North Korea, Russia, Jacinda Ardern: Your Thursday Briefing – New York Times

“The test demonstrates that the United States’ nuclear enterprise is safe, secure, effective and ready,” the Pentagon said.

The test came a day after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that the U.S. was not seeking a regime change in North Korea.

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Newly fertilized eggs before gene editing, left, and embryos after gene editing and a few rounds of cell division. A study published on Wednesday announced that edited human embryos can repair common and serious disease-causing gene mutations.

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Shoukhrat Mitalipov

A breakthrough in science: Genes in human embryos have for the first time been successfully edited to repair a disease-causing mutation.

The milestone raises the prospect that one day children may be protected from hereditary conditions — but it is also sure to renew ethical concerns that some might try to design babies with certain traits, like greater intelligence or athleticism.

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Marty Melville/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

“Totally unacceptable.”

That was New Zealand’s new opposition leader, Jacinda Ardern, above, who was asked twice in her first day on the job to explain her decision on whether to have children, a personal question she said none of her male colleagues would have to answer.

Ms. Ardern’s reactions to the men interviewing her for New Zealand news outlets has enlivened the public debate over the double standards faced by men and women in the workplace.

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Saeed Khani/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

In Australia, a bill to legalize same-sex marriage could be put before Parliament this month. Our correspondents spoke to residents in Sydney about the prospect of it passing.

“The actual community is gaining traction in terms of openness,” one woman said, “and it’s just legislators that need to catch up.”

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Paul Sutherland/National Geographic, via Getty Images

Nations are coming together to protect marine life in the high seas.

“We can’t continue in an ungoverned way if we are concerned about protecting biodiversity and protecting marine life,” said the president of the United Nations General Assembly.

But a new governing body to regulate the high seas is likely to collide with hard-knuckled diplomatic bargaining and powerful commercial interests.

Treaty negotiations could begin as early as 2018.

Business

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President Trump with President Xi Jinping of China at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., in April.

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Doug Mills/The New York Times

• The White House is said be preparing a broad investigation of China’s trade practices and alleged intellectual property thefts.

• As the Trump administration tightens immigration, governments around the world are stepping up efforts to lure talent and capital away from the United States.

At a Nissan factory in Mississippi more than 3,500 workers, most of them African-American, will decide on unionization this week.

China’s biggest deal makers have been told to have a yard sale, but so far it’s been rather selective, our columnist writes.

• The Dow Jones industrial average has surged 11 percent for the year, thanks to bullish retail investors and the weakening dollar. Here’s a snapshot of global markets.




In the News

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Pool photo by Yui Mok

• Prince Philip, 96, made his final solo public appearance before retiring from his official duties as the consort of Queen Elizabeth II. [The New York Times]

Jay Y. Lee, the jailed de facto leader of Samsung, broke a monthslong silence, denying that he bribed Park Geun-hye, then South Korea’s president, to keep his control of the business empire. [The New York Times]

• The Venezuelan government altered the turnout for its election by at least one million votes, a software company involved with the voting system said. [The New York Times]

• President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines called North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, a “fool” for his nuclear ambitions, just days before a meeting of Asian leaders in Manila. [Reuters]

• Liu Xia, the widow of Liu Xiaobo, the Chinese Nobel Peace laureate who died in police custody on July 13, has not been seen or heard from since her husband’s burial. [Radio Free Asia]

• In Pakistan, a satirical take on an Indian folk song “Sonu,” which was altered to parody the plight of the recently ousted prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, has gone viral. [BBC]

Smarter Living

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

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Jessica Lehrman for The New York Times

• Tips and tools to having a perfect road trip.

The key to surviving lavish weddings it is to let any embarrassing moments slide off you like good caviar.

• Recipe of the day: If you need a break, store-bought roast chicken and cold rice noodles are the way to go.

Noteworthy

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Culture Club, via Getty Images

• Two and a half million Indians fought in World War II. Yasmin Khan, an author and Oxford history professor, wants to know why they were entirely left out of “Dunkirk,” Christopher Nolan’s new blockbuster.

• In South Korea, a new film about the 1980 massacre in Gwangju strives to give an unsung hero his due: the taxi driver who helped a foreign journalist hook the story.

• Over two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese, but dieting has fallen out of favor. The Times Magazine examines the agonies of carrying extra weight.

Back Story

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Malak Harb/Associated Press

Al Jazeera was recently thrust into the spotlight after a Saudi-led bloc demanded its shutdown as part of a continuing blockade against Qatar.

The news organization is no stranger to controversy.

Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, the former emir of Qatar, founded the network in 1996 as an alternative, independent platform in the region. Al Jazeera (“the Peninsula” in Arabic) refers to the Arabian Peninsula, comprising seven Arab nations in southwest Asia.

Al Jazeera English, above, began in 2006. Al Jazeera America, unveiled in 2013, shuttered operations in 2016.

While most Arab news media is controlled or censored by governments, Al Jazeera has drawn praise, and ire, as the first Arabic-language network to air voices critical of authoritarian regimes (although it steers clear of denouncing Qatar or members of its royal family).

It has conducted interviews with Israeli politicians and members of the Taliban, and broadcast speeches from Osama bin Laden.

After four Arab nations blocked access to Al Jazeera websites in June, the network responded with an open letter:

“Countries such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE may silence their own media,” it reads, “but because Al Jazeera is watched by so many people in the Arab world, they want us gone.”

Sara Aridi contributed reporting.

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North Korea, Russia, Jacinda Ardern: Your Thursday Briefing – New York Times}