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Good morning. Postponed Korea talks, apologies over a China T-shirt, and the start of Ramadan. Here’s what you need to know:
• A surprise late-night call: North Korea indefinitely postponed high-level talks with the South that had been scheduled for Wednesday at the so-called truce village of Panmunjom, above, in the Demilitarized Zone dividing the two Koreas.
The North cited an annual joint air force drill between the U.S. and South Korea as a reason for the postponement. President Trump is still expected to meet with Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s leader, on June 12 in Singapore.
• Two scenes only an hour’s drive apart illustrated the chasm dividing Israelis and Palestinians: The Israeli military killed at least 60 Palestinians and wounded 2,700 others on Monday when protesters tried to cross the border fence with Gaza. Hours later, officials held a festive opening ceremony for the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. Read our full story and the latest developments from today.
• Donald Trump called him his favorite prime minister in 2014. But critics call the ousted Malaysian prime minister, Najib Razak, above, the “Man of Steal.”
Mr. Razak is suspected of diverting more than $700 million in state funds into his own pockets. With a ruthless political machine at his disposal, he was nevertheless expected to survive that scandal and win re-election last week. Then, shockingly, he lost.
The attorney general has been placed on leave and the head of the Malaysian treasury has been let go, all as Mr. Mohamad moves to revive an investigation of a multibillion-dollar corruption scandal surrounding the former government.
• While President Trump has taken a tough line on China, his company’s Indonesian partner on a luxury hotel and golf course project there has brought on a new ally: a Chinese state-owned construction company. The deal is for a theme park next door to the planned Trump properties, called Lido City.
In Washington, we learned that the U.S. has been holding a suspect in the huge leak of C.I.A. hacking tools to WikiLeaks last year, but on unrelated charges. The suspect, a 29-year-old former C.I.A. software engineer, had designed malware used to break into the computers of terrorism suspects and other targets.
Meanwhile Mr. Trump’s nominee to lead the C.I.A., Gina Haspel, above, who faced tough questioning about her role in a torture program, has won enough support in the Senate to win confirmation.
• Days before Meghan Markle is to wed Prince Harry, her family is at the center of a harsh media spotlight in Britain.
On Monday the focus turned to Ms. Markle’s father — reclusive, unskilled in the ways of the media and a favorite punching bag of the British tabloids — leading to unconfirmed reports that he was too embarrassed to attend the wedding.
Ms. Markle is particularly vulnerable because she is American and of mixed race, and because her family so easily lends itself to shallow stereotypes about class and race in the U.S.
• Gap has apologized for a T-shirt featuring a map of China that omitted Taiwan, parts of Tibet and islands in the South China Sea that Beijing considers its own. It is the latest mea culpa from a series of U.S. businesses wary of provoking Beijing.
• Bringing home the bacon: One of the highest-paid executives last year was a former factory manager who now runs the world’s biggest pork producer. Wan Long, the chairman of WH Group in China, made $291 million in salary and stock payments.
• Facebook disclosed data on what type of content it removes and why, in its latest attempt at transparency.
• Uber said it was eliminating forced arbitration agreements for employees, riders and drivers who make sexual misconduct claims against the ride-hailing company.
• Moktada al-Sadr, an Iraqi militia chief whose forces once battled American troops, has emerged as a surprise front-runner in national elections. [The New York Times]
• The co-pilot on a Sichuan Airlines flight to Tibet was partly sucked out of the cockpit after the windshield shattered. The plane made an emergency landing and the co-pilot suffered only minor injuries. [The New York Times]
• A second Afghan city, Farah, is on the verge of falling to Taliban insurgents. [The New York Times]
• “There is a tremendous sense of optimism” by North Korean officials about the recent turn toward diplomacy, said the World Food Program director, who visited last week. [The New York Times]
• A U.S. diplomat accused of running a red light and fatally striking a motorcyclist was permitted to leave Pakistan. [The New York Times]
• At least 18 people were killed when a half-built overpass collapsed in Varanasi, in northern India. [The New York Times]
• A second amateur rugby player from Britain has died while on tour in Sri Lanka. Both had complained of difficulty breathing after visiting a nightclub. [The Guardian]
• Gun violence is rare in Australia, but when it does occur it is often a suicide or involves family members. [The New York Times]
Tips, both new and old, for a more fulfilling life.
• The prize for the best baguette in Paris this year was awarded to the son of a Tunisian immigrant — the latest example of unexpected citizens keeping French traditions alive.
• Biohackers are tinkering with D.N.A. in garages and living rooms. Experts fear this D.I.Y. gene editing could lead to a biological arms race.
• One of Australia’s leading environmentalists wants suburbanites to go off the grid and live green. He’s written a guide, part manual and part manifesto.
The Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins today in many countries.
It starts with the sighting of the crescent moon the night before; regions where it is not seen will wait a day.
From dawn to sunset, observant Muslims give up food, water and bodily pleasures. Most try to go about their normal routines, while making time for more prayer and charity. It can be a particular challenge for some people, like athletes.
Mosques hold extra prayers, called tarawih, each evening, during which the entire Quran is recited over the month. Above, an Indian boy learned to read the Quran during Ramadan last year.
It’s a time for reflection — but also for celebration. People hold festive gatherings to break the fast together. Each culture has specialties for the evening meal, iftar, and for the pre-dawn meal, suhoor.
The Muslim lunar calendar is 10 days shorter than the solar year, so Ramadan rotates through the seasons. Winter fasts are considered easier — the days are shorter, and usually colder, meaning less thirst — while summer fasts are more taxing. They are even harder in upper latitudes, where the days are long and the sun doesn’t set. So communities follow the times of the nearest Muslim country, or that of Saudi Arabia.
“The traditional greeting during the holiday month? “Ramadan Mubarak.”
Aisha Khan wrote today’s Back Story.
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