Everyday News Update

King Bhumibol, Catalonia, Jakarta: Your Friday Briefing – New York Times

In neighboring Iraq, the grievances of the Sunni Arab minority allowed the Islamic State to flourish. Our correspondent says that how the Shiite-led government in Baghdad deals with the Sunnis now could have long-term consequences. Above, Shiite militia members questioning a Sunni villager in June.

The International Committee of the Red Cross, meanwhile, warned against the dehumanizing language often used against the Islamic State, which can suggest its fighters can be treated “as if humanitarian law doesn’t apply.”

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Santi Palacios/Associated Press..

In Catalonia, the region’s separatist leader, Carles Puigdemont, ended a period of chaotic wavering and announced that he would allow the Catalan Parliament to decide whether to leave Spain.

The Spanish Senate is expected to approve emergency measures today to impose Madrid’s direct rule on Catalonia.

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Vikram Singh/The New York Times

We traveled to a district in southern India that is getting so hot and dry, it’s nearly uninhabitable.

Our video slideshow explores the choices people there face: try to survive or leave? But hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers have taken a third choice over the past 30 years — suicide.

“To us, the field is God,” said a widow. “I’m not angry with the land. I’m only angry with my husband.”

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Video

The J.F.K. Assassination: A Cast of Characters

As a new trove of documents about the killing of President John F. Kennedy is released, The Times’s Peter Baker walks us through who’s who in this American tragedy.


By NATALIE RENEAU and PETER BAKER on Publish Date October 25, 2017.


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Watch in Times Video »

• A batch of documents the U.S. government long held secret about the 1963 assassination of John F. Kennedy are heading for release online.

But a chaotic last-minute review and lobbying by U.S. intelligence agencies prompted President Trump to postpone the release of thousands more documents. A new review is to end on April 26.

The delay invites suspicion that the government is still protecting details about the case.

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Business

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Richard Shotwell/Invision, via Associated Press

• Mark Halperin, one of the top U.S. political journalists, is out at MSNBC after five women said he sexually harassed them while political director at ABC News.

• Twitter is banning Russia Today and Sputnik, two Kremlin-backed international news outlets, from its advertising. The move comes as rivals’ criticism of big tech — Twitter, Google, Facebook, Amazon and company — is finally gaining lawmakers’ and regulators’ attention.

• New arenas, which can cost $1 billion or more, are expanding offerings to include events as diverse as video gaming and kayaking.

The National Party of New Zealand must pay Eminem’s publisher $413,000 for copyright infringement. The name of the song it copied: “Eminem Esque.”

• Downturns: Kobe Steel lost certification for some of its copper products, and Hyundai, South Korea’s largest automaker, reported a 20 percent drop in net profit over weak sales in China.

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




In the News

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Tatan Syuflana/Associated Press

• In Indonesia, an explosion at a fireworks warehouse on the outskirts of Jakarta killed at least 47 people and injured dozens more. [The New York Times]

Australia’s High Court will rule this afternoon on the “Citizenship Seven,” a group of current and former parliamentarians found to have dual citizenship. [SBS]

Our editorial board weighed in on Australia’s plans for one of the world’s largest coal mines, arguing “it’s the opposite of what Australia, India or the rest of the world needs.” [The New York Times]

Taiwan’s Kinmen County holds a referendum on Saturday on the construction of a casino report. Reports suggest overwhelming local support. [The Diplomat]

• A forensic neuropathologist will look for abnormalities in the remains of the brain of the Las Vegas gunman, Stephen Paddock. [The New York Times]

• Dag Hammarskjold, the U.N.’s second secretary general, was killed in a plane crash nearly 60 years ago. A new report suggests that the crash might have been no accident. [The New York Times]

• Police in Osaka, Japan, finally caught a 74-year-old cat burglar, described as a ninja for his clothes and skills. He was charged with 254 thefts. [Japan Times]

Smarter Living

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

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Jim Wilson/The New York Times

• Recipe of the day: An overnight stay in the fridge makes classic brioche even better.

• You don’t need to drain your battery before recharging, and other tech myths people still believe.

• Lapdesks, headphones and more: Our latest newsletter focuses on inexpensive ways to improve your home office.

Noteworthy

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David Maurice Smith for The New York Times

• Two chefs from Japan offer a vibrant example of Australian culinary ambition at Doma Cafe, in tiny Federal, New South Wales.

Tattoos, dreadlocks and fistfuls of cash. Classic rapper trappings flashed at a Chinese hip-hop festival near the southwestern city of Chengdu.

• A 6,000-year-old skull discovered in 1929 on Papua New Guinea could belong to the earliest known victim of a tsunami.

Back Story

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Naonobu Noda/NARO

On the lunar calendar, Saturday is the ninth day of the ninth month, and a folk holiday in China: the Double Ninth Festival.

Also referred to as the Chongyang Festival, the celebration has roots that stretch back centuries.

One legend tells of a hero who defeated a disease-spreading river demon with the help of chrysanthemum wine and dogwood.

Mountain-climbing, chrysanthemums and dogwood displays are still a tradition on the day, which has a focus on good health and longevity. In fact, China designated the date Seniors’ Day in 1989. (Taiwan named it Senior Citizens’ Day in 1966.)

Japan, which adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1872, honors the holiday on the ninth day of September, the ninth month.

A common link is the chrysanthemum, a flower native to China but that has long been celebrated in Japan. (The country’s royal family is metaphorically referred to as the Chrysanthemum Throne.)

A Times article in 1958 described a centuries-old festival dedicated to the flower: “The ancient court fete became the heritage of lords and nobles. Attired in gorgeous robes, and well provided with sake, they composed poems in honor of the chrysanthemums’ beauty.”

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

We have briefings timed for the Australian, Asian, European and American mornings. And our Australia bureau chief offers a weekly letter adding analysis and conversations with readers. You can sign up for these and other Times newsletters here.

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King Bhumibol, Catalonia, Jakarta: Your Friday Briefing – New York Times}

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