After an 18-day ordeal in Thailand that captured the world's attention, all 12 boys and their soccer coach have been rescued from the flooded cave where they were trapped. The men who had stayed with them for eight days underground — four Thai divers, ...
Asia and Australia Edition
(Want to get this briefing by email? Here’s the sign-up.)
Good morning. Safety for the Thai soccer team, a tense meeting in Belgium and another look at a Chinese empress. Here’s what you need to know:
CreditLauren Decicca/Getty Images
• A sigh of relief around the world.
After an 18-day ordeal in Thailand that captured the world’s attention, all 12 boys and their soccer coach have been rescued from the flooded cave where they were trapped.
The men who had stayed with them for eight days underground — four Thai divers, an army doctor and three Navy SEALs — also emerged. Here's the latest.
The team is in good condition, though two boys might have pneumonia. They’ll all remain in quarantine and hospitalized for a week because of the risk of rare infections.
CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times
• “NATO countries must pay MORE, the United States must pay LESS.”
President Trump renewed his criticism of NATO allies ahead of what is certain to be a tense summit meeting in Brussels today.
Mr. Trump’s tweets prompted a tart retort from Donald Tusk, the European Council president, who posted that the “US doesn’t have and won’t have a better ally than EU.”
Our correspondent took in the view from Latvia, nestled alongside Russia and the Baltic Sea, where NATO is no abstraction.
The first lady, Melania Trump, will also be re-entering the spotlight, traveling alongside her husband for a trip that culminates on Monday with Mr. Trump’s meeting with President Vladimir Putin of Russia.
CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times
CreditGiulia Marchi for The New York Times
• China re-examines Empress Cixi.
She entered the male-dominated Chinese royal court as a teenage concubine, swirling through a world of intrigue, forced suicides and poisonings. She left as the de facto ruler of China, having rebuilt the Summer Palace.
This Beijing Dispatch looks at revisionist interpretations of Cixi as an early feminist — at least, as our correspondent writes, “in the context of the late 19th century, when women in China were treated little better than spittoons.”
CreditChristophe Simon/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
• Sun Yian, a tech guru, once looked like Canada’s way into the Chinese market. But he abandoned his company, Istuary Innovation Group, and fled to China, leaving behind angry investors and Canadian employees wondering whether their work might end up helping China build out its surveillance.
• As tech moguls gather in Sun Valley, Idaho, here’s who might be in a deal-making mood. (For one, Masa Son, the SoftBank founder, could be interested in a media company.)
• Great Wall Motor, the biggest Chinese S.U.V. maker, will team up with BMW to produce electric Mini vehicles in China.
• U.S. stocks were mixed. Here’s a snapshot of global markets.
In the News
CreditNg Han Guan/Associated Press
• Liu Xia, the widow of Liu Xiaobo, the Chinese Nobel Peace Prize laureate who died of cancer last year under police guard, left China for Europe after a campaign by the German government. [The New York Times]
• The death toll from torrential rains in western Japan reached at least 150. And dozens are still missing. [The Asahi Shimbun]
• Steve Bannon, the former chief strategist for President Trump, said that Australia was “at the forefront” of the geopolitical battle against Chinese intrusion. [The Sydney Morning Herald]
• A U.N. official called for an investigation into whether 12 North Korean waitresses who arrived in South Korea in 2016 were taken against their will. Their manager has said he transported them across the border at the behest of the South’s National Intelligence Service. [The New York Times]
• In New Zealand, a planned walkout by nurses and teachers on Thursday is testing the center-left Labour government of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. [The New York Times]
• India’s Supreme Court began hearing a case on whether to decriminalize gay sex. [The New York Times]
• Australian scientists discovered what they say are the world’s oldest surviving biological colors in ancient rocks beneath the Sahara. The 1.1-billion-year-old pigments, if you’re wondering, are bright pink. [BBC]
Tips for a more fulfilling life.
CreditGentl and Hyers for The New York Times
• Recipe of the day: If you like sponge cake, you’ll love Dorie Greenspan’s recipe for a Roman breakfast cake.
CreditJoel Rogers, via Getty Images
• The number of killer whales off the Pacific Northwest has dwindled to just 75, a 30-year low. Endangered since 2005, the orcas are essentially starving, as their primary prey, the king salmon, are dying off.
• Dying organs restored to life: An unusual transplant may revive tissues thought to be hopelessly damaged, including in the heart and brain.
• And maybe there is accounting for taste. The field of “experimental aesthetics” boils down to efforts to solve two age-old enigmas: What is art, and why do we like what we like?
“It’s coming home.”
Those words can often be heard chanted in an increasingly giddy England as the country’s national soccer team exceeds expectations at the World Cup. The team plays a semifinal against Croatia today.
The phrase comes from “Three Lions,” a song released in 1996 to celebrate England’s hosting of that year’s European Championship, the first major soccer tournament to be played in the country since the 1966 World Cup (the only time England has won the trophy). It’s also a reference to England’s claim to be the birthplace of modern soccer, in the 1800s.
Despite its rich soccer tradition, England didn’t participate in the earliest World Cups, including the inaugural tournament in 1930. A dispute in the 1920s had prompted the Football Association, the sport’s governing body in England, to resign from FIFA, the organization that runs the World Cup.
For the English, “international soccer” at that time meant playing against Ireland, Scotland and Wales. England made its first appearance in the World Cup in 1950 in Brazil.
Sixty-eight years later, England’s team is tempting fans to dream.
As the manager, Gareth Southgate, said after his side beat Sweden in the quarterfinal: “None of us fancied going home.”
At least, not without the trophy.
Chris Stanford wrote today’s Back Story.
Correction: Tuesday’s Morning Briefing misspelled the surname of the lead guitarist of The Who. He is Pete Townshend, not Townsend.
Your Morning Briefing is published weekday mornings and updated online. Sign up here to get it by email in the Australian, Asian, European or American morning. You can also receive an Evening Briefing on U.S. weeknights.
And our Australia bureau chief offers a weekly letter adding analysis and conversations with readers.
Browse our full range of Times newsletters here.
What would you like to see here? Contact us at email@example.com.
world cup 2018 world cup world of tanks world of warcraft world of warships world world map world cup 2014 world cup schedule world of warplanes