Your Tuesday Briefing

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Good morning.

We’re covering an interview with Hunter Biden to be broadcast this morning, the murder charge against a police officer in Fort Worth, and LeBron James’s criticism of an N.B.A. executive who upset China.

Rudy Giuliani’s work to pressure Ukraine for information that could damage President Trump’s political opponents so alarmed John Bolton, then the national security adviser, that he told an aide to alert White House lawyers.

That aide, Fiona Hill, testified privately to House impeachment investigators on Monday.

Three people who heard her testimony told The Times that Ms. Hill had quoted Mr. Bolton from another conversation: “Giuliani’s a hand grenade who’s going to blow everybody up.”

Background: Ms. Hill was the first former White House official to testify in the impeachment inquiry. She left her post before the July phone call in which Mr. Trump asked Ukraine’s president to investigate Democrats.

What’s next: Investigators are scheduled today to interview George Kent, a State Department official and Ukraine expert. This week is also the deadline for responses to document requests from figures including Mr. Giuliani, Vice President Mike Pence and the acting White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney. The White House has vowed not to cooperate.

The Daily: Today’s episode is about the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.


President Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops has turned a relatively stable part of Syria into a new battleground. Here’s what’s at stake:

• Who will control northeastern Syria?

• How will this turn out for the Kurds?

• How are civilians affected?

• Will ISIS come back?

Much is uncertain, but the answers to these questions will help determine the next stage of Syria’s eight-year war.

Kurdish-led fighters attempted today to retake a strategic border town from Turkish-led forces.

Yesterday: After essentially greenlighting Turkey’s incursion into Syria, Mr. Trump urged an immediate cease-fire during a phone call with the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, according to Vice President Mike Pence. Mr. Trump also announced sanctions against Turkey.

News analysis: Mr. Trump’s reliance on his instincts and relationships led him to ignore the consequences of a move that has emboldened Russia, Iran and the Islamic State, our national security correspondent writes.


The son of Joe Biden acknowledged that he probably wouldn’t have been named to the board of a Ukrainian gas company if his last name weren’t “Biden,” but he rejected suggestions by President Trump that he and his father had engaged in wrongdoing.

Hunter Biden’s interview, to be broadcast this morning on ABC, comes hours before his father appears in the fourth Democratic presidential debate.

The details: The debate includes 12 candidates and is being hosted by The Times and CNN. Watch it live on our website beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern, with real-time analysis from Times journalists.

Go deeper: We asked debate veterans what each candidate needs to do to succeed.

Want more? We’re ramping up our On Politics email newsletter to five days a week. Sign up to receive it in your inbox here.


A $4,254 bottle of French wine. Luxury golfing trips. Hiring the children of the well-connected.

Deutsche Bank has conducted a campaign of charming and enriching China’s political elite to become a major player in the country. Over 15 years, it used expensive gifts, nepotism and questionable consultants to do so.

Its strategy worked: By 2011, the German company was ranked as the top bank for managing initial public offerings in China.

How we know: Confidential documents prepared by the company and its lawyers were obtained by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and shared with The Times as part of a joint investigation.

The details: The documents show that the bank’s top leadership was warned about the activity but did not stop it. Here are our key findings.

Wine producers around the world are working to keep their sensitive crops flourishing despite hotter summers, warmer winters and droughts. Above, a vineyard in Australia.

In the first of a four-part series, The Times’s wine critic, Eric Asimov, explores how the industry is adapting.

Murder charge for officer: The Fort Worth police officer who fatally shot a woman through her bedroom window resigned before his arrest. The officer, Aaron Dean, had been with the department since April 2018.

LeBron James enters China fray: The Los Angeles Lakers star said he believed an N.B.A. executive’s choice to post about the Hong Kong protests could have endangered traveling players.

Violent meme from Trump allies: A video that showed a fake President Trump killing journalists and political opponents was played at a meeting of a pro-Trump group.

Snapshot: Above, the Nautilus, a research vessel, towing an underwater vehicle that was used to hunt for the airplane of Amelia Earhart, w