscapes for his TV show, “The Joy of Painting.” A multimedia kitsch empire was born — but his original works are almost impossible to buy.
A Times video team found some answers. (The video isn’t behind our paywall, so we won’t spoil the mystery for you.)
Don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents — and have a good weekend!
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