Jerusalem, Winter Olympics, Yemen: Your Wednesday Briefing

Jerusalem, Winter Olympics, Yemen: Your Wednesday Briefing


Separately, a baker’s refusal to make a wedding cake for a gay couple on religious grounds has led to a major showdown at the Supreme Court.

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More scandals and resignations over sexual harassment claims.

Representative John Conyers Jr., who faces allegations that he sexually harassed former employees, said he will leave Congress immediately. Mr. Conyers is the longest-serving current member of the House and the longest-serving African-American in history.

Meanwhile, women are debating how harsh punishments should be as a spectrum of misconduct cases are revealed. And a new Pew survey found most men and women believe they are more different than alike.

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Andrej Isakovic/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

No officials, no flag and no anthem. The International Olympic Committee barred Russia from the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea over systematic doping.

Russian athletes can apply to compete wearing a neutral uniform, but the record books will forever show that Russia won zero medals. But could this unprecedented punishment hurt the Winter Olympics more than it hurts Russia? Above, Russia’s delegation at the 2014 Sochi Games.

And our sports columnist examined the Cold War-era clash between two presidents, Vladimir Putin of Russia and Thomas Bach of the I.O.C. — who answer to no one.

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Muhammed Muheisen/Associated Press

“More pain for Yemen.”

That’s one analyst’s assessment of what lies ahead for the Arab world’s poorest country after the killing of Ali Abdullah Saleh, the former president, above in 2011. His death on Monday ended the alliance between his loyalists and Houthi rebels who are fighting a Saudi-led coalition.

Mr. Saleh’s son, once a powerful military commander, was reported to have emerged from enforced seclusion in the United Arab Emirates and to have vowed to avenge his father’s death.

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China will be the future of electric vehicles, predicted William Ford Jr., the longtime chairman of the Ford Motor Company and the great-grandson of its founder. He said his company will introduce 15 electric vehicles in China by 2025.

Ford is far from alone. General Motors, Volkswagen, Daimler and other automakers have put big bets on China’s electric car market in recent months.

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Business

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Rebecca Conway for The New York Times

Google, which missed out on the rise of the internet in China, is marshaling its best talent to avoid making that mistake in India.

• Amazon began operations in Australia, in what could be a shake-up of the retail market.

Cineworld, the British movie theater chain, will acquire Regal Entertainment for $3.6 billion, in a bid to take on AMC, which is owned by Dalian Wanda, the Chinese conglomerate.

• Starbucks opens its biggest cafe in the world today in Shanghai. At 30,000 square feet, it’s half the size of a soccer field.

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

In the News

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Ventura County Fire Department, via European Pressphoto Agency

An “out-of-control” wildfire in Southern California destroyed 150 structures, many of them homes, and forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate. [The New York Times]

• The top U.N. human rights official said Myanmar’s security forces may be guilty of genocide against the Rohingya minority. [The New York Times]

• Airline crews reported seeing what appeared to be the North Korean missile launched last week. Experts said the risk to planes was low but real. [The New York Times]

• The U.N.’s chief diplomat, Jeffrey Feltman, is in North Korea this week. It’s the highest level U.N. visit since 2011. [CNN]

Russia declared Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty to be “foreign agents” after the U.S. took similar steps against Russian outlets. [The New York Times]

• A Spanish judge withdrew an arrest warrant against Carles Puigdemont, the Catalan leader who fled to Belgium. [The New York Times]

• In Sydney, seven protesters were arrested outside a speech by Milo Yiannopoulos, the right-wing commentator who is touring Australia. [ABC]

• The Irrawaddy dolphins of Southeast Asia and Australia’s Western Ringtail possum were among the animals found to be closer to extinction in a new survey. [A.P.]

Smarter Living

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

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Lilli CarrÈ

• How to train your mind to read.

• Get the most out of farmers’ markets, at home and when you travel.

• Recipe of the day: Keep dinner simple, and make sautéed chicken with Meyer lemon.

Noteworthy

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UIG, via Getty Images

It’s a complicated social life for the South African dwarf mongoose, above, especially when it struggles to fit in with a new group. You can see some of that process up close in the video embedded in our article.

• Here’s the first installment of a new weekly feature, collecting reader tales from Australia.

• Finally, from the coastlines of Europe to remote Kodiak Island, Alaska, here are five of our favorite travel stories from 2017 to help you explore the world from your screen.

Back Story

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Associated Press

Many Americans awoke last week to news that most Britons, several time zones ahead, had heard first: Prince Harry and his American girlfriend, Meghan Markle, were engaged.

But when King Edward VIII gave up the throne on Dec. 10, 1936, to marry an American, England was seemingly the last to know.

The British news media largely blacked out coverage of Edward’s yearslong affair with the American socialite Wallis Simpson, who by that December was divorcing her second husband. Pages were reportedly even torn from the foreign magazines, which were writing freely about the couple.

The average Briton was unprepared for the looming constitutional crisis when the affair was publicly revealed, after Parliament refused to allow the marriage.

As The Times wrote: “Public in London is Bewildered.”

In a changed world, the royal family has struggled against the intrusive public eye, particularly in the marriage and divorce of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, and in her tragic death. But Harry and his brother, William, have tried to establish a respectful relationship with the news media (despite the odd warning).

Ultimately, the news of Harry and Ms. Markle’s engagement received a far warmer reception than that of his great-great-uncle.

Lori Moore contributed reporting.

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Your Morning Briefing is published weekday mornings and updated online. Browse past briefings here.

We have briefings timed for the Australian, Asian, European and American mornings. And our Australia bureau chief offers a weekly letter adding analysis and conversations with readers. You can sign up for these and other Times newsletters here.

What would you like to see here? Contact us at asiabriefing@nytimes.com.



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