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Congress, Donald Trump Jr., Mosul: Your Monday Evening Briefing

Donald Trump Jr. gave two different explanations for the meeting.

It turns out that the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow offered the Trump family links to Russia — and to the Kremlin. Above, the after-party.



Credit Alex Wong/Getty Images

3. The nation’s consumer watchdog adopted a new rule that would mean that banks and credit card companies could no longer force customers into arbitration, restoring their ability to band together in class-action suits. It could take effect next year.

The change would deal a serious blow to Wall Street and could wind up costing those firms billions.

It is almost certain to set off a political firestorm in Washington, where both the Trump administration and House Republicans have pushed to rein in the agency, called the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Above, its director, Richard Cordray.



Credit Fadel Senna/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

4. Now that Mosul has been largely retaken from the militants of the Islamic State, uncertainty about the city’s future is emerging.

Our correspondent says the end of the fighting “resurfaces a vital question that has been asked ever since the modern and multisectarian state of Iraq was created from the ashes of World War I: Can the country hold together?”

And representatives of Syria’s warring factions met in Geneva for a seventh round of peace talks, as a limited truce appeared to be holding in the country’s southwest.



Credit Josh Edelson/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

5. Wildfires rolled across dry terrain in the Western United States and Canada, fueled by lightning, strong winds and temperatures in the triple digits.

The National Weather Service issued red flag warnings for regions in at least six states, signaling critical conditions over the next 24 hours. In some areas, firefighters have been battling fires for a week. Above, a scene from Oroville, Calif.



Credit Zach Gross for The New York Times

6. In New York, the first day of “the summer of hell” wasn’t so bad.

Two months of track closings at Penn Station have now begun. Three derailments this year highlighted the urgency of repairs.

Penn is the nation’s busiest train station, and tracks used by New Jersey Transit, Long Island Rail Road and Amtrak are affected, along with thousands of travelers. See our commuting guide.

We also published some unexpectedly beautiful images of Penn Station, including the one above, by the photographer Zach Gross.



Credit Massimo Percossi/European Pressphoto Agency

7. The body of Christ cannot be gluten-free.

That’s the word from the Vatican. Communion wafers and other unleavened bread cannot be made from rice, potato or other wheat substitutes that are completely free of the protein. But products that use so little wheat starch that they can be legally labeled “gluten-free” are fine.

The Anglican Communion has a similar position, while some other Christian denominations do allow truly gluten-free bread.



Credit Tristan Spinski for The New York Times

8. Stuffed monkeys, ivory carvings, snow leopard coats and dried seal penises.

Those are just some of the items confiscated at American airports and sent to the National Wildlife Property Repository, near Denver. (It also accepts donated items.)

We sent a photographer to take a look. The images he came back with are a testament, if you will, to the human appetite for other species.



Credit Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

9. Tonight is Major League Baseball’s annual Home Run Derby at Marlins Park in Miami, above. Our sportswriter says it may seem redundant, because it basically describes the entire first half of the season.

Baseball is on pace for 6,117 home runs this season, which shatters the previous record. June had the most of any month ever.

Analytics and tech have persuaded players to swing higher. But some fans worry about the trade-off of homers versus action in the field.



Credit Kim Raff for The New York Times

10. Finally, got a full house? We put together some tips on how to cook for a crowd. Above center, Cheryl Flake, who is married to Senator Jeff Flake and was one of the experts we consulted.

Elsewhere in our robust advice department: Our Smarter Living newsletter covers how to get stuff done ( stop looking at Instagram), and our Well section has ideas on how to raise a bilingual child (start early). And before you burn up your credit card on Amazon Prime Day (which begins at 9 p.m. Eastern Monday), check out our guide to the real deals.

Have a great night.


Photographs may appear out of order for some readers. Viewing this version of the briefing should help.

Your Evening Briefing is posted at 6 p.m. Eastern.

And don’t miss Your Morning Briefing, posted weekdays at 6 a.m. Eastern, and Your Weekend Briefing, posted at 6 a.m. Sundays.

Want to look back? Here’s Friday night’s briefing.

What did you like? What do you want to see here? Let us know at briefing@nytimes.com.

Source: NYT > World

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