Want to receive this briefing in your inbox every morning? Sign up here.

Trump faces tough return to Washington ‘swamp’

US President Donald Trump returns to Washington Sunday after a brief overseas respite, facing an enduring and intensifying storm over his campaign’s contacts with Russia.

During two pomp-filled days in Paris and another two playing maitre d’ to professional female golfers driving, chipping and putting their way around his Bedminster course in New Jersey, Trump was in his element.

© AFP SAUL LOEB

© AFP SAUL LOEB

Senate to delay health vote after McCain surgery

The US Senate will “defer” its work on repealing and replacing Obamacare as senior lawmaker John McCain recovers from surgery to remove a blood clot above his eye, the chamber’s Republican leader announced late Saturday.

The health care reform bill, a central campaign pledge by President Donald Trump and many of his fellow Republicans, has already neared collapse, with two Republicans publicly opposing it.It would likely fail without McCain’s vote.

© AFP SHAH MARAI

© AFP SHAH MARAI

Polls open in Venezuela opposition vote

Polls opened in Venezuela on Sunday in an opposition-organized vote to measure public support for President Nicolas Maduro’s plan to rewrite the constitution, against a backdrop of worsening political violence.

Dozens of people were queuing in Caracas neighborhoods including Chacaito and Los Palos Grandes before polling stations opened at 7:00 am (1100 GMT), according to the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) opposition coalition.

© AFP LLUIS GENE

© AFP LLUIS GENE

Israel to reopen sensitive Jerusalem holy site after attack

Israeli authorities were to reopen an ultra-sensitive holy site Sunday closed after an attack that killed two policemen, but new security measures including metal detectors and cameras were being put in place.

Three Arab Israeli assailants opened fire on Israeli police Friday in Jerusalem’s Old City before fleeing to the nearby Haram al-Sharif, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, where they were shot dead by security forces.

© AFP MENAHEM KAHANA

© AFP MENAHEM KAHANA

George A. Romero, father of the zombie movie, dead at 77

US filmmaker George A. Romero, whose 1968 cult classic “Night of the Living Dead” spawned the zombie movie genre, died on Sunday aged 77, according to his manager.

“Legendary filmmaker George A. Romero passed away on Sunday July 16, listening to the score of The Quiet Man, one of his all-time favorite films,” manager Chris Roe said in a brief statement.

© AFP DAMIEN MEYER

© AFP DAMIEN MEYER

Oscar-winning actor Martin Landau dies at 89

Actor Martin Landau, whose versatile screen career stretched from the 1960s TV series “Mission: Impossible” to his Oscar-winning turn in “Ed Wood,” has died at 89, his publicist said Sunday.

Brooklyn-born Landau died Saturday of unexpected complications during a hospital stay in Los Angeles, according to a statement issued by publicist Dick Guttman.

© AFP DAVID MCNEW

© AFP DAVID MCNEW