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All eyes on Singapore, a murder turns political in Germany and a push for justice in Poland. Here’s the latest:
• President Trump and Kim Jong-un are in Singapore, with their on-again, off-again meeting — set to be the first encounter between a U.S. president and a North Korean leader — planned for tomorrow.
Some fear mismatched expectations. Few analysts believe that Mr. Kim, above, is ready to give up his nuclear arsenal for the economic help Mr. Trump could offer.
They may not even define issues like “denuclearization” the same way. Here is a look at the issues behind the basic terminology in question.
• The historic meeting in Singapore will be shadowed by a rupture between America and some of its closest allies.
As President Trump flew away from the annual meeting of the Group of 7 nations, he abandoned the group’s joint statement, accusing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, the event’s host, of making false statements at a news conference and calling the Canadian leader “very dishonest and weak.”
Larry Kudlow, the president’s top economic adviser, said later that Mr. Trump had to take action to avoid looking weak before meeting with Kim Jong-un.
Earlier, Mr. Trump had called for Russia’s readmission to the G-7 group. President Vladimir Putin of Russia said he was in no hurry to do so, but said that he would meet Mr. Trump “as soon as the American side is ready.”
• “If he had been deported, she would still be alive.”
In Germany, the revelation that an Iraqi asylum seeker is the prime suspect in the brutal rape and murder of a German girl has turned a terrible crime into political dynamite.
The suspect’s asylum application was rejected in 2016, but he was allowed to stay in Germany while his appeal was pending. Above, the suspect was transported to a prison in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, on Sunday after being returned from Iraq, where he and his family had fled.
The case marks a turning point in the migration debate in Germany, where some 10,000 asylum seekers still enter every month.
Separately, the Austrian government ordered the closing of seven mosques and the scrutiny of the residency of dozens of Turkish imams, citing suspected violations of an Austrian ban on “political Islam” or the foreign financing of Muslim institutions.
• “A narrow window to do justice.”
Poland is considering a restitution law for property seized under Nazi and Communist rule. But critics say it excludes virtually all Holocaust survivors.
Up to 90 percent of Jewish Holocaust survivors from Poland, which had Europe’s largest population of Jews before World War II, left the country during or soon after the war. Yet the legislation would prevent many people from being compensated because it requires claimants to be citizens of Poland now and at the time when their property was seized.
They include Miriam Tasini, above, who was sent to a Siberian gulag as a toddler and is seeking restitution for her grandfather’s mill, which a Polish developer bought in 2011 for $ 17 million. “Our grandfather’s legacy — and we never saw a penny out of it,” she said.
• Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk have disagreed over the risks of artificial intelligence for years, including at a previously unreported dinner in 2014. Meanwhile, the fight over the future of A.I. has spread across the tech industry.
• The British cosmetics retailer Lush took down controversial storefront displays that were critical of undercover police officers. The marketing campaign alluded to public anger over long-running investigations in which detectives used sexual relationships to infiltrate advocacy groups.
• KFC is testing chicken-like vegetarian options in Britain, part of the company’s initiative to cut the calorie count of its offerings in the country by 20 percent.
• The European Central Bank will discuss tapering its eurozone stimulus program when it meets on Thursday. Watch for this and other headlines this week.
In the News
• Boris Johnson, Britain’s foreign secretary, said the British government lacked “guts” in Brexit negotiations. The leaked comments exposed the depth of divisions over the country’s departure from the E.U. [The New York Times]
• “The Band’s Visit,” a delicate musical about an Egyptian police orchestra stranded for a night in Israel, swept the Tony Awards in a ceremony rife with political commentary. [The New York Times]
• Decades after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine, researchers say cows far from the accident site still produce milk with dangerous levels of radiation and children are still drinking it. [The New York Times]
• The Taliban followed the Afghan government’s announcement of an eight-day cease-fire with their own three-day suspension of operations for the Muslim celebration Eid al-Fitr. [The New York Times]
• Pope Francis, a vocal supporter of the Paris climate accord, summoned leaders from the world’s biggest oil companies to urge a transition from fossil fuels. [The New York Times]
• Thousands of women marched in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to mark 100 years since the first women won the right to vote in Britain. [Associated Press]
• Italy’s new far-right interior minister refused to let a rescue vessel drop off 629 migrants picked up off Libya’s coast. [BBC]
Tips, both new and old, for a more fulfilling life.
• An alternative World Cup: Sixteen soccer teams from regions not widely recognized as sovereign nations are competing in London for sports glory and visibility for their cause: independence.
• “Glamping” at 1,320,000 feet. A new company is giving the fabulously rich something new to lust after: an eight-day trip to space. Price per person: $ 55 million.
The upscale resort island in Singapore where President Trump plans to meet Kim Jong-un tomorrow is named Sentosa. In Malay, the word means “tranquillity.”
But the island has a troubled past.
Until 1970, it was known as Pulau Blakang Mati, a reference to a hill there whose name means “behind death.” One theory holds that the island was long a sanctuary for the spirits of warriors who had been buried on an adjacent island (which was itself associated with piracy).
Pulau Blakang Mati was also the site of a then-mysterious epidemic (probably malaria) during Singapore’s British colonial era, and one of the places where Japanese soldiers killed thousands of Chinese male civilians after invading Singapore in 1942.
In 1969, four years after Singapore gained independence, the government attempted to rebrand Pulau Blakang Mati by soliciting ideas for a new name. It later awarded $ 500 each to the five people who proposed “Sentosa.”
A cable car was also built from Sentosa to Singapore’s main island in 1974. A local newspaper said in 1969 that the project would be the city-state’s “trump card in its campaign to lure tourists.”
Mike Ives wrote today’s Back Story.
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