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Morning Briefing: Asia Pacific Edition

Your Wednesday Briefing: New Jan. 6 Revelations

Donald Trump tried to loosen security before the riot, a former aide testified.

June 28, 2022, 4:32 p.m. ET

Good morning. We’re covering new Jan. 6 revelations, the deaths of migrants to the U.S. and Turkey’s concession on NATO’s expansion.

ImageCassidy Hutchinson, a former White House aide, during the hearing on Capitol Hill.
Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Donald Trump demanded to join the mob as it approached the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, even as the riot was underway, a former White House aide testified yesterday to the House committee investigating the attack.

Trump knew the crowd he amassed in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021, was armed and could turn violent, but he wanted security protections lifted, said Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to Mark Meadows, Trump’s final chief of staff.

Hutchinson paraphrased the former president’s objections to the presence of magnetometers to detect weapons: “‘You know, I don’t f-ing care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me. Take the f-ing mags away. Let my people in. They can march to the Capitol from here. Let the people in. Take the f-ing mags away.’”

Hutchinson also testified that Trump tried to grab the steering wheel of the presidential limo from a Secret Service agent when he was told that it was not safe to go to the Capitol. Here are live updates.

Details: Meadows and Rudy Giuliani sought pardons from Trump after the riot, Hutchinson testified.

Rage: Inside the White House, Trump threw dishes, splattering ketchup on the wall, after learning his attorney general had publicly shot down his false allegations of a stolen election, Hutchinson said.

Analysis: “This is the smoking gun,” said one expert, who told The Times that today’s hearing established a case for Trump’s criminal culpability on “seditious conspiracy charges.”


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Credit…Lisa Krantz for The New York Times

The death toll from a scorching-hot tractor-trailer found in the Texas sun rose to at least 50 people yesterday. At least 16 people were taken to hospitals in San Antonio, suffering from apparent heat exhaustion and dehydration. Several later died.

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The victims were believed to be migrants trying to cross into the U.S. from Mexico. Officials suggested that extreme heat most likely contributed to their deaths. Authorities took three people into custody and were working to identify victims.

Mexico’s foreign minister said on Twitter that the dead included 22 Mexicans, seven Guatemalans and two Hondurans. Others have not yet been identified. All of the victims were believed to have crossed into the U.S. illegally. Here are live updates.

Details: The truck did not have operating air-conditioning, officials said, and the temperature reached 103 degrees in San Antonio on Monday. The city’s fire chief said people were “hot to the touch.”

Background: The tragedy comes amid a migration surge at the southern border of the U.S., exacerbated by a pandemic-era health policy under which migrants are often returned to Mexico.


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Credit…Kenny Holston for The New York Times

Turkey agreed to lift its veto on Sweden and Finland joining NATO, clearing a major diplomatic hurdle. Today, the alliance will formally invite the two countries to join at a summit in Madrid. Here are live updates.

The Madrid meeting comes after the Group of 7 summit in Germany, which concluded yesterday with a fledgling and untested plan to seek price caps on Russian oil. Leaders also announced that they would spend billions more on food security, seeking to counter shortages caused by Russia’s invasion.

President Vladimir Putin also traveled to meet with allies, heading to Tajikistan before a meeting with leaders of Central Asian countries in Turkmenistan today — a potential bulwark against his isolation from the West. It was his first trip abroad since the invasion, and a show of confidence.

Fighting: The death toll from a Russian missile strike on a crowded mall in central Ukraine rose to 18, the city’s mayor said. Russia released a fresh round of strikes yesterday, killing at least eight more civilians. Communication breakdowns are still proving fatal for Ukrainian soldiers.

India: Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the G7 meeting. He is trying to position India as the voice of poorer nations, arguing that sanctions hurt developing countries the most.

What’s next: At the NATO summit, Western leaders are expected to announce more military funding for Ukraine and the deployment of more forces in Eastern Europe. Tomorrow in Moscow, Putin plans to meet with President Joko Widodo of Indonesia.

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Credit…Leo Ramirez/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
  • China cut its required quarantine time in half for international arrivals to seven days in a facility, followed by three days of home isolation.

  • Indian authorities arrested Mohammed Zubair, a prominent Muslim journalist and a critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on charges of inciting religious disharmony.

  • Australia put some of its honey bees under lockdown as a parasite ripped through hives, The Financial Times reports.

  • After a night of drinking, a Japanese man lost two USB sticks containing the personal information of 460,000 people — the entire population of a city. Two days later, the drives were found.

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Credit…John Minchillo/Associated Press
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  • Judges in Texas, Louisiana and Utah temporarily blocked laws that would ban abortion.

  • Democrats are dissatisfied with the response of President Biden and other party leaders to the overturning of Roe.

  • Economists say the odds of a recession in the U.S. are increasing, though the range of their forecasts is wide.

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Credit…Andrew Lee for The New York Times

Taiwanese fried chicken is gaining a foothold in the American culinary landscape as a generation of young chefs reimagine the street food classic amid a surging interest in Taiwanese cuisine.

Cancer biologists use the gene-editing technology CRISPR to discover hidden vulnerabilities of tumor cells. Botanists use CRISPR to grow more nutritious tomatoes. Evolutionary biologists deploy the tool to study Neanderthal brains and how our ape ancestors lost their tails.

There is no doubt of its impact: CRISPR — one of the most celebrated inventions in modern biology — earned the 2020 Nobel Prize for chemistry. But the decade-old technology has also raised profound ethical questions about altering human DNA.

In 2018, the implications became real when a Chinese biophysicist edited a gene in human embryos to confer resistance to H.I.V. He was sentenced to prison for “illegal medical practices” the next year. The three embryos are now toddlers; little is known about their health.

Scientists don’t yet know of anyone else who has followed his example, but many believe it’s only a matter of time.

“Will it then become acceptable, or even routine, to repair disease-causing genes in an embryo in the lab?” Carl Zimmer writes. “What if parents wanted to insert traits that they found more desirable — like those related to height, eye color or intelligence?”

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Credit…Julia Gartland for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Monica Pierini.

This creamy vegetable tofu curry keeps for days.

Flux Gourmet,” Peter Strickland’s latest film, is a speculative comedy about art, desire and gastrointestinal discomfort.

Lars Kepler (the pen name of a husband-and-wife crime fiction-writing team) offers suggestions for reading your way through Stockholm.

Play today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Green gemstone (Four letters).

Here are today’s Wordle and today’s Spelling Bee.

You can find all our puzzles here.


That’s it for today’s briefing. See you next time. — Amelia

P.S. David Sanger, who covers the White House and national security, is celebrating 40 years at The Times.

The latest episode of “The Daily” is about the new U.S. abortion map.

You can reach Amelia and the team at [email protected].

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