(Want to get this briefing by email? Here’s the sign-up.)
Good morning. Washington’s options on Syria, a stunning offer for FIFA and Xi Jinping moves the markets.
• Mark Zuckerberg, in a suit and tie, met an army of cardboard look-alikes in “Fix Facebook” T-shirts when he arrived on Capitol Hill to begin testifying before lawmakers.
People lined up to try to get into the congressional hearing room to witness him being grilled by more than 40 senators on how the company failed to protect the data of millions of users, its vulnerability to fake and malicious stories and other issues. (Our tech columnist narrates this video about just how much Facebook knows about us.)
We’re following the events here. Expecting theatrics more than revelations — or, as a former privacy adviser to the Senate put it, “The script is mostly known; the question is how it’s said.”
• President Trump canceled a trip to South America as he and U.S. allies weighed retaliation over the suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria. Above, he met with the emir of Qatar at the Oval Office.
Our Interpreter columnists divided the U.S. options into three categories: limited punitive strikes, actions to make the war costlier for the Syrian government (like arming opposition fighters), and extensive strikes that could throw millions more lives into chaos — and possibly risk a direct confrontation with Russia.
Meanwhile, the fighting goes on. The U.N. said that more than 133,000 people fled eastern Ghouta, the last major rebel-held pocket near the capital, Damascus, in the face of the government’s military onslaught.
And a senior Iranian official warned Israel that its strike on a Syrian air base that killed several Iranians would “not remain without a response.”
• The F.B.I. was looking for records of payments to two women who say they had affairs with President Trump when agents raided the office of Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, on Monday.
The two women are already well known: Stephanie Clifford, better known as the adult film star Stormy Daniels, above right, and Karen McDougal, an ex-Playboy model.
The agents were also seeking information related to the publisher of The National Enquirer’s role in silencing Ms. McDougal, several people briefed on the investigation said.
In our daily news podcast, “The Daily,” the Times law enforcement reporter discusses how he broke the story of the raid, and what it means for Mr. Trump.
• “The Cold War mentality and zero-sum game are increasingly obsolete.”
That was President Xi Jinping of China speaking publicly for the first time since the beginning of an escalating trade dispute with the U.S. Above, Mr. Xi Jinping with President Trump in Beijing in November.
His pro-trade speech at the Boao Forum in Hainan buoyed markets worldwide. Wall Street was up sharply.
• Australia is a proudly multicultural nation, our Sydney bureau chief writes, but its halls of power are still mostly white.
Roughly 94 percent of Parliament is of Anglo-Celtic or European heritage. Among Australia’s federal and state government department heads, the homogeneity is even more pronounced: 99 percent is Anglo-Celtic or European.
“These are not what you’d expect from one of the world’s greatest multicultural countries,” said the chief author of a new report.
• FIFA was offered $25 billion from a mysterious consortium of Asian and Middle Eastern investors for an expanded version of FIFA’s Club World Cup and the rights to a proposed global league. The offer is a sign of the scramble among the sport’s top clubs, its leading figureheads and deep-pocketed investors to unearth new ways to capitalize on the world’s most popular sport.
• Volkswagen is set to replace Matthias Müller as chief executive as it grapples with a long-running and deeply damaging diesel emissions scandal. A final decision is expected by the end of the week.
• Bayer’s stock soared after reports that the U.S. Justice Department was close to approving the German pharmaceutical giant’s $66 billion purchase of Monsanto, the American biotech behemoth.
• China now boasts the world’s most valuable A.I. start-up: SenseTime, valued at more than $3 billion.
• Almost half of the world’s 20 busiest airports are in Asia, a new report shows, with Delhi and Guangzhou the fastest-growing on the list. (Atlanta’s airport continues to top the list.)
• U.S. stocks were up. Here’s a snapshot of global markets.
• They documented a Rohingya massacre in Myanmar. Now they face 14 years in prison. Our correspondent looks at the monthslong case of two Reuters reporters detained by the government of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. [The New York Times]
• Critics of Australia’s live animal trade say that even the country’s shock over the death of 2,400 sheep on a ship to Qatar was unlikely to prompt tougher regulation. [The New York Times]
• India’s Supreme Court has upheld the right of citizens to choose their spouse and convert to another religion, a landmark ruling at a time when right-wing Hindu nationalists are stirring fears of “love jihad” — that minority Muslims will take over by persuading Hindu women to convert and marry. [The New York Times]
• The Indonesian authorities said at least 82 people have died this month from drinking toxic bootleg liquor, including 24 in the past two days. [A.P.]
• Malaysia announced that general elections would be held May 9. Prime Minister Najib Razak faces Mahathir Mohamad, a 92-year-old former prime minister. [Reuters]
• Curious about Britain’s royal wedding? Our reporters answer the big questions, including: Did your invite get lost in the mail? What name will be on Meghan Markle’s driver’s license? (And most important: Why should you care?) [The New York Times]
Tips, both new and old, for a more fulfilling life.
• Recipe of the day: Based on the Vietnamese dipping sauce nuoc cham, this steak marinade has big flavor.
• Like hot peppers? Don’t go overboard (like this guy did).
• More and more apps promise to help you sleep well while you travel.
• In Thailand, take it to the river. Waterways in the country’s core offer temples, floating markets, candlelight cruises and more.
In memoriam. Keith Murdoch, 74, a tough and enigmatic New Zealand rugby player who vanished in the Australian Outback.
• Check that python’s pedigree! Many reptiles and amphibians sold in pet stores were not bred in captivity as international law requires — but were plucked wild from forests and rivers. Indonesia is a major source.
• And can bringing poems to the masses be an antidote to America’s toxic civic culture? Tracy Smith, the U.S. poet laureate, believes it can, and she explains why to The Times Magazine.
Each week, The Times’s crossword column, Wordplay, highlights the answer to one of the most difficult clues from the previous week’s puzzles.
This week’s word: Abou.
Abou Ben Adhem is the Anglicized name of one of the most prominent early Sufi mystic saints, Ibrahim ibn Adham, who was the subject of a poem by the English poet Leigh Hunt. The entry, with the clue “ ‘___ Ben Adhem’ (Leigh Hunt poem),” was in the April 3 crossword puzzle and stumped many solvers.
Published in 1836 as part of a three-volume collection called “The Book of Gems: The Poets and Artists of Great Britain,” the poem describes Ben Adhem waking from a sound sleep, only to see an angel inscribing the names of those who love God in a golden book.
When he finds out that his name is not among those, he asks the angel to write his name down as one who loves his fellow man. Ben Adhem’s name appears the next night at the top of the list, implying that those who love their fellow man also love God.
Deb Amlen contributed reporting.
Your Morning Briefing is published weekday mornings and updated online. Sign up here to get it by email in the Australian, Asian, European or American morning. You can also receive an Evening Briefing on U.S. weeknights.
And our Australia bureau chief offers a weekly letter adding analysis and conversations with readers.
Browse our full range of Times newsletters here.
What would you like to see here? Contact us at [email protected]