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Good morning. Protests in Australia, a heat wave in Japan and the lighter side of China’s tech craze. Here’s what you need to know:
• President Trump claims vindication.
In a series of Twitter posts, Mr. Trump claimed without evidence that his administration’s release of top-secret documents related to the surveillance of Carter Page, a former campaign aide, had confirmed that the Justice Department and the F.B.I. “misled the courts” in the early stages of the investigation into Russian election meddling.
Mr. Trump has long sought to discredit the investigation, seeing it as an attempt to undermine the legitimacy of his election. Above, the president on Friday, a day before his administration disclosed the documents.
• Russia has asked the U.S. to release Maria Butina, above, saying prosecutors’ accusations that she infiltrated U.S. political organizations as a covert Russian agent were “fabricated.”
In Washington, Republican lawmakers grappling with the fallout from President Trump’s disastrous meeting last week with President Vladimir Putin are facing a troubling new charge: complicity.
“We have indulged myths and fabrications, pretended it wasn’t so bad, and our indulgence got us the capitulation in Helsinki,” said Senator Jeff Flake, Republican of Arizona.
• A dangerous homecoming.
After more than a year in exile, Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum returned to Afghanistan, facing criminal charges of rape and kidnapping, as well as accusations of human rights abuses and killing his first wife.
An array of top officials met his plane and gave him safe passage — not to jail, but to his office and home. (He remains the country’s first vice president.)
Moments after he left the airport, a suicide bomber attacked, killing 20 people, including nine members of General Dostum’s security detail, and wounding 90 others.
• Don’t trust the robot waiter with the soup.
Many Chinese are embracing technology full tilt, our Hong Kong-based technology correspondent reports, no matter how questionable or eccentric.
Plenty of it doesn’t actually work. Still, he notes, the exuberance may be a good thing, as useful products find their place and bad ones disappear.
• Fukushima’s nuclear signature was found in California wine, though the levels of radioactive particles were too low to be of concern.
• Dispatch from Sevnica, Slovenia: In the hometown of the first lady, Melania Trump, shopkeepers brand everything from slippers to salami with her name.
• Among this week’s headlines to watch for: Tech giants including Alphabet, Facebook, Amazon and Twitter announce earnings, and the U.S. trade representative plans a hearing on Tuesday to discuss tariffs on $16 billion in Chinese products.
• China may have saved “Skyscraper” from collapsing. The disaster drama, which is set in Hong Kong and features Dwayne Johnson alongside a number of Asian actors, collected $75 million internationally this weekend, led by $45 million in China. In the U.S., the revenge action film “Equalizer 2” ruled.
• Here’s a snapshot of global markets.
• In Japan, 11 more people died of suspected heatstroke over the weekend as a record heat wave grips the country. Many cities are seeing their highest temperatures ever, with no reprieve forecast until Thursday. [The Japan Times]
• President Xi Jinping of China has begun an Africa tour with stops in Senegal, Rwanda, South Africa and Mauritius. [Al Jazeera]
• More than 50,000 people in the Philippines have been arrested for offenses as trivial as drinking in public or being outdoors without a shirt, as the country’s brutal drug war expands. [The New York Times]
• A 15-year-old Indonesian girl who was raped by her brother was sentenced to six months in prison for having an abortion. The brother received a two-year prison sentence for having sex with a minor. [A.P.]
• India dropped its 12 percent tax on menstrual hygiene products after months of campaigning by activists. [BBC]
• Margaret Thatcher’s teddy bears: Newly released private documents revealed some lesser-known aspects of the life and times of the British prime minister. [The New York Times]
Tips for a more fulfilling life.
• Walk and crawl inside the Thai cave. This augmented reality project allows you to experience the obstacles the rescuers faced, like crawling through a two-foot opening, to get to where the 12 boys and their coach awaited escape.
• In memoriam. Shinobu Hashimoto, 100, a screenwriter who collaborated with Akira Kurosawa on classic Japanese films like “Rashomon” and “Seven Samurai”; Jonathan Gold, 57, a renowned food critic who explored Los Angeles’s immigrant communities, and won a Pulitzer Prize for criticism.
• The road to marriage isn’t getting any easier for Princess Mako of Japan. The man she plans to marry is already a top subject in tabloid magazines, and now the Japanese government is taking issue with calling him her “fiancé.”
The film is based on “Nothing Lasts Forever,” Roderick Thorp’s 1979 novel about a Los Angeles office building that is overrun by German terrorists on Christmas Eve. The book, which was itself inspired by the film “The Towering Inferno,” was a sequel to Thorp’s 1966 novel “The Detective.”
Since Frank Sinatra had starred in the film adaptation of “The Detective,” the role in “Die Hard” was his to take. But Sinatra, who was then in his early 70s, declined. The filmmakers went to a number of movie stars, including Richard Gere and Clint Eastwood, before turning to Willis, who was best known at the time for the TV comedy “Moonlighting.”
The film set a new tone for summer blockbusters and provokes an annual debate over whether it’s a Christmas movie (Willis says it isn’t). Either way, fans are glad that, in the words of Willis’s character, John McClane, he “got invited to the Christmas party by mistake.”
Jennifer Jett wrote today’s Back Story.
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