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Europe Edition: North Korea, Texas, Japan: Your Wednesday Briefing

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The Times is providing free digital access to coverage of the storm. Check here for the latest.



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While flooding in the U.S. has grabbed more attention, aid officials say a catastrophe is unfolding in South Asia.

More than 1,000 people have died in floods across the region in recent weeks, according to the U.N., and at least 41 million people in Bangladesh, India and Nepal have been affected by flooding and landslides.

Above, villagers on makeshift banana rafts in northeast India this month.



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• Princess Diana, who was killed in a car crash in Paris 20 years ago this week, is still considered a symbol of her era by many Britons. But for young adults, many of whom were not alive when she died, the anniversary carries less resonance.

Princes William and Harry are honoring their mother today by meeting with representatives of the charities she supported.



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In Afghanistan, airstrikes in Herat Province killed more than a dozen civilians. Separately, a suicide bomber struck a bank in Kabul, leaving five dead and nine others wounded.

The new U.S. strategy for Afghanistan, announced by President Trump last week, includes plans to increase air support to Afghan forces fighting a resurgent Taliban.

The foreign empires that have tried to control Afghanistan since the 19th century have all suffered for the effort, our Kabul bureau chief writes. Above, British officers in Afghanistan in 1878.




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The damage from the storm pounding coastal Texas has raised questions about whether so much of the U.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.

Britain announced measures aimed at increasing transparency over executive compensation, in an effort to address the gap between the salaries of employees and their managers.

Google has outlined to E.U. regulators how it plans to stop favoring its own comparison-shopping service to comply with an antitrust order.

Here’s a snapshot of global markets.

In the News


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Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain, above, arrives in Japan today on a three-day visit to discuss a trade deal that she hopes will be modeled on the one Tokyo has almost completed with the E.U. [Bloomberg]

Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, criticized Britain’s position papers on its withdrawal from the E.U., saying negotiations on the new Britain-E.U. relationship cannot begin until the two sides agree on how much Britain should pay to leave the union. [BBC]

Guatemala’s highest court ruled that President Jimmy Morales could not expel the leader of a U.N. anticorruption panel. [The New York Times]

Moroccan officials have arrested two people in connection with the attacks this month in Barcelona and Cambrils, Spain, the Spanish interior minister said. [Deutsche Welle]

The U.N. secretary general, António Guterres, is set to visit Gaza today, after two days of meetings with Israeli and Palestinian officials. The Israelis stressed the threat of what they say are Iran’s efforts to produce weapons in Lebanon and Syria. [The New York Times]

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany was critical of the E.U. at her annual summer news conference, saying “Europe hasn’t done its homework” on migration. She also called on Turkey to release the nine German citizens detained there. [Deutsche Welle]

The London police have reopened an investigation into the unsolved 1987 murder of a Palestinian political cartoonist. [The New York Times]

Smarter Living

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


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• Recipe of the day: For a light meal, go with Mark Bittman’s spicy shrimp salad.

• Can psychedelics be used therapeutically?

Check out seven ways to save on a remodeled kitchen.



Credit Adam Harteau

A family shares photos from their road trip through Central and South America, which started five years ago.

“Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812,” a bold adaptation of Tolstoy, drew strong crowds and 12 Tony nominations. But casting decisions and financial concerns have doomed the Broadway show.

A summer school in Italy immerses students in the culture of the Italian Roma as a way to dispel long-held prejudices against them.

In memoriam: Jeannie de Clarens, an amateur spy in occupied France during World War II who uncovered Hitler’s rocket program and was held in three concentration camps, has died at 98.

Back Story


Credit Biel Alino/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

What’s billed as the world’s biggest food fight gets underway today in Buñol, Spain: la Tomatina.

Thousands of people from all over the world travel to the town, near Valencia, to throw more than 100 metric tons of overripe tomatoes at each other, on the last Wednesday of August each year. Since 2013, organizers have limited the event to 20,000 people because of its popularity.

According to local lore, it started at the end of World War II, when a street brawl broke out near a vegetable store. So much fun was had that it became an annual event. It was banned for a time in the 1950s, under the Franco dictatorship, but it was eventually declared an official festival after residents protested by holding a “tomato funeral.”

The one-hour food fight won’t start until a competitor climbs a greased pole to retrieve a ham, as the crowd hoots and cheers. Trucks bring in low-quality tomatoes from the province of Extremadura, and water cannons are fired to start the battle. (Participants are encouraged to squish the tomatoes to lessen their impact.)

Afterward, the cobble streets are hosed down, and the acidity of the tomatoes is said to leave them shining.

Karen Zraick contributed reporting.


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Source: NYT > World

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