Trump Testified at His New York Civil Fraud Trial

During four hours of testimony in a Manhattan courtroom today, Donald Trump repeatedly attacked the judge overseeing the trial and defended himself against accusations of fraudulently misvaluing his properties.

On the witness stand, the former president acknowledged helping assemble documents stating the value of his properties, which a judge had already decided were filled with fraud and which are central to the New York attorney general’s lawsuit against him. But he denied being involved in misvaluing his properties and insisted that the financial statements were ultimately of little importance.

The judge in the case, Justice Arthur Engoron, became frustrated as he repeatedly sought to rein in Trump, whose asides included proclaiming the proceeding was “a very unfair trial” and calling the New York attorney general “a political hack.” At one point, Trump complained that the judge had “called me a fraud and he didn’t know anything about me.”

What’s next: Ivanka Trump will testify on Wednesday.

What’s at stake: New York’s attorney general, Letitia James, who brought the case, has asked that Trump pay $250 million and that he and his sons be permanently barred from running a business in the state.

Israel’s military said today that it had encircled Gaza City, effectively splitting the Gaza Strip in half. The move, officials said, would make it harder for Hamas to control the enclave.

Israel has described Gaza City, in the north of the enclave, as a center for Hamas’s military operations. “It’s close-quarters urban warfare,” said Lt. Col. Richard Hecht, an Israeli military spokesman. “A lot of infantry working there.”

Israel said it struck 450 targets last night in Gaza. The extent of the fighting there remained unclear because of a communications blackout, but phone and internet connectivity appeared to be gradually returning today.

In related news, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Turkey today on the final stop of his Middle East tour. Blinken told reporters that the Biden administration was “very aggressively” working on getting more humanitarian assistance into Gaza.

Many scientists believe that the defeat of tuberculosis is within reach. It is preventable and curable, innovations in diagnosing and treating it have started to reach developing countries, and a promising vaccine is in the last stage of clinical trials.

However, the disease killed 1.6 million people in 2021 and supplanted Covid-19 as the world’s most deadly infectious disease, reflecting the world’s continued failure to get treatments into the hands of the people who need them most.

The rise of working from home during the pandemic shifted millions of commutes. My colleagues took a deep dive into the data to see what has changed: People are driving more and driving faster, taking public transit less often and, on average, facing shorter commutes.

On Nov. 7, 2003, American audiences had the opportunity to see either “Elf” or “Love Actually” for the very first time in theaters. Chances are, many of you have seen at least one of them, because, after all, they have become bona fide seasonal classics.

Both now seem like relics of a different time, when movies received the kind of dedicated theatrical releases that allowed them to win over viewers. In recent years, with streaming audiences fragmented and options galore, finding a new holiday classic feels far-fetched.

From our perspective on Earth, space appears to be a dark and dusty void spotted with a smattering of tiny stars. But with a little help from the new James Webb Space Telescope, a stunning array of stars, nebulas and galaxies spanning billions of years comes into view.

The telescope’s discoveries have already given humans a clearer understanding of the universe than we have ever had: It has shown us a plume of water spanning 6,000 miles in our solar system and a galaxy that formed only 390 million years after the Big Bang. The New York Times Magazine has a visual guide to understanding it all.

Have a celestial evening.

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

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