2019年11月14日 星期四

Your Friday Briefing

Friday, Nov 15, 2019 | View in browser
Good morning.
We’re covering a death in the Hong Kong protests, an economic slump in parts of Asia and some slightly happier news to send you into your weekend: llama therapy and a milestone in understanding plants.
By Melina Delkic
Protesters at Hong Kong Baptist University on Wednesday.   Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times

Hong Kong violence escalates

Fears of a police crackdown on university campuses are growing as protesters use increasingly aggressive tactics. Primary and secondary schools in the territory remain closed through Sunday.
A 70-year-old man died on Thursday night after being struck in the head, possibly by a thrown brick, though the details were murky. The government said he was hit by “hard objects hurled by masked rioters.” The police said separately that he appeared to have been attacked with a brick and was unconscious when he reached the hospital.
Recap: Thursday marked a change in the materials used on the ground, as black-clad activists, mostly students, set up elaborate roadblocks, built brick walls and practiced shooting firebombs from a giant slingshot. Some used chain saws to create barricades from trees.
On the ground: Mike Ives, our colleague in Hong Kong who covered the unrest into the wee hours, said, “The stakes are high in part because the protesters have been stockpiling makeshift weapons for days.”
Analysis: After six months of escalating protests, life has changed significantly in Hong Kong. The city long known for its rule of law, world-class transport, gleaming towers of global finance and cosmopolitan aura may never be the same.
A dehydrated and injured koala being treated at the Koala Hospital in Port Macquarie, Australia, this month.  Saeed Khan/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Koalas are dying in Australia

Catastrophic bushfires have burned two million acres, displaced thousands and killed at least four people — and they’re also threatening Australia’s iconic marsupial.
Hundreds of koalas may have been incinerated, but the scope is still unknown as the fires rage.
Their plight has also raised questions about what it will take to preserve biodiversity in a country increasingly prone to fires, extreme heat and water scarcity. It already has among the highest rates of species extinction in the world.
The latest: Forecasts don’t expect substantial rains for at least three months, which is grim news for firefighters battling 100 blazes across the east coast.
Elsewhere: Cities around the world are working to reduce pollution from cars. And a new report found that failing to limit emissions would disproportionately affect children.
A worker at a sports equipment factory in Hangzhou, China.  China Daily Cdic/Reuters

Asia’s economic slowdown

China is feeling the weight of the global trade war, according to the latest data. And Japan, the third-largest economy after China and the U.S., is struggling to fend off looming economic threats.
Details: China’s industrial output and retail sales were both up, but fell well short of analyst expectations.
In Japan, where growth slowed to a crawl in the three-month quarter that ended in September, exports are plummeting and consumption is slowing.
Related: The German economy narrowly avoided a recession, assuaging fears that it would drag down the rest of the eurozone.

If you have time this weekend, this is worth it

The internet of our dreams

The internet was supposed to be a utopia. Instead, it’s … something else entirely.
A special issue of The Times Magazine assesses the internet and its likely future with a guide featuring maps, graphs and cats.
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Here’s what else is happening

Indonesia: A powerful 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck between North Sulawesi and North Maluku.
North Korea: The country said the U.S. had proposed resuming talks about denuclearization in December, but warned that Pyongyang was not interested until the Trump administration meets its terms. A top North Korean official called it “a trick to earn time.”
Australia: The police killing of an Aboriginal teenager has led to widespread demonstrations over the government’s behavior toward Indigenous people.
New Zealand: Behrouz Boochani, a refugee, award-winning writer and rights activist, received permission to leave Australia’s controversial immigrant detention camps for the first time in years. He will speak at a Christchurch literary festival this month.
Germany: The government has mandated that all children attending preschool or higher in the country must be vaccinated for measles, with fines for parents who do not comply.
2022 World Cup: Qatari organizers are already concerned about its lack of space for the one million visitors expected to descend on the tiny gulf nation for the world’s largest soccer tournament. They will use a mix of hotels, desert campsites and even ships to house fans.
Ulet Ifansasti for The New York Times
Snapshot: Above, one of more than 30 commercial tofu kitchens in Tropodo, Indonesia. They burn plastic recycling waste shipped from the U.S., producing deadly chemicals and contaminating food.
Plants: Researchers published the genomes of two algae that are among the closest known living relatives of land plants.
Llama love: Llamas and alpacas are growing more popular in therapeutic settings such as nursing homes and hospitals. “For some people, dogs are a little too much,” said one breeder.
What we’re watching: This Vice documentary about China’s vast network of Muslim detention camps, where the country’s Uighur minority is forced to adopt Chinese customs.

Now, a break from the news

Julia Gartland for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Barrett Washburne.
Cook: This weekend, set up a slow cooker recipe for creamy, sweet-spicy coconut curry soup.
Play: Dungeons & Dragons was nearly left for dead, but now it’s back in the mainstream.
Read:Acid for the Children,” a memoir by Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, is new this week on the hardcover nonfiction and combined print and e-book nonfiction best-seller lists.
Smarter Living: Renewable energy can’t always meet demand during peak hours. You can help even out the system by shifting some of your usage to off-peak hours, like doing laundry at night.

And now for the Back Story on …

How to pronounce “Kiev”

The impeachment hearings surrounding President Trump on Wednesday spawned a linguistic detour: How should one say the name of Ukraine’s capital?
Yuri Shevchuk, a lecturer in Ukrainian at Columbia University, said Ukrainians stress the first vowel, and pronounce it like the “i” in the word “kid.” The second vowel sounds like the “ee” sound in “keel,” and the v is also pronounced like the end of the word “low.” (It’s a bit hard to describe; there is an audio clip here.)
Lena Mucha for The New York Times
In Russian, Kiev sounds more like “KEY-ev.” But U.S. State Department employees generally try to pronounce it the Ukrainian way — though at some points on Wednesday it sounded more like “keev,” with the long “ee” pronounced as a single syllable.
There is also a debate over how to spell the city’s name in English. The official State Department biography of George Kent, who testified on Tuesday, spells it Kyiv, which reflects the transliteration from Ukrainian. (The New York Times still spells it Kiev, which is the transliteration from Russian.)
Dr. Shevchuk noted that legend has it that the city was founded by a set of siblings around the sixth century and named for the eldest brother, Kyi.
That’s it for this briefing. We hope you pet some llamas this weekend.
See you next time.
— Melina
Thank you
To Mark Josephson and Eleanor Stanford for the break from the news. Karen Zraick wrote today’s Back Story. You can reach the team at briefing@nytimes.com.
• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our latest episode is about the impeachment hearing.
• Here’s our Mini Crossword, and a clue: “German food puns are the ___!” (5 letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• The Times’s audio team introduced “The Latest,” a podcast following the latest developments in the impeachment inquiry surrounding President Trump.
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