Parliament agrees to abolish Kashmir’s special status
A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party announced it would unilaterally scrap a constitutional provision meant to give Kashmir a high degree of autonomy, Indian lawmakers gave the plan their approval, as was widely expected.
The measure was welcomed by many Indians but drew mounting criticism from some analysts, who called it an attack on India’s secular identity.
Officials in Pakistan also condemned the move and vowed to “go to any extent” to help Kashmiris, but with a slowing economy at home, it was unclear how far they could go.
On the ground: Communication services in Kashmir remained suspended, tens of thousands of Indian soldiers were patrolling the streets and a curfew was in place, making it difficult to discern the reaction there.
Takeaway: Analysts worry that Mr. Modi’s party, which won an overwhelming majority in this year’s general elections, will use support for its Hindu nationalist ideology to push ahead with other polarizing issues. These include wiping out Muslim marriage and inheritance laws and building a Hindu temple in Ayodhya on the ruins of a Muslim mosque.
Separately: Sushma Swaraj, India’s former external affairs minister and a leader of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, died Tuesday at age 67.
In trade war, China risks the economy
President Xi Jinping’s decision to let the renminbi weaken past a key level this week highlighted his willingness to toe a hard line even at the risk of serious damage to the Chinese economy.
Mr. Xi’s strategy, which could run up a huge debt load without the growth to justify it, may indicate that he has few cards left to play. In some ways, it also mirrors President Trump’s approach: Both leaders rely on a political base that responds to nationalism, and both have chipped away at the liberal globalization agenda.
Impact: Amid the intensifying trade dispute and a slowing Chinese economy, many private businesses are running low on cash, functioning instead with the financial equivalent of I.O.U.s.
Diplomatic dispute: Beijing warned that it wouldn’t “stand idly by” if the U.S. deployed ground-based missiles to Asia, fueling fears of an arms race.
Related: An official in Beijing said on Tuesday that demonstrations in Hong Kong had “exceeded the scope of free assembly” and warned protesters not to mistake “restraint for weakness,” China’s sternest denunciation yet of the ongoing protests there.
America’s fight against domestic terrorism
The mass shooting in El Paso that killed 22 people over the weekend has made it glaringly clear that the U.S. is ill-prepared to fight homegrown terrorism, which is now as big a threat to the country as terrorism from abroad.
Law enforcement officials say preventing attacks from white supremacists would require the same tools they use against international extremists: the ability to monitor propaganda online to identify potential terrorists before they act and the ability to charge individuals with terrorism.
But the U.S. has no laws that criminalize domestic terrorism and offers individuals broad freedom of speech protections.
A quarter of humanity is running out of water
Seventeen countries that are home to one-fourth of the world’s population — from India to Iran to Botswana — are using almost all the water they have, according to a newly published report.
Many are arid countries to begin with. But some of them have big cities, like Chennai, Dhaka and Mexico City, that are squandering their supplies, the World Resources Institute says. Climate change, which makes the days hotter and rainfall more erratic, heightens the risks.
The fix: The report noted that a lot can be done to improve water management, including plugging leaks in distribution systems. Also, wastewater can be recycled and farmers can switch to less water-intensive crops — from rice to millet, for instance.
If you have 6 minutes, this is worth it
The bride, the groom and the Greek sunset
Many Chinese couples who plan to have traditional ceremonies back home turn to exotic, foreign settings for their pre-wedding photo shoots — from the Eiffel Tower in Paris to the English countryside — creating a multibillion-dollar business suited for the Instagram age.
Santorini, in particular, has become a sought-after backdrop, drawing entire teams of photographers, makeup crews and stylists.
Here’s what else is happening
Philippines: The country’s health department declared a national dengue epidemic, with at least 622 reported deaths and more than 146,000 cases of the mosquito-borne disease so far this year, almost twice as many as in the same period last year.
British Airways: The cabin of a flight from London to Valencia, Spain, this week filled with what appeared to be white smoke as it prepared for landing, leading to the evacuation of more than 170 passengers, with three taken to the hospital and released. The airline said it was investigating.
Tinder: The dating app, which lets users pay for ways to improve their search for love, said it added more than 500,000 paying subscribers worldwide in the last quarter, for a total of more than five million. According to one analytics firm, it has become the top-grossing nongaming app in the world.
Snapshot: Above, an all-girls team of volunteer firefighters in the village of Miejsce Odrzanskie, Poland. No boys have been born there in almost a decade, an anomaly that no one can quite explain.
Toni Morrison: The towering author, who in 1993 was the first African-American woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, died on Tuesday at age 88.
What we’re reading: This column in The Irish Times. “Fintan O’Toole offers a political stratagem in Northern Ireland that could upend Boris Johnson’s tenure as Britain’s prime minister and head off Brexit,” writes Kevin McKenna, a deputy business editor. “The provocative proposal reflects Ireland’s vital stake in the Brexit question.”
Now, a break from the news
Go: These nine cities, from Hong Kong to London to Venice, have cheap public transportation options that can offer sublime views.
Smarter Living: Limiting children’s screen time is easier said than done — especially in the face of screaming kids when it’s time to stop. Our Parenting site suggests setting a predictable time slot for screens, one early enough before bed that a different fun activity can follow. And set a timer the kids can see.
Also, our “Be a Better Reader Challenge” can help you find the right book and read it deeply this week.
And now for the Back Story on …
‘Beverly Hills, 90210’
Almost two decades after its initial run, “Beverly Hills, 90210” is back.
The popular drama, which chronicled teenagers living in the glossy L.A. ZIP code, tackled gritty subjects like drug abuse and teen pregnancy, and paved the way for angst-ridden teen dramas like “The O.C.” and “Gossip Girl.”
The series, created by Darren Starr and produced by the Hollywood legend Aaron Spelling, has spawned its own mini-universe: two spinoffs, two reboots and now the meta-revival of the first series.
In “BH90210,” many of the show’s original actors will play “heightened versions of themselves” as they band together to update the series that launched their careers. (The entire main cast is returning except for Luke Perry, who played bad boy Dylan McKay and died in March.)
The original show was infamous for its offscreen drama — actress Jennie Garth, who played Kelly Taylor, said the working environment was sometimes “worse than high school” — because of tensions and rivalries on set.
But don’t book your table at the Peach Pit just yet: “I’m a lifelong fan,” our critic Margaret Lyons writes in her “Watching” newsletter, “but this supposed-to-be-winky reincarnation just bummed me out.”
That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.
To Mark Josephson and Eleanor Stanford for the break from the news. Sanam Yar of the Styles desk wrote today’s Back Story. You can reach the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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• Choire Sicha, the Styles editor at The New York Times, describes his section’s purview as “social and generational change, money, gender, wealth, power, hair-dos and hair do nots, self-care and beauty.”