North Korea, Rohingya, United Nations: Your Thursday Briefing

The analysts also said that revised assessments of a far larger blast from the Sept. 3 test — as much as 250 kilotons — appeared to confirm Pyongyang’s claim to have set off hydrogen bomb. Above, ribbons in South Korea carrying wishes for reunification.



James Hill for The New York Times

Russia and Belarus are about to attack Veishnoriya. Luckily, that’s a fictional state. It’s the focus of a six-day joint military exercise starting today, likely the biggest display of Russian military power since the end of the Cold War. NATO members are wary.

“The Daily” podcast spoke with our media columnist, Jim Rutenberg, about a parallel effort — the information war that the Kremlin is waging against the West, in part through its RT news outlet. Read his full story in the Times Magazine. Above, President Vladimir Putin speaking with RT in 2013.

And U.S. agencies are dropping antivirus software made by a Russian technology company, Kaspersky Lab, whose executives are suspected of having ties to Russian intelligence.



Hassan Ammar/Associated Press

The Trump administration is considering reducing the number of refugees admitted to the U.S. to below 50,000 over the next year. That would be the lowest number since at least 1980. Above, Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

The Supreme Court will hear challenges to the administration’s ban on refugees next month, but in the meantime, is allowing the administration to bar many refugees.



Bryan Denton for The New York Times

China’s Communist Party has tapped Chen Min’er, 56, a former Chinese literature student and propaganda worker, for promotion into its top tiers, making him a potential candidate to one day succeed President Xi Jinping.

In the jockeying for advancement, he starts with advantages. A Xi protégé, he ran one of China’s poorest provinces, Guizhou, above, giving him the gritty experience expected of an aspiring national leader.



Christopher Hopkins for The New York Times

And as Australia’s debate over same-sex marriage becomes increasingly hostile — including an assault on former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s godson — some the country’s roughly 6,800 same-sex child-rearing couples are balancing daily routines with activism.

Our team met the Duggan-Tierneys, above, who have more than 59,000 followers on their Instagram account, @the_real_dads_of_melbourne, where they bring out the mundane truths and challenges of their lives.



Giulia Marchi for The New York Times

China has mixed feelings about Bitcoin. Yet one of the largest sources of the digital currency is a factory in Inner Mongolia, above, where former farmers and coal workers tend computer arrays that crunch the mathematical problems that create Bitcoin.

• President Trump blocked a Chinese-backed private equity firm, Canyon Bridge Capital, from buying the U.S. chip-maker Lattice.

The Australian government could hold a final vote this week on a deal that could end longstanding restrictions on media ownership.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan is in India to lay the foundation stone for a project it’s helping finance: the country’s first bullet train.

• “It was a frat house.” Out tech reporters went inside the events that led to a C.E.O’s exit from SoFi, a prominent San Francisco start-up.

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

In the News


Kendrick Brinson for The New York Times

• It was the largest defamation payout ever ordered by an Australian court: The magazine publisher Bauer Media must pay the actress Rebel Wilson more than $4.5 million in damages for stories portraying her as a serial liar. [The New York Times]

• More than 80 disarmament experts urged President Trump to reconsider any thought of unraveling the international nuclear agreement with Iran. [The New York Times]

• Six people died at a Florida nursing home where the air conditioning was knocked out by Hurricane Irma. [The New York Times]

Typhoon Talim shifted its path, sparing Taiwan a direct hit and moving on a northeast trajectory that threatens Japan. [AccuWeather]

Prime Minister Najib Razak of Malaysia wrapped up a U.S. visit that included a high-profile meeting with President Trump and a stay at the Trump International Hotel — but no Oval Office photo op. [The New York Times]

• “I fell in love with it right away. It was the Orient.” Steve Bannon, the former Trump strategist, described seeing Hong Kong for the first time as a U.S. sailor in the 1970s. [South China Morning Post]

Smarter Living

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


Getty Images

• The science behind why stinky socks bug women more than men.

• Traveling with a partner? Use these apps to split and pay the bill.

• Recipe of the day: A sundae of hot fudge and salted chocolate bits will cure the weeknight blues.



Ryan Pfluger for The New York Times

• Angelina Jolie’s connection to Cambodia has reordered her life. The actress-director, suggests that her new film, “First They Killed My Father,” set against the backdrop of the Khmer Rouge genocide, affected her view of her family and relationship with Brad Pitt.

• Novels by three American and three British authors made the shortlist of the prestigious Man Booker Prize for Fiction, reviving anxieties about the 2013 decision to consider writers beyond Britain, Ireland, Zimbabwe and the Commonwealth.

• Finally, a word to the wise: Do not read our story on the fatberg menacing London’s sewer system over breakfast.

Back Story


Associated Press

This week in 1974, The Times took notice of a new trend: video games. At a lunch spot in Manhattan, a reporter found two women skeptically trying out a tennis game on “a cross between an oscilloscope and a black-and-white television.”

They seemed less than impressed, but The Times reported that “thousands” of other Americans were already hooked on “the space age pinball machine.”

Two years earlier, the first home video game console was released: the Magnavox Odyssey, created by Ralph Baer, above. The impetus? His frustration at having nothing good to watch on TV.

Mr. Baer is considered by many to be the father of video games, but, as with many origin stories, the title has long been in dispute. As Mr. Baer began selling the Odyssey and his game Table Tennis, Nolan Bushnell and his company, Atari, created the first arcade machine. Atari’s game, Pong, was similar to Table Tennis but quickly dwarfed the Odyssey in sales.

Mr. Bushnell admitted to knowledge of Mr. Baer’s Table Tennis, but later said he “didn’t think it was very clever.” A patent battle ensued, which Atari lost. But Pong is the game we remember.

Tim Williams contributed reporting.


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