Your Thursday Briefing – The New York Times


Pakistan announced it would end bilateral trade and downgrade diplomatic ties with India over its decision to revoke the disputed region’s limited autonomy. The country also expelled India’s high commissioner and threatened to close its airspace to Indian aircraft.

But the measures are mostly symbolic, with little economic impact likely on either side, and the country can’t afford to go to war over Kashmir, experts say.

On the ground: In Kashmir, which is locked into a communication blackout, several top politicians have been taken into custody. Residents who were able to transmit messages said stores were closed, streets were empty and curfew passes were required.

One Kashmiri who left describes in this Twitter thread the chaos that unfolded when India revoked Article 370.

Drug overdoses are more common in Scotland, by some measures, than in the U.S., where opioid use has become an epidemic. The reasons include a toxic mix of poverty, underfunded treatment centers and easy availability.

How Scotland is responding may provide answers for other countries grappling with the same issue.

Canada: The police said they believed they had found the bodies of two teenagers suspected of killing three people, including a young Australian, in a case that set off an intense two-week manhunt.

Talk with The Times: A top Chinese official said Hong Kong was experiencing its worst crisis since the former British colony returned to China in 1997. Our correspondents weigh in on the antigovernment demonstrations and answer your questions in a free group call today. Join us at 10 a.m. Sydney time.

Afghanistan: A powerful car bomb exploded outside a police station in Kabul, the Afghan capital, killing at least 14 people and wounding at least 145 others. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

Public transit: In the U.S., Canada, Britain and Australia, Uber and Lyft are now providing public transportation tickets, and are sometimes a substitute for a town’s entire transit system. But mixing ride-hailing with public services has left officials in some cities uneasy.

Boeing: Relatives of more than 50 people who died in the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 are calling on the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to conduct a full regulatory review of the 737 Max plane before it is allowed to fly again.

Snapshot: Above, authorities patrolling the Spanish Steps in Rome on Tuesday. Sitting on the fabled spot is now subject to a fine of about $450 under new rules prohibiting a variety of activities that are “not compatible with the historic and artistic decorum” of the city’s many tourist draws.

Beyoncé: A portrait of the star, shot by the rising photographer Tyler Mitchell for Vogue last year, will join the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s collection.

Giant parrot: Scientists announced the discovery of a bird that once roamed New Zealand. Nicknamed squawkzilla, it measured three feet tall and weighed as much as some bowling balls.

Nicolas Cage: In The Times Magazine’s latest Talk column, the actor explains his role choices, his quirky purchases (including a dinosaur skull) and his obsession with philosophy (“I became like a kite with a string but no anchor,” he said).

Viral mathematics: 8 ÷ 2(2+2) = ? has become an internet sensation, but it underwhelms professionals.

What we’re reading: This article in Cosmopolitan. “Please do not try to convince me after this week that we’re not in a post-apocalyptic future far more dire than ‘Back to the Future II’ imagined,” writes the Times Magazine writer Taffy Brodesser-Akner. “I am consoled only by great stories like this one, by Andrea Stanley, about the A.D.L.’s best weapon against hate: a savant who is like a ‘Minority Report’ pre-cog for white supremacists and anti-Semites.”



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