Melbourne Cup, China, North Korea: Your Wednesday Briefing

Melbourne Cup, China, North Korea: Your Wednesday Briefing



The New York Times

• The Texas church gunman who killed 26 people on Sunday once escaped from a psychiatric hospital after making death threats against his superiors, according to a 2012 police report.

He was also court-martialed from the U.S. Air Force for domestic violence. But that information was not entered into a database that could have prevented him from buying a military-style rifle. President Trump suggested that stricter gun laws could have worsened the toll.

After each mass shooting, the question arises: Why does the U.S. have such a high rate of them? Americans have a lot of theories, but our Interpreter columnists say the answer is lying in plain sight.


The movie mogul Harvey Weinstein hired private detectives, lawyers and undercover agents to try to scuttle articles about accusations of sexual harassment and assault against him, The New Yorker reported.

As allegations against Mr. Weinstein and others pile up, our gender editor looks at how social media, famous accusers and a generational change have added up to a profound shift in how we talk about sexual harassment.



Dominique Faget/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

• The Paris climate agreement has the support of one of the last holdouts, Syria, leaving the U.S. as the only country rejecting the global pact among nearly 200 countries to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

In India, where pollution is rampant, the toxic haze blanketing New Delhi, from burning crops and other pollutants, above, was so severe this week that an official said the city had “become a gas chamber.”


They were imprisoned for seeking a more democratic Hong Kong. Now the city’s highest court will hear the appeals of Joshua Wong, 21, and two other young democracy activists.

In rare interviews, their parents shared the heartbreak and pride of watching their children come of age as leaders of a protest movement. They also described their disagreements, highlighting the generation gap that has divided Hong Kong in its struggle to define itself.



• Made in China 2025 is Beijing’s ambitious plan to dominate cutting-edge fields like artificial intelligence within a decade, but its tightening grip on the technology of tomorrow has Washington worried.

• Will the Murdochs break up Fox? That’s the question going around, after it was reported that Fox held preliminary talks to sell most of its assets to Disney.

• The self-driving car is edging closer to becoming driverless. Waymo, the autonomous car company from Google’s parent, Alphabet, is conducting road tests without emergency human drivers.

• In a worrying trend, dictators and oligarchs from Saudi Arabia, Russia and other countries are investing heavily in Silicon Valley, our columnist writes.

Wall Street investors are pouring money into Bitcoin, helping extend an eight-month spike in its price.

• U.S. stocks were weaker. Here’s a snapshot of global markets.

In the News


via /Reuters

• Papua New Guinea’s Supreme Court ruled that 600 migrants stranded on Manus Island did not have a right to power, water or food. [The New York Times]

Flooding in Indonesia has displaced thousands in North Sumatra, where the water level topped three feet in some areas. [Jakarta Post]

In Japan, a 70-year-old woman called the “black widow” was sentenced to death for killing her husband and two boyfriends with cyanide. [Asahi Shimbun]

In a region of northern Iraq fraught with violence, Muslims, Christians and Jews coexist — in theory. [The New York Times]

Carter Page, a former Trump adviser, offered new details about meeting with a Russian official during the 2016 campaign [The New York Times]

An award-winning photo of two elephants fleeing an angry mob in eastern India captures the conflicts that have become routine in the region. [BBC]

• Joseph O’Brien, 24, became the youngest winning trainer in the Melbourne Cup’s history, defeating his father, who saddled the runner-up. [The Guardian]

Smarter Living

Tips, both new and old, for a more fulfilling life.

• Careful cyclists know: helmets save lives.

• A moment of grace with a parent in decline.

• Recipe of the day: Get dinner on the table in under a half-hour with sautéed chicken breasts.



To Understand North Korea, Look to Its Mountains

North Korea’s founding myths trace back to the country’s rugged peaks, but those mountains also play a pivotal role in the Kim dynasty’s rule.

Publish Date November 7, 2017.


Watch in Times Video »

• North Korea’s mountains have shaped its national narrative. The Kim dynasty, for example, has used Mount Paektu — an important spiritual symbol for both the North and South — to legitimize its rule.

In rural Japan, our travel writer helped carry a mikoshi, a heavy, portable shrine in an ancient ritual that builds community and is a chance to “show off our manpower.”

• And new research on mammoth fossils suggests that male pachyderms died in more “silly ways” than their female counterparts. “In many species, males tend to do somewhat stupid things,” a biologist said.

Back Story

Bram Stoker’s immortality is proving more unpierceable than that of his bloodthirsty creation, Dracula.

Stoker, who was born in Ireland on this day in 1847, gave everlasting life to Dracula, the Transylvanian vampire, in the 1897 novel of the same name, and then took it away.


Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Since then, Stoker’s tale has been reimagined countless times, in books, on television and in films, like “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” (1992).

Now, one of his descendants is hoping to revive previously unpublished parts of the story.

Stoker took seven years to write the original novel, clawing his way through an overabundance of imagination and research that left much of the material in drafts.

The novelist’s great grandnephew Dacre Stoker announced he will release a prequel, “Dracul,” in 2018. It draws heavily from Bram Stoker’s original notes and private journal, and from family legends. Paramount has already bought the movie rights, so Dracula may be resurrected on the big screen once again.

Lori Moore contributed reporting.


Your Morning Briefing is published weekday mornings and updated online. Browse past briefings here.

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