(Want to get this briefing by email? Here’s the sign-up.)
• “Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job!”
Rex Tillerson found out he had lost the top U.S. diplomatic post when his aide showed him President Trump’s tweet. Mr. Tillerson may have gotten an early warning and wrapped up his trip to Africa early, above.
At the C.I.A., Mr. Pompeo will be replaced by the current deputy director, Gina Haspel, who oversaw the torture of two terrorism suspects at a secret prison in Thailand. If confirmed, Ms. Haspel would be the first woman to head the spy agency.
• Days after Xi Jinping, above, secured an end to presidential term limits, he moved to consolidate top-down leadership.
We love the image above of Mr. Xi and Prime Minister Li Keqiang at the National People’s Congress, though we can’t explain it. But government censors have been squelching online riffs of another moment from the gathering: a reporter’s eye roll over another reporter’s fawning question to an official.
• “Nonsense.” That’s how Russia’s foreign minister answered Britain’s accusation that Moscow was behind the nerve-agent attack on a former Russian double agent and his daughter.
Britain may follow with new sanctions. Above, Laurie Bristow, the British ambassador to Russia, visited the Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow on Tuesday.
Russia now has more intelligence agents deployed in London than at the height of the Cold War. Our correspondent spoke to some of the powerful expatriate Russians they watch.
• A fresh burst of #MeToo moments:
Five women told The Times that the star architect Richard Meier, above, sexually harassed them; he announced a six-month leave from his firm.
In New Zealand, the governing Labour Party is under fire for not reporting sexual assault at its youth summer camp. In Egypt, two women are confronting the taboo that surrounds sexual violence (one even struck her attacker with her purse).
In New York, the Metropolitan Opera fired its conductor, James Levine, after an investigation into allegations of sexual abuse and harassment.
• The Horn of Africa dried faster in the last century than at any time over the last 2,000 years, according to recent research.
And four severe droughts have devastated the area in the past two decades, pushing millions of the world’s poorest people to the edge of survival.
Our reporter traveled to Kenya, where people long hounded by poverty and strife have found themselves on the front line of a new crisis: climate change.
• New Zealand opened its skies to tests of self-piloted flying taxis financed by Larry Page, the co-founder of Google. Our DealBook columnist had the scoop on the announcement and the possibility of a commercial network of the vehicles in as soon as three years, furthering Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s target of making the country “net carbon zero by 2050.”
• President Trump’s block of what would have been the biggest tech deal ever — a $117 billion hostile-takeover bid by the Singapore-based Broadcom for the rival U.S. chip maker Qualcomm — underscored the lengths he will go to shelter American companies from foreign competition, and to safeguard primacy in sectors that could shift to China.
• If history is any guide, President Trump’s new tariffs will damage the U.S. economy even if the countries hit with them do not retaliate, our columnist writes.
• Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman, strengthened by the popularity of their HBO show “Big Little Lies,” are each taking on a new project as executive producer and star.
• Mike Cannon-Brookes, one of Australia’s most prominent tech entrepreneurs, bemoaned the rate at which the country loses its young talent and said government policies may force him to move the headquarters of his software company, Atlassian, out of the country.
In the News
• This young fellow was born in central Afghanistan on Sept. 3, 2016. His parents named him Donald Trump, hoping to bring him good fortune. But they got something else Mr. Trump has in abundance: notoriety. [The New York Times]
• With South Korea taking the lead on brokering a possible U.S.-North Korean summit meeting, Japan is scrambling to be more than a diplomatic third wheel. [The New York Times]
• A leaked draft of a U.N. report says two companies in Singapore violated sanctions by supplying North Korea with luxury goods. [BBC]
• Recordings of the conversation between air traffic control and the pilot of the Bangladeshi passenger plane that crashed in Nepal indicate possible confusion over the runway. (Our correspondent reached the airport shortly after the crash.) [NDTV]
• Our Southeast Asia correspondent visited Phnom Penh, where around 600 U.S. residents of Cambodian descent have been deported, many directly from prison. The adjustment is jarring, to say the least. Hundreds more may be sent back to Cambodia this year. [The New York Times]
• The Taliban briefly captured a district in western Afghanistan, and officials warned that the country’s security could further deteriorate in the coming year. [The New York Times]
• An Australian journalist who was named as one of Harvey Weinstein’s “army of spies” blocked Channel Nine from broadcasting images of him obtained in the lobby of his New York office building. [Sydney Morning Herald]
Tips, both new and old, for a more fulfilling life.
• Is a late-career change worth it?
• Check-in time hours away? In some cities, you can ditch those annoying bags.
• Recipe of the day: Do some throwback cooking with a recipe for spaghetti primavera.
• “This is how they lived,” a German high school student visiting a concentration camp whispered. A recent proposal to make visits to Nazi camps mandatory for everyone comes at a time when Germany is grappling with a rise of anti-Semitism.
• A controversial work by the artist Xu Bing that was pulled from the Guggenheim exhibition “Art and China After 1989: Theater of the World” will return as part of the museum’s permanent collection. The work, “A Case Study of Transference,” is a video documentation of a 1994 performance in which two pigs copulated before a live audience.
• Our science team looked at a species of ancient assassins that hunt their own kind. Once thought extinct, pelican spiders are actually thriving in Madagascar, South Africa and Australia.
• The Olympics may be over, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up your curling obsession.
The reaction to our collaboration last week with The Times’s crossword column, Wordplay, was overwhelmingly positive, so we’re doing it again.
Each week, Wordplay’s editor, Deb Amlen, will highlight the answer to one of the most difficult clues from the previous week’s puzzles.
This week’s word: aubade.
It was the answer to a clue in last Friday’s crossword: “Poem greeting the dawn.” (It might also be clued as “morning music,” “Morning song” or “Sunrise song.”)
An aubade (pronounced o-BAHD) can also be a musical composition about the morning. Its counterpart, a poem or song about the evening, is a nocturne.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word was first used in 1678 and was adopted by the French from the Spanish word “alba,” meaning sunrise.
Ben Zimmer, the language columnist for The Wall Street Journal, noted that “A skim of Google Books shows that aubade appeared chiefly in French sources, or French-English dictionaries, until the early 19th century.”
An example of an aubade would be John Donne’s “The Sun Rising,” which, if nothing else, shows that the English poet was clearly not a morning person.
With that, we wish you a wonderful start to your day.
Your Morning Briefing is published weekday mornings and updated online. Sign up here to get it by email in the Australian, Asian, European or American morning. You can also receive an Evening Briefing on U.S. weeknights.
And our Australia bureau chief offers a weekly letter adding analysis and conversations with readers.
Browse our full range of Times newsletters here.
What would you like to see here? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.