O. J. Simpson, John McCain, Ram Nath Kovind: Your Friday Briefing


The dearth of foreign leaders willing to publicly criticize Beijing added to a sense of despair among activists. Many say they feel abandoned by the U.S. in particular.

Friends and family of Lee Ming-cheh, a rights advocate from Taiwan who disappeared into mainland custody in March, see unsettling parallels between him and Mr. Liu.

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Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

The U.S. attorney general, Jeff Sessions, pledged to stay in his job “as long as it is appropriate,” a day after President Trump lashed into Mr. Sessions for recusing himself from the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential race.

In recent days, Mr. Trump’s long relationship with Deutsche Bank has come under closer scrutiny, as have loans the German bank made to Trump businesses.

Senator John McCain has a brain tumor, and the prognosis is grim. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have united in support of their colleague.

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Tom Brenner/The New York Times

The world’s largest online black market, known as AlphaBay, was shut down this month after the authorities arrested a Canadian man living in Thailand who was running the site.

The website had been a marketplace for synthetic opioids, like fentanyl, which play a central role in the U.S. overdose epidemic.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, above, called the episode “one of the most important criminal investigations this year.”

On Reddit, the popular online forum, dispatches left on a now-banned discussion thread tell a surprisingly intimate story about the tenacity of the opioid crisis.

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Michele Sibiloni/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

From climate news:

An experiment showed a simple way to save endangered chimpanzees in Uganda and slow the rate of global warming and carbon dioxide emissions: Pay people not to chop down trees.

And Y2K, the turn-of-the-21st-century computer scare, could offer lessons for fighting climate change, our tech columnist writes.

Business

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Tim Franco for The New York Times

Beijing laid out a plan to become the world leader in A.I. by 2030, aiming to surpass its rivals technologically and build an industry worth almost $150 billion.

• Bank of America won’t do business with HNA, the Chinese conglomerate, citing concern over the company’s opaque structure among other issues, according to an internal email reviewed by The Times.

Lenovo’s chief executive, Yang Yuanqing, said he would lead the stalled Chinese computer maker to $12 billion in annual online sales or resign.

The head of Korea Aerospace Industries, South Korea’s only aircraft maker and a key military supplier, quit over corruption accusations.

Here’s a snapshot of global markets.

In the News

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European Pressphoto Agency

• India elected Ram Nath Kovind, a 71-year-old Dalit, as president — a move seen by some as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s effort to expand his power base. [The New York Times]

O. J. Simpson will be released on parole as soon as Oct. 1. The American football legend and actor will go free after serving nine years in a Nevada prison for armed robbery. [The New York Times]

• Malaysia banned the global hit, “Despacito,” from state broadcasters, but one private radio station admitted it is a phenomenon that is “hard to stop.” [The Star]

In Syria, some war-wounded and sick people have gotten help from an unexpected source: Israel. [The New York Times]

• Rising anti-Indian sentiment in China, fanned by border disputes, has not dimmed China’s wild enthusiasm for the Bollywood movie “Dangal.” [South China Morning Post]

• Clark Air Base in the Philippines was once the biggest American military base overseas. Now China is redeveloping it. [Quartz]

The lead singer of Linkin Park, Chester Bennington, died at 41. His death is being investigated as a possible suicide. [The New York Times]

• A sea cave in Indonesia offers a 5,000-year history of tsunamis. [Atlas Obscura]

• Watch a solar eclipse from space. Time lapse images from a Japanese satellite show the shadow the moon casts on the Earth when it blocks out the sun. [The New York Times]

Smarter Living

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

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Jim Wilson/The New York Times

• If you like “deviled” foods, with just enough acidity and bite, make this chicken thigh recipe.

• Dare yourself to find out where all your time goes.

• As workouts intensify, doctors say they are seeing more of a rare but dangerous condition among newcomers to spin classes.

Noteworthy

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Doug Mills/The New York Times

• Usain Bolt is the fastest sprinter in history, but why? Biomechanics experts discovered that his right leg hits the track harder than his left, and that may be his secret.

• Giant squids are the stuff of legend, and among the creature’s awe-inspiring attributes are its basketball-size eyes — the largest orbs in the animal kingdom. The size of its brain? Not so impressive.

“L’Inconnue de la Seine,” an anonymous woman who drowned in the Seine in the late 19th century, ended up becoming a muse for Picasso and other artists.

Back Story

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Associated Press

More than 70 countries have elected women as their leaders, not counting figureheads or royalty. Sri Lanka, then known as Ceylon, broke the leadership barrier on this date in 1960 when Sirimavo Bandaranaike became prime minister.

In 1966, Indira Gandhi, above, was the first woman elected to lead India, the world’s largest democracy. Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan became the first female leader of a Muslim-majority country in 1988.

As of March, there were 15 women serving as heads of state or government around the world, more than twice the number in 2000, representing less than 8 percent of the 193 members of the United Nations. Eight of the 15 were their country’s first female leader.

In Europe, Margaret Thatcher of Britain became the first elected female leader in 1979. Today, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, after 11 years in power, is often called the world’s most powerful woman.

In Africa, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, a Harvard-trained Nobel Peace laureate, was elected the first female head of state in 2005. The Times once asked her if female leaders would “acquire the negative traits that power breeds.”

“It would take a very long term of women absolutely in power to get to the place where they became men,” she said.

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