An outbreak worsens as doctors try to dodge attacks
In the past two months, an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo has become the second-largest ever recorded. More than 1,100 people have died, according to the World Health Organization, although aid groups say the death toll is far higher.
After some early success, including a new vaccine, efforts to combat the epidemic have been hobbled by attacks on treatment centers and health workers, and by mistrust of the government and international medical experts.
When treatment centers were attacked and a doctor killed, front-line health workers suspended their work. Some aid groups have pulled personnel from areas where Ebola has hit hardest.
Quotable: “The new protocol is that we just abandon the body,” said a member of one Ebola response team. “They will learn their lesson when they get sick.”
Trump-related transactions raised red flags
Anti-money-laundering specialists at Deutsche Bank recommended in 2016 and 2017 that transactions connected to President Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, be reported to a federal financial crimes watchdog.
But executives at the German bank, which has lent billions of dollars to the Trump and Kushner companies, never filed employees’ reports with the government. The employees said it was part of a pattern of executives rejecting reports to protect relationships with lucrative clients.
How we know: Five current and former bank employees detailed the cases, which involved transactions that set off alerts in a computer system designed to detect illicit activity. At least some of those transactions involved money flowing back and forth overseas. (Red flags do not necessarily make the transactions improper: Real estate developers like Mr. Trump and Mr. Kushner sometimes do large, all-cash deals, including with people outside the U.S.)
Response: A spokeswoman for the Trump Organization said the family businesses had “no knowledge of any ‘flagged’ transactions with Deutsche Bank.”
Background: Deutsche Bank was the only mainstream financial institution that remained consistently willing to do business with Mr. Trump. That relationship is under investigation, and the president has sued to block the bank from complying with congressional subpoenas.
E.P.A. math change could make pollution deaths vanish
The Environmental Protection Agency plans to adopt a method for projecting the health risks of air pollution that would lower its estimate of premature deaths under a proposed rule on emissions from coal plants.
The methodology, which five current or former agency officials described to The Times, could be used by the Trump administration to defend further rollbacks of air pollution rules.
It’s not unusual for an administration to use accounting changes to make its decisions look better, but experts said the new method has never been peer-reviewed and is not scientifically sound.
Response: William Wehrun, the E.P.A. air quality chief, said in an interview that the new method would be part of the agency’s final analysis of the Affordable Clean Energy rule, which is expected next month.
Australia’s China challenge
Australia, which has a growing ethnic Chinese population and strong economic ties to China, has become a case study in Beijing’s attempts to steer debate and influence policy inside a democratic trading partner.
Representatives of Beijing routinely lobby Australian politicians, and China and its supporters have sought to suppress criticism in the Australian news media.
Why it matters: Many countries face the same challenge from China, which is pushing its authoritarian agenda around the world.
Catch up: Scott Morrison, Australia’s conservative prime minister, scored a surprise victory in federal elections over the weekend, propelled by a populist wave resembling the force that has upended politics in the U.S., Britain and beyond.
If you have 20 minutes, this is worth it
New York’s predatory taxi industry
Over the past year, a spate of suicides by taxi drivers in New York City has highlighted the overwhelming debt of those with medallions, the coveted permit for yellow cab ownership. Officials have blamed competition from ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft.
But a Times investigation found that a few industry leaders artificially inflated the price of taxi medallions, creating a bubble that eventually burst.
Here’s what else is happening
Middle East peace plan: President Trump and Jared Kushner announced on Sunday that the U.S. would hold an “economic workshop” in Bahrain next month, hoping that investment and financial incentives would encourage the Palestinians and other Arabs to resolve the conflict with Israel.
India’s election: According to exit polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi appeared headed for re-election after more than five weeks of parliamentary voting. Official results are expected on Thursday.
Test of populism in Europe: Many far-right leaders see this week’s elections for the European Parliament as a chance to expand their power in Brussels.
“Game of Thrones”: The series is over, but the arguments are just beginning. Find out who rules and who rests in peace in our recap of Sunday’s finale.
What we’re reading: This guide from The Washington Post, recommended by Anna Holland, an editor in London. “I loved seeing where ambassadors go to eat in Washington when they miss home,” she writes. “I left New Mexico nearly 15 years ago, but my hunt for proper enchiladas (stacked, with red chile and a fried egg) continues.”
Now, a break from the news
Smarter Living: Everyone has cherished grudges, but they don’t do you any good. You free yourself from stress and unhappiness when you give them up. Think about what set off the grudge. Create mental space between what happened and your reaction. And try telling the story in a way where you’re more of a hero and less of a victim.
And next time you’re doing laundry, spice up your folding techniques.
And now for the Back Story on …
The world’s third-largest economy
Japan released new quarterly growth data today. In a surprise, the economy expanded, despite sluggishness in China.
The country has enjoyed several years of modest growth, but China’s slowdown is dragging Japanese export figures down. The trade war between Washington and Beijing could make things worse.
In the 1980s, Japan was in China’s place: an upstart powerhouse vying with the U.S. to be the world’s largest economy.
Watching the trade war from Tokyo, there’s a strong sense of déjà vu and relief that President Trump, preoccupied by China, hasn’t put much muscle behind his threats to impose tariffs on Japanese automobiles.
Japan just has to keep him happy. Mr. Trump is set to arrive in Tokyo on Saturday to meet the new emperor, Naruhito.
During the visit, Mr. Trump is expected to talk trade with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The leaders have previously bonded over their love of golf.
That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.
To Mike Ives and Inyoung Kang for filling in last week. Mark Josephson, Eleanor Stanford and Kenneth R. Rosen provided the break from the news. Ben Dooley, our Japan business correspondent, wrote today’s Back Story. You can reach the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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