U.S. officials said that China had pushed for the more relaxed atmosphere, a backdrop that offers a sharp contrast to a tense bilateral relationship.
• Secretary of State Rex Tillerson heads to his first NATO meeting, fresh from talks in Turkey meant in part to ease President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s concerns on the U.S. plan to attack the Syrian city of Raqqa, the declared capital of the Islamic State.
In Syria, Iraq, Yemen and now Somalia, the U.S. appears to be deepening its involvement in complex wars that lack clear outcomes, and often put civilians in the line of fire.
Mr. Tillerson’s plan to remove all human rights conditions on a sale of arms to Bahrain could end a rift, but also suggest to regional powers that the U.S. is easing its stance on the protections for dissidents and protesters.
• President Vladimir Putin broke days of silence — and a blackout on state news media — to warn that the kind of anticorruption protests that erupted across Russia this week could unleash chaos on par with the Arab Spring uprisings.
He dismissed Western criticism of heavy-handed police tactics as “purely politicized.”
In Washington, questions about Russia’s meddling in the U.S. election have become enmeshed with doubts about the independence of the investigators — especially after it emerged that two White House officials passed on intelligence reports to one investigator.
• Nine Malaysians were finally allowed to leave North Korea in a deal giving Pyongyang the remains of Kim Jong-nam, the half brother of North Korea’s leader.
The North had barred them from leaving until now, incensed by Malaysia’s investigation into the killing of Mr. Kim with a banned chemical weapon at a Kuala Lumpur airport last month.
Above, the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur.
• And these refugees are truly on a road to nowhere.
More than 130,000 people have amassed along a barren desert highway, chased from their villages by Boko Haram, the Islamist militant group. Times journalists spent weeks documenting some of their stories.
• Britain’s trading relationship with Europe and London’s status as banker to the planet show little damage from Brexit — yet.
• JPMorgan Chase found that limiting its advertising to preapproved websites, to avoid proximity to fake news, did not hurt the visibility of its ads on the internet.
• Shares in a little-known Chinese company listed on the Nasdaq have soared as much as 4,555 percent in a little over two years, for no apparent reason.
• Japan issues month-end data including unemployment numbers and the Consumer Price Index, and China releases the purchasing managers index for its manufacturing and nonmanufacturing sectors.
• U.S. stocks were up. Here’s a snapshot of global markets.
In the News
• Cyclone Debbie’s weakened storm system moved south after ravaging Queensland, Australia, threatening northern New South Wales with “unprecedented” flooding. [ABC]
• Lawmakers in China’s restive Xinjiang region aiming to curb religious extremism banned wearing veils, beards considered “abnormal” and the refusal to watch state television. [South China Morning Post]
• Myanmar’s parliamentary by-elections this weekend include crucial contests in Rakhine and Shan states. [Frontier Myanmar]
• A crackdown on shops selling beef in India’s northern state of Uttar Pradesh has angered butchers, most of whom are Muslims. [BBC]
• White House science and technology advisers, prized by former President Barack Obama, have yet to be appointed by Mr. Trump. “They are flying blind,” said a former member of Mr. Obama’s science team. [The New York Times]
• In the latest case to roil the world of antiquities, two prominent experts in Southeast Asian antiquities are under investigation for falsifying artifact histories. [The New York Times]
• This month, we’ve been talking about Morning Routines. For our final installment, we asked Adam Bryant to share what he’s learned over the course of his more than 500 Corner Office interviews about leadership with top executives. Adam writes:
There’s no checklist to guarantee anybody will become a C.E.O., but it certainly helps to have a lot of stamina, and not need much sleep so you can get a jump on the day. It’s been a consistent theme. Examples that stand out are Bob Iger of Disney and Wendy Kopp of Teach for America and their (very early) morning routines. Pro tip: Make sure you start with a plan for the day, so you’re not just being reactive to the inevitable flood of emails.
And it’s not just the routine itself but how you think about the morning. C.E.O.s like to ask the following interview questions: “Are you a morning person?” and, “Tell me what really makes you passionate. Why do you get up every morning?”
• Saris made in Mysore, India, use soft, lightweight silk that is “skin friendly” and “body hugging,” purportedly the legacy of an 18th-century ruler with a penchant for luxury.
• Hong Kong’s political upheaval has inspired pro-democratic artworks as well as many infused with helplessness against what is widely seen as Beijing’s tightening grasp.
Join the club. Celebrate World Backup Day today.
The event was started in 2011 by companies selling backup products or services, set the day before April Fools’ Day. The motto “Don’t Be an April Fool” — may be working.
One company, Backblaze, says its annual surveys show that the number of computer users who never back up their data has been shrinking, dropping to just 25 percent by 2015.
Still, data loss miseries abound. In 2012, the U.S. animation studio Pixar suffered when 90 percent of “Toy Story 2” was accidentally deleted.
“We saw Hamm, Potato Head and Rex,” said Oren Jacob, the company’s former chief technical officer. Then “just Hamm and then nothing.”
Though Pixar was able to recover its files through painstaking work, not all data losses end happily.
The creators of a children’s show called “Zodiac Island” sued their internet service provider and one of its former employees after he “went on a data-wiping rampage” in 2009.
Perhaps because World Backup Day had not yet been instituted, the files had not been backed up.
(If you’re feeling inspired, The Wirecutter, a product reviews website owned by The Times, has some tips for backing up your computer.)
Evan Gershkovich contributed reporting.
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