Tuesday Briefing – The New York Times

The first criminal trial of a former U.S. president began yesterday, with lawyers from each side presenting divergent visions of Donald Trump in their opening statements.

Prosecutors delivered a raw recounting of Trump’s seamy past, portraying him as a co-conspirator in a plot to cover up three sex scandals that threatened his 2016 election win and claiming that Trump lied “over and over and over” again to protect his candidacy.

Trump’s lawyers called the case a “business records violation” that wasn’t, arguing that the 34 felony counts Trump faces amounted to “just 34 pieces of paper.” They sought to undermine the credibility of the prosecution’s key witnesses, like Michael Cohen, Trump’s former fixer.

The day also included brief testimony from David Pecker, who ran The National Enquirer and whom prosecutors say bought and buried stories that could have imperiled Trump’s 2016 campaign. The proceedings ended early to accommodate the Passover holiday and a juror’s emergency dental appointment.

Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva, Israel’s director of military intelligence, resigned over the intelligence failures that preceded the Hamas-led attacks on Israel on Oct. 7. He is the most senior official to offer to step down after the assault.

General Haliva had become a symbol of the Israeli establishment’s failure to prevent the deadliest attack in the country’s history. His resignation was expected to heighten pressure on other senior figures, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to take greater responsibility for their roles in the catastrophe.

Britain’s Conservative government finally won passage of its Rwanda deportation bill, enshrining a law that human-rights campaigners say is inhumane, immigration experts say is unworkable and legal critics say has corroded the country’s reputation for rule of law.

The legislation is designed to allow the government to put some asylum seekers on one-way flights to Rwanda, where they would have their claims processed. If they were then granted refugee status, they would be resettled in Rwanda, not Britain. But any deportation attempts are likely to encounter further legal challenges, making it unlikely that large numbers of asylum seekers will ever be sent to Rwanda.

The scramble for weight loss drugs made by the pharmaceutical giant Novo Nordisk has created a windfall for the Danish town of Kalundborg.

That’s it for today’s briefing. Thank you for spending part of your morning with us, and see you tomorrow. — Dan

P.S.: “The Interview,” a new podcast featuring chats with fascinating people, will debut on Saturday.

You can reach Dan and the team at briefing@nytimes.com.