Pakistan hits back over Kashmir
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.
Perspective: India’s decision takes Kashmir back to Partition all over again and “the world’s conscience is distracted,” writes Mohammed Hanif, a Pakistani novelist, in an Opinion piece for The Times.
World braces for more trade war turbulence
Central banks in India, Thailand and New Zealand cut interest rates in an attempt to fend off any harm from the spiraling U.S.-China trade war.
Worries that Australia may be the next to act led investors to send the Australian dollar to its lowest level against the U.S. dollar in a decade. The U.S. Federal Reserve trimmed rates last week.
The unexpected moves by the three countries jolted global markets. On Wall Street, the S&P 500 closed flat after an early dive of 2 percent. Stocks have been unsettled since Monday, when China let its currency weaken to the lowest point in more than a decade.
Analysis: Our Upshot columnist Neil Irwin writes that waging a currency war risks upsetting a relatively stable world market order, creating unpredictable ripple effects.
Trump visits grieving cities
Early in the day, he visited a hospital in Dayton, Ohio, to thank emergency and hospital workers, and met with families and victims of the shooting there that left nine dead. But his arrival was met with protesters and signs that said “Dump Trump” and “Do Something!”
Later, he traveled to El Paso, where 22 people were killed in one of the deadliest mass shootings in the state’s history.
What’s next: The White House will host an event with technology companies on Friday to discuss violent extremism online. It wasn’t clear if the president would attend.
In other U.S. news: The Trump administration, bypassing Congress, ordered a freeze on much of the remaining money for foreign aid this year.
Carlos Ghosn can’t see his wife. Still.
Japanese prosecutors on Tuesday again persuaded a Tokyo court to forbid all communication between the former Nissan chief and his wife, Carole, while he is out on bail.
The couple have not exchanged so much as a word for more than 120 days.
The reason? In part, it’s because Mrs. Ghosn has disparaged the Japanese legal system, complaining about its institutions in the news media, according to a translated court filing reviewed by The Times.
Context: Mr. Ghosn has been questioned without a lawyer and was kept in jail for months, raising concerns about Japanese criminal justice. But the insistence that he be kept from meeting his wife is unusual, even in Japan, experts said.
What’s next: The couple’s lawyer filed a formal appeal to the U.N., arguing that the stipulation violates basic human rights. Mr. Ghosn is still awaiting trial in Japan.
If you have 7 minutes, this is worth it
In Scotland, drug-related deaths rise
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.
Here’s what else is happening
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.”
Now, a break from the news
Watch: Two friends roller-skate through Missouri in the latest installment of our Surfacing column.
Read: Jia Tolentino’s book of essays, “Trick Mirror,” delves into life under late capitalism. Our reviewer found fatalism and lyricism within.
Smarter Living: “There’s a lot wrapped up in the word ‘no’ for women — beginning with the fact that women are expected to say yes (and feel guilty when they don’t),” writes our gender editor, Jessica Bennett. So, following the example of a professor at New York University and two colleagues, she’s starting a “No Club,” and inviting you to join. Members will help one another decide when to say no and how exactly to say it.
And for those shopping for a school computer, we have guidance on how to find one that isn’t junk for under $500.
And now for the Back Story on …
A floating tradition
About 60,000 rubber ducks will take a plunge into the Chicago River today in a race to raise money for Special Olympics Illinois.
Rubber duck races started in Canada in the 1990s and now are fund-raisers the world over. London claims the title for most ducks — 250,000 in the River Thames in 2008. (Last month, the start of the London race was delayed because a family of real ducks got in the way.)
Racing ducks are a little different from the bathtub variety: They are specially made with a weighted bottom.
The toy itself had its origins in the mid-1800s, about the time the American engineer Charles Goodyear figured out how to make rubber malleable. The first rubber ducks were meant as chew toys and didn’t float.
The Russian-American sculptor Peter Ganine gets credit for the design of the rubber ducks we know now, patenting his in 1949 and selling 50 million of them. Disney and Sesame Street helped.
Even the queen of England is said to have a rubber duck (complete with crown) in the loo.
That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.
To Mark Josephson and Eleanor Stanford for the break from the news. Victoria Shannon, on the briefings team, wrote today’s Back Story. You can reach the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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