Here’s what you need to know:
• “North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States,” President Trump said. “They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”
The North’s increasing defiance over its nuclear program drew not only Mr. Trump’s extraordinary threat, but also the prospect of a complicated regional arms race. Politicians in Japan and South Korea are warming to more powerful weapons.
Experts say it is unclear whether newly enacted U.N. sanctions will hinder the North’s nuclear militarization, or even crimp its economy.
• Our reporter obtained an alarming draft U.S. government report on climate change, in which scientists say global warming is already severely affecting the country.
The question is whether the Trump administration will permit it to be released. So far, the White House and the Environmental Protection Agency have not commented — but more than 2,100 readers have.
“I can’t decide which is more worrying: the report’s findings, or the fact that scientists felt compelled to ‘leak’ the report,” wrote one. “Either way, the news isn’t good.”
• Australia’s struggle over same-sex marriage has yielded a two-step approach: If a bill to hold a national referendum in September does not pass the Senate this week, then Australians will vote on the issue by mail.
The compromise was worked out within the governing Liberal Party, which met for hours on Tuesday behind closed doors.
• President Jacob Zuma survived a no-confidence motion after South Africa’s Parliament held its first secret vote on whether to remove him after eight years in office and after rampant charges of graft and mismanagement.
And votes are being counted after millions of Kenyans went to the polls in a tightly contested presidential election. There are still fears of violence once the winner is announced.
• Google set off a Silicon Valley debate over free speech and sexism after firing a software engineer for arguing that women are biologically less suited to the tech world and that the company’s efforts to balance their numbers were “unfair, divisive and bad for business.”
Anita Hill, the lawyer who became an icon for harassed women by raising accusations against the Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas in 1991, argues in an Op-Ed that women should take the tech industry’s sexism to court.
• Let’s expand your vocabulary. Are you familiar with the Chinese term “xiao xian rou,” or “little fresh meat”?
It refers to the kind of good-looking young men all too present in a film commemorating the 90th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army.
“Someone is trying to make a fortune off these important historical events” with “shameful” casting decisions, complained the descendant of a military commander.
• Disney, the world’s largest entertainment company, addressed the threat of cord-cutting with multi-billion-dollar plans for Netflix-style streaming services carrying sports programming from ESPN and Disney movies.
• The plunge of the dollar has created room for China to relax some of its currency curbs.
• Australian lawmakers called on the Reserve Bank to embrace bitcoin as an official currency, and hackers posted stolen files, including a coming “Game of Thrones” episode, to back its demand that HBO pay millions in bitcoin to stop it from releasing more.
In the News
• A magnitude-6.5 earthquake struck a remote area of China’s southwestern Sichuan Province, causing four deaths and some building damage. [Reuters]
• Three missing U.S. marines were officially declared dead two days after their aircraft crashed off Australia’s eastern coast. [The New York Times]
• A French farmer pledged to continue helping migrants “because it must be done” after being sentenced to a suspended four-month prison term for smuggling them across the Italian border. [The New York Times]
• An Australian opposition leader, Matthew Guy, said he would refer himself to an anti-corruption watchdog over a lobster dinner with an accused mafia boss. [ABC]
• The Malaysian authorities made more than 400 arrests in Operation Joker, a campaign to weed out potential terror threats in Kuala Lumpur ahead of this month’s Southeast Asia Games. [The Straits Times]
• A journalist in Thailand was charged with sedition and violation of the country’s computer law for online comments about politics. [Associated Press]
• Thieves broke into Australian’s National Dinosaur Museum and cut off and stole the heads of three fiberglass raptors. Police described the robbers as “idiots.” [ABC]
Tips, both new and old, for a more fulfilling life.
• Recipe of the day: Try Craig Claiborne’s comforting smothered chicken recipe, a hit since 1983.
• We rigorously tested coffee brewing and grinding gear. Here are the results.
• Why do bees buzz? Our ScienceTake video offers a quick answer: Bees “sonicate,” or use high-frequency sound waves to disrupt things.
• In memoriam: Haruo Nakajima, 88, the actor who was the first to play Godzilla, and who had a bit part in another major 1954 film, Akira Kurosawa’s masterpiece “Seven Samurai.”
• And “Game of Thrones” fans get background on the Catspaw dagger and the ominous cave paintings in the latest edition of our weekly newsletter. And the director of the latest episode, Matt Shakman, said his dragon battle was inspired by “Apocalypse Now” and “Saving Private Ryan.”
Research shows that most prospective countries, given the option, tend to favor national sovereignty. Singapore, which became independent of Malaysia on this day in 1965, may be the only modern exception.
Colonized by Britain in the 19th century, the island city-state achieved self-governance in 1959.
A few years later, in 1963, Singapore merged with a federation of Malay states to establish Malaysia.
Singapore’s first prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, tearfully described the city-state’s independence as “a moment of anguish.”
He went on to pursue a neutral foreign policy, careful not to upset the much more populous neighbors.
“I am not here to play somebody else’s game,” he once said. “I have a few million people’s lives to account for. And Singapore will survive.”
Survive it did, and prosper. Singapore often appears near the top of quality-of-life rankings in Asia.
Sara Aridi contributed reporting.
Your Morning Briefing is published weekday mornings and updated online.
What would you like to see here? Contact us at email@example.com.