Donald Trump Jr., Janet Yellen, Antarctica: Your Thursday Briefing


And Christopher Wray, Mr. Trump’s nominee for F.B.I. director, separated himself from the president on the issue in his Senate confirmation hearing. Mr. Wray, above, said the investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election and possible links to Mr. Trump’s campaign was not a “witch hunt.”

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John Sonntag/NASA, via European Pressphoto Agency

One of the largest icebergs ever recorded, weighing more than a trillion metric tons, broke away from the Antarctic Peninsula, providing a glimpse of how the Antarctic ice sheet might ultimately start to crumble.

There is no scientific consensus over whether global warming is to blame. But the landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula has been fundamentally changed.

“Maps will need to be redrawn,” one scientist said.

Above, the crack in the ice shelf in 2016.

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Darren Whiteside/Reuters

Indonesia cleared the way for President Joko Widodo to disband civic organizations without judicial oversight — an apparent challenge to increasingly powerful Islamist groups who oppose his pluralist administration.

The decree alarmed human rights groups, which worry it could easily be used to ban any religious or civil society groups, whether they are hard-line Islamist or not.

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Jitendra Prakash/Reuters

In India, the rise of Yogi Adityanath, the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, has come as a shock to many.

After all, Adityanath (pronounced Ah-DIT-ya-nath) is a radical, and the leader of a temple known for its militant Hindu supremacist tradition.

Yet, as our Delhi bureau chief writes, the diminutive, baby-faced warrior-priest, 45, is receiving the kind of career-making attention that projects an Indian politician to the highest ranks of government.

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The Breakdown updates throughout the day with news and notes from Australia. Today, we look at Australia’s nationwide gun amnesty program, introduced on July 1, and ask: Why now?

Business

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Carlos Barria/Reuters

• Apple set up its first data center in China. The $1 billion investment is seen as a sign for how foreign tech companies will comply to a new law ordering them to store Chinese users’ information inside the country.

Negotiators from 11 countries began Trans-Pacific Partnership talks in Japan, the Obama-era free trade deal that President Trump abandoned in his first days in office.

• Janet Yellen, the Federal Reserve chairwoman, highlighted continued strength of job growth in an upbeat report to Congress.

• China’s Anbang Insurance Group bought a chain of Canadian retirement homes despite ownership concerns. With Anbang’s chairman now detained in China, critics are troubled by Canada’s lax attitude toward Chinese investment.

Japan Tobacco offered to buy Mighty, the struggling Philippine cigarette company, for $890 million.

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

In the News

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Bobby Yip/Reuters

The health of Liu Xiaobo, the Chinese Nobel Peace laureate, is worsening. The hospital that is treating him said his liver, kidney and breathing functions were failing. [The New York Times]

In Japan’s “Black Widow” trial, Chisako Kakehi, 70, stunned the courtroom when she admitted to poisoning her husband — one of six men who died soon after marrying or dating her. [The New York Times]

Chinese troops left for Djibouti to establish China’s first overseas military base. [Xinhua]

• Schoolgirls in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to take physical education classes for the first time. [The New York Times]

• Who is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi? A video looks at the Islamic State leader who has repeatedly been reported dead, and who has eluded Western forces despite a $25 million bounty on his head. [The New York Times]

• People in Indonesia walk less per day than in any other country, according to a new study. [Coconuts Jakarta]

• Flashback: Our Vietnam ’67 series remembers the 50,000 Korean soldiers who fought with American troops — an episode often forgotten in the U.S., but never in South Korea. [The New York Times]

• Thailand’s ancient cats, notably the blue-eyed Siamese, are in decline; of 23 native cat breeds, only five or so remain. [Nikkei Asian Review]

Smarter Living

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

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Michael Kraus for The New York Times

• Learning mindfulness meditation or relaxation techniques may improve your mood and attention.

• Does your phone run out of juice midday? Choose your charger wisely.

• For something light, go with an herb and radish salad with feta and walnuts.

Noteworthy

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• Watch ants build an Eiffel Tower (sort of). New research explains how ants band together to survive floods, and this video shows some surprisingly good insect architecture.

Hundreds of millions of Chinese have turned to religion in recent years, and an environmental awakening has followed.

• And at Shanghai Disneyland, Buzz Lightyear speaks Mandarin, and Chinese cultural icons rub shoulders with heroes from Marvel Comics and “Star Wars.” Plus, our Frugal Traveler offers tips for theme parks.

Back Story

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Abir Sultan/Israeli Defense Forces, via Getty Images

Recent reports that the Pentagon spent millions to license a camouflage pattern that replicates lush forests — to be worn in largely arid Afghanistan — got us thinking about the famous design.

As it turns out, the word “camouflage” appeared in The Times for the first time 100 years ago.

The concept of disguising matériel and soldiers to blend in with their surroundings originated in the 1800s and was further developed during World War I.

In May 1917, a New York lawyer who visited the French battlefront wrote about it for The Times’s Magazine section.

The French were among the first to use to camouflage on a wide scale, with a unit made up of artists known as “camoufleurs.” In August 1917, the U.S. Army issued its own call for enlistment in a “camouflage force,” seeking “young men who are looking for special entertainment in the way of fooling Germans.”

Camouflage later became common in art and fashion. A 2007 exhibit at London’s Imperial War Museum noted its links to Cubism. (Picasso exclaimed upon seeing a camouflaged cannon in Paris: “It was us who created that.”)

The artist Andy Warhol also used it, substituting bright colors for earth tones, which removed the military symbolism but retained the notion of hiding.

Karen Zraick contributed reporting.

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