(New Zealand rebuked its second-ranking envoy to the U.S. after she tweeted that the Democratic Party needed to get its act together “or we will all die.”)
• Cold War-level tensions.
Prime Minister Theresa May suspended high-level contacts with Russia and expelled 23 Russian diplomats over the poisoning of a former Russian double agent on British soil. She vowed to crack down on Russian spies, corrupt elites and ill-gotten wealth in Britain.
Our correspondent explains why Moscow will never apologize for the attack on its former spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter.
Once asked what he could not forgive, President Vladimir Putin said “betrayal.” Above, Mr. Putin at a rally celebrating the fourth anniversary of his annexation of Crimea.
• In Melbourne, reporters were allowed for the first time to hear witness testimony against Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican’s third-highest-ranking priest, in a momentous sexual abuse case.
For the past 10 days, accusers testified via video conference in a closed court.
The hearing, which is expected to run for at least another week, will determine if he will stand trial.
• The land of the long white cloud.
That was the name given to New Zealand by Kupe, the first Polynesian to reach the then-uninhabited island in the 10th century. (The actual Maori word is Aotearoa.)
A group of sailors recently recreated his journey, steering double-hulled canoes, or waka hourua, on a four-week voyage.
It was the biggest fleet of waka to arrive in Wellington since the landing of Kupe, whose story was told at the opening night of a three-week arts and culture event that runs through Sunday.
• Boeing, which sends 80 percent of its commercial planes abroad, has emerged as perhaps the most vulnerable American target if nations retaliate against President Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum. Any loss of access to China, one of the fastest growing aircraft markets, could be especially challenging.
• China’s sovereign wealth fund sold its stake in Blackstone Group, the U.S. private equity giant, severing an early and enduring link between Wall Street and the Chinese government. Not disclosed: the reason for the sale, and its size.
• Xiamen Beibadao Group, a logistics company, was hit with China’s largest ever punishment for stock manipulation. Regulators fined it 5.5 billion yuan ($870 million), which they said represented six times the proceeds of the scheme.
• Elizabeth Holmes, the tarnished Silicon Valley star, will leave her blood-testing company Theranos and pay a $500,000 fine to settle fraud charges related to raising more than $700 million by falsely promoting a key product.
• Google is joining Facebook in banning advertising for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. (Together, the two account for the global majority of advertising on the internet in terms of revenue.)
In the News
• More than half a million Rohingya refugees in one Bangladeshi camp face looming disaster from floods and landslides when the impending storms of the monsoon season hit. [The New York Times]
• “No ethnic cleansing or genocide.” Rebutting sharp accusations from the U.N., the authorities in Myanmar insisted that no crimes had been committed against the country’s Rohingya minority. [The New York Times]
• A 75-year-old Australian who had posed as a missionary and a doctor was convicted of sexual offenses against young orphans. [The Hindu]
• A Chinese education agency accused Australia of blocking visas for Chinese graduate students. [Sydney Morning Herald]
• The Philippines plans to withdraw from the International Criminal Court. President Rodrigo Duterte said the court, which is investigating deaths tied to his drug crackdown, was painting him as a “heartless violator of human rights.” [The New York Times]
• United Airlines apologized after a dog died on a domestic U.S. flight in an overhead compartment, where its owner had reluctantly placed it on the orders of a flight attendant. [The New York Times]
• “I wanted my first kiss to be special.” The smooch of an aw-shucks teenager, delivered by the superstar Katy Perry on “American Idol,” turned out to be far from a sweet pop-culture moment. [The New York Times]
Tips, both new and old, for a more fulfilling life.
• Here’s how to protect a laptop after it’s been stolen.
• For heart disease patients, think exercise, not weight loss.
• Recipe of the day: Keep dinner comforting with a recipe for chicken and rice.
• “The truth can be hard to look at,” reads the introduction to an exhibit in London of images from the world’s hot spots by five New York Times freelance photographers. “But we ignore our neighbors’ misery at our own peril.”
• Finally, some early human resilience: The largest volcanic eruption of the last two million years, about 74,000 years ago, didn’t wipe out humanity. Instead, a new study suggests, our ancestors thrived in its aftermath.
It was an offer that the Times film critic Vincent Canby couldn’t refuse.
“The Godfather,” which opened in New York on this day in 1972, was “one of the most brutal and moving chronicles of American life ever designed within the limits of popular entertainment,” he wrote in his review.
The adaptation of Mario Puzo’s best-selling 1969 novel was directed by a young Francis Ford Coppola. He was selected after numerous other directors turned down the job, and in part for his Italian heritage.
The saga of the Corleones, an organized crime family in New York in the 1940s and ’50s, “The Godfather” became an almost instant classic. It was the top-earning film of 1972 and remains one of the highest-grossing (and most critically acclaimed) movies of all time.
Nominated for 10 Academy Awards in 1973, “The Godfather” won three, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Marlon Brando, who played Vito Corleone, the family’s aging patriarch. Brando famously declined to accept the award as a protest against Hollywood’s portrayal of Native Americans.
“The Godfather” was “a superb Hollywood movie,” Canby wrote in 1972, “scaring the delighted hell out of us while cautioning that crime doesn’t (or, at least, shouldn’t) pay.”
Chris Stanford contributed reporting.
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