Afghanistan, Floyd Mayweather, Republicans: Your Friday Briefing


And our media analyst writes that Mr. Trump’s fierce attacks on the press — including calling journalists “sick people” — have heightened fears of physical attacks.

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Mohd Rasfan/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The U.S. Navy released the names of a sailor confirmed dead and nine others listed as missing in the collision of the destroyer John S. McCain and an oil tanker near Singapore on Monday.

The damage to the guided-missile destroyer is so extensive that Navy and Marine Corps divers are using hydraulic cutters to try to enter crushed and flooded berthing compartments where remains have been located.

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Osama Falah/PPO, via Getty Images

Jared Kushner, President Trump’s adviser and son-in-law, met with the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and separately with Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority president, above, on his first solo Middle East trip.

The week also included a visit with Egypt’s president, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, which was unexpectedly shadowed by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s decision to cut or delay nearly $300 million in aid.

Elsewhere in the region, Qatar restored full relations with Iran, deepening a feud with its Gulf neighbors.

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Greg Baker/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Questions continue to mount about the ownership and corporate structure of the HNA Group, a $100 billion conglomerate that has substantial backing from China’s state banks and has spent more than $30 billion acquiring stakes in global companies like Hilton Hotels and Deutsche Bank.

One of our best reporters on financial dealings in China took a deep dive into the subject, and found an undisclosed, close relationship between HNA and a New York-based company, the Pacific American Corporation, that

helps explain how the company runs its global operations and offers clues about who ultimately controls it.

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Ed Jones/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Our reporters in Seoul and on our business desk are poised to alert you when the verdict is handed down today in the bribery trial of Lee Jae-yong, the heir to the Samsung empire.

You can set your iPhone or Android device for breaking news alerts, or sign up here to get them by email. Our site will have the latest.

Thailand is also braced for a major verdict in a malfeasance case against former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

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John Gurzinski/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The hugely hyped showdown between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor will be held on Saturday in Las Vegas.

Fight fans are excited and Nevada’s casinos and sports books see a financial bonanza, but one important constituency doesn’t believe the bout should happen at all: doctors.

And in a piece about racism in American pop culture, our critic noted “deplorable” racial taunting during the fighters’ promotional tour.

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Business

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Richard Drew/Associated Press

• Disney’s recent decision to create its own direct-to-consumer streaming service sent shock waves through Hollywood, Silicon Valley and the telecommunications industry. Our business columnist says it also reveals that content is no longer king.

Google is launching Google Station in Indonesia, the first expansion of the public Wi-Fi program for emerging markets it debuted in India.

• Two of the world’s most powerful central bankers — the Federal Reserve chairwoman, Janet Yellen, and the European Central Bank president, Mario Draghi — speak at the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank’s annual symposium in the Wyoming resort town of Jackson Hole. Here’s what to watch for.

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

In the News

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• Where is the world’s worst humanitarian crisis? Yemen, where after two and a half years of war, a raging cholera epidemic has now infected more than half a million people. [The New York Times]

Russia flew nuclear-capable strategic bombers around the Korean Peninsula, a rare show of force that prompted Japan and South Korea to scramble jets. [Reuters]

• A Vietnamese man suspected of involvement in the abduction of a high-ranking construction executive in Germany has been arrested in the Czech Republic and extradited to Berlin. [The New York Times]

Australia’s foreign affairs minister said it was not the Australian spy chief’s idea to pose for a “fist-pump” photo with President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines — it was Mr. Duterte’s. [ABC]

• China’s social media users are having fun with a People’s Liberation Army post that gives health advice to recruits: Cut down on fizzy drinks and video games. [BBC]

Smarter Living

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

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Karsten Moran for The New York Times

• Protect your accounts by text or app.

• In what should you invest?

• Recipe of the day: Take the leap and make your own blueberry jam. It’s worth it.

Noteworthy

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Gilles Sabrié for The New York Times

• In Bhutan, the phallus has been celebrated for centuries and used to ward off evil. To the chagrin of local people, phalluses have become a curio to peddle in all sizes and colors to the increasing number of visitors to the Himalayan kingdom.

The common sea star (Asterias forbesi) is way more brutal than it looks.

Black and Hispanic students are more underrepresented on U.S. campuses than they were 35 years ago, according to a Times analysis.

Back Story

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Julien’s Auctions, via REX Shutterstock

It all began with a question about L. Frank Baum’s off-the-cuff story about a faraway magical land. What, a child asked, was the name of this extraordinary place? Baum looked at a filing cabinet label, rejected “A-G” and went with “O-Z.”

That’s one origin story of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” the children’s book that became a celebrated movie, which opened in wide release in the U.S. on this day in 1939.

It took more than a few screenwriters (11 by one count) to adapt Baum’s vision into a girl’s dream of a land over the rainbow from Depression-era Kansas.

Theories about the story abound. Is the yellow brick road a metaphor for the gold standard in the late 1800s? Does the movie sync up with Pink Floyd’s album “The Dark Side of the Moon”?

Some scholars are skeptical that Baum set out to write a populist allegory. (You’re on your own testing the Pink Floyd claim.)

But the charms of Baum’s tale endure. As a Times film critic wrote at the film’s debut, “It is all so well-intentioned, so genial, and so gay that any reviewer who would look down his nose at the fun-making should be spanked and sent off, supperless, to bed.”

Tim Williams contributed reporting.

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