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Good morning. North Korea’s sudden popularity, trade confusion around the world, good news on breast cancer: Here’s what you need to know.
• More meetings for North Korea.
Days after President Trump declared that his summit meeting with Kim Jong-un was back on, President Bashar al-Assad of Syria announced his own plans to sit down with the North Korean leader. It may be Mr. Kim’s first sit-down in Pyongyang with another head of state.
Mr. Assad’s remarks, as reported by the North’s state-run news media, gave no date or further details.
President Trump has vowed not to repeat the errors of his predecessors with North Korea, but his apparent softening toward the country resembles approaches taken by Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Above, Mr. Trump with the North Korean delegation last week.
Delegations from the U.S. and North Korea are in Singapore to work out the logistics of the June 12 conference.
• The U.S. and China ended trade talks in Beijing, above, without any announced deals.
The apparent impasse left the White House with the thorny issue of what to do about China’s industrial policies, and left unresolved the fate of the Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE.
The ongoing divisions and reversals on trade under President Trump have flummoxed the U.S. allies also hit by tariffs. International leaders are courting whichever advisers they think will listen, and Mr. Trump will face their grievances at the G-7 summit meeting in Canada on Friday.
• “Intimidation and coercion.”
The U.S. defense secretary, Jim Mattis, criticized China’s placement of advanced equipment and missiles in the Spratly Island chain, above, as a flagrant show of military power.
Mr. Mattis had already disinvited the Chinese military from a multinational naval exercise this summer.
Speaking over the weekend at the Shangri-La Dialogue, a regional security conference in Singapore, Mr. Mattis said China’s activities in the South China Sea were “in stark contrast to the openness our strategy promotes” and called into question “China’s broader goals.”
China called the comments “irresponsible.”
• Great news for women with breast cancer: Many with early-stage cancer don’t actually need chemotherapy, according to a major international study.
Gene tests on tumor samples were able to identify women who could safely skip chemotherapy and take only a drug that blocks the hormone estrogen or stops the body from making it. Above, Bari Brooks of Tennessee, one of the roughly 10,000 women who took part in the study.
“We can spare thousands and thousands of women from getting toxic treatment that really wouldn’t benefit them,” said an author of the study, adding, “It really changes the standard of care.”
• President Trump will host a dinner on Wednesday in honor of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, restoring a White House tradition that he had abandoned during his first year in office. Above, a setting for the state dinner for France’s president in April.
Mr. Trump has a long history of making inflammatory statements about Muslims. During his campaign, he told an interviewer, “I think Islam hates us.” In 2015, he said he would consider closing mosques.
The guest list was not made available.
• Vancouver, a magnet for foreign buyers, is so expensive that politicians want to tax its real estate market into submission.
• ANZ, Deutsche Bank and Citigroup will be prosecuted on criminal cartel charges, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said. The allegations concern the sale of $ 1.9 billion worth of ANZ shares in 2015.
• “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” now in its second week, has amassed $ 264.2 million globally — which amounts to slow sales for the franchise.
• An anonymous bidder paid $ 3.3 million for lunch with Warren Buffett. The money goes to a charity in San Francisco. The winner goes to a steakhouse with Mr. Buffett in New York.
• Apple annual weeklong developers conference is among the headlines to watch for this week.
• Here’s a snapshot of global markets.
In the News
• President Trump’s lawyers, in a confidential letter to the special counsel, Robert Mueller, made a brash assertion of executive power in a bid to avoid a subpoena. [The New York Times]
• Diapers, sanitary products and surgical masks have begun washing up on beaches north of Sydney after 83 shipping containers fell from a Taiwanese-owned ship off New South Wales. [BBC]
• A Canberra law firm representing a number of Commonwealth Games athletes seeking asylum said that the government rejected requests to postpone protection visa interviews so their clients could receive psychological counseling. [The Sydney Morning Herald]
• In eastern Afghanistan, a leftover rocket killed four and maimed seven young members of an extended family. “I wanted to cry,” said their doctor. [The New York Times]
• The Australian author and academic Germaine Greer, 79, stirred a furor by dismissing rape as “bad sex” and calling for easing penalties for sexual assault. [The New York Times]
• Tim Cahill, 38, is set to play in a fourth World Cup finals after being included in Bert van Marwijk’s final 23-man Australia squad on Sunday. [ESPN]
Tips, both new and old, for a more fulfilling life.
• An Australian transplant went hunting for the perfect studio apartment in Manhattan. As a newcomer, she found herself drawn to buildings with a sense of community.
• In Hong Kong, film industry observers have been baffled by the prosecution of two members of a film crew, who were sentenced for possession of the counterfeit bills used on the set of the award-winning movie “Trivisa.”
• A year in apologies: Crude jokes, slurs, offensive words — here are some of the high-profile American TV personalities who have apologized for controversial statements over the past year.
Before railroads, the easiest way to cross the U.S. in the 1800s was by horse caravan. But the Pentagon once tried to disrupt that four-legged status quo — with humps.
On this day in 1855, a Navy ship sailed from New York on the first of several missions to buy camels in the Middle East. Members of the U.S. Army Camel Corps later took the animals on pilot treks through the arid American Southwest, and praised them as superior to horses and mules. Above, a mural in Texas depicting the camels’ arrival.
Although camels have been used by militaries throughout history, the Camel Corps began to fall apart in 1861, the year its lead advocate, Jefferson Davis, the former secretary of war, began leading the pro-slavery Confederacy during the U.S. Civil War.
Several prominent statues of Davis, whose side lost the war, have recently been removed across the American South as part of a backlash against racism and white supremacy.
But a monument to Hadji Ali — a camel handler of Syrian and Greek descent who joined the Camel Corps expeditions after being recruited in a Turkish port — still stands in Quartzsite, Ariz. Dedicated with an Americanized version of his name, Hi Jolly, it was erected in 1934, the same year that the last camel from the original corps died in a zoo.
Mike Ives wrote today’s Back Story.
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