Trump Dodged Financial Ruin, but Failed to Delay His Trial

Donald Trump was handed a lifeline today when a panel of judges in New York ruled that he no longer had to post a nearly half-billion-dollar bond in order to appeal his civil fraud case. The judges gave Trump 10 days to secure a much smaller $175 million bond.

The ruling was a victory for the former president, who had been just hours away from a deadline after which he could have begun losing control of his bank accounts and even some of his marquee properties. Instead, his payment of the smaller bond will prevent the New York attorney general from seizing his assets while his appeal is heard, which could take months.

Two people with knowledge of Trump’s finances said that he should be able to post a $175 million bond, but it would drain much of his cash. He would have to pay a bond company about $200 million as collateral. It may help that Trump’s social media company will begin publicly trading tomorrow, effectively boosting his net worth by billions.

The former president was not as fortunate at a hearing regarding his Manhattan criminal trial on charges that he falsified business records to hide a potential sex scandal. A judge denied his lawyers’ attempts to continue delaying the proceedings, and officially scheduled the trial to begin on April 15.

The United Nations Security Council today passed a resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza, with 14 votes in favor and the U.S. abstaining. It was the body’s sharpest criticism of the war since it began and followed several U.S. vetoes of similar demands.

The resolution — which calls for a cease-fire during Ramadan, which has two weeks remaining — also demands the unconditional and immediate release of all hostages.

In an angry response, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel said he would no longer be sending an Israeli delegation to Washington to discuss a planned operation in the city of Rafah in southern Gaza. The U.S. abstention, Netanyahu said, “harms the war effort as well as the effort to liberate the hostages.”

Many House Republicans oppose sending more aid to Ukraine. But the man they elected as their leader, Speaker Mike Johnson, has privately told people in recent weeks that continued American aid to Kyiv is vital. Johnson now appears to be looking for the least politically damaging way to provide it.

The growing isolationist wing of his party is likely to be infuriated by any aid measure for Ukraine, but Johnson may be able to hold onto his job if some Democrats vote to save him.

The Biden administration today imposed sanctions on a group of Chinese hackers, accusing them of working as a front for Beijing’s top spy agency. The hackers were part of a broad effort to place malware in American electric grids, water systems and other critical infrastructure, according to U.S. officials.

The malware appeared to be intended for use if the U.S. were to come to the aid of Taiwan.

In a related effort, Britain accused China of cyberattacks that compromised the voting records of tens of millions of people.

Two weeks from today, the moon will slip between the Earth and the sun, casting a shadow in a band sliding from Mazatlán, Mexico, to the Newfoundland coast near Gander, Canada. The event, known as a total solar eclipse, will cause a drop in temperature, the appearance of bright planets in the sky and a quieting among birds. It won’t happen again in the U.S. until 2044.

Italy has one of the world’s oldest populations. That can be concerning for the government, which worries about dwindling resources, but exciting for many scientists studying longevity. One of those is Valter Longo, who believes the key to longer and better living is eating less.

Longo said that Italy’s centenarians may have benefited from having less to eat during the country’s war-era poverty, and then receiving a boost of proteins, fats and modern medicine later in life.

When the word “dude” first appeared in the pages of The Times, it wasn’t considered flattering. Many felt it was a term of mockery. In 1883, we reported on a man who challenged the editor of a journal to a duel because an article described him as a “dude.”

The origin of dude, which was adopted by counterculture groups like surfers and came into the mainstream in the ’80s and ’90s, is unclear. One researcher suggested that it probably came from the song “Yankee Doodle.”

It’s all cool. Have an easygoing evening.

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

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