North Korea, Charlottesville, Trump: Your Tuesday Briefing


Even as counterfeiting and the theft of technology secrets remain rife in China, the country is moving to strengthen intellectual property laws to benefit its own companies. Seeking to lead in robotics and microchips, it is also pushing foreign companies in joint ventures to share their technology.

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Matt Eich for The New York Times

Bowing to pressure, President Trump denounced the hate groups who incited violent demonstrations in Charlottesville, Va., declaring that “racism is evil.” He delivering the statement from the White House at a hastily arranged appearance meant to halt the growing political threat posed by the situation.

Earlier in the day, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that the vehicular assault in Virginia met the legal definition of an act of domestic terrorism.

And the head of Merck, Kenneth C. Frazier, who is black, resigned from a White House council in protest over the president’s earlier statement blaming the weekend violence on “many sides,” prompting Mr. Trump to attack him on Twitter.

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Jason Reed/Reuters

The chief executive of Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Ian Narev, will step down next year amid a money-laundering scandal.

Regulators are suing the bank over criminals’ use of its “intelligent” automated teller machines to make enormous cash deposits. The bank could face billions of dollars in fines, but it is vowing to fight the lawsuit and played down the matter in its chief’s resignation.

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Shah Marai/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Years after she was attacked with acid, an Afghan woman named Mumtaz, above center, is facing a desperate struggle to survive as a mother and widow.

The jailing of her attacker was hailed as an improbable victory for women’s rights in Afghanistan, but her husband was recently killed in revenge, forcing her to live on $28 scrounged from his pockets when his body was returned. The money has run out, and her father has fled the country.

“I have no hope. I have nothing,” she said.

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And The Breakdown looks at the citizenship scandal threatening to take down Australia’s deputy prime minister.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister has confirmed that “unwittingly or not,” Barnaby Joyce is a citizen.

Business

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Google is teaching machines to create their own art and music and even joke.

• Japan’s economy clocked a growth rate of 4 percent, extending the longest streak of uninterrupted growth in 11 years, while China’s economy cooled.

• Uber’s power structure might shift after the board voted to move forward on proposals by two investment groups to purchase shares.

• Cathay Pacific could be forced into another round of cost-cutting as one of its worst losses looms. The carrier’s financial results are expected on Wednesday.

• GoDaddy, the web hosting company, severed ties with a neo-Nazi and white supremacy website, after the site mocked the woman who was killed during a rally of white nationalists in Charlottesville, Va.

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

In the News

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ReutersTV

• Islamic extremists were suspected in an attack on a restaurant in Burkina Faso that killed at least 18 people. [The New York Times]

A teenager’s death is prompting renewed scrutiny of clinics in China that treat internet addiction. [BBC News]

K-pop stars held a concert over the weekend just five miles from the border with North Korea, calling for peace and Korean unification. [The New York Times]

• A commission into child sexual abuse cases in Australia has proposed 85 changes to the law, including forcing priests to report details of abuse received during confession. The Catholic Church is expected to oppose the move. [ABC]

India is celebrating its independence one day after Pakistan, and a viral video is seeking to bridge the neighbors’ divide. [BBC News]

Russia will send thousands of soldiers to Belarus for military drills next month. There are widespread fears they will never leave. [The New York Times]

• Lolling with its mother at a zoo in Tokyo, a baby panda is even cuter now that it has fur. [Japan Times]

Smarter Living

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

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Laura McDermott for The New York Times

You can rewire your brain to learn more. Above, Barbara Oakley, who teaches an online course called “Learning How to Learn.”

Some tips to help navigate awkward bill-splitting.

A green salad and a squeeze of lemon are all cod cakes need.

Noteworthy

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Anthony Cotsifas

A 106-year-old fruitcake turned up in Earth’s freezer, Antarctica, and preservationists said it was in “excellent condition” and smelled “almost edible.” The cake probably belonged to a British explorer.

If old fruitcake doesn’t whet your appetite, consider the Japanese tea-ceremony treats called wagashi. Made from humble ingredients, they invite contemplation in stressful times. Above, a cat on a photo shoot with the treats.

• Here’s our review of the latest “Game of Thrones” episode, an hour of soapy intrigue and revelation.

Back Story

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Big Ear Radio Observatory and North American AstroPhysical Observatory

Forty years ago today, Earth received a transmission from aliens. Maybe.

Scientists are still debating a signal 30 times louder than the background noise of space that was picked up by a radio telescope at Ohio State University on Aug. 15, 1977.

A few days later, a volunteer astronomer named Jerry Ehman was reviewing a printout of data from the telescope, called Big Ear, which was scanning for alien messages.

He noticed a series of letters and numbers that represented a crescendo in the surrounding static. He circled the sequence and wrote an exclamation next to what became known as the “Wow!” signal.

The signal’s bandwidth was off-limits to human broadcasts. Even weirder, the frequency was about 1420 megahertz, the same as that emitted by hydrogen, the most common element in the universe. As such, scientists have reasoned that alien civilizations might use it to communicate.

The possible origin was narrowed to somewhere in the constellation Sagittarius, but despite many searches the noise was never heard again.

What was it? Theories include a military broadcast, a sound deflected off orbiting space junk, a malfunction, a yet-to-be-understood space phenomenon — and aliens. Scientists sent a reply to the signal in 2012, but it has — as yet — gone unanswered.

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