Donald Trump, North Korea, Volvo: Your Thursday Briefing – New York Times
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Here’s what you need to know:
• President Trump in Warsaw.
The American leader, visiting Poland before heading to a Group of 20 summit meeting in Germany, cast the West’s battle against “radical Islamic terrorism” as a way to protect “our civilization and our way of life.”
Mr. Trump also signaled a tougher line against Russia, a day before a sit-down with President Vladimir Putin, but he still refused to concede that Moscow was solely responsible for meddling in the 2016 U.S. election. The meeting with Mr. Putin will be watched closely — not least by Mr. Trump’s aides, who don’t know what the American president plans to say.
• Calls for tougher action on North Korea.
The U.S. is hinting at a possible return to war with North Korea after Pyongyang tested an intercontinental ballistic missile, and it is proposing wider U.N. sanctions against “any country that does business with this outlaw regime.”
Even a so-called surgical strike against North Korea would risk staggering civilian casualties, complicating matters for the U.S. and South Korea. The Chinese leader also has limited options, our Beijing bureau chief notes.
The nuclear push is just one sign of how, despite sanctions, the North’s leader, Kim Jong-un, has been trying to project a strong image with a string of infrastructure projects.
• A fallen “warrior.”
Officer Miosotis Familia, who was shot dead in the Bronx while on duty, was “murdered for her uniform,” the New York City police commissioner said.
Our reporters spoke to her family and friends, who said “she was tough — and that was the job for her.”
The gunman, Alexander Bonds, was a 34-year-old former prisoner with mental health problems and a history of anger toward the police and justice system.
• Venezuela’s lawmakers under attack.
A mob stormed the opposition-dominated National Assembly with the apparent acquiescence of government troops on Wednesday.
The assault was a sharp escalation of lawlessness in a country roiled by a failing economy and daily protests.
• A bet on electric.
Volvo, the Sweden-based automaker owned by Geely of China, will introduce only hybrid or electric models beginning in 2019. That’s a first for a mainstream car company.
Its chief executive said that while the strategy has risks, “a much bigger risk would be to stick with internal combustion engines.”
• “The Daily,” your audio news report.
In today’s episode, we discuss how the U.S. underestimated North Korea, and how the battle over health care is playing out in Kentucky.
• Hopes for a Trump bump on the U.S. economy are shrinking, as estimates for the second quarter are being revised downward.
• Oil exports from the U.S., illegal for decades to anywhere but Canada, are prompting a Texas port boom.
• Uber’s tax calculation may have cost drivers in New York hundreds of millions of dollars.
Tips, both new and old, for a more fulfilling life.
• Stereotypically macho messages limit children’s understanding of what it means to be a father, man or boy.
• Yotam Ottolenghi, an Israeli-British chef, suggests blueberry, almond and lemon cake as the perfect companion to a cup of tea.
• Catching that outdoor vibe.
In today’s 360 video, DJ Khaled, a longtime producer, performer and social-media star, gives an affectionate tour of his backyard.
•All the president’s lawyers.
The Times Magazine looks at how Donald Trump’s life and career have been defined by legal battles, and at whether the attorneys who guided him through the courtrooms of New York and New Jersey know how to navigate Washington.
• Love in soccer.
Bianca Sierra and Stephany Mayor played for Mexico in the 2015 Women’s World Cup. But after coming out as a couple, they traveled far from home to find acceptance.
• Antiquities, returned.
The art supplies seller Hobby Lobby has agreed to give up 5,500 artifacts, including ancient clay cuneiform tablets, that were smuggled out of Iraq and labeled tile samples. The company will pay $3 million to settle the case.
• Quotation of the day.
“Self-restraint, which is a choice, is all that separates armistice and war.”
Gen. Vincent K. Brooks, commander of U.S. troops in South Korea, in an unusually blunt warning to North Korea after it tested an intercontinental ballistic missile that analysts said could reach Alaska.
No matter where you are, it seems everyone complains about inaccurate weather forecasts.
In 1954, The Times reported that meteorologists were asking the public for a “better understanding of their complex work.”
“The Weatherman is tired of being the butt of a parade of stale jokes,” the article read.
But thanks to satellites and ever more advanced data analysis, short-term predictions of three to five days have become remarkably accurate, notes Henry Fountain, a Times reporter who focuses on climate change and the environment.
He cautions, however, that longer-term forecasting, of several weeks to several months, remains more problematic.
These subseasonal to seasonal forecasts, as they are called, are critical for economies worldwide, helping farmers in Australia decide how much irrigation water they’ll need, for example, or international shippers plan their routes. They also affect military and disaster planning.
European forecasts are often considered better than most, in part because European governments often devote more resources to them.
But the U.S. is trying to catch up. The government this spring enacted a law that prioritizes research to improve longer-term modeling.
Jennifer Jett contributed reporting.
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