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Good morning. Typhoon Mangkhut’s march of destruction, China’s small but tenacious #MeToo movement and a new marathon world record.
• Typhoon Mangkhut starts to weaken, leaving behind a path of destruction.
After ripping through the Philippines and Hong Kong, the storm is pelting its way through southern China. The authorities said hundreds of thousands had evacuated to safety from Guangdong, China’s most populous province, but at least two people there died in the storm.
Mangkhut, which at one point was 550 miles wide and more than six miles tall, unleashed its greatest force in the Philippines. An unofficial count indicates that 59 people have died, but the authorities fear that the toll could surpass 100 as rescue missions try to dig up people buried under landslides.
In Hong Kong, a city that is built to withstand frequent typhoons, the storm rattled buildings, uprooted trees and grounded hundreds of flights. Above, rescue workers wading through a flooded street there.
Meanwhile Florence, which has weakened to a tropical depression, slammed into the Carolina coast in the U.S. as a Category 1 hurricane, leaving at least 14 people dead and hundreds of thousands without power.
And today’s word is eyewall: It’s a band of clouds that encircles the calm center of the storm, known as the eye. The eyewall is usually the most dangerous part of a storm, with the strongest winds and the heaviest rainfall. Here’s a 3-D look inside Mangkhut’s eyewall.
• #MeToo in the monastery.
The Venerable Xuecheng, arguably one of the most important monks in China, has been accused of lewdness toward nuns and financial misconduct.
Xuecheng, above, played a big part in the revival of Buddhism in China. In 2004 he took over Longquan Temple, which sits just outside Beijing, and turned it into the country’s most socially active temple. He was also the head of the Communist Party-run Buddhist Association of China.
But in recent weeks, he has been stripped of his titles and banished to a small temple in his home province of Fujian, a rapid fall from grace and a rare instance of a politically powerful figure felled by the country’s small #MeToo movement.
• North and South Korea take a step closer.
The two countries opened their first joint liaison office in the North Korean border town of Kaesong.
It is the first full-time, person-to-person communication channel between the two Koreas, yet another sign of their rapidly improving relationship. Until now, the only form of communication between the two nations, which have technically been at war for decades, was telephone hotlines. Above, North and South Korean officials at the opening ceremony.
South Korean officials said the new facility would reduce the chances of dangerous misunderstandings at the heavily armed border and serve as a venue for meetings.
• Paul Manafort agrees to talk.
With all the storm coverage, you may have missed this crucial development in the Russia investigation of the special counsel, Robert Mueller.
Mr. Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, above, pleaded guilty to two conspiracy charges and agreed to answer any questions from the government “fully, truthfully, completely and forthrightly.”
His cooperation could help Mr. Mueller determine how much, if anything, the Trump campaign knew about Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. Mr. Manafort is now the fifth Trump aide to plead guilty to federal charges, and the one with arguably the deepest ties to Russian operatives and oligarchs.
In other U.S. news, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, has been accused of sexually assaulting a woman more than 30 years ago during a high school party. “I thought he might inadvertently kill me,” she said.
• More cashierless stores are coming. The start-up behind the first completely automated store in San Francisco, pictured above — Standard Cognition — has raised $11.2 million in funding and plans to partner with four retail chains around the world.
• Shares of Nio, China’s rival to Tesla founded just four years ago, surged by over 75 percent in its second day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange last week.
• Coming this week: Germany’s first hydrogen-powered trains roll into service and HBO will compete with streaming services for the most wins at this year’s Emmy Awards. Here are the other headlines you should watch for.
• Eliud Kipchoge, a 33-year-old Kenyan widely regarded as the world’s best distance runner, above, broke the world record by finishing the Berlin Marathon in 2 hours 1 minute 39 seconds, shaving more than a minute off the previous record.
• The U.S., which used to be one of the largest donors of aid to the Palestinian territories, is changing tack under the Trump administration and blocking millions of dollars of funds for peace and reconciliation efforts in the West Bank and Gaza. [The New York Times]
• Male tennis players are penalized more often for verbal abuses than female tennis players, according to an analysis of Grand Slam data from the past two decades. [The New York Times]
• Bhutan, the tiny Himalayan nation between India and China that went from royal rule to a democracy in 2008, had its third-ever elections this weekend. [The South China Morning Post]
• The world’s oldest brewery was discovered in a cave in Israel after researchers found residue from 13,000-year-old beer. [BBC]
• Australia’s fruit sabotage saga: Customers have found pins or needles in their strawberries, prompting supermarkets to pull the fruit from their shelves. [The Sydney Morning Herald]
Tips for a more fulfilling life.
• Plants may seem like passive members of the ecosystem, with no eyes, ears, mouths and brains. But when they’re attacked, they do relay warning messages from leaf to leaf that trigger defense mechanisms, one study found. Above, danger signals flowing through a plant.
• Dead goat polo, bone tossing, bare-chested horseback wrestling. These are some of the sports at the World Nomad Games, a brutal competition in Kyrgyzstan that aims to resurrect nomadic traditions that have faded.
• Girls can be anything they want to be but boys must be strong, athletic and stoic. That’s according to a recent poll exploring the gender attitudes of 1,000 children and teenagers in the U.S.
The main body of the cathedral was completed in 1258 and, as noted by one of the suspects in an interview on Russian TV, “It’s famous for its 123-meter spire.” (That’s equivalent to 404 feet, making it the tallest church spire in Britain.)
The cathedral contains the best-preserved of the four original copies of Magna Carta, the 13th-century document to restrict the powers of the king.
The cathedral has also featured widely in literature and art, particularly in the work of the landscape painter John Constable.
Chris Stanford wrote today’s Back Story.
Correction: Friday’s briefing referred incorrectly to the Chinese actress Fan Bingbing on second reference. It is Ms. Fan, not Ms. Bingbing.
And the Back Story in last Tuesday’s briefing gave an incorrect date for the debut of McCormick’s Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend. It was first marketed in the 1930s, not the 1950s.
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