(Want to get this briefing by email? Here’s the sign-up.)
Here’s what you need to know:
Conceding to the N.R.A.
• The gun debate in Washington hasn’t changed.
President Trump has abandoned a push for comprehensive gun control measures that are opposed by the National Rifle Association, saying on Monday that there is “not much political support.”
After the Florida school shooting last month, Mr. Trump called for raising the age limit to purchase rifles and backed legislation for near-universal background checks. At the time, he told lawmakers that while the N.R.A. has “great power over you people, they have less power over me.”
• In looking for a solution, the president has turned his attention to an Obama-era effort to reduce the suspensions and expulsions of minority students. Conservative commentators have argued that relaxing disciplinary rules could let a killer slip through the cracks.
Interference? Yes. Collusion? No.
• Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee said on Monday that they agreed with U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia had interfered with the 2016 presidential election.
They differed on the intent: “We disagree with the narrative that they were trying to help Trump,” said Representative Michael Conaway, the Texas Republican who led the investigation.
The end of the House investigation comes as the special counsel, Robert Mueller, expands his own inquiry. He is pursuing criminal charges against at least four Trump associates.
• Separately, a special election in Pennsylvania today has become the latest test of whether Democrats can make inroads in a district that Donald Trump carried handily. Here’s what to watch for.
Moscow’s long reach
• Russia has more spies deployed in London than it did at the height of the Cold War, former British intelligence officials have said.
One of their most important tasks is to monitor Russian opposition figures living in Britain, attracted by its property market and banking system.
But the nerve agent attack last week on a retired Russian double agent and his daughter has put pressure on London to rein in President Vladimir Putin’s operatives.
• Prime Minister Theresa May said on Monday that it was “highly likely” that Moscow was to blame and warned of possible reprisals. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called the attack “an egregious act.”
Doorstep bombs in Texas
• Two people were killed and three injured in three separate explosions at homes in Austin, Tex., this month.
Two attacks happened on Monday, miles and hours apart, after residents found a package outside their door that contained a powerful explosive device.
• The police said they “see similarities” in the blasts and were not ruling out any motive linking the attacks, including the possibility that they were hate-related. The victims were African-Americans and a Hispanic woman.
• President Trump blocked the $117 billion bid for the chip maker Qualcomm by the Singapore-based Broadcom, citing national security concerns.
• The Chinese government said today that it planned to overhaul supervision of the country’s debt-ridden financial sector, its environmental regulators and other essential government agencies.
The move would further consolidate the Communist Party’s hold on official levers of power.
• New faces at the top: Nancy Dubuc of A&E Networks is said to be in talks to replace Shane Smith, the head of Vice Media.
And David Solomon, a longtime investment banker, has been anointed as the sole heir apparent to the Goldman Sachs chief executive, Lloyd Blankfein.
Tips, both new and old, for a more fulfilling life.
• Find quality makeup at the drugstore.
• Don’t be surprised that teens are sexting — include it in conversations about safety and respect.
• Recipe of the day: Layering is the key to loaded nacho perfection.
• Final act ends in disgrace
The Metropolitan Opera fired the conductor James Levine after an investigation found that he had engaged in “sexually abusive and harassing conduct.”
Mr. Levine, whom many consider the greatest American conductor since Leonard Bernstein, had defined the company for more than four decades.
• In memoriam
Hubert de Givenchy, the French couturier, upheld a standard of romantic elegance in fashion for more than four decades, dressing the likes of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn. He was 91.
• Powerball winner also wins anonymity
The woman who won a $560 million jackpot — one of the largest prizes in U.S. history — does not have to disclose her name, a New Hampshire judge ruled, saying it would be an invasion of privacy.
• It’s UConn, as usual
Connecticut will be seeking its 12th N.C.A.A. women’s basketball championship when the tournament begins on Friday. Notre Dame, Louisville and Mississippi State are the other No. 1 seeds. Here’s a printable bracket.
• Today’s number: One-fifth
An estimated one in five adults in the U.S. have at least one tattoo, and tens of thousands of laser removals are performed each year.
A study of the cells in tattooed mice might help improve removal procedures for people.
• Best of late-night TV
Stephen Colbert was eager to discuss Stormy Daniels and her “60 Minutes” of fame.
• Quotation of the day
“It’s like allowing someone to walk on the wing of an airplane, and in my judgment poses too much of a risk.”
— Gary Robb, an aviation lawyer, referring to open-sided helicopter tours, like the flight that crashed in New York on Sunday, killing five passengers.
• The Times, in other words
Thailand officially declared today, March 13, National Elephant Day — or Chang Thai Day — in 1998.
The country’s national animal, the elephant has always played an important role in Thai society, where it was seen as a symbol of royalty.
Practically, the elephant also helped in warfare, harvest and transportation. In Buddhism, Thailand’s predominant religion, the elephant is a symbol of mental strength and frequently appears in allegories and art.
There’s even a Thai Elephant Orchestra (!), which has been trained to play percussion instruments.
It’s not completely clear how many elephants live in the country, but in 2006 the number of wild elephants was estimated at 3,000 to 3,700, while elephants in captivity numbered around 4,000. At the beginning of the 20th century, Thailand was said to have had more than 300,000 wild elephants and about 100,000 domesticated ones.
Today, Asian elephants are endangered, with a population of fewer than 50,000 worldwide.
Claire Moses contributed reporting.
Check out our full range of free newsletters here.
What would you like to see here? Contact us at [email protected].