That was Bill Shorten, the Australian opposition leader, commenting after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, above, tried to dismiss his governing Liberal Party’s 30th straight losing opinion poll (the same survey he used to justify forcing his predecessor from office in 2015).
Critics see no end to the insider gamesmanship of Canberra, and blame Mr. Turnbull and his party for a lack of leadership.
• European leaders were mostly silent after President Trump threatened to impose another $100 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods.
But our European financial reporter notes that the region’s economy is too intertwined with those of both the U.S. and China to allow the continent to watch the trade dispute from the sidelines — or to remain neutral if a full trade war breaks out.
China’s president, Xi Jinping, is expected to give a landmark economic speech in a few hours at the Boao Forum for Asia, a Davos-like meeting. He may offer a direct response to the tariff threats.
• Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, is on Capitol Hill for meetings ahead of two days of giving testimony to Congress.
His prepared remarks were released. They include a broad apology for letting the website be used as a conduit for fake news, election meddling, hate speech and privacy abuses.
Facebook has already started to notify up to 87 million people whose information, including location and liked pages, was swept up by the political data firm Cambridge Analytica. We reached out to some of them for reaction, which ranged from angry to unsurprised.
But some of the changes Facebook has made to refocus on “meaningful social interaction” has infuriated another group: its viral stars.
• China’s turn for #MeToo.
In 1998, Gao Yan, a promising student at a prestigious Chinese university, killed herself after telling friends that she had been raped by a professor.
Now, on the 20th anniversary of her death, her story is a battle cry for China’s fledgling effort to grapple with abuses against women.
Despite government censors’ efforts, millions of Chinese are sharing her story online.
• The biggest investor in Santos, an Australian energy company, said it would consider the $10.3 billion takeover bid from Harbour Energy.
• New U.S. projections put the federal government’s annual budget deficit at over $1 trillion in 2020, and the national debt at more than $33 trillion in 2028 — or 96 percent of gross domestic product, a higher level than any point since just after World War II.
In the News
• Countdown to talks with North Korea: President Trump said that he planned to meet Kim Jong-un in May or early June. [The New York Times]
• Lawyers for Geoffrey Rush say the Oscar-winning Australian actor is nearly housebound, suffering “ongoing hurt” over The Daily Telegraph’s reports that he engaged in inappropriate behavior with a fellow performer in a Sydney production of “King Lear.” Mr. Rush is suing for defamation. [ABC]
• Australia’s “60 Minutes” explained how “the bravery and conscience of a young whistle-blower” enabled it to shed light on a story it pursued for years: the hideous conditions in live animal transport to the Persian Gulf. [9News]
• Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has transformed Hungary into a semi-autocratic state, appears to have won a sweeping victory in national elections. [The New York Times]
• Pope Francis declared, in a major document issued by the Vatican, that caring for migrants and the poor is as holy a pursuit as opposing abortion. [The New York Times]
• “The Simpsons” conundrum: The long-running hit show’s latest episode finally addressed criticism that the character of Apu is an offensive Indian stereotype. The response was unsatisfying to many. [The New York Times]
Tips, both new and old, for a more fulfilling life.
• Resorts, cruise lines and other organizations are offering special programs to help hurricane-damaged islands.
• Prone to airsickness? Choose your seat wisely.
• Recipe of the day: Fried lemons and chile flakes perk up a simple bowl of pasta.
• East Timor, the poorest nation in Southeast Asia, is surrounded by magnificent, untouched marine life. The question is as clear as the water: How to both develop tourism and keep its pristine beauty?
• The use of antidepressants is surging in much of the developed world, accompanied by an unanticipated and growing problem: Many who try to quit say they cannot because of withdrawal symptoms they were never warned about.
• And a movable feast: While Bangkok decides whether it will, as it once pledged, ban its famed food vendors, here’s a very visual guide to the best street food offerings — fishballs and all.
Those were the words of William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, who was born on this day in 1829 in Nottingham, England. His organization now has missions around the world.
At 13, he went to work for a pawnbroker in a poor part of the city, which first opened his eyes to the needs around him. He had a conversion experience soon after and became a Methodist minister.
But Booth, above in 1859, preferred street evangelism and less conventional methods, and he formed the group that eventually became known as the Salvation Army. The group had military ranks (he was the general), uniforms, brass bands and female preachers, including Booth’s wife, Catherine.
On a visit to the United States, he said he wanted “to reach and benefit particularly saloonkeepers and inmates of houses of ill fame.”
Booth’s ways were controversial, however, and some of his children left the group.
His memorial service was an emotional gathering attended by tens of thousands in London in 1912. Dozens responded to an invitation for “sinners and backsliders” to come forward, and Booth might have been pleased with their description: “Most of the converts were of the type usually found at the Army meetings, but among them were several well-dressed persons.”
Sarah Anderson contributed reporting.
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