Wednesday Briefing

Donald Trump faces significant new federal charges.

Donald Trump, apparently onstage, wearing a blue suit and red tie.
Jack Smith, the special counsel overseeing the investigation, filed charges against former President Donald J. Trump in connection with his efforts to remain in power after losing the 2020 election.

Maddie McGarvey for The New York Times

Donald Trump was indicted yesterday in connection with his far-reaching efforts to overturn the 2020 election. It is his second federal indictment — the first was related to his handling of national defense documents — and his third overall.

The indictment accuses Trump of three conspiracies: one to defraud the U.S., a second to obstruct an official government proceeding and a third to deprive people of civil rights provided by federal law or the Constitution. He is also charged with a fourth count of obstructing an official proceeding. The most serious charge carries a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison. See the annotated indictment.

The charges signify an extraordinary moment in American history: Can a sitting president spread lies about an election and try to deploy his government’s power to overturn the will of the voters without consequence? The Trump case raises the kind of specter that is more familiar in less stable nations, Peter Baker, a White House correspondent, writes in an analysis.

Quotable: The attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, “was fueled by lies” — Trump’s lies, Jack Smith, the special counsel, said.

Response: Trump denounced the new charges. “Why did they wait two and a half years to bring these fake charges, right in the middle of President Trump’s winning campaign for 2024?” he said, calling it “election interference” and comparing the Biden administration to Nazi Germany.

A French military Airbus 330 preparing to touch down at Diori Hamani International Airport in Niamey, Niger, on Tuesday.Issifou Djibo/EPA, via Shutterstock

Nearly a week after a military takeover in Niger, uncertainty remains about who is truly in charge. Hundreds of European nationals gathered yesterday at the airport in the country’s capital for an evacuation flight, as the coup threatened to set off a regional conflict.

The leaders of Mali and Burkina Faso — both of whom also seized power in military coups — have backed the soldiers behind the coup in Niger, said Declan Walsh, The Times’s chief Africa correspondent. Their own seizures “led to their suspension from the Economic Community of West African States,” he said. “That bloc threatened on Sunday to lead a military intervention in Niger unless the ousted president was returned to office.”

What’s next: It’s unclear if either side is serious about going to war, but this signals how divided West Africa is. “There are 1,500 French troops and 1,100 American troops in Niger; what happens to them is at the heart of Western calculations over the crisis,” Declan said.

Law enforcement officers blocking participants in a Pride rally in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 2019.Anton Vaganov/Reuters

A new law in Russia criminalizes all surgery and hormone treatments used for gender transitions. It comes on top of a measure enacted last December prohibiting the representation of L.G.B.T.Q. relationships in any media — streaming services, social platforms, books, music, posters, billboards or film.

Together, the legislative changes underscore how President Vladimir Putin is increasingly using the war in Ukraine as justification for greater restrictions on L.G.B.T.Q. life, portraying it as a consequence of deviant Western values.

From the war:

Laetitia Vancon for The New York Times
K. Miller, Caltech/IPAC
R S Iyer/Associated Press

Eleven Indian women who work together in sanitation pooled their money to buy a lottery ticket costing about $3. The jackpot was $1.2 million — an enormous sum for workers who spend their days collecting household waste and building public toilets.

Last week, they won.

Soccer tactics in 2023-24: Anti-positional football, Xabi Alonso and Middlesbrough.

A breakthrough season: The Premier League players who could announce themselves this year.

Watching the U.S. women’s soccer team play the Netherlands with legends: Insight from those who played the game.

From The Times: Tiger Woods will join the PGA Tour’s board after a player rebellion over the tour’s deal with Saudi Arabia’s wealth fund.

The Guggenheim raised its adult entrance fee to $30.Karsten Moran for The New York Times

When the Guggenheim Museum opened in 1959, admission cost 50 cents, or about $5.20 when adjusted for inflation. By 2015, it had risen to $25. As of yesterday, an adult ticket is now $30 — the new standard for major U.S. museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The heightened fees are in large part intended to make up for inflation-fueled costs and declines in membership and attendance. But some industry leaders are worried that the prices could alienate younger, less affluent crowds.

Armando Rafael for The New York Times.

Caldo verde is a beloved Portuguese soup.

A breakup song worth listening to a million times over.

How to switch up your workouts into your 40s.

Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Mother of a fawn (three letters).

And here are today’s Wordle and the Spelling Bee.

You can find all our puzzles here.

That’s it for today’s briefing. Thanks for joining me. — Natasha

P.S. Blake Wilson is Well’s new editorial director.

Lynsey Chutel contributed reporting. Reach Natasha and the team at


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