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Asia and Australia Edition: Rohingya, Harvey Weinstein, South Korea: Your Thursday Briefing

“Much of the violence was flamboyantly brutal, intimate and personal,” he writes, “the kind that is detonated by a long, bitter history of ethnic hatred.”

The U.N. human rights office said the military had targeted “houses, fields, food-stocks, crops, livestock and even trees,” making it “almost impossible” for the Rohingya to return home. Times correspondents discuss the crisis in this video.

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Josh Haner/The New York Times

“If you have a place to go, go.”

A sheriff in Northern California said rising winds could fan the wildfires that have consumed more than 70,000 acres in wine country, and more than 140,000 acres across the length of the state. At least 23 people are dead and many are missing.

Here are updated maps and before-and-after photographs, and drone footage from Santa Rosa, above, showing block after block reduced to ash.

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Sergio Perez/Reuters

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain has a question for Catalonia: Did you declare independence, or not?

Mr. Rajoy said the Catalan leader, Carles Puigdemont, had sowed “deliberate confusion” in his latest speech on the matter.

Pending the response, Mr. Rajoy, above, said he was asking his government to suspend Catalan lawmakers and take charge of the region’s administration.

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John Carucci/Associated Press

“The perverse, insistent, matter-of-factness of male sexual predation and assault — of men’s power over women.”

Our film critic Manohla Dargis reflected on the pileup of allegations against Harvey Weinstein. The British Academy of Film and Television Arts suspended his membership, and the Cannes Film Festival denounced him.

In our podcast “The Daily,” the actress Katherine Kendall, talks about what happened to her in Mr. Weinstein’s apartment in 1993.

Business

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Doug Chayka

• “The Frightful Five”: Our tech columnist has been intensely reporting on the vast, evolving reach of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Alphabet, Google’s parent, the world’s most valuable public companies. In the first of several columns, he grades the tech giants’ efforts to infiltrate entertainment, and the fears of cultural domination they’ve provoked.

• Debt-ridden China is going after the little guy. Provincial governments have been ordered to set up online platforms to name and shame individuals who don’t pay their debts. Big borrowers and state-owned companies have little to fear.

India’s top ride-hailing service, Ola, raised $1.1 billion in funding led by Tencent, the Chinese tech giant, setting up a fierce battle with Uber.

• Japan’s main stock index, the Nikkei 225, rose to its highest level in almost 21 years on Wednesday, despite Kobe Steel’s stumbles and other trouble.

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

In the News

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Joshua Smoot/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

• U.S. B-1 bombers carried out mock missile launches off both coasts of South Korea. Fighter jets from South Korea and Japan took part in the first nighttime B-1 bomber exercise involving all three. [CNN]

• An burning U.S. military helicopter made an emergency landing on Okinawa, adding to local worries about Americanaircraft operating near civilian areas. [The New York Times]

• Carrie Lam, the Hong Kong executive, covered a lot of ground in her inaugural policy speech. Here are seven takeaways. [South China Morning Post]

• India’s Supreme Court ruled that sex with girls under 18 is rape, even in marriage. [The New York Times]

Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, met with President Trump, but the NAFTA trade deal appeared to be near collapse. [The New York Times]

President Trump threatened to challenge NBC’s television license over a report that said he had considered a major increase in America’s nuclear arsenal. [The New York Times]

• The International Monetary Fund, which is beginning its annual meeting in Washington, issued a blunt warning: Governments risk undermining global economic growth by cutting taxes on the wealthy. [The New York Times]

• Thailand is banning smoking on its most popular beaches to cut down on litter. One state study found an average 0.76 cigarette butts per square meter. [Bangkok Post]

• Kim Jong-un wants to turn the seaside North Korean town of Wonsan into a billion-dollar tourist hot spot. It’s great for beach barbecues, fishing excursions — and testing missiles. [Reuters]

Smarter Living

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

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• Tune up your complexion. Build a good skin care routine.

• Grab a sponge. Here are five things around your home you never clean … but should.

• Recipe of the day: This lasagna uses spicy roasted cauliflower instead of meat.

Noteworthy

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Marie-Louise Mandl/EyeEm, via Getty Images

• Supereruptions — rare events that could blanket the Earth with ash — are believed to occur every 100,000 years. Scientists are trying to predict the next one by studying a supervolcano in Yellowstone, the U.S. national park.

In Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, our correspondent met the last family living in a 6,000-year-old citadel, one of the oldest continuously occupied human settlements on earth.

• The MacArthur Foundation named 24 U.S. artists, scholars and activists who will each receive a $625,000 “genius” grant. Here’s the list, which includes a Times reporter.

• And why is Thai food often so bland in the West? Our former Bangkok correspondent finds answers — and a Thai renaissance — in California.

Back Story

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Todd Heisler/The New York Times

The U.S. controversy over football players who kneel during the national anthem is raging on.

But an older patriotic ritual ran aground on geopolitical tensions.

That’s the Pledge of Allegiance, which was first recited in public schools on this day in 1892.

The pledge was written by Francis Bellamy, a Baptist minister and socialist, to be rolled out with a nationwide push to celebrate Columbus Day in schools. It was soon widely recognized.

Mr. Bellamy instructed that a salute be performed with the pledge: right arm extended upward, with the palm twisting up at the first mention of the flag.

When fascist regimes emerged in Italy and Germany using the extended-arm salute, Bellamy’s began to fall from favor. As one author wrote, the “similarities in the salute had begun to attract comment as early as the mid-1930s.”

On Dec. 22, 1942, Congress amended the U.S. Flag Code to instruct that the pledge “be rendered by standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart” — the stance still in use today.

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Your Morning Briefing is published weekday mornings and updated online. Browse past briefings here.

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What would you like to see here? Contact us at asiabriefing@nytimes.com.

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