Trump’s Fate Is Now in the Hands of the Jury

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For more than five weeks, a jury of 12 New Yorkers, seven men and five women, sat quietly and listened to arguments from lawyers and testimony from witnesses in the first criminal trial of an American president. Now, a decision is in their hands.

Deliberations began today after the judge overseeing Donald Trump’s trial in New York, Juan Merchan, delivered an array of legal instructions to guide the jury. Merchan reminded the jurors to set aside any biases and consider the defendant a peer. The jurors then retreated behind closed doors with the task of reaching a verdict that could either vindicate Trump or sully him as a felon as he seeks to regain the presidency.

They deliberated for more than four hours before Merchan dismissed them for the day. During that time, they sent a couple of notes to the judge, including a request to hear his instructions again. Merchan said that the requests would be addressed tomorrow, when the jury returns for a second day of deliberations.

While the jury could reach a verdict as soon as tomorrow, it also could take several more weeks, or they could fail to reach a verdict at all. Trump has been charged with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records on the eve of the 2016 election, and the jurors’ verdict on each count must be unanimous. If convicted, Trump would face a sentence ranging from probation to four years in prison — although he would be certain to appeal, a process that could take years.

In a separate criminal case, Judge Aileen Cannon has allowed proceedings in Trump’s documents case to become bogged down.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken suggested today that the Biden administration could be open to tolerating strikes by the Ukrainian military inside Russia using American-made weapons. He said that the U.S., which has so far opposed such attacks, would “adapt and adjust” its stance based on battlefield conditions.

In recent days, President Biden has come under intense pressure to reverse his position from Ukrainians, Western leaders and even his own advisers. Jens Stoltenberg, the usually cautious NATO secretary general, recently said that cross-border strikes were the only way that Ukraine could counter Russia’s advance in the northeast.

In related news, the Pentagon plans to almost double production of artillery shells by opening a new factory in Texas that will keep Ukraine’s artillery crews supplied.

The African National Congress, or A.N.C., has governed South Africa since the end of apartheid 30 years ago. But for today’s election, polls predicted that the party will lose its outright majority for the first time.

Staggering unemployment, poverty, crime and a lack of basic services have left many South Africans fed up with the government. While the A.N.C. receives most of its support from poor and working-class communities, a growing cohort of Black professionals have soured on the party.

A confluence of frequent storms, labor shortages and inflation caused the average American insurance rates for a home to increase last year by more than 11 percent. The biggest jumps occurred in Texas, Arizona and Utah.

Yet the higher insurance costs are not meaningfully raising the nation’s official inflation data, which could help to explain part of the disconnect between how people feel about the economy and how it looks on paper.

Mira Nadon, a principal dancer with New York City Ballet, is just 23. But her versatility, artistry and jaw-dropping abandon have made her seem like a ballerina superhero. Last month, she opened the spring season with a commanding solo in George Balanchine’s “Errante.” This week, she stars in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

The most renowned players in baseball history have sat atop the record books for nearly a century with career averages long considered unbreakable. Ty Cobb was the sport’s leading hitter, and Babe Ruth its leading slugger. Now, Josh Gibson, who played in the ’30s and ’40s for the Pittsburgh Crawfords and the Homestead Grays, holds both of those records.

That’s because today, more than 77 years after Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier, Major League Baseball officially integrated Negro League statistics into its ledgers. My colleague Tyler Kepner explained why baseball executives decided to make the change, and just how much of an impact it has on the record books.

A bright and delicious salad can be harvested from your backyard garden without any yearly replanting. Just ask John Forti, who has been tending to the edible perennials growing around his Maine home for more than two decades.

From his garden, Forti harvests sorrel, rhubarb and even vibrant flowers like the Scarlet beebalm. He uses them to make soup, snacks and tea. But it’s not just about food; Forti sees the perennials as “a living history,” reminding him of the stories of the people whose plants he inherited.

Have a lush evening.

Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow. — Matthew

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