We’re covering fatal monsoon rains in Nepal and India, President Trump’s escalating attacks on American congresswomen, and a Moldovan village with one resident.
Monsoon rains leave dozens dead across Asia
The death toll climbed on Monday to 67 in Nepal and 25 in India from flooding and landslides caused by a torrential downpour over the weekend, and tens of thousands of others have been displaced.
Dozens more remain missing, as rescuers scramble to search for survivors and deliver aid to affected areas. The hardest-hit country appeared to be Nepal, particularly along its southern plains along the Indian border.
Officials in nearby Bangladesh are braced for the floodwaters to move downstream. Already, some low-lying parts of the country have been flooded, including the world’s largest refugee camp that is home to more than half a million Rohingya Muslim refugees.
Context: Heavy rains are expected in South Asia between June and September, but flooding this year has been particularly heavy, with some speculating whether the risks had been exacerbated by climate change.
Long-term impact: New research shows that extreme weather might pose health risks by knocking chemicals loose from soil, industrial-waste sites or other sources and spreading them into the air, water and ground.
In the U.S.: Louisiana appeared to have avoided the catastrophic rainfall and flooding that was predicted for tropical storm Barry, which made landfall over the weekend.
Japan puts up trade barriers against South Korea
Last month, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe moved to limit South Korea’s access to Japanese chemicals that are essential to its vast electronics industry, becoming the latest world leader to push back against free trade.
Mr. Abe cited vague and unspecified national security concerns for the shift, in an echo of President Trump’s protectionist trade policies. South Korean officials suspect Japan’s move is retaliation for an escalating political dispute over World War II-era reparations.
Impact: Using national security as a reason to cut off trade could upend longstanding global economic rules, making trade wars more common.
Another angle: China’s growth fell to its slowest pace in nearly three decades, officials said on Monday, as trade tensions with the U.S. and other financial problems take a growing toll on the world’s second-largest economy.
President Trump digs in
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi moved to officially reject President Trump’s weekend tweet telling four congresswomen of color to “go back” to their own countries.
“The House cannot allow the president’s characterization of immigrants to our country to stand,” she wrote in a letter to lawmakers. “Our Republican colleagues must join us in condemning the president’s xenophobic tweets.”
Indeed, some Republicans called his tweet “racist,” but Mr. Trump defended his remarks, demanding the four first-term congresswomen “apologize to our country.”
Analysis: Heading into next year’s election, the president appears to be drawing a line between white, native-born Americans and the ethnically diverse, increasingly foreign-born population in a way that no other modern president has, writes our chief White House correspondent.
Will Sudan’s revolution succeed?
When the country’s longtime ruler, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, was ousted in April, protesters wanted immediate civilian rule. But the military refused to cede power, and a seven-week standoff ensued, followed by a deadly crackdown last month — and then, a fragile power-sharing agreement.
Declan Walsh, The Times’s Cairo bureau chief, has visited Sudan for the past 20 years, and he met recently with Gen. Mohammed Hamdan, known as Hemeti, whose troops led the crackdown. Read his photo-rich report from Khartoum, the capital.
Quotable: “We’ve been ruled by dictatorships for over 50 years,” said Mohamed al-Asam, a 28-year-old doctor turned revolutionary. “We can’t accept another one.”
If you have 5 minutes, this is worth it
And then there was one
Thirty years ago, the Moldovan village of Dobrusa had about 200 residents. Deaths and emigration left only three at the start of the year — and then two of them were killed.
“The loneliness kills you,” said the sole remaining human, pictured above. “When I work, I speak with the trees.”
Here’s what else is happening
Taiwan: A mayor who favors closer ties with China won the opposition party’s nomination to run against President Tsai Ing-wen, who has criticized Beijing’s attempts to pressure the island into unification.
India: The 11th-hour delay of the country’s lunar mission disappointed a nation that had pinned its hopes and ambitions on the Chandrayaan-2, but many remain hopeful that the Indian space agency will be able to overcome the “technical snag” and reschedule the launch soon.
Saudi Arabia: An American woman who divorced a Saudi businessman she described as abusive lost custody of her 4-year-old daughter after a judge accepted her ex-husband’s argument that as a Westerner she was unfit to raise the child in accordance with Islam, and that as a yoga teacher she would not devote enough time to parenting.
South Africa: Jacob Zuma, the former president whose tenure was marred by corruption scandals, appeared for the first time before a commission looking into accusations that he had enabled the plundering and misuse of state resources.
Snapshot: Above, Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, introducing Britain’s coming 50-pound note, featuring Alan Turing, the computing pioneer and World War II code-breaker who suffered under Victorian laws against homosexuality. Mr. Turing was chosen from a list of 227,299 nominees in the field of British science.
Watch: Stream the movies discussed in The Times’s recent roundtable on the ’90s black film boom, and a few others from a golden age for black auteurs in Hollywood.
Look: Three artists and a pair of curators met at The Times to compile a list of the 25 works of art that define the contemporary age.
Smarter Living: Sibling fights, while no fun, offer opportunities to help your children learn to hear each other and work on their own solutions. Instead of trying to referee, narrate what you experience like a sportscaster. For instance: “I’m hearing loud voices. One of you looks angry and one of you is laughing.” Listen, stay neutral, and consider what might lie beneath the surface of the fight.
And we look at the apps, services and hardware that make it easy to jot, sketch and save the things that inspire you.
And now for the Back Story on …
Bail, a way out of jail
The financier Jeffrey Epstein will hear Thursday whether he will out allowed out on bail while he awaits trial on charges of sex trafficking related to his activities with underage girls.
What exactly is bail? Since most countries don’t have it — and even many Americans don’t know its ins and outs — we looked back at an explanation that our chief legal correspondent, Adam Liptak, gave a few years ago.
Bail, he wrote, is a payment to the court — either in cash or the pledge of personal assets — returned only if a defendant shows up for trial. It has ancient roots in English common law.
America’s open frontier and entrepreneurial spirit altered the system. By the early 1800s, private businesses (bail bond companies) were allowed to post bail in exchange for payments from defendants and were empowered to chase down any defendants who failed to appear (bounty hunting).
Commercial bail bond companies dominate the pretrial release systems of only two nations: the U.S. and the Philippines, a former U.S. territory.
That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.
To Mark Josephson and Eleanor Stanford for the break from the news. Andrea Kannapell, the briefings editor, wrote today’s Back Story. You can reach the team at [email protected].
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