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Good morning. A super typhoon nears the Philippines, an anti-immigration movement sweeps South Korea and Apple unveils its most expensive phone yet. Here’s the latest.
• 43 million.
That’s how many people in Southeast Asia could be exposed to Super Typhoon Mangkhut.
The powerful storm — currently packing winds of up to 150 miles per hour (about 240 kilometers per hour) — is on track to hit the northern Philippines on Friday before barreling toward Taiwan. It may threaten Hong Kong and mainland China over the weekend.
Meanwhile, the U.S. is bracing for Hurricane Florence, which is predicted to begin lashing North and South Carolina within hours.
P.S.: Hurricanes and typhoons are just different names for the same kind of storm.
And today’s word is landfall. Technically, it’s the point at which the center of a hurricane or typhoon reaches land. But a storm’s strongest winds often hit long before. (Let us know what you think of our new vocabulary feature.)
• “Malicious” driving in Southern China.
At least nine people were killed and 46 injured when a driver plowed his car into a crowd in Hengyang City, in Hunan Province, on Wednesday. The government called it a “malicious case of intentional driving,” but did not mention any possibility of terrorism.
Fears of terrorism are partly behind the large detention camps in western China, where an estimated one million Uighurs and other Muslim minorities have been detained.
Now, U.S. lawmakers are urging the Trump administration to limit sales of technology to China, saying tech products may be used for surveillance and at the camps.
• A cold welcome for Yemenis in South Korea.
The resort island of Jeju, popular among honeymooners, has suddenly become ground zero for what is thought to be South Korea’s first organized anti-asylum movement.
South Korea has long been averse to accepting asylum seekers. But Jeju’s visa-free immigration policy, designed to attract tourists, made it an option for hundreds of Yemenis fleeing civil war.
Protesters have taken to the streets. And an online petition asking President Moon Jae-in — the son of wartime refugees from North Korea — to stop taking in asylum seekers has garnered 714,000 signatures.
Apple also revealed a new entry-level iPhone, the XR, in a variety of colors, including white, black, red, blue and yellow. That model will be available next month.
Meanwhile, Apple’s next operating system, iOS 12, will be available Monday, the company said. The update includes the Screen Time feature for limiting how long you spend on the phone.
• It’s not just you: 2017 was rough.
According to a new survey of more than 154,000 people around the world, more people reported feeling worried, stressed, physical pain, angry or sad last year than at any point since 2005. Above, a mother and child in the Central African Republic, where reported negative experiences were the highest.
But there is some good news. The number of Islamic State attacks in the West fell sharply this year, the first time that number has fallen since the terrorist organization was founded in 2014.
• Further anger over the Serena Williams cartoon.
While outrage over the caricature continued to ricochet around the world, the newspaper that originally published it, The Herald Sun, decided to respond to the criticism by — rather brazenly — putting it on its front page, above.
The accompanying headline read “Welcome to PC World,” and in an editorial the paper proclaimed the world had “officially gone mad.”
Australia’s Crikey weighed in: “We are a small nation, but punch well above our weight when it comes to blithe racism.” (The article is paywall free for Times readers.)
• The U.S. is cracking down on e-cigarettes, giving Juul and other manufacturers 60 days to prove they can keep them away from teenagers. If they fail, the flavored products may be taken off the market, a government agency warned.
• Emerging economies are prompting anxiety again, with Argentina, Russia, South Africa and Turkey all at the brink of a bust. Our markets reporter explains how high-growth economies unravel.
In the News
• Pope Francis summoned bishops from around the world for an unprecedented meeting set for February to discuss how to protect minors, as the Catholic Church wrestles with a growing crisis over sexual abuse and accusations of sophisticated cover-ups. [The New York Times]
• The extradition case of Vijay Mallya, the entrepreneur who faces fraud charges in India related to his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines, will be decided on Dec. 10, a London court announced. [Reuters]
• Japan and several other pro-whaling countries blocked the creation of a whaling sanctuary in the South Atlantic Ocean, outraging environmentalists. [BBC]
• President Vladimir Putin of Russia said the two men Britain accused of poisoning the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal are just normal civilians who have done nothing criminal. [The New York Times]
• Hundreds of thousands of pro-independence Catalans took to the streets in Barcelona, Spain, their largest turnout in almost a year. [The New York Times]
• European lawmakers for the first time voted to begin punishment procedures against member state Hungary for potentially breaching democratic norms. [The New York Times]
Tips for a more fulfilling life.
• Beauty is more diverse than ever, with brands creating dozens of foundation shades and stars strutting their natural hair textures down the runway. But this kind of inclusivity has come and gone before. We take a look at why it might be here to stay this time.
• “One of the things that stands out about humans is how helpful we are,” said one researcher. Why? The answer might lie in our closest living relatives, chimpanzees and bonobos, both creatures that display varying degrees of altruistic generosity.
• Nine red lines on a stone flake. That may be the oldest known drawing by Homo sapiens, dating back some 73,000 years, according to archaeologists who unearthed the ancient artwork in South Africa.
On Thursday night at Harvard, a group of playful Nobel Laureates will give out the 28th annual Ig Nobel prizes — a spoof of the Nobels, awarded for discoveries that make people “laugh, then think.”
It’s a scrappy, whimsical affair. Winners don’t receive prize money, and you can count on a paper plane deluge during the ceremony.
Some notable past winners:
The 2006 prize in ornithology went to researchers who explored why woodpeckers don’t get headaches.
In 1993, Pepsi-Cola of the Philippines won the peace prize after sponsoring a contest with a huge cash prize, then announcing the wrong winning number. The mistake brought together 800,000 indignant winners — and had the happy accident of uniting many warring factions for the first time.
And 2005’s literature prize went to the internet entrepreneurs of Nigeria for introducing millions of readers to a plaintive cast of characters, each of whom requires just a small amount of money to obtain access to the great wealth to which they are entitled.
The ceremony will be live-streamed (6 p.m. local time, 6 a.m. Friday in Hong Kong), but you’ll have to fold your own plane.
Joumana Khatib wrote today’s Back Story.
Featured Crikey articles are paywall free for Times readers.
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