Russia, North Korea, Xi Jinping: Your Monday Briefing

Russia, North Korea, Xi Jinping: Your Monday Briefing

And more turmoil at the F.B.I.: Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired Andrew McCabe, the former F.B.I. deputy director, who responded by accusing the president of trying to undermine the Mueller investigation.

The Times teamed up with The Observer of London for an investigation into Cambridge Analytica, a voter-profiling company that worked on the Trump campaign.

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Wang Zhao/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

China is set to name Yi Gang, above, as its new central bank chief. Mr. Yi, a U.S.-educated economist, is expected to further pursue market reforms and debt reduction as President Xi Jinping pushes through his economic agenda.

Mr. Xi began his second term over the weekend with a new vice president, Wang Qishan. Mr. Wang, who won all but one vote in the National People’s Congress, is poised to become a powerful adviser to Mr. Xi, especially on U.S. relations.

With Mr. Xi’s power growing, local officials are dancing, sometimes frantically, to his tune.

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Adam Dean for The New York Times

“Cambodia is in danger of returning to being a totalitarian state.”

That’s the view of a former lawmaker in Cambodia, where Prime Minister Hun Sen (or Lord Prime Minister, as he likes to be known) dissolved the main opposition party ahead of elections in July.

Mr. Hun Sen has rejected the West and embraced China, all the while building a devoted (and, some say, artificial) following on social media. H e was met with angry protests in Sydney when he arrived on Friday for the start of the Asean-Australia regional summit meeting.

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Vilhelm Stokstad/EPA, via Shutterstock

• Finally, talks concluded in Sweden that could ease the way to a potential meeting between President Trump and the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un. (Above, the North’s foreign minister, Ri Yong-ho, in Stockholm.)

The C.I.A., rather than the U.S. State Department, is taking the lead on the historic talks, demonstrating the influence of Mike Pompeo, who is set to become secretary of state.

Other developments: Satellite photos are believed to show the North building a monument to its intercontinental Hwasong-15 missile. And a U.N. report laid out how the country evades sanctions to import luxury items, like diamonds and vermouth.

Business

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Rebecca Conway for The New York Times

Ola, India’s leading ride-hailing company, is expanding to Australia, where it’s taking on Uber in a major test of whether the new breed of Indian tech start-ups can succeed in a wealthy country

• The smuggling of U.S. technological secrets is outpacing Cold War levels, according to experts who maintain that China, Russia, North Korea and Iran utilize criminal networks to secure equipment for weapons, satellites and fighter jets.

• Li Ka-shing, 89, said on Friday that he would retire from the empire that made him Hong Kong’s richest man. Mr. Li will hand over his conglomerate to his son, but will remain a senior adviser.

• Singapore is the world’s most expensive city for the fifth straight year, according to the Economist’s latest global cost-of-living report. Paris and Zurich tied for second.

Here’s a snapshot of global markets.

In the News

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David Crosling/AAP, via Reuters

• In Australia, bushfires raged across two states. In southwest Victoria, up to a dozen homes were lost and more than 40,000 hectares burned. In New South Wales, some 35 homes and a school were reported destroyed. [News.com.au]

• The Rohingya crisis is expected to come up during bilateral talks today in Canberra between Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Myanmar’s civilian leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. [SBS]

• “No safety concerns.” Hours before the collapse of a bridge in Florida that killed six people, engineers held a meeting to discuss a crack on the structure and concluded there was no danger. [The New York Times]

• Former President Barack Obama arrives in Singapore, the first stop on a weeklong tour that includes New Zealand, Australia and Japan. [A.P.]

A giant rubber duck named Daphne is drifting somewhere in the Indian Ocean after being blown out to sea. Its owners, an Australian swimming club, are appealing for its rescue. [The Guardian]

Smarter Living

Tips, both new and old, for a more fulfilling life.

• What to do when a good friend becomes a terrible colleague.

• Take some time and goof around this week.

• Recipe of the day: Start your week with this bright, flavorful corn salad with mint and feta.

Noteworthy

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Cristina Daura

• Australian literary news: Peter Carey’s novel “A Long Way From Home” follows a bumptious 10,000-mile automotive endurance contest; and Markus Zusak, the author of “The Book Thief,” has a new Y.A. novel coming out: “Bridge of Clay.”

• “Wudaokou is not what it was. ” One of Beijing’s most famous bar streets, located in the heart of the city’s university district, has fallen afoul of political sensibilities. Managers say they were told not to let in more than 10 foreigners at a time. Many fear a crackdown.

• And as the threats to animal species grow more profound, the world may soon be faced with an impossible decision: which ones to try to protect.

Back Story

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Associated Press

In March 1957, when Elvis Presley was 22, he purchased an opulent mansion in Memphis, called Graceland, for just over $100,000.

He was already a star, and at work on his second movie, “Loving You.”

The land had been owned by the S.E. Toof family for generations, and it was named for one of the female relatives, Grace. Grace’s niece and her husband built the mansion in 1939. Above, Mr. Presley with Yvonne Lime at Graceland around 1957.

Mr. Presley installed a pool with a jukebox nearby, hosted friends and relatives and created a “Jungle Room” with green shag carpets and a Polynesian theme.

After struggling with ill health and prescription drug abuse, he died of a heart attack at Graceland on Aug. 16, 1977, and is buried there. He was 42. Read his Times obituary here.

Five years later, Graceland opened to the public and became one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations, drawing visitors from around the globe. Many visit yearly (the address is 3764 Elvis Presley Boulevard) to mark the anniversary of his death.

Last year, just before the 40th anniversary, Graceland underwent a $140 million expansion, including a large hotel and entertainment complex. You can take a virtual tour here.

Karen Zraick contributed reporting.

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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.

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