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Efforts to get aid into Venezuela descend into violence, Kim Jong-un and President Trump prepare for their second conference and Hollywood suits up for the Oscars. Here’s the latest:
Venezuelan aid standoff turns deadly
At least two people were killed and 15 were injured in violent clashes along the country’s borders with Colombia and Brazil as opposition activists, led by Juan Guaidó, tried to clear the way for humanitarian aid to enter the country.
The Venezuela National Guard, which has so far remained loyal to President Nicolás Maduro, fired tear gas and live ammunition at the groups. Only a smattering of aid made it through.
Context: Food and medicine is desperately needed in the country, where a worsening economic and political crisis has left many basics unavailable.
Getting the aid into Venezuela would have been a signal that Mr. Maduro’s grip on power was loosening, and would have been a symbolic victory for Mr. Guaidó, who declared himself the legitimate president of Venezuela last month.
U.S. and North Korea prepare for second summit meeting
North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, is en route from the capital city of Pyongyang to Vietnam, where he will meet with President Trump on Wednesday to discuss the North’s nuclear weapons program.
Mr. Kim has chosen a vintage mode of travel: a train journey south through China, followed by a winding, mountainous road trip to Hanoi.
Mr. Kim’s own jet is a decades-old Soviet-made plane that is short of spare parts. But borrowing a plane from China, as he did for his last meeting with President Trump, in Singapore, showcases North Korea’s reliance on China.
The U.S. perspective: The discussions in Hanoi, the Vietnamese capital, will be a major test of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s leadership. He must prevent Mr. Trump from undermining any U.S. leverage over North Korea, while remaining in the president’s good graces.
Goal: After the last summit meeting, Mr. Trump declared that “there is no longer a nuclear threat” from North Korea, a statement U.S. intelligence agencies disputed. This time, the U.S. is trying to extract a timetable for denuclearization.
China’s entrepreneurs lose confidence
The business elite that fueled so much of the country’s economic growth are increasingly worried that Beijing won’t pursue the liberalization needed to keep the momentum going.
Since President Xi Jinping took over the Communist Party in 2012, control of every aspect of society — including the private sector — has increased. Some entrepreneurs have been “disappeared” by the government to assist in the anticorruption campaigns.
Our New New World columnist, Li Yuan, found that pessimism is so high that some businesspeople are drawing comparisons to Venezuela, where government control of the economy ruined its prospects.
By the numbers: Only a third of China’s rich people say they are confident in the country’s future, according to a recent study by a Shanghai-based research firm. Nearly half of the hundreds of wealthy individuals surveyed said they were considering migrating or have already begun the process.
Economics and trade: China’s economy is slowing, and the trade war with the U.S. has further pinched growth. President Trump says that he two sides are moving closer to an agreement and that he will meet with Mr. Xi in Florida next month to hammer out final details.
And the Oscar goes to …
The Academy Awards will kick off shortly and we’ll bring you live coverage of the ceremony at nytimes.com.
Predictions: Our awards season columnist believes the Netflix film “Roma” will go home with the best picture prize. Here’s a list of all of his forecasts.
Here’s what else is happening
The Vatican: Pope Francis, closing out a landmark meeting on clerical sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church, called for “an all-out battle against the abuse of minors” but didn’t offer the concrete policies demanded by many of the faithful.
Saudi Arabia: The kingdom appointed a princess as its new ambassador to the U.S., the first time a woman has been named to such a post. The move seemed aimed at hitting reset on relations between the two countries, which soured over the killing of the dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
India-Pakistan: Seven decades after the British divided India to create Pakistan, the first museum devoted to the chaos that followed — mass migration, murders, riots and rapes — opened in Amritsar, a city near the border. Curating its exhibits was fraught with risks for the eyewitnesses interviewed and for religious minorities in India.
Japan: The country is combating the worst measles outbreak in years, with a total of 167 cases reported as of Feb. 10, according to health officials. Many of the cases were people connected to a religious group that promotes alternative healing and avoids vaccinations.
Afghanistan: A U.N. report released amid peace talks shows that 2018 was the single deadliest year for civilians in the war-torn country, with children dying in record numbers last year. Roughly two-thirds of the civilian casualties were attributed to operations by insurgent groups, primarily the Taliban and the Islamic State, and 24 percent to Afghan and American forces.
The U.S. dollar: Despite a ballooning public debt and fractured politics, the dollar has remained supreme around the world, enhancing President Trump’s ability to dictate foreign policy and trade deals.
Sex trafficking: A vast investigation in Florida and New York uncovered a multimillion-dollar prostitution operation in which women who the police believe were brought from China on false promises of jobs were trapped in brothels sometimes visited by the rich and famous.
Australia: A billionaire businessman and well-connected political donor, Chau Chak Wing, won a defamation case against Fairfax Media over a 2015 report linking him to an international bribery scandal involving a former top U.N. official. Mr. Chau was awarded about $200,000 in damages, but Fairfax Media said it would appeal.
R. Kelly: The R&B singer was charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving four women, three of whom had been minors at the time. He resolved several earlier such cases with nondisclosure agreements, but his actions have come under fresh scrutiny after BuzzFeed and a recent six-part documentary, “Surviving R. Kelly,” reported on his apparent sex cult.
Charles Dickens: The famed novelist and journalist not only sought to banish his wife of two decades, Catherine, after their separation in 1858 but also tried to have her imprisoned in an asylum, in an attempt to maintain a tight control over his image, according to newly revealed letters.
Tips for a more fulfilling life.
Digital wellness: Are you addicted to your smartphone? Our tech columnist decided to kick his habit. Here’s how he did it.
Remodeling? Software, like free floor-plan apps and augmented-reality tools, could help you sketch out your ideas.
One edition of our Friday Morning Briefing included a photograph of the actor Sidney Poitier standing in front of the Apollo Theater and said that he was in Midtown Manhattan.
Sharp-eyed readers asked whether we didn’t mean Harlem, where the storied theater on 125th Street has been a cultural institution for the African-American community in New York City and beyond for 85 years.
Chris Stanford, on the briefings team, wrote today’s Back Story.
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