The U.S. sent a nuclear-capable B-2 stealth bomber over undisclosed parts of the Pacific region ahead of President Trump’s visit to Asia, which starts in Japan over the weekend.
• Spain’s attorney general said that Catalan leaders will be prosecuted for declaring Catalonia’s independence from Spain.
Judges will now decide whether to charge them with rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds for organizing the independence referendum held on Oct. 1.
But some reports said the Catalan leaders may be seeking asylum in Belgium.
• Russia’s strategy of using oil as a geopolitical tool to spread its influence faces a crucial test this week in Venezuela, where Moscow is effectively taking China’s place as principal banker.
The government of President Nicolás Maduro must come up with $1 billion to avert default — and Russia has been making loans and deals that could save it from collapse. What does Moscow get in return? Influence in Washington’s backyard.
• Harvey Weinstein faces new sexual assault accusations that extend the span of the allegations to the 1970s.
The emotional toll is vivid for women who say they felt ashamed and isolated as they watched the Hollywood producer walk red carpets and pile up Oscars. “This has haunted me my entire life,” said a woman who accused him of raping her nearly 40 years ago.
And Kevin Spacey, above, apologized after he was accused of sexually accosting a 14-year-old actor 31 years ago, but came under fire for using the same statement to come out as gay.
• The U.S. and China have something in common: a taste for French butter.
But rising global demand is causing prices hikes and sporadic shortages in France — prompting both mock panic and real anxiety.
“Not having butter in France,” one woman said, “that’s appalling.”
• The iPhone X goes on sale in 55 countries and territories on Friday, after a week of booming pre-orders. Here’s our review.
• Two Silicon Valley titans, Tim Cook of Apple and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, met in Beijing with President Xi Jinping at an annual gathering of advisers to Tsinghua University’s business school, but few details have emerged.
• President Trump is expected to name Jerome Powell to lead the Federal Reserve as early as Thursday. He is a Republican with deep roots in the party’s establishment and in the financial industry.
• Executive expertise: Our departing Corner Office columnist interviewed 525 chief executives through the years. Here’s what he learned.
• U.S. stocks were weaker. Here’s a snapshot of global markets.
In the News
• The resignation of Massoud Barzani, the president of Iraqi Kurdistan since 2005, represents more fallout from a Kurdish independence vote that many now see as a catastrophic blunder. He has no clear successor. [The New York Times]
• In Afghanistan, the Taliban are increasingly refining their own opium in Afghanistan, lifting their profits and resulting in a troubling turn for the war. [The New York Times]
• Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is in Israel to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Australian troops’ victory in the Battle of Beersheba today. Some of those attending are descendants of rarely recognized indigenous soldiers. [ABC]
• The deaths of three underage girls in a fire at the Indonesian fireworks factory where they worked underscores the country’s struggles with workplace safety and child welfare. [The New York Times]
• Formal approval for the two-year trial of a medically supervised drug injecting center in inner Melbourne is expected today. [ABC]
• Chris Gayle, the Jamaican cricketer, won a defamation case against Fairfax Media. A jury in New South Wales found insufficient evidence that he exposed himself to a massage therapist in Sydney during the 2015 World Cup. [ESPN]
• The Japanese government ordered hotels, stadiums and public buildings to dumb down their language when helping foreigners during a disaster. [The Asahi Shimbun]
Tips, both new and old, for a more fulfilling life.
• Should your spouse be your best friend?
• Clocks’ seasonal shifts offer the opportunity to assess your sleep habits.
• Recipe of the day: monster Halloween cookies.
• Takashi Murakami, the master of Pop Japanese anime playfulness, has teamed with Louis Vuitton and Kanye West. But his collaboration with a senior Japanese art historian has created a profound shift in his work.
• Mali’s anti-poaching brigade, formed to protect its few hundred, extremely endangered desert elephants, has not lost a single one to poachers in nine months.
• And Luke Skywalker speaks, at last. Since “Star Wars” went supernova in 1977, Mark Hamill has been placed on a pop-cultural pedestal. It’s been a conflicted relationship, but Mr. Hamill, 66, isn’t bitter or jaded, and he isn’t just Luke. Here’s our extensive profile.
We begin Halloween with a ghost story.
Stingy Jack invited the devil for a drink.
As Irish folklore goes, Jack didn’t want to pay for the drinks, and instead convinced the devil to turn himself into a coin that could be used to settle the tab.
The devil agreed, but Jack ditched the tab and kept the coin. When he finally died, Stingy Jack was denied entry to both heaven and hell and instead was given a burning coal to light his way as he roamed the earth for eternity. He placed the coal in a carved-out turnip, turning it into a lantern.
Stingy Jack became known as “Jack of the Lantern,” or Jack-o’-Lantern, by the late 17th century. Elsewhere in Europe, making lanterns out of potatoes and beets was part of a fall harvest celebration. Lights were also thought to ward off evil spirits.
By the end of the 19th century, European immigrants in America switched their carving tradition over to pumpkins.
“The fortunate pumpkin is a noble fruit, a joy in the mouth of mankind, a paean of Autumn on the happy palate,” a 1942 Times article proclaimed. “The unfortunate pumpkin becomes a jack-o’-lantern.”
Remy Tumin contributed reporting.
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