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Tuesday Briefing – The New York Times

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The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that Donald Trump was entitled to substantial immunity from prosecution on charges of trying to overturn the last election, a major statement on presidential power that could have long-term repercussions. Read the full ruling.

The crux of the ruling, which was 6 to 3 on partisan lines, is in the difference between a president’s official acts, such as policy changes or military decisions, and private conduct. Broad immunity for official conduct is needed, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the majority, to protect “an energetic, independent executive.”

The liberal justices warned in their dissent that the ruling extended a level of immunity that could undermine democracy, and said that the decision made the president into “a king above the law.”

What’s next: The ruling will almost certainly delay Trump’s trial on charges of plotting to subvert the 2020 election until after this year’s vote. The case now returns to the lower court, which will decide whether Trump’s actions were in an official or private capacity. If Trump wins re-election, he can simply order the Justice Department to drop the charges.

Biden: The president warned last night that the decision meant that there were “virtually no limits” on what Trump, if returned to office, could do.

For many, France felt like a different place yesterday after the country’s far-right National Rally party won a record number of votes in the first round of snap elections. Already, frenetic campaigning has begun for Sunday’s runoff. Only 76 of the 577 seats in the National Assembly were won outright, and there will be a battle for the remaining seats this week.

The big question is whether the National Rally can command an absolute majority after the runoff. If that happens, France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, will be forced to appoint a political adversary as prime minister, shifting domestic policy and muddling foreign policy. If not, the National Assembly will most likely be ungovernable, with Macron’s centrist party and its allies squeezed between the right and the left.

Israel released Mohammad Abu Salmiya, the director of Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, after having detained him for more than seven months, Palestinian health officials said. The move drew an immediate outcry in Israel even though no charges against him had been made public.

Human rights groups have said that his prolonged detention was a sign of Israeli mistreatment of Palestinian prisoners, while some Israeli officials denounced the decision to release him as an example of mismanagement of the war by Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister.

Just a few decades ago, many researchers considered pets to be deeply unserious study subjects. Today, companion animals like cats and dogs are scientifically in vogue. The research, which sometimes relies on data from tens of thousands of pet owners, promises to also inform human medicine.

Lives lived: Ismail Kadare, an Albanian novelist and poet whose dark, allegorical work obliquely criticized his country’s totalitarian government, died at 88. Here’s a guide to his books.

Dozens of properties owned by the National Trust, the nearly 130-year-old charity that manages many of Britain’s prized historic homes, have deep ties to colonial exploitation and slavery.

But when the organization highlighted these links in displays, it caused a conservative backlash. Right-wing columnists and academics accused the trust of being “woke” and “anti-British,” and they began a campaign to roll back some of the changes. For three years, that battle has played out on social media and in Britain’s right-wing newspapers.

Hilary McGrady, the trust’s director general, said that she could understand how the changes “might feel unnerving.” But she disputes claims that the trust is on “a mad campaign to undermine history.”

That’s it for today’s briefing. See you tomorrow. — Natasha

Reach Natasha and the team at briefing@nytimes.com.

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