Otto Warmbier, Syria, North Korea: Your Morning Briefing

The sailors who died in Saturday’s collision displayed how much the American military relies on recruits from immigrant communities.



Senior Airman Matthew Bruch/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

A U.S. fighter jet shot down an armed Iranian-made drone that was approaching U.S.-backed insurgents in southeast Syria, the latest aerial entanglement between the American military and forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.

Russia threatened to target any American and coalition planes that flew west of the Euphrates River after the U.S. downed a Syrian warplane days earlier. Australia suspended its air operations over Syria as a precaution.



Inside an Iraqi Major’s Battle Against ISIS

Ben C. Solomon, a Times video journalist, tells the story of Major Sajjad al-Hour as he leads 150 men through the war-torn streets of Mosul.

By BEN C. SOLOMON and TAIGE JENSEN on Publish Date June 20, 2017.

Photo by Ben C. Solomon/The New York Times.

Watch in Times Video »

From the front lines in Iraq, a New York Times video journalist captured the urban warfare being waged against the Islamic State in Mosul, above.

After two years under the militants, Iraqi soldiers were greeted as liberators by residents of the war-torn city. One family even named a newborn after the unit’s 33-year-old commander, Major Sajjad al-Hour.

Ben Solomon, who shot the video, describes the experience in this essay.



William Widmer for The New York Times

In the U.S., federal agents are using surveillance equipment adapted from military use in Iraq and Afghanistan on the Mexican border, demonstrating technology might be more useful than a wall.

And a runoff election in the state of Georgia will decide what has become the most expensive House campaign in history — and quite possibly the most consequential special election since Watergate. Here’s what we’re watching in that race.



Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

“He was a nut job.”

That’s how one acquaintance described Darren Osborne, the man believed to have plowed a van into a crowd of Muslims as they finished prayers in London. Yet none of the people we spoke to said he had expressed political sentiments — until last weekend.

Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain called the act a terrorist attack targeting Muslims, but it also raised questions about where the line between terrorism and hate crimes can be drawn.



Giulia Marchi for The New York Times

• Ford Motor will build its Focus small-car model in China, shifting its planned production from Mexico in one of the first strategic moves by its new chief executive.

• An Australian gambling mega-merger was approved between Tabcorp and Tatts Group, forming a joint venture worth 11.3 billion Australian dollars, or $8.6 billion.

• More from the Paris Air Show: Boeing is dropping its signature 747 amid declining demand for jumbo passenger jets.

• Li Ka-shing, 88, Hong Kong’s richest man, dismissed reports that he would retire from his global conglomerate, CK Hutchison Holdings.

• Ethereum, a digital currency network launched in 2015 by Vitalik Buterin, a 21-year-old college dropout, may soon surpass Bitcoin.

• Tokyo’s famous Tsukiji fish market will be relocated after all.

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

In the News


Shah Marai/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

• The killing of eight Afghan guards by the Taliban highlights the bitter changes at Bagram Air Base, the sprawling American military site. [The New York Times]

• In a typical week in the United States, 25 children die from bullet wounds, according to data from government agencies. [The New York Times]

• Fifteen Muslim men were arrested in central India and charged with sedition for allegedly shouting pro-Pakistan slogans during the Champions Trophy cricket final. [BBC]

• Turtles raised for food can infect people with cholera and spread the lethal bacteria, a Chinese study found. [The New York Times]

• In southwest China, a nearly 900-foot-high rope-drawn cable car, thought to the highest in Asia, will be made obsolete by a new bridge. [Sixth Tone]

• A Japanese town is turning to sniffer dogs to detect stomach cancer. [Japan Today]

Australians are losing faith in America a new poll finds. The U.S. slipped to second when Australians were asked to name their best friend in the world. (New Zealand.) [The New York Times]

Smarter Living


Marcus Nilsson for The New York Times

• Recipe of the day: A cheese-steak sub can fulfill your cheesy cravings.

• Walk your dog more often; you’ll get some exercise, too.

• Sleep more! Sleep deprivation is linked to behavioral and mental health problems and car accident risk.



Dmitry Kostyukov for The New York Times

• The Opéra Comique has stood in central Paris since 1783. Join our correspondent for its painstaking and elegant rebirth. And this daily 360 video goes inside an opera, “Alcyone,” that hasn’t been performed in nearly 250 years.

• Want to work for Jaguar Land Rover? The carmaker wants potential employees to download an app and solve a series of puzzles that will test for the engineering skills they need.

• Is Australia ripe for a populist, nationalist political movement? Our Op-Ed contributor argues that because Australians have never seen themselves as “the center of the world,” populist appeals to a lost national glory have little currency.

Back Story


Ian Waldie/Getty Images

It is the June solstice, the start to summer for half of the world and winter for the other.

The Northern Hemisphere dips toward the sun, basking in its warmth for longer than any other time, as the chilling Southern Hemisphere swings away, all thanks to the Earth’s axial tilt of 23.5 degrees.

What better moment to ponder the sun, that explosive ball of plasma that makes our existence possible?

At more than a million degrees, the roaring outer corona is hundreds of times hotter than the solar surface beneath it, and researchers hope that a deluge of solar data expected over the next decade will help them understand why.

Next July, NASA plans to launch the Parker Solar Probe, a spacecraft that will investigage the plasma puzzle by coming as near as four million miles to the surface by 2024 — almost 90 million miles closer than we are.

Protected by a special heat shield, the craft will observe the sun’s magnetic field, its electrical field and the energetic particles from the solar wind.

“It will revolutionize our understanding of the sun,” said Eric Christian, a scientist on the project. “It’s the first time we get to go where the action is.”

Nicholas St. Fleur contributed reporting.


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