Asia and Australia Edition: Jeff Sessions, North Korea, Iran: Your Morning Briefing

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Good morning.

Here’s what you need to know:

• Washington is gripped with the struggle over a national health care plan.

Senator John McCain, on his first day back after he was found to have brain cancer, helped push forward a Republican effort to repeal major provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Watch him address the Senate.

President Trump stepped up his attacks on his own attorney general, Jeff Sessions, and put the Boy Scouts of America in the line of fire by making a highly political speech at their annual Jamboree, above. Watch Mr. Trump respond to questions about Mr. Sessions.

Our chief White House correspondent writes that by crossing so many lines, Mr. Trump has radically shifted the understanding of what is standard in the White House.

Graphic | Local Weather See the forecast for your area.

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China’s expansion and influence is increasingly evident in Iran, where Chinese investments and entrepreneurs are pouring in as Beijing unspools its “One Belt, One Road” project. Above, the chief executive of a string of factories in Iran.

In Hong Kong, a proposal to lease part of a new rail terminal to China and to allow Chinese officers to enforce mainland law there has raised concerns about the erosion of the “one country, two systems” model.

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China’s embattled human rights lawyers are the focus of a New York Times Magazine report.

Lawyers for dissidents often face a terrible choice: acquiescence or imprisonment.

“We know we can’t win. We can’t do anything to make our clients not guilty,” said a human rights lawyer, above.

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“Even more surreal than I’d expected.”

Last week, the U.S. barred Americans from traveling to North Korea, after the death of a college student who was detained in the country for 17 months.

We asked readers who had traveled there to tell us why they went and what they found. Here is a sampling of the responses we received.

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Cardinal George Pell, one of the pope’s top advisers, above, is expected to make his first court appearance in Australia after becoming the highest-ranking Roman Catholic prelate to be formally charged with sexual offenses.

The still-unspecified charges followed years of criticism that he had at best overlooked, and at worst covered up, the widespread abuse of children by clergymen in Australia.

Cardinal Pell has vowed to fight the charges, calling them false and the result of a “relentless character assassination.”

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Business

• Michael Kors bought Jimmy Choo for about $1.2 billion. Our columnist examines whether the shoe fits — and if the deal risks taking the luxury footwear brand down-market.

• HNA Group, the Chinese conglomerate, tried to allay concerns about its ownership structure by releasing details of its largest shareholder — a private investor who recently donated his 30 percent stake to the company’s charity arm in New York.

Employees at a U.S. tech company are volunteering to have microchips injected between their thumb and index finger, making it easier to open doors and pay for food.

• Tech report cards: Alphabet, the parent company of Google, reported $26 billion in revenue. Facebook announces earnings today, Amazon and Twitter on Thursday.

• U.S. stocks were higher. Here’s a snapshot of global markets.

Graphic | What the Markets Are Doing

In the News

• New footage of a gunfight that left three Americans dead near a military base in Jordan shows a deliberate attack that was initially explained as a mistake. [The New York Times]

• At least 12 people were killed when a five-story building collapsed in a suburb of Mumbai. A rescue operation is underway to dig out people trapped in the debris. [The New York Times]

• The Pentagon said a U.S. Navy spy plane took evasive action to avoid crashing into a Chinese fighter jet in contested skies above the East China Sea on Sunday. [The New York Times]

• In Myanmar, two people died this week of swine flu (H1N1), bringing the total fatalities to three just days after 13 people were confirmed to have contracted the virus. [The Irrawaddy]

• The governor of Okinawa filed another lawsuit against the Japanese government to halt the relocation of a U.S. military base in his prefecture. [The Asahi Shimbun]

• Cambodia’s first national figure skating team trains at a public ice rink on top of a shopping mall. [Southeast Asia Globe]

• India, Indonesia and Japan are among the few countries where companies offer women paid time off for period pain. Some experts fear these policies reinforce dated stereotypes. [The New York Times]

Smarter Living

Tips, both new and old, for a more fulfilling life.

• Recipe of the day: Weeknights call for comfort food like delicious chicken curry.

• Can you test the health of your gut microbiota?

• Toss care into the wind. Here’s how not to get a job.

Noteworthy

Smugglers are finding creative ways to get drugs into the U.S. through Mexico as the United States increases the number of agents, drones, sensors and cameras patrolling the border.

• We documented the work of Dr. Ann McKee, a neuropathologist who examined the brains of 111 N.F.L. players. She found that 110 were found to have C.T.E., the degenerative disease linked to repeated blows to the head.

• And our “Game of Thrones” newsletter examines Melisandre’s prophecy, explains why there are two characters named Nymeria and points out internet’s best articles on the most recent episode.

Back Story

“War in a periscope” declared the front page of The Times on this day in 1942.

The headline accompanied a photo from the U.S. Navy, “the first combat action photograph taken through the periscope of an American undersea craft.”

That got us wondering about other photographic firsts at The Times, so we dove into our archives.

The Times published its first photographs on Sept. 6, 1896, in the first edition of its Sunday Magazine. (The pictures were of two of the candidates in the 1860 presidential election. Photos of white, male politicians? Some things never change.)

It took another 13 years for a photo to finally appear on the front page. The Times sponsored a daredevil flight from Albany to New York City and ran a picture of the plane at takeoff.

We experimented with printing in color as far back as the early 20th century, but the front page was strictly black and white until Oct. 16, 1997, when a photo of the World Series-bound Cleveland Indians appeared.

Interested in more photos from The Times’s archive? Check out our blog, The Lively Morgue, and follow @nytarchives on Instagram.

Chris Stanford and Ryan Murphy contributed reporting.

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Correction: Tuesday’s briefing misstated how many times Doggett’s Coat and Badge has been awarded. Tuesday’s award was the 303rd, not the 202nd.

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