Around the world, major cities are gearing up for an era of extreme weather brought on by climate change. Tokyo spent $2 billion to create an anti-flood system but is no longer certain it will be enough. “We’re preparing for flooding beyond anything we’ve seen,” said the system’s head.
• No recent Chinese leader has amassed as much power as Xi Jinping, and the Communist Party congress this month offers him the chance to try to further strengthen himself.
And, like Mao, Mr. Xi is using his personal biography to bolster his efforts. Political pilgrims by the hundreds visit the gritty village of Liangjiahe, in China’s barren northwest, to immerse in a carefully crafted tale of his years there that blends Communist authority with populist appeal.
One historical display include the picture of Mr. Xi as a young man, above.
• The U.S. and Turkey are halting the processing of each other’s nonimmigrant visas, as a diplomatic standoff threatens to curtail most travel between the countries. The lira dropped more than 4 percent against the dollar on Asian markets.
The confrontation followed the arrest of a Turkish employee of the American Consulate in Istanbul.
Turkey has been trying to pressure the U.S. to hand over Fethullah Gulen, a cleric living in self-imposed exile in the U.S. whom Ankara blames for a failed coup last year.
• Europe is on edge as the Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, prepares to address the region’s Parliament today, possibly to declare independence from Spain.
The French government said it would not recognize an independent Catalonia.
• Public criticism of Harvey Weinstein has begun to emerge. Powerful actresses including Judi Dench, Glenn Close and Meryl Streep joined an increasingly vocal group of Hollywood stars in condemning the movie mogul’s reported sexual harassment. Above, Ms. Streep with Mr. Weinstein in 2014.
Most of American TV’s late-night comedy shows have avoided the matter of his downfall, and the often caustic “Saturday Night Live” was criticized by conservatives who said that the show was covering up for a prominent liberal.
• The Nobel Prize in economics went to Richard Thaler of the University of Chicago for his work on behavioral economics. He said he would try to spend the prize money “as irrationally as possible.”
• The International Monetary Fund begins its fall meetings in Washington facing an unusual situation: virtually every major developed and emerging economy is growing simultaneously.
• G.M. bought Strobe, a California-based company that specializes in laser-imaging technology geared toward the development of driverless vehicles.
• Alibaba has taken automation to a new level: live crabs in vending machines.
In the News
• A new surge of Rohingya Muslims hit Bangladesh, some bearing tales of bloody attacks by Buddhist mobs. About 519,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar since Aug. 25. [Reuters]
• Australia’s High Court begins three days of deliberation to decide the fate of seven parliamentarians with dual citizenship. [SBS]
• An improved version of the vaccine against HPV, the virus that can cause cervical cancer, will be provided to to Australia’s 12- and 13-year-olds next year. “There’s is the possibility of eliminating this virus completely,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said. [ABC]
• The Philippines apologized to China for the “grievous but purely unintentional mistake” of printing Taiwan’s defense logo on a huge banner that was hung above Chinese ambassador during a weapons-handover ceremony. [Associated Press]
• A photographer spent months on assignment for The Times in Mosul, Iraq, documenting the battle to recapture the city from Islamic State militants and the aftermath. [The New York Times]
• A retired American software engineer runs a website on Chinese etymology that encompasses 100,000 ancient formats for nearly 9,000 characters. [South China Morning Post]
Tips, both new and old, for a more fulfilling life.
• Opioids aren’t the only pain drugs to worry about.
• Sustainable travel can be budget friendly.
only pain drugs to worry about.
• Recipe of the day: For classic, diner-style hamburgers, smash the patties flat.
• The new generation of Japanese lodgings are neither the traditional ryokan inn nor Western hotel: They are restored samurai mansions, refit prehistorical huts or even Baja-esque beach camps.
• The Vietnam War, wealth, want and violence against the self: Our reviewer finds all those themes — and time crumpled up like a piece of paper — in “A Loving, Faithful Animal,” the Australian writer Josephine Rowe’s latest novel.
• Finally, we tracked how an invasion of Burmese pythons into Everglades National Park in Florida decimated wildlife, setting off a chain of events that puts humans at risk from encephalitis.
The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments last week in a case that could reshape American politics: whether extreme political gerrymandering violates the Constitution.
The practice of redrawing voting districts to gain political advantage is named after Elbridge Gerry, who as governor of Massachusetts signed a bill in 1812 creating a long, thin district designed to undermine Federalist candidates. An illustrator at a Boston dinner party is said to have drawn a picture of the district that looked like a salamander, and a political term was born.
Critics say the drawing of districts should be assigned to an independent or bipartisan commission, which some states and Australia, Britain, Canada and most of Europe have already done. (One exception is France, where the constitutionality of a 2010 redistricting was contested by lawmakers.)
A bill introduced in Congress this summer would create such a commission and would allow voters to rank lists of House candidates in order of preference instead of vote for only one.
One obstacle in the fight against gerrymandering is finding a way to measure it. The Supreme Court’s ruling in the Wisconsin case could invalidate maps in up to 20 other states, as well as expose at least a dozen House districts to court challenges.
Jennifer Jett contributed reporting.
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