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Good morning. Britain makes plans for an extreme Brexit, a medieval Italian town embraces space tourism and robot hands mimic the real thing.
Here’s the latest:
• Empty supermarket shelves. Trucks piled up at ports. The military on standby.
Those are some of the dire possibilities raising alarms in Britain after the government released plans for a “no deal” departure from the E.U., should Brexit talks fail to produce an agreement.
For months, Brexit supporters have urged Prime Minister Theresa May, above, to prepare for such a scenario to strengthen her negotiating position with the bloc. But to the public, the official warning documents being published for businesses and consumers sound ominously reminiscent of rationing during World War II.
Meanwhile, Britain’s new foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, was in Beijing to try to strengthen trade with China as Brexit plans unfold. In a public gaffe, Mr. Hunt called his Chinese-born wife Japanese during a discussion with his counterpart.
• The case against Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, isn’t about Russia, but it will loom large as his trial starts today.
Mr. Manafort faces financial fraud charges stemming largely from his work as a political consultant in Ukraine before the Trump campaign. The threat of conviction could lead him to cooperate with the special counsel’s investigation into Russian election interference. Here’s what’s at stake.
In his lobbying on behalf of Ukraine, Mr. Manafort worked closely with Alan Friedman, an American who is a media celebrity in Italy.
In other Washington news, Mr. Trump said that he would be willing to meet with President Hassan Rouhani of Iran with “no preconditions.” But Tehran had already said such talks would be impossible under what it called the Trump administration’s hostile policies.
• “Luc wouldn’t stop.”
That’s Sand Van Roy, above, an actress who accuses the French filmmaker Luc Besson of sexual abuse. Mr. Besson is considered as important a cinematic figure as Harvey Weinstein once was in American film. So when allegations of sexual abuse against Mr. Besson came to light in May, some thought France would have its #MeToo moment.
Reaction in French film circles has been muted: There was no industry housecleaning, no rallying cry for change. It was another example of how #MeToo has played out differently in France.
• A medieval Italian town is getting ready for liftoff.
Known for its handmade ceramics, Grottaglie is home to one of Virgin Galactic’s launchpads for suborbital flights. For $250,000, space tourists can take in vistas of the curvature of the Earth and experience minimum gravity for about five minutes.
On Monday, Italy’s prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, used a news conference with President Trump at the White House to talk about “launching, as soon as possible, new planes that, crossing the atmosphere, will be able to connect Italy and the United States in an hour and a half.”
“No one’s laughing anymore,” said Michele Emiliano, the region’s president.
• Inside the world’s top artificial intelligence labs, researchers are getting closer to creating robotic hands that can mimic the real thing. Our tech reporters paid a visit to learn how it all works — and you can see the robot hands in action in their article.
• How do you fix social media’s big problems? Lawmakers on both sides of the Atlantic are attempting to jump-start policy conversations in a bid to tackle the issues.
• Leslie Moonves, the chief executive of CBS, is staying on while the company investigates allegations of sexual misconduct.
• Here’s a snapshot of global markets.
In the News
• In Northern California, thousands of people who fled the deadly Carr Fire are unsure when they will be able to return home, or if they even still have one. “All that matters is we’re alive,” one resident said. [The New York Times]
• Britain’s Supreme Court ruled that if the family and doctors agree, they do not need a court’s permission to remove life support for a patient in a persistent vegetative state. [The New York Times]
• An official Malaysian investigation into the fate of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared four years ago, was unable to determine what happened to the plane. [The New York Times]
• The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the killing of four American and European cyclists who were intentionally run down by a car in Tajikistan over the weekend. [The New York Times]
• “Love Island,” the reality show that has enthralled Britain, has a winner: Jack Fincham and Dani Dyer were crowned king and queen of the villa. No one was shocked. [The Guardian]
Tips for a more fulfilling life.
• Mars is frigid, rusty and haunted, and yet we can’t stop looking at it. Our reporter looks at a series of recent discoveries that has refreshed our yearning for the red planet.
• It’s dog vs. cat on the internet, and our souls may be at stake. In a new episode of her video series “Internetting With Amanda Hess,” the host investigates how dogs seem to be moving in on cat territory as the mascot of our online lives.
• An endangered salamander may have a fighting chance thanks to Dominican nuns in Mexico. The nuns support themselves by selling cough syrup made from achoques, and the thriving colony at their convent may be critical to the salamanders’ prospects in the wild.
Fifty years ago today, Charles M. Schulz introduced the first black character in his long-running comic strip, “Peanuts.”
The character, named Franklin, was created after a teacher in Los Angeles named Harriet Glickman wrote to Mr. Schulz after the death of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King a few months before.
“I’ve been asking myself what I can do to help change those conditions in our society which led to the assassination and which contribute to the vast sea of misunderstanding, hate, fear and violence,” she wrote.
She proposed that Mr. Schulz add a black character to his popular comic.
Mr. Schulz was initially hesitant, worried that black parents might think he was condescending. But he eventually wrote back to Glickman, “I have drawn an episode which I think will please you.”
Franklin was met by praise from many, but a few newspapers in the South refused to run the strip.
Mr. Schulz later recalled: “I did get one letter from one Southern editor who said something about ‘I don’t mind you having a black character, but please don’t show them in school together.’ But I didn’t even answer him.”
Adriana Lacy wrote today’s Back Story.
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