China, George Bush, Priyanka Chopra: Your Monday Briefing

China, George Bush, Priyanka Chopra: Your Monday Briefing

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Good morning. What’s changed and what hasn’t for China and the U.S., Americans mourn George H.W. Bush and France reels from violent protests. Here’s the latest:

A trade war truce, at least in the short term.

Over steaks at the G-20 meeting in Argentina this weekend, President Trump and President Xi Jinping, pictured above, agreed on compromises that will pause their escalating economic conflict.

Mr. Trump agreed to hold off on a major increase in tariffs on Chinese goods planned for Jan. 1. Mr. Xi agreed to increase Chinese purchases of American goods.

But the handshake deal was “less a breakthrough than a breakdown averted,” writes our White House correspondent. The two world leaders set an ambitious 90-day timeline to reach broader trade agreements, but they remain deeply divided.

Remembering George H.W. Bush.

“I love you, too.” Those were the last words of the 41st U.S. president, above, and they were directed at the 43rd, his son.

An era ended with the death of Mr. Bush, 94, on Friday. A Republican, he was the last president to have fought in World War II. He served in Congress, the U.N. and the C.I.A before winning the White House. Though he only lasted a single term, he was a transitional figure who helped steer the country out of the Cold War.

But he failed to convince voters that he could manage the economy, losing re-election to President Bill Clinton.

Read our full obituary and our analysis of how his presidency stands in direct contrast to President Trump’s era.

Mr. Bush will lie in state at the U.S. Capitol until Wednesday. Friends and family will gather for a memorial service on Wednesday, which Mr. Trump has designated as a national day of mourning. Mr. Bush will then be laid to rest in Texas.


Afghanistan’s generation of widows.

The war in Afghanistan is disproportionately killing young men, leaving a generation of children with few or fading memories of their fathers.

The loss falls heavily on tens of thousands of widows, who are expected to raise families in a country with few economic opportunities. They often must rely on their husband’s relatives, who often demand that they marry the next available brother or cousin. Above, a widow sitting with her children.

As the war took an even deadlier turn this year, our reporters followed several young women making the painful transition into widowhood.

A missionary’s death brings questions.

Months before his fatal trip to a remote Indian island in the Andaman Sea, John Allen Chau was in the thick of an intensive and somewhat secretive three-week missionary training camp in a remote patch of the American Midwest.

The boot camp was the culmination of Mr. Chau’s yearslong personal goal of heading to North Sentinel Island, pictured above, home to perhaps the world’s most isolated tribe — one that showed tremendous hostility to outsiders.

Mr. Chau remained undeterred. When he arrived, the islanders shouted at him. They shot arrows. Then they killed him.

His death reignited a debate about how best to protect the world’s few remaining isolated groups. Should outsiders try to engage and support them? Or stay away?

• The global economy is slowing — oil prices are falling, many nations are mired in stagnation or heading that way and companies are warning of disappointing profits. Our European economics correspondent sees the mix as potentially intensifying the grievances that have contributed to the rise of populism around the world. Above, a factory in China.

• The French government is considering declaring a state of emergency after a third week of violent protests against increased gasoline taxes. The demonstrations have left person dead and wounded hundreds more. Above, a riot police officer in Paris. [The New York Times]

• Delegates from nearly 200 nations have begun two weeks of high-stakes climate talks in Katowice, at the heart of Poland’s coal region. [Reuters]

• A North Korean soldier defected to South Korea by crossing the two countries’ heavily armed border; defectors usually flee via China. [The New York Times]

• The Israeli police recommended that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu be indicted on bribery and fraud charges, dealing another blow to his teetering government coalition. [The New York Times]

• Neil deGrasse Tyson, the well-known astrophysicist, denied allegations that he had behaved inappropriately with three women, including one who accused him of raping her in 1984. Broadcasters of his show “Cosmos” have said they would investigate. [The New York Times]

• Japan, in a bid to counter China’s growing influence, is set to acquire its first aircraft carrier since World War II, a move some see as further eroding the country’s postwar commitment to pacifism. [The Guardian]

Tips for a more fulfilling life.

• Recipe of the day: Serve a comforting stew of spiced chickpeas crisped in olive oil, then simmered in a garlicky coconut milk.*

• Hengdian World Studios, in the southeastern Chinese province of Zhejiang, claims to be the world’s largest outdoor movie and television lot. Sprawled over 2,500 acres, its strikingly realistic and detailed sets churn out hundreds of increasingly popular historical period dramas a year. Above, a shoot in action.

• In the #MeToo era, our chief film critic re-examines what movies have taught her about being a woman. “Movies get into our bodies, making us howl and weep, while their narrative and visual patterns, their ideas and ideologies leave their imprint,” she writes.

• Insects are abundant yet inconspicuous and hard to meaningfully track, so the fear that they are disappearing has been more felt than documented. But a handful of determined investigators have found they are indeed diminishing. What would become of a world without them?

The actor Priyanka Chopra and singer Nick Jonas tied the knot this weekend in the northern Indian city of Jodhpur (where your Briefings writer was born).

Among the many dazzling details of the closely watched wedding was the venue: the Umaid Bhawan Palace, pictured above.

Named after one of Jodhpur’s kings, Maharajah Umaid Singh, the grandiose sandstone structure took 15 years to build between 1929 and 1943. Peacocks strut around its surrounding manicured gardens. Intricately carved pillars hold up its giant, jaw-dropping dome.

But perhaps most remarkable is its noble origin story. It is said the palace was built as a mass relief program employing thousands of local people when the city was hit by a crippling drought.

After the Indian government de-recognized India’s royal families in 1971, the palace was split into three parts: the royal residence where Mr. Singh’s grandson now lives, a luxury hotel and a museum.


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