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We start today with a devastating fire at the Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris, charges against Volkswagen’s chief executive and a bookstore in London that celebrates overlooked female writers.
A fire devastated Notre-Dame
The Cathedral of Notre-Dame, the iconic symbol of the beauty and history of Paris, was scarred by an extensive fire on Monday evening that caused its delicate spire to collapse.
By 11 p.m., Jean-Claude Gallet, the Paris fire chief, said that the structure, including the two magnificent towers soaring above the skyline, had been “saved and preserved as a whole,” but that two-thirds of the roof was destroyed. President Emmanuel Macron vowed that the cathedral would be rebuilt.
Our architecture critic looked at the historic cathedral’s symbolism. The fire, he wrote, represents a kind of catastrophe that has “to do with beauty and spirit and symbolism.”
How it started: The cause of the fire was not immediately known, officials said, but Mr. Gallet told television interviewers that the blaze had begun in the interior network of wooden beams, many dating to the Middle Ages. No one was killed or injured, officials said.
Go deeper: We have photos and video of the disaster, and a short history of this scarred jewel of Gothic architecture.
Volkswagen’s former chief executive charged in Germany
Prosecutors brought criminal charges of aggravated fraud against the executive, Martin Winterkorn, for his role in the automaker’s yearslong effort to deceive regulators about its vehicles’ diesel emissions.
If convicted, Mr. Winterkorn could receive up to 10 years in prison.
Details: German prosecutors said the charges were linked to events from 2006, when the deception was conceived, to 2015, when it first came to light. Prosecutors say Mr. Winterkorn tried to conceal the emissions fraud even after he was told it was beginning to raise questions.
Reminder: Last May, the U.S. Justice Department also charged Mr. Winterkorn with fraud, placing the scandal within Volkswagen’s upper echelons for the first time.
He has used his unpredictability as a source of leverage in discussions with Europe, Canada, Mexico, Japan and elsewhere, but his approach is causing concern among businesses and foreign officials.
European officials have complained about Mr. Trump’s changing the objective of their trade talks. And experts say American partners may feel encouraged to look elsewhere for trade relationships.
Other Trump news: The redacted Mueller report will be released to the public on Thursday, the Justice Department said. Department lawyers will black out secret grand jury testimony, classified information, material related to continuing investigations and other delicate information before then.
Cities that provide relief from climate change
As the West burns, the South swelters and the East floods, some Americans are starting to reconsider where they choose to live.
Duluth, Minn., is attracting attention, as climate projections suggest that the Great Lakes area, the region around Duluth, will be one of the few places in America where the effects of climate change may be more easily managed.
The mayor of Duluth has been intrigued by the idea of becoming a climate refuge. “It’s not as cold as you think,” goes one possible slogan. Buffalo has floated the idea as well.
Details: At least once a day, Jesse Keenan, a Harvard lecturer who studies urban development and climate adaptation, gets an email from someone asking where to move to be safe from climate change.
If you have 45 minutes, this is worth it
The original source of the president’s wealth
The Times won a Pulitzer Prize on Monday for explanatory reporting in recognition of our investigation into the Trump family’s finances.
President Trump has long sold himself as a self-made billionaire. But an 18-month-long Times investigation found that he received at least $413 million in today’s dollars from his father’s real estate empire, much of it through tax dodges in the 1990s.
He and his siblings set up a sham corporation to disguise millions of dollars in gifts from their parents, records and interviews show.
Here’s what else is happening
Capitol Hill: Congressional investigators issued subpoenas to Deutsche Bank and numerous other banks in an attempt to collect information about President Trump’s finances.
Denmark: After an anti-Muslim provocateur publicly desecrated the Quran in Copenhagen, demonstrations against him on Sunday and early Monday descended into violent clashes between protesters, who set about 70 fires in the streets, and the police, who made 23 arrests.
Serbia: Mirjana Markovic, the influential wife of Slobodan Milosevic, the Serbian leader charged with genocide, died in Russia, where she fled in 2003 to avoid prosecution.
France: A new task force will search for and return artwork that was looted during the Nazi occupation, after years of criticism that restitution efforts were not proactive enough.
Brazil: The American Museum of Natural History, following days of criticism, said it would no longer host an event at the museum by an outside organization that was to have honored President Jair Bolsonaro, whose environmental policies have come under fire.
South Korea: President Moon Jae-in said he wanted to meet again with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, even after Mr. Kim dismissed Mr. Moon’s mediating efforts between the North and the United States as “officious.”
Snapshot: Persephone Books in London, above, is devoted to overlooked works by female writers in the mid-1900s, and the shop is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. “I like books that tell me how we lived,” said Nicola Beauman, its founder. “I’m very, very interested in the novel as social history.”
Health: A hand-held ultrasound scanner called the Butterfly iQ may revolutionize front-line global medicine, especially in rural Africa, Asia and Latin America, where the nearest X-ray machine may be hours away.
Boston Marathon: Lawrence Cherono of Kenya beat Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia in the men’s field by a mere two seconds, winning in 2:07:57, while Worknesh Degefa of Ethiopia ran away from the field of women, finishing in 2:23:31.
What we’re reading: This essay in The Atlantic. Tom Jolly, who oversees production of our daily print edition, writes: “This is a nice distillation of the joys of reading the newspaper, at your own pace, uninterrupted by texts, calls and general attention-deficit issues. And you can even model your robe for your neighbors!”
Now, a break from the news
Watch: “Teen Spirit,” Max Minghella’s sweet and touching directing debut, is both proudly clichéd and refreshingly different. We made it a Critic’s Pick.
Smarter Living: Simone Davies, an author and Montessori teacher, took our writer through a calming makeover of her children’s playroom. The main idea: Kids play more when there’s less to play with. So toys and books went into a closet, to be rotated out a few at a time. A quilt with pillows marked out a reading corner. Older children’s crafts went into accessible bins. And the baby got a ground-level, stocked play space.
Experts at Wirecutter have recommendations to affordably make your flight less dismal and more enjoyable.
And now for the Back Story on …
The environment vs. population growth
In smaller cities and rural areas of the U.S., demographic decline is a painful reality. Hungary is worried about its declining population. Same with Japan. Even China.
It’s an economic truism: Growing populations drive economies.
But in this era of climate change, is it wiser to have fewer people to house, feed and provide power for?
Globally, a smaller population would “make a difference, certainly,” said Joseph Chamie, a former U.N. population official. “Fewer people means fewer items consumed, and fewer resources used, so your carbon footprint would be less.”
But limiting population growth, he said, can’t solve the environmental problems caused by mass production and consumption, especially in wealthier parts of the world.
And companies whose business models rely on constant growth have little incentive to change. More customers and more consumption mean more profits.
“We can try to maintain the quality of the environment,” Mr. Chamie said. “But we have to change our mind-set regarding how the economy moves.”
That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.
To Mark Josephson, Eleanor Stanford and James K. Williamson for the break from the news. James also wrote today’s Back Story. You can reach the team at email@example.com.
• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our latest episode is about Julian Assange.
• Here’s today’s mini crossword puzzle, and a clue: Exaggerate one’s fall, in soccer (4 letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• The New York Times won two Pulitzer Prizes on Monday, one for the Trump tax story we featured today, and one for Brent Staples’s editorial writing, which helped redefine the history of race in America.