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Asia and Australia Edition: Jerry Lewis, Grace Mugabe, Barcelona: Your Monday Briefing

Mr. Mnuchin, who appeared with the president on Tuesday, above, is one of the most prominent Jews in the Trump administration. His statement in support of Mr. Trump was in response to a letter signed by more than 300 of his Yale classmates, urging him to step down.

The departure of Steve Bannon, Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, could tip the Trump administration toward a more mainstream approach on issues like climate change, immigration and China, our Washington team writes.



Credit Massoud Hossaini/Associated Press

• U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said that President Trump has settled on a new strategy for Afghanistan after a “rigorous” review, and that the president wanted announce the details of the plan in coming days.

Few believe the war there is going well. Our Kabul bureau chief writes that even “Game of Thrones” has nothing on today’s Afghanistan when it comes to plots and political violence.

Even so, Aryana Saeed, an Afghan pop star, above, wouldn’t bow to pressure after conservative clerics forced her to move a concert from a stadium made notorious by the Taliban’s executions of women.



Credit Us Navy, via European Pressphoto Agency

A search team led by Paul Allen, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft, has located the wreckage of the U.S.S. Indianapolis, a Navy cruiser destroyed by a Japanese submarine in 1945.

The discovery of the wreckage 18,000 feet deep in the Philippine Sea, promises to revive interest in the Indianapolis and the ordeal of its survivors who spent five days floating in shark-infested waters.



Credit Andrea Bruce for The New York Times

Finally, in her last piece from India, our South Asia bureau chief wrestles with a murder covered up in plain sight, and with what she is leaving behind — like the chief of a small village, above, where she had made a dozen or so reporting trips.

“People hang Gandhi’s portrait on their walls here,” said Jahangir Khan, a young constable, “but they do not follow Gandhi’s rules.”



Credit Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

China will punish companies for violating foreign investment rules, and establish a blacklist of businesses that did so — the strongest signal yet that Beijing wants to rein in runaway debt that could pose a threat to its economy.

• Japan’s typically tightfisted consumers have helped power a surprising economic uptick. Experts hope it’s not a temporary bounce.

• Carl Icahn, the billionaire investor, quit his position as a special adviser to President Trump on regulatory matters; and Stephen Schwarzman, the chief executive of the private equity giant Blackstone, has emerged as one of the president’s most reliable Wall Street allies.

The U.S. has split into political tribes. The culture wars are back. Amid this turbulence, C.E.O.s are speaking out on social and political issues, recasting the role business plays in the national debate.

Here’s a snapshot of global markets.

In the News


Credit KCNA, via Reuters

North Korea unveiled bold new anti-American posters, like the one above, amid tensions over the North’s nuclear program. [The New York Times]

• Grace Mugabe was whisked out of South Africa after the government granted diplomatic immunity to Zimbabwe’s first lady, who was accused of beating up a model in a luxury hotel. [The New York Times]

• The widow of Liu Xiaobo, the Chinese Nobel Peace laureate who died last month in police custody, resurfaced in an online video for the first time since his death. [The New York Times]

• Inside Indonesia’s dysfunctional prisons: A brazen breakout on Bali in June made news, but the corrections system’s troubles go far deeper. [The New York Times]

• “We have so much hope,” said an anthropologist who helped draft Pakistan’s first law penalizing discrimination and violence against transgender people. [The New York Times]

Smarter Living

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


Credit Craig Lee for The New York Times

• Recipe of the day: Make poundcake with whipped cream and fresh fruit.

• Don’t clean that dirty sponge.

Here are tips for wearing, storing and cleaning your clothes.



Credit Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

In memoriam: Jerry Lewis, above, the American comedian and filmmaker who rose to fame with films like the “The Nutty Professor,” at 91; Stuart J. Thompson, a Tony Award-winning producer who helped mount hits like “The Book of Mormon,” at 62; and Dick Gregory, the pioneering black satirist who became a force for civil rights in the 1960s, at 84.

Some revolutionary” selfies. A new book includes subversive images taken during China’s Cultural Revolution. “We didn’t dare show them to anyone,” the author said.

Yu Xiuhua, born with cerebral palsy, lived a quiet village life in China. She is now a literary sensation whose vivid, erotic poems are “stained with blood.”

Back Story


Credit Hannah Mckay/Reuters

After striking noon today, Big Ben will fall silent for as many as four years, part of a $ 37 million maintenance program at the London landmark.

In fact, Big Ben, the main bell that tolls every hour, doesn’t need fixing. But the clock tower containing it — called Elizabeth Tower and commonly referred to as Big Ben — is showing signs of aging, like the rest of the crumbling Palace of Westminster, the seat of Britain’s Parliament.

Since its completion in 1859, Big Ben has had only one major breakdown, in 1976. It has also been silenced during the world wars — although it rang throughout the Blitz, Germany’s aerial bombing of London in 1940-41 — and for occasional maintenance.

The BBC, which has regularly broadcast the bell’s toll since 1924, still begins two radio broadcasts a day — at 6 p.m. and midnight — with the ringing.

In an interview last week, a BBC official said the search for a replacement bong ultimately led back to the original.

Denis Nowlan said, “We decided in the end that the only substitute for the most majestic, most evocative bell in the world is Big Ben.” So the BBC will use a recording, rather than a live broadcast from Westminster.

Palko Karasz contributed reporting.


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Source: NYT > World

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