1. Congress’s deal on sweeping sanctions to punish Russia for election meddling and regional aggression created a stark choice for President Trump: veto the bill, or approve sanctions his administration abhors.
The White House signaled that it would go along with the measure, citing changes to the bill that mainly provided a face-saving way to back down.
With the investigation deepening into whether associates of Mr. Trump and his campaign conspired with Russia, Mr. Trump claimed he has “the complete power to pardon” relatives, aides and possibly himself.
But it is not clear whether a U.S. president can pardon himself. None has ever tried.
2. The White House is restructuring its communications operation, with Sean Spicer’s colorful run as press secretary coming to an end. Sarah Huckabee Sanders will succeed him. Here are some of his memorable moments.
Mr. Spicer quit after telling President Trump that he greatly disagreed with the decision to make the financier Anthony Scaramucci communications director.
3. Another relationship in the White House has grown increasingly strained: Jeff Sessions — who stoked the president’s ire by recusing himself from the Justice Department’s Russia investigation — said he would remain attorney general “as long as that is appropriate.”
In an interview with three of our reporters, President Trump criticized officials involved in the inquiry and said he would not have appointed Mr. Sessions had he known that he’d recuse himself. Here are excerpts and audio clips of the discussion.
U.S. spy agencies intercepted communications from Russia’s ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, in which he reported to Moscow that he’d spoken with Mr. Sessions in 2016 about issues relevant to the presidential campaign, The Washington Post reported.
Mr. Sessions initially failed to disclose conversations with Mr. Kislyak, then said they were not campaign related.
4. A Qaeda suspect, Ali Charaf Damache, above, is the first foreigner to be brought to the United States to face terrorism charges under President Trump. He will be tried in federal court.
The move breaks from the White House’s hard-line position that terrorism suspects should be sent to the naval prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
5. Senate Republicans are grappling with the prospect of losing one of their most respected leaders, Senator John McCain of Arizona, who has brain cancer.
The specific kind, glioblastoma, is extremely aggressive and difficult to treat.
Lawmakers have banded together in support of Mr. McCain.
6. Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky remains steadfast in his drive toward a health care vote this week. But he has not specified whether the bill will be to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, or simply repeal it.
Mr. McConnell can afford to lose only two Republican votes — just one if John McCain is absent.
Some might consider this a lose-lose situation: Repeal and replace could result in 22 million more Americans without coverage by 2026, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The repeal now, replace later approach could leave 32 million more uninsured by 2026.
Republicans seem to have done what Democrats who passed the Affordable Care Act never could: make it popular among a majority of Americans.
7. The Minneapolis police chief has resigned at the request of the city’s mayor, less than a week after an officer fatally shot an unarmed Australian woman who had called 911 to report a possible sexual assault.
The shooting of Justine Damond by Officer Mohamed Noor led to outpourings of grief in Minnesota and outrage in Ms. Damond’s home country.
In all, 10 of our reporters on two continents contributed to this reconstruction of what happened that night.
8. The Trump administration is barring Americans from traveling to North Korea.
The announcement came hours after the C.I.A. director, Mike Pompeo, strongly hinted that President Trump was considering seeking regime change in response to the North’s nuclear capacity.
Another international relationship has taken an unexpected turn. Israel’s military confirmed that it has been sending in truckloads of supplies, above, and treating thousands of sick and wounded Syrians since June 2016.
9. Since President Trump took office, more than 65,000 people across the country have been arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement — a nearly 40 percent increase from the same period last year.
Our reporters spent a day with an I.C.E. team as it navigated the streets of Southern California. The state, home to more than two million undocumented immigrants, has been hostile to the idea of mass deportations.
We spoke with some of the men arrested and the families they may be leaving behind.
10. After spending nine years in a Nevada prison on charges stemming from a 2007 armed robbery, O.J. Simpson will soon be free. A board voted unanimously to grant parole to the former football star.
“I basically have spent a conflict-free life,” Mr. Simpson asserted, somewhat implausibly, before the parole board. Watch the decision.
Some see Mr. Simpson as a “fallen comrade.” Others are less sympathetic.
11. Jury selection in the trial of Martin Shkreli, above, an embattled former pharmaceutical executive, underscores a growing tendency of lawyers to favor the uninformed.
Perhaps in a sign of a polarized age, lawyers appear to be increasingly concerned that opinions mean inflexibility, leading them to seek jurors who not only have no viewpoints on the case, but also little exposure to the subject matter, and who don’t follow the news.
12. More than four decades after women began pouring into the American workplace, only a handful have conquered the corporate ladder.
Our senior correspondent on gender issues spoke to nearly two dozen chief executives, would-be chief executives, headhunters, business school deans and human resources professionals, and found that the problem was less about the pipeline and more about loneliness, competition and deeply rooted barriers.
“We are never taught to fight for ourselves,” said Ellen Kullman, above, the former chief executive of DuPont.
13. Finally, ever wondered what a total eclipse of our planet looks like from space?
Last year, a Japanese weather satellite captured it all, and NASA used the footage to produce this time lapse.
Some earthlings will get a chance to see one on Aug. 21, when a total solar eclipse will trace a path from Oregon to South Carolina, darkening the sky in the middle of the day.
Have a great week.
Photographs may appear out of order for some readers. Viewing this version of the briefing should help.
Your Weekend Briefing is published Sundays at 6 a.m. Eastern.
Posted by The NON-Conformist