From The New York Times:
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Chinese hackers renew attacks on U.S. entities, more violence in Kashmir pulls apart India and Pakistan, and the Roman Catholic Church prepares for its historic sexual abuse summit. Here’s the latest:
Dozens of American corporations and government agencies have been hit by attacks that have been attributed to Iran, according to analysts at the National Security Agency and the private security firm FireEye.
Those cyberattacks coincide with a renewed effort from China geared toward stealing trade and military secrets from U.S. military contractors and technology companies including Boeing, General Electric and T-Mobile, according to nine intelligence officials, private security researchers and lawyers familiar with the attacks.
Context: Cyberespionage from both Iran and China had cooled under former President Barack Obama, who spearheaded landmark agreements with both in 2015. The attacks spiked again after President Trump waged a trade war with Beijing and reneged on the Iran nuclear deal last year.
In Australia: Prime Minister Scott Morrison blamed a recent hack of Parliament’s computer network on a “sophisticated state actor,” raising the possibility of foreign interference in the country’s politics weeks before a national election. He did not identify the perpetrator, but the country has grown increasingly worried about Chinese influence.
Another angle: Despite the heightened tensions, the rate of Chinese tourists visiting Australia is surging. Our team followed one group of tourists as they toured the local attractions.
Decades after the crisis of clerical sexual abuse of minors first exploded into the public, victims of sexual abuse have arrived in Rome for a landmark meeting of Pope Francis and representatives of the world’s bishops’ conferences.
The victims will speak of their experiences during evening prayers.
Details: The meeting begins on Thursday, bringing together 190 participants from around the world, including 114 presidents of bishops’ conferences or their delegates and representatives from 14 Eastern churches.
At a Vatican news conference on Monday, bishops reiterated the themes of the meeting — accountability and transparency — and its focus on the abuse of minors.
Context: The meeting comes as more cases of sexual abuse emerge from the shadows, including the long-overshadowed abuse of nuns by priests.
A Times investigation found that the crisis even goes beyond abuse to the suppression and shaming of homosexual priests.
Over the weekend: Pope Francis expelled a former cardinal and archbishop of Washington from the priesthood after the church found him guilty of sexually abusing minors and adult seminarians. The former cardinal, Theodore McCarrick, was the first Catholic leader at that level to be defrocked for sexual abuse, a turning point in the Vatican’s approach toward the scandal.
Militants opened fire on an approaching army contingent, killing an Indian Army major and at least three other soldiers in the Pulwama District. Indian officials blamed the attack on Jaish-e-Mohammed, the separatist group that claimed responsibility for a bombing last week that killed dozens of Indian soldiers, the worst attack there in three decades.
The two episodes have ratcheted up tensions between India and Pakistan, breaking down diplomatic relations and sparking a wave of jingoism across India. India and Pakistan both recalled their ambassadors.
Background: Both India and Pakistan, nuclear-armed neighbors, claim large parts of Kashmir, which lies between them. They have fought two wars over the territory since partition in 1947.
Pakistan has a long history of supporting Kashmiri militants fighting for independence in the part India controls. Though Pakistan has formally banned Jaish-e-Mohammed, a listed terrorist organization, Indian and American officials have said the group still operates there, using alternative names.
What’s next? India has vowed to hit back. The country is headed into major elections in the next few months and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is unlikely to risk looking weak. But retaliation carries huge risks.
The Trump administration and the Venezuelan opposition have a new plan to weaken President Nicolás Maduro — getting desperately needed food and medicine into the country.
On Saturday, the two forces are set to unleash an ambitious, coordinated land-and-sea effort to get the supplies through Colombia, Brazil and Curaçao and into the hands of thousands of Venezuelans.
President Trump, at a rally in Florida, is expected to push Venezuela’s military to break ranks with Mr. Maduro and assist in accepting the aid.
Uncertainty: The opposition has not said how it would break past Mr. Maduro’s blockade, saying that releasing plans would allow him to stymie the effort. Some activists have suggested simply smuggling the aid in. Others say protestors from Venezuela could overrun soldiers.
Risk: Mr. Maduro has sent troops to the border, and tensions over the aid are high. One analyst warned of the possibility of “a hair-trigger moment.” And embracing Mr. Trump could make the opposition leader, Juan Guaidó, look like a U.S. puppet.
Facebook: After an 18-month investigation, a British parliamentary committee issued a scathing report accusing the social media company of breaking data privacy and competition laws. The report also urged new regulations to rein in the technology industry, including making internet companies legally liable for content on their platforms.
North Korea: A senior official known as Kim Jong-un’s “butler” began scouring hotels, factory sites and resorts in Vietnam in preparation for the second, highly anticipated summit meeting with President Trump in Hanoi next week.
Japan: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe refused to comment on reports that he had nominated President Trump for a Nobel Peace Prize, a move that his opponents said would be “shameful” if true.
Yemen: Houthi fighters have littered a million unmarked land mines across much of the country, stalling the onslaught of Saudi-backed forces but also killing as many as 920 civilians and wounded thousands of others, according to mine removal experts hired by the Saudis. The mines could kill or injure unsuspecting civilians for decades, as has been the case in Afghanistan, Colombia and Cambodia.
Pakistan: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with Prime Minister Imran Khan and pledged $20 billion worth of investments in the country — part of a broader effort to strengthen the kingdom’s ties to Asia as Western allies try to distance themselves from the crown prince.
Trump vs. Europe: Leaders and officials from across the continent, particularly Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, bemoaned the Trump administration’s distaste for the international order and warned that the U.S.’s increasing isolation was emboldening Russia and China.
Brexit: Wall Street’s biggest banks, including Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, are shifting their operations from London to European capitals, reshaping the financial industry across the continent.
Goa: The Indian coastal state was once an enclave for hippie Westerners who relished its laid-back culture. Now, the beachy destination is attracting a different crowd — India’s yuppies.
Thailand: A rapper in Bangkok created a group called Rap Against Dictatorship that uses the art to challenge the rule of the military junta. In late October, the group released a music video, “What My Country’s Got,” that logged 20 million views within a week. “It shows that even grass-roots people are tired and want change,” said the rapper, Nutthapong Srimuong.
Meg Ryan: The actor who starred in a string of romantic comedy hits from the late ’80s through the ’90s told our interviewer she decided to step out of the limelight “to live more.”
Tips for a more fulfilling life.
Jogging for 15 minutes a day, or walking or gardening for somewhat longer, could help fend off depression.
We get it, we’re all busy. But real, meaningful relationships thrive when they’re face-to-face. It’s as simple as making time for them.
Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” is one of the most popular operas ever written. It would have been pretty amazing to be at its premiere, which was given this week in 1904, right?
Undoubtedly — because it was one of the great fiascos in opera history.
The premiere, at the storied Teatro alla Scala in Milan, was often drowned out by what one critic described as “groans, roars, moos, laughs, bellows, sneers.” The New York Times reported that the opera had been “received rather coldly.”
Puccini compared the experience to a lynching. Some believed rivals had organized claques to embarrass him. Others cited the opera’s difficult subject matter: An unsympathetic American naval lieutenant impregnates and abandons a Japanese teenager, later driving her to suicide.
After several revisions — including a new remorseful aria to soften the lieutenant — “Butterfly” became a hit. (The challenge in staging it these days has more to do avoiding Orientalism and cultural appropriation.)
And in 2016, La Scala staged the rarely seen original version, in a symbolic act of contrition.
Michael Cooper, a Times reporter who covers classical music and dance, wrote today’s Back Story.
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The original content can be found here: China, the Vatican, Kashmir: Your Tuesday Briefing