New York City, South Korea, Duterte: Your Thursday Briefing – New York Times

The timing suggested that the newly empowered Chinese president, Xi Jinping, wanted to blunt the impact of President Trump’s pending visit to Seoul, part of his 12-day tour of Asia. Analysts said the U.S. will now have to watch how closely the South leans toward China.

President Trump chose the moment to call the U.S. trade deficit with China “embarrassing” and “horrible.”

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Refugee Action Coalition, via Reuters

• Some 600 asylum seekers are grappling with dwindling food and water, and no working sanitation, as they hang on in a detention center Australia closed Tuesday on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island.

The U.N. has said alternative sites are not ready, and the refugees fear both a raid by the P.N.G. naval forces that control the detention center and attacks by hostile local residents.

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Eric Thayer for The New York Times

Lawyers for Facebook, Google and Twitter are back on Capitol Hill for a second day of questions about enabling Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Our live briefing has the latest, including the first glance at the divisive Facebook ads linked to Russia.

The tech giants’ opacity is hardly the only obstacle to understanding what’s happening. Our media columnist tracked how conservative media outlets, particularly those in Rupert Murdoch’s empire, are operating to confuse and distract the public as the special counsel’s indictments of Trump associates play out.

President Trump called our White House correspondent to assure her that, contrary to reports of his fury over the indictments, he was “not angry at anybody.”

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JIJI Press, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

More grisly details emerged in the case of Japan’s self-described serial murderer, including social media suicide pacts and connections to Tokyo’s notorious red-light district.

Takahiro Shiraishi, 27, was arrested on Tuesday after the police found dismembered parts of nine bodies in his apartment. He confessed that he had looked on Twitter for suicidal people to lure to his home.

Business

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Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters

• Sony projected what would be its largest-ever annual operating profit, sending its shares to their highest level in nearly a decade. The Japanese electronics icon, flush after years of restructuring, also announced the return of its mechanical dog, Aibo.

• Malaysia is investigating a reported attempt to sell the personal information of more than 46 million mobile phone subscribers, after a data breach that may have affected almost the entire population.

• President Trump’s ultimate trade goals could be the undoing of global rules, our economics columnist argues: Killing the World Trade Organization could allow the U.S. to address its trade deficit via bilateral agreements.

• The combined value of all cryptocurrencies has hit a record high of around $184 billion. Bitcoin is leading, with a record high exchange rate of $6,500.

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




In the News

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Dan Peled/European Pressphoto Agency

Australia will ban climbing on Uluru, the giant sandstone slab revered by the Anangu people, in two years. Management of the popular site has become a symbol of Indigenous rights. [The New York Times]

Britain’s defense minister, Michael Fallon, stepped down over accusations of sexual harassment. [The New York Times]

• President Vladimir Putin of Russia met Iranian leaders in Tehran. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei pressed for cooperation to isolate the United States and help stabilize the Middle East, according to state television. [Reuters]

• Two collisions between U.S. Navy destroyers and commercial vessels in the Western Pacific this year were the result of a string of crew and basic navigational errors, the Navy’s top officer said in stinging reports. [The New York Times]

• President Rodrigo Duterte and his partner, Cielito Avancena, met Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. [Japan Times]

• Russia is investigating the death of a 14-year-old model who was on a three-month assignment in China. [The New York Times]

• Springer Nature, one of the world’s biggest academic publishers, defended its decision to removed articles on Taiwan, Tibet, human rights and elite politics from its mainland China site. [The New York Times]

• President Trump’s smile dominates his new official photographic portrait. “It almost looks as if he’s being tickled,” our reviewer said. [The New York Times]

Smarter Living

Tips, both new and old, for a more fulfilling life.

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Carl Richards

• Grab yourself an accountability partner. (Better than a punch in the nose!)

• How Google wants to help us all move beyond the password.

• Recipe of the day: White Bolognese sauce is a delicious spin on an Italian classic.

Noteworthy

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Bryan Denton for The New York Times

• “Without beer, we don’t have life.” That’s how one local man described the lifeblood of Qingdao, a city in northeastern China where German settlers founded Tsingtao Brewery in 1903. The state took it over in 1949, but never stopped making beer. Wild parties followed.

• Lam Duc-Hien, a Vietnamese photographer, imagined Iraq to be full of tanks and violence. Instead, he found a timeless peace in its Kurdistan region.

•A Texas-size Diwali. One of the grandest Diwali celebrations in the U.S. is Saturday in the Cotton Bowl, in Dallas. An expected 60,000 Indian-Americans will celebrate the Hindu festival of lights with music, fireworks and, especially, food.

Back Story

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TASS, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Sixty years ago this week, the first animal was launched into orbit: Laika, a stray dog found on the streets of Moscow.

On Nov. 3, 1957, Soviet scientists covered Laika in a special spacesuit, placed her in the Sputnik 2 satellite and launched her toward the heavens.

“She barked greetings to her audience into the microphone,” according to a Times report at the time citing Soviet media.

Laika, of course, did not return. Questions about her fate were only resolved in 2002, when it was revealed that she died only hours after launch.

In 1960, another Soviet mission sent canine cosmonauts to space. This time, they returned to Earth safely after orbiting the planet.

The dogs, Belka and Strelka, traveled in separate compartments, connected by a window. Rats, mice and flies were also on their flight.

In 1961, Jacqueline Kennedy, the U.S. first lady, asked the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev about the two dogs, and he ordered one of Strelka’s puppies to be sent to White House as a gift.

One of President Kennedy’s other dogs, a Welsh terrier, soon bonded with the Soviet puppy, and they had four puppies of their own, which Kennedy called “pupniks.”

Patrick Boehler contributed reporting.

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Your Morning Briefing is published weekday mornings and updated online. Browse past briefings here.

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