Asia and Australia Edition: North Korea, Hugh Hefner, Shinzo Abe: Your Friday Briefing

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The changes: More sleep and no more 100-hour workweeks for sailors. Broadcast a vessel’s position in crowded waters. Use old-fashioned compasses and pencils to help track potential hazards. And more new guidance is expected in coming days.



Credit via Reuters

The Islamic State issued what appears to be the first recording in nearly a year of its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Above, an image from the group’s website posted in 2014.

A 46-minute address to foot soldiers after the loss of Mosul, which fell in July to Iraqi forces, appears to be part rallying cry to his pummeled troops, and part proof of life after rampant rumors of his death.

The audio also mentions current events, including the growing nuclear threat from North Korea.



Credit Peter Parks/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

• New competition from internet companies and streaming services have changed the media landscape around the world.

We took a deep look at Australia’s attempt to recalculate.

New legislation expected to win final parliamentary approval next month will make help television, radio and newspaper companies fight back — but also make the country’s big media properties even bigger, and their handful of owners even more powerful.



Credit Bart Bartholomew for The New York Times

• The death of Hugh Hefner, who fostered the sexual revolution with his Playboy media empire, has inspired an outpouring of reactions — not all celebratory.

Judge for yourself. Here’s his obituary, highlights from more than 40 years of his conversations with William F. Buckley Jr., David Letterman, Piers Morgan, and more, and his own take on his life in this video.



Credit Behrouz Mehri/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

• Toshiba will sell the majority of its $18 billion microchip business to a group of investors that includes Bain Capital and Apple. The company’s spurned American partner, Western Digital, might still move to block the deal.

• Rovio Entertainment, the company behind the Angry Birds empire, goes public today with a valuation of about $1 billion.

• Representatives of Twitter briefed two U.S. congressional panels investigating Russian meddling, as evidence emerged that it may have been used even more extensively than Facebook to sway the 2016 election.

• IBM employs 130,000 people in India — about one-third of the company’s total work force, and more employees than it has in the U.S. or any other country — making it an example of the globalization that the Trump administration has railed against.

• About 1.15 million people became millionaires last year, according to a report by a global consultancy firm, a rise of nearly 8 percent. China, Germany, Japan and the U.S. had the most new millionaires.

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

In the News


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• In Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe dissolved the Lower House of Parliament to make way for a snap election scheduled for Oct. 22. The move also averted questioning from opposition parties. [The Asahi Shimbun]

• The Trump administration’s plan to revise the tax code received a wave of opposition from an unexpected quarter: Washington lobbyists and trade groups. [The New York Times]

• Puerto Ricans who served in the U.S. armed forces in the Korean War are among those critical of Washington’s response to Hurricane Maria’s devastation of their island. [The New York Times]

• Australia’s Federal Court fined Belle Gibson, a disgraced alternative health advocate, $410,000 for misleading vulnerable people with claims that she cured cancer. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

• Flights were delayed, and travelers struggled to check in at airports around the world after a “network issue” affected programs used by several major airlines. [The New York Times]

• Spain’s government is trying everything to stop an independence referendum on Sunday in the Catalonia region. The standoff, our correspondent writes, is emblematic of the larger forces tearing at European unity. [The New York Times]

• Indonesia welcomed Cai Tao and Hu Chun, a pair of 7-year-old giant pandas on loan from China. The pandas will spend the next 10 years at the Taman Safari zoo on the outskirts of Jakarta. [Reuters]

Smarter Living

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


Credit Amy Lombard for The New York Times

• How to tell if someone is lying, and eight more conversation tips from Amanda de Cadenet, an expert interviewer, above.

• Moving? Here are five things you’ll want around before (and right after) moving day.

• Recipe of the day: Tonight, cook a savory meal of spaghetti with cauliflower, almonds, tomatoes and chickpeas.



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• The tsunami that struck Japan in 2011 unleashed a massive invasion of marine life on North America. Hundreds of species — mostly invertebrates like mussels, sea anemones and crabs — hitched a ride across the Pacific from Asia on floating debris.

• In memoriam: Vann Molyvann, 90, the admired Cambodian architect whose modernist style, New Khmer Architecture, reshaped Phnom Penh, the capital, with innovative public buildings and monuments.

We tracked how fake news upended one small U.S. town last year. It still hasn’t recovered.

• Our Australia reporters collected the best of the web, or as they call it, “Heaps of Stuff We Like” — and invite you to reciprocate.

Back Story


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It remains the biggest drop in points ever for the Dow Jones industrial average: 778 points.

Nine years ago today, U.S. markets looked grim, even before the New York Stock Exchange opened. There was overnight news that major Asian and European banks lacked cash to lend. Credit markets were virtually frozen.

At 1:30 p.m., trading floors went silent, eyes riveted to television screens where the House of Representatives was doing the unimaginable: rejecting a $700 billion bailout plan. It lost by only 13 votes.

By end of the day, almost $1.2 trillion was knocked off the U.S. stock market as traders tried to unload troubled mortgage-backed securities that the rejected bailout would have bought up.

On Oct. 3, 2008, Congress passed a new $700 billion bailout, but most investors were still pessimistic about the economy, and the Dow Jones continued to fall rapidly until March 2009.

For the last eight years, the Dow Jones has surged upward. President Obama’s stimulus package lifted the economy and cut unemployment, and recently investors have liked President Trump’s push to cut business taxes. Earlier this year the Dow Jones surpassed 22,000, a record.

Thomas Furse contributed reporting.


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