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20:35, 12 February 2018

Asia and Australia Edition: Russia, the Obamas, Donald Trump: Your Tuesday Briefing

Asia and Australia Edition: Russia, the Obamas, Donald Trump: Your Tuesday Briefing

Asia and Australia Edition: Russia, the Obamas, Donald Trump: Your Tuesday Briefing


Here’s your Morning Briefing:

CreditGilles Sabrie for The New York Instances

• A huge oil spill — one particular in contrast to any ahead of — is starting to contaminate some of the most essential fishing grounds in Asia.

Up to 111,000 metric tons of condensate, a toxic, virtually invisible variety of petroleum, has spilled from an Iranian tanker soon after its fiery collision with a cargo ship in the East China Sea final month. Above, fishermen in China.


CreditJason Reed/AFP/Getty Pictures

“Look forward to seeing you in Canberra, Harry.”

That was Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, on news that President Trump plans to nominate Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., the top U.S. military commander in the Pacific, as his ambassador to Australia. The post hasn’t been occupied given that 2016.

The news could be significantly less welcome in Beijing. Admiral Harris has taken a challenging line against Beijing’s “provocative and expansionist” base-building.

Join today’s discussion in our Australian Facebook group on how the posting could affect Australia’s already tense connection with China.


CreditAndrew Testa for The New York Occasions

• From the Winter Olympics: The Dutch group swept the initial women’s speed skating event and Mikael Kingsbury of Canada won gold in moguls skiing. Here’s our complete coverage from Pyeongchang.

Russian nationalist fervor is really present, despite the official ban for the country’s state-backed doping scheme. (Our “Daily” podcast has the ideal account but of how that unfolded.)

And one particular of our most popular stories right now is a throwback: In 1982, the Norwegian cross-country skier Oddvar Bra collided with a skier from the Soviet Union. Somehow, a national myth was born. So far, Norway is leading the medal count.


CreditTed Aljibe/Agence France-Presse — Getty Photos

• The Philippines barred its citizens from traveling to Kuwait for employment and began flying workers residence soon after reports that the body of an abused Filipino domestic worker was located in a Kuwaiti apartment freezer.

About half a million Filipinos reside in Kuwait, most employed as domestic workers, and President Rodrigo Duterte mentioned they had been topic to a “repugnant” level of abuse.

Separately, Mr. Duterte was criticized for possessing boasted of ordering soldiers to shoot female communist guerrillas in the genitals.


CreditTom Brenner/The New York Times

• President Trump is unveiling a $1.5 trillion plan for what he’s called “gleaming new roads, bridges, highways, railways and waterways all across our land.”

The White House also announced its budget request, including large increases for the military, deep cuts in domestic programs and entitlements, and funds for a return to the moon.

Our Washington correspondent says the budget has “little to no possibility of being enacted as written.”


CreditSony Photos, via Linked Press

• Crime or misdemeanor?

Sony’s animated “Peter Rabbit” has been undertaking fairly well at the box offices (even though a distant second to the far much less household-friendly “Fifty Shades Freed”).

But Sony felt compelled to apologize following parents in the U.S. and Australia complained about the scene exactly where the young rabbits fire a blackberry into Mr. McGregor’s mouth, sending him into anaphylactic shock.

For the record, our critic preferred “Shaun the Sheep Film.”



Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will be joined by more than 20 business leaders from Australia on a trip to Washington next week. The group involves the billionaire packaging magnate Anthony Pratt, a friend of President Trump’s who is developing factories in the U.S.

• The old American Stock Exchange creating in New York briefly took on a new life — as a style runway. Our chief fashion critic took the opportunity to meditate on finance and style.

• Funds that track monetary indexes, now a dominant force on Wall Street, acted as accelerants in current turmoil.

• Numerous markets in Asia and Europe rose Monday, but Australia’s benchmark index fell once more. U.S. stocks had been up sharply. Here’s a snapshot of international markets.

In the News

CreditAnuwar Hazarika/Reuters

• In northeast India, a speeding train plowed into a herd of elephants, killing 5 and adding to building criticism of the railways more than the painful quantity of such collisions. [The New York Occasions].

Prime Minister Turnbull’s workplace mentioned Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce did not breach government policy when the employees member he was dating was employed by fellow lawmakers, saying she could not be deemed his “partner” at the time. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

• Mr. Turnbull highlighted improvements in education and reductions in infant mortality for Indigenous communities, but said that future policies need to focus much more closely on the communities, not broad policy targets. [ABC]

• The police in Israel arrested a lady who fled Australia in 2008 after she was charged with sexual abuse of three girls at an ultra-Orthodox Jewish school she headed in Melbourne. [Haaretz]

• Cyclone Gita battered Tonga, and kept New Zealand on alert. [Radio New Zealand]

• “Half-paradise, half-hell”: The Maldives is in a energy struggle that could pull India and China into conflict. [The New York Times Editorial Board]

• The Catholic Church in Victoria, Australia, seems to be far wealthier than it lets on, raising new scrutiny of its efforts to steer clear of or minimize compensation payments more than child sexual abuse. [The Age]

• Good news: Two drugs have been discovered to stave off the spread of prostate cancer for as much as two years. The highest prices of the disease are discovered in Australia and New Zealand. [The New York Occasions]

Smarter Living

Suggestions, both new and old, for a much more fulfilling life.

CreditJosh Cochran

• Want a more perfect union?Act (inside limits) like you are single.

• Research on saturated fats usually failed to think about what individuals ate in their spot.

• For Mardi Gras, you cannot go incorrect with a chicken and sausage gumbo.


CreditJada Yuan/The New York Times

• She’s off! Our 52 locations travel columnist — who beat out much more than 13,000 other applicants for the job — has began her whirlwind planet tour in the Big Effortless. She located lots to celebrate in New Orleans.

• Portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama were unveiled, mixing paint and politics.

• In memoriam:Asma Jahangir, 66, a rights activist in Pakistan who defended the rule of law and criticized the military’s interference in politics.

Back Story

CreditGetty Images

As the end of a particularly undesirable flu season approaches in numerous parts of the globe, you are possibly accustomed to hearing “achoo!”

But there’s not truly a worldwide consensus on how to react to a sneeze or the derivation of customary responses.

Whilst it’s unnecessary in Japan and components of China to comment, a lot of countries use a version of “(God) bless you.”

The sneezer’s welfare is the main concern. Germans say “gesundheit” (well being), although Turks say “çok yaşa” (might you reside long).

Often the response is dictated by the number of sneezes. In components of Latin America, the very first sneeze is met with “health,” the second with “money,” and the third with “love.” The Dutch wish you “health” for your initial two sneezes ahead of the third time turns into “good weather tomorrow.”

Well being-primarily based wishes seem self-explanatory, but the origin of “God bless you” is uncertain.

The most well-liked theory is that Pope Gregory I began it by blessing a person infected with the plague. But it is almost certainly not correct.

Academics think saying “bless you” to a sneezer can be traced back even earlier — some say to 77 A.D., others to Greek mythology.

Anna Schaverien contributed reporting.


Your Morning Briefing is published weekday mornings and updated on the web. Sign up right here to get it by e-mail in the Australian, Asian, European or American morning, or to acquire an Evening Briefing on U.S. weeknights.

And our Australia bureau chief gives a weekly letter adding evaluation and conversations with readers.

Browse our complete range of Times newsletters right here.

What would you like to see right here? Get in touch with us at [email protected].


Published at Mon, 12 Feb 2018 19:50:14 +0000

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