Rohingya, Houston, North Korea: Your Thursday Briefing

• The U.S. economy grew 3 percent in the second quarter, its fastest pace in two years, according to new government figures revising the initial report of just 2.6 percent.

And President Trump pitched a sweeping tax overhaul, but offered few specifics beyond a goal of a 15 percent corporate tax rate, down from 35 percent.

The damage from the storm pounding the U.S. Gulf Coast has raised questions about whether so much of the country’s energy industry should be concentrated there.

Before Uber’s board chose Dara Khosrowshahi to be the company’s new chief, there were power plays, negotiations for more leverage and wild swings in support.

•, the Chinese online retail giant, will award $15 million to winners of a competition to find the best way to introduce drone delivery services in China.

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

In the News


Kim Chul-Soo/European Pressphoto Agency

• A former South Korean spy chief was sent from a courtroom directly to prison after a judge sentenced him to four years for ordering an online smear campaign against presidential rivals of Park Geun-hye in 2012. [The New York Times]

• The U.S.-led military coalition in Syria bombed a road and bridge to block the transfer of hundreds of Islamic State fighters, foiling a deal made by the Lebanese Army, Hezbollah and Syrian loyalist forces. [The New York Times]

• The recent lynching of a suspected thief in a gritty Jakarta suburb opened debate on Indonesia’s vigilante mobs. [The New York Times]

• An Australian court is considering whether to hear a lawsuit brought by more than 15,000 Indonesian seaweed farmers who say the country’s worst-ever oil spill destroyed their livelihoods. [ABC]

The so-called Asian Nobels will be awarded at ceremonies in Manila today. [ABS-CBN]

• The New America Foundation, a think tank that has received major funding from Google and its founder, exiled a scholar and his team after he publicly praised a $2.7 billion European antitrust fine on the company. [The New York Times]

• Two doctors in India were suspended amid outrage over a circulating video of them arguing while standing over a pregnant patient during an operation. [BBC]

• Australia plays Japan today for a spot in the 2018 soccer World Cup. [Associated Press]

Smarter Living

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


The New York Times

• Here’s how to properly care for your clothes.

• Recipe of the day: Make tonight’s dinner special with mustard-glazed pork tenderloin.



Andrew Kelly/University of New South Wales

• Scholars have long debated the purpose of 60 numbers written on a 3,700-year-old Babylonian clay tablet. Two Australian mathematicians believe they have figured it out.

• In memoriam: Sumiteru Taniguchi, 88, who was badly burned in the 1945 atomic bombing of Nagasaki and devoted his life to abolishing nuclear weapons . And David Tang, 63, the Hong Kong entrepreneur and socialite who founded the Shanghai Tang clothing chain.

• And when is a shoe not just a shoe? Melania Trump, the first lady, accompanied her husband to Texas, but her stiletto heels got all the attention. Our fashion critic explains why.

Back Story


Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

Our story last week about how the Spanish language is thriving in the U.S. mentioned the song of the summer, “Despacito.” A remix of a hit by the Puerto Rican musicians Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, the song features Justin Bieber singing in Spanish.

It’s one of only three Spanish-language songs to hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. Can you guess the other two?

Time’s up.

The first was the only of the three songs to be sung entirely in Spanish: a cover of “La Bamba” by the group Los Lobos that, coincidentally enough, topped the chart 30 years ago this week.

A Mexican folk song, “La Bamba” was propelled to (renewed) fame by the 1987 film of the same name, a biopic of Ritchie Valens. Valens released what is perhaps the best-known version of the song, in 1958, before dying the next year in a plane crash at 17.

The other hit was “Macarena,” originally released by the Spanish duo Los del Rio before a remix by the Bayside Boys became inescapable in 1996. Even delegates at that summer’s Democratic National Convention got into the rhythm. Sort of.

The song made headlines again recently after the police in Saudi Arabia detained a teenager who was captured on video dancing along.

Sandra E. Garcia contributed reporting.


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