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Good morning. President Trump’s signature phrase, Beijing’s turnaround on tech and a soccer star shatters barriers. Here’s what you need to know:
• The U.S. has an “unprecedented opportunity” when President Trump meets soon with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un.
Those were the words of Mike Pompeo, who spoke beside Mr. Trump at his ceremonial swearing-in as the new U.S. secretary of state. The president, noting the applause, said it was “more spirit than I’ve heard from the State Department in a long time.”
On other issues, Mr. Trump has a go-to line: “We’ll see what happens.” He’s used it more than two dozen times in the past month, and on issues ranging from trade clashes with Europe and China to negotiations with North Korea and Iran.
Those who study his speech patterns are starting to wonder: What happens when we finally see what happens?
• Beijing is changing its tune on big tech.
As President Xi Jinping starts his second term, the Chinese government, which once viewed the internet as a threat to its stranglehold on information, is increasingly viewing ambitious titans like Tencent and Alibaba as useful partners.
But as the Trump administration moves to counter China’s tech prowess, Beijing’s tighter grip could pose a threat to the country’s competitiveness, and to the innovation that has made Chinese tech firms global heavyweights.
Meanwhile, a top U.S. trade delegation heads to China this week armed with tough talk about Beijing’s trade practices, but with little consensus about what concessions the U.S. should demand.
• In Israel, a new law giving the prime minister and defense minister the authority to go to war without cabinet approval is drawing criticism that it concentrates too much power in the hands of a few.
The law’s passing was initially overshadowed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s dramatic news conference the same night on a huge cache of stolen Iranian nuclear plans.
Israel says the plans prove that Iran was lying for years about its nuclear program. The claim has been embraced by the Trump administration, in a stark divergence from its European allies.
• Sri Lankans were all set to celebrate Vesak — the holiday this week commemorating Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death — when the government stepped in.
The celebrations had become too indulgent, a state directive warned. The commemoration should be a time for prayer and meditation, not fun and games.
In the end, a compromise was reached, but not before the government had made its point about excess and garish displays.
“We want people to focus on Lord Buddha’s birth, the spirituality,” one Buddhist said. “This shouldn’t become a Mickey Mouse religion.”
• Mohamed Salah is European soccer’s breakout star this season, scoring 43 goals in 48 games and helping Liverpool F.C. reach its first Champions League final in more than a decade.
His Muslim faith — and his unabashed public displays of it — have also made him a figure of considerable significance. At a time of rising Islamophobia in Britain, Mr. Saleh, is not just accepted, but adored. (He is already a star in his native Egypt.)
“He is someone who embodies Islam’s values and wears his faith on his sleeve,” said an official at the Muslim Council of Britain. “He is not the solution to Islamophobia, but he can play a major role.”
• In Libya, gunmen stormed the electoral commission in Tripoli, killing at least six people. The Islamic State claimed responsibility. [The New York Times]
• Riot police in South Korea clashed with activists trying to erect a statue symbolizing the plight of Koreans forced to work in Japan during the colonial era. [The Asahi Shimbun]
• A judge in Myanmar said he would accept evidence from a police captain who testified about a plan to entrap two Reuters reporters arrested in December. [The New York Times]
• Fourteen of the world’s 20 most polluted cities are in India, according to the World Health Organization. [BBC]
• The Philippines is one of the top recruiting pools for U.S. school districts facing budget cuts and teacher shortages. [The New York Times]
• A humpback whale baby boom: Pregnancy rates in oceans near Antarctica are high, according to a study that shows the species is rebounding. [The New York Times]
Tips, both new and old, for a more fulfilling life.
• Traveling the U.S. is a great way to learn about civil rights.
• How to handle an old boss who won’t let go.
• Recipe of the day: Flavorful salmon in 20 minutes.
• Ecstasy may help soldiers: A study suggests that therapy combined with the drug MDMA could be useful when traditional treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder have failed.
The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam opened as a museum 58 years ago today.
And while currently more than 1.2 million visitors flock to the museum every year, back in the 1950s the canal house was on the verge of being demolished.
The institution was saved from demolition by the Anne Frank Foundation, founded in 1957 to preserve the place where Anne Frank wrote her diary.
Together with her parents, sister, and four others, Anne lived in the annex of the canal house from July 1942 until August 1944, when they were arrested during a Nazi raid. (It’s still unclear who betrayed the family to the Nazis, but an F.B.I. agent reopened the case in 2017.)
The museum is currently renovating to prepare for a new generation of visitors. The Anne Frank House is one of multiple institutions that hopes to educate younger people about the Holocaust and anti-Semitism.
The museum faces a practical challenge: The tiny, cramped attic can accommodate only so many people at once.
Otto Frank — Anne’s father and the only member of the family to survive the Holocaust — attended the opening in 1960, saying he hoped that the museum would be a place where Anne’s ideals “will find their realization.”
Claire Moses wrote today’s Back Story.
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