It’s an indication that he will look into whether President Trump obstructed justice.

Separately, the Senate voted nearly unanimously to let Congress strip the president of the power to unilaterally lift existing sanctions against Russia.

• Questions follow London blaze.

The British government ordered safety checks for high-rise buildings after fire destroyed a 24-story apartment tower, killing at least 12 people and injuring dozens.

Experts were asking whether materials added to the building’s exterior might have helped the flames spread. Here’s what we know.

• Charges in Flint water case.

Five officials in Michigan, including the head of the state’s health department, were charged on Wednesday with involuntary manslaughter.

It’s the closest investigators have come to directly blaming officials for deaths and illnesses after a water contamination crisis in the city of Flint.

• Also in the news.

• A gunman killed three co-workers and then himself at a UPS facility in San Francisco on Wednesday.

• The jury is still considering its verdict in Bill Cosby’s sexual assault trial.

• U.S.-led airstrikes have killed hundreds of civilians in ISIS’s stronghold in Syria, a U.N. panel said.

• Charges are expected today against a dozen members of the Turkish president’s security detail after an attack on protesters in Washington last month.

• Harvard’s first female president, Drew Gilpin Faust, is stepping down next year.

• “The Daily,” your audio news report.

In today’s show, we discuss Wednesday’s shooting at a baseball practice outside Washington and hear from lawmakers who were on the field.

Listen on a computer, an iOS device or an Android device.

Business

The Federal Reserve raised its benchmark rate and described plans to start reducing its portfolio of more than $4 trillion in bonds later this year.

The central bank undershot its target for inflation yet again, a move that our senior economics correspondent suggests could define the tenure of its chief, Janet Yellen.

• Wells Fargo made unauthorized changes to the home loans of customers in bankruptcy, a new class action and other lawsuits contend.

• “Fair and Balanced” no more. Fox News has replaced its longtime motto with “Most Watched, Most Trusted.”

• U.S. stocks were mixed on Wednesday. Here’s a snapshot of global markets.

Smarter Living

• To prevent math anxiety, start talking to children early on about numbers in everyday life.

• Our food editor’s discovery of pork gyros in Melbourne caused a stir in Australia. Here’s his recipe.

• Want more Smarter Living? There’s a weekly newsletter.

Noteworthy

• For sale: a $7 million Wild West town.

In today’s 360 video, step inside Donley’s Wild West Town in Union, Ill., a family-owned amusement park whose owners of 43 years are pondering its future.

• Climate change as opportunity.

The Dutch know all about being waterlogged, and they have advice (for a reasonable fee) for those coping with rising seas around the world.

How much do you know about potential solutions to global warming? Take our quiz.

• Women, interrupted.

An Uber board member’s claim that female directors talk too much and the cutting short of a congresswoman at a Senate hearing illustrate an experience that academic studies confirm.

• In memoriam.

A. R. Gurney, a playwright, focused on the privileged in works like “The Cocktail Hour.” He was 86.

Best of late-night TV.

President Trump turned 71 on Wednesday, and the comedy hosts joined in the birthday fun.

• Quotation of the day.

“He was hunting us at that point.”

— Mike Bishop, a congressman from Michigan, who was standing at home plate during Wednesday’s shooting at a baseball practice for Republican lawmakers.

Back Story

The 117th U.S. Open begins today — but golf, of course, has been around much longer.

Scotland is often credited with inventing the game. The earliest known reference to golf is a 1457 Scottish parliamentary resolution banning it as a distraction from archery practice.

Photo

“Winter Games on the Frozen River IJssel,” painted by Hendrick Avercamp around 1626.

Credit
National Gallery of Art, Woodner Collection, gift of Andrea Woodner

But a German historian, Heiner Gillmeister, an author of the Encyclopaedia Britannica entry for golf, has argued that a version was first played in Continental Europe.

That game was most likely coif, a hockeylike Dutch pastime that some scholars say influenced golf and was even played in the U.S. It’s depicted in a Hendrick Avercamp painting from 1626, “Winter Games on the Frozen River IJssel.”.

The Chinese, too, claim golf, via chuiwan — literally, “hit ball” — a game that one museum exhibition has asserted was played by emperors as early as the 12th century.

Whatever golf’s origins, editors of The Nation argued in 1894 that “the disappointments of the game are conducive to bad language.”

“A Scotsman, who was once singing its praises, admitted that it led to much profanity, and that he, being in the ministry, had had to give it up,” the editors wrote.

“ ‘What!’ said his friend, ‘give up golf!’ ‘No,’ said he, ‘the ministry.’ ”

Evan Gershkovich contributed reporting.

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