North Korea, Vladimir Putin, G-20: Your Thursday Briefing


Amid fears of violent protests, Hamburg will be swathed in a police presence of 20,000.

With U.S. commitment to European security in question, Germany’s Parliament concluded that the country could legally take shelter under the nuclear umbrellas of the British or French.

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Felipe Dana/Associated Press

• Photographs and drone video footage show the devastation in Mosul as government forces wrested the last pockets of the Iraqi city from Islamic State militants.

And Iraqi Christians now living in the U.S. who supported President Trump’s campaign are shocked to find themselves caught up in his widening immigration dragnet.

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Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

• The Kremlin is bringing the profit motive to bear on Syria’s civil war, rewarding security contractors with oil and mineral rights in territory they secure from the Islamic State.

A former French judge will take on the task of preparing evidence that may eventually lead to war crimes trials in the six-year conflict.

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Diego Azubel, via /European Pressphoto Agency

• Volvo, the Swedish-based automaker owned by Geely Automobile Holdings of China, said that from 2019 on, it would introduce only hybrid or electric models.

That’s a first for a mainstream car company.

Volvo’s chief executive said that while the strategy has risks, “a much bigger risk would be to stick with internal combustion engines.”

Business

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Hannah Mckay/Reuters

Minutes of the Federal Reserve’s June meeting revealed a debate over how quickly the Fed should begin to reduce its securities portfolio, and some concern about loose credit.

• Worldpay, a British payment processing company, has agreed in principle to be acquired by Vantiv, an American rival, for about $10 billion.

Inkjet meets genetics: Konica Minolta, the Japanese manufacturer of photocopiers and printers, plans to buy the American genetic testing company Ambry Genetics.

• Samsung is expected to report record profits in the second quarter — and dethrone Intel from the top of the semiconductor market.

• Start-ups are reinventing the suitcase. Think USB ports, GPS trackers and scales that tell you when you overpacked.

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

In the News

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Associated Press

• A Chinese hospital invited experts from the U.S. and Germany to help treat the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo for liver cancer. [The New York Times]

• A U.S. ban on laptops in carry-on luggage from eight Muslim-majority countries was lifted for some airlines. [The New York Times]

• Scientists believe they have narrowed the area to search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. [ABC]

• Suspects in the downing of a different Malaysia Airlines flight over Ukraine three years ago will be tried in a Dutch court. [The New York Times]

• Abu Sayyaf militants beheaded two Vietnamese sailors in the southern Philippines. [BBC]

• China’s use of low-quality or “dirty” coal fell by 40 percent in four years, according to an analysis. [CNBC]

• The hangman’s noose is returning in the U.S. as a potent symbol of racial hatred. [The New York Times]

• CNN stoked controversy by tracing the identity of a Reddit user who created the video of President Trump tackling the CNN logo that Mr. Trump circulated. [The New York Times]

• A panel advising Thailand’s junta suggested draconian restrictions on the internet. [Associated Press]

• A giant panda cub recently born in a Tokyo zoo is healthy (and very cute). [The Asahi Shimbun]

Smarter Living

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James Yang

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

• Stereotypically macho messages limit children’s understanding of what it means to be a father, a man and a boy.

• Yotam Ottolenghi’s blueberry, almond and lemon cake is just the thing to have with tea.

Noteworthy

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Amanda Mustard for The New York Times

A Vietnamese architect has developed prefabricated structures that he hopes will provide durable homes for people in slums, remote areas or refugee camps — at a cost of just $1,500.

• Our Seoul correspondent discusses the sources and technology he uses in reporting on North Korea, like Tor (“a godsend”), as well as how Samsung affects his work, and the centrality of the messaging app Kakao Talk.

Back Story

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Kent Nishimura for The New York Times

A word about the weather report.

No matter where you are, it seems everyone complains about inaccurate forecasts.

Faulty predictions have been ridiculed and even blamed for economic damage.

In 1954, The Times reported that meteorologists were asking the public for a “better understanding of their complex work.”

“The Weatherman is tired of being the butt of a parade of stale jokes,” the article read.

Happily, thanks to satellites and ever more advanced data analysis, short-term predictions of three to five days have become remarkably accurate, said Henry Fountain, a Times reporter focused on climate change and the environment.

He cautions, however, that longer-term forecasting, of several weeks to several months, remains more problematic.

These subseasonal to seasonal forecasts, as they are called, are critical for economies worldwide, helping farmers in Australia decide how much irrigation water they’ll need, for example, or international shippers plan their routes. They also affect military and disaster planning.

European forecasts are often considered better than most, in part because European governments often devote more resources to them, including costly computer time.

But the U.S. is trying to catch up. The government this spring enacted a law that prioritizes research to improve longer-term modeling.

Patrick Boehler and Jenn Jett contributed reporting.

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Your Morning Briefing is published weekday mornings and updated online.

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