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Asia and Australia Edition: Rohingya, Marawi, Xi Jinping: Your Tuesday Briefing

But ISIS remains in the Philippines — and is forcing some surprising alliances. South of Marawi, Moro Islamic Liberation Front members, above, are working with their former enemy, the army, against what could become the next big ISIS uprising. U.S. officials, assessing why so few foreign ISIS fighters in Iraq and Syria seem to be returning home, say that many are dead or captured, but that some may have escaped to the Philippines.

The U.S. defense secretary, Jim Mattis, is in the country for today’s meeting of Asean defense ministers, which is expected to be dominated by terrorism, disputes in the South China Sea, and North Korea.

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Pool photo by Jim Lo Scalzo

In Washington, President Trump met with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore at the White House, above, for the signing of a previously announced $13.8 billion deal between Boeing and Singapore Airlines.

He also deepened a bitter controversy, rebutting televised remarks by a soldier’s widow who said that he blundered through his condolence call and seemed not to know her husband’s name. Mr. Trump tweeted that he “spoke his name from beginning, without hesitation!”

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Pool photo by Alex Brandon

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made a secret two-hour visit to the main American air base in Afghanistan to meet top Afghan officials.

That a top American official had to sneak into Afghanistan after 16 years of war, thousands of lives lost and hundreds of billions of dollars spent testifies to the U.S. stalemate with the Taliban, a foe that appears to be growing stronger.

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Jorge Silva/Reuters

• The United Nations said the number of Rohingya Muslims in Bangladesh who have fled violent persecution in Myanmar will soon pass one million. More than half arrived in the last nine weeks.

The U.N.’s emergency conference in Geneva raised the total international pledges of aid to about $340 million, but Doctors Without Borders, the medical charity, called the health conditions of the refugee camps a “time bomb.”

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Damien Maloney for The New York Times

• Sexual harassment accusations brought new disruptions to Fox News and the Weinstein Company.

Susan Fowler, above, the young engineer whose 2,900-word blog post about sexism and harassment at Uber helped set off the wave of revelations, gave The Times her first post-Uber interview. “I wasn’t going to take it,” she said. “I’d worked so hard.”

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Business

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Fishing with a net near a coal-fired power station on the Huangpu River in Shanghai.

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Johannes Eisele/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

China’s antipollution effort has grown so intense that it could cool the country’s red-hot growth and alter world markets. Above, a power plant near Shanghai.

• B Capital hired Howard Morgan, a veteran of the start-up world, as the venture capital group looks to invest outside of Silicon Valley and China, including in Southeast Asia.

• Singapore will cap the number of cars allowed on its roads next year.

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

In the News

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Sim Chi Yin for The New York Times

China’s Olympic medals in the 1980s and ’90s “were showered in doping,” a former Chinese team doctor, above with her son, seeking political asylum told a German broadcaster. The World Anti-Doping Agency is investigating. [Associated Press]

• An announcer at Russia’s most prominent talk-radio station was stabbed in the throat by a man who broke into the studio’s office. The station is one of few in the country that still broadcast reports critical of the government. [The New York Times]

• Protests continued in Malta over the car-bomb assassination of the country’s best-known journalist. [The New York Times]

• “To be fat in France is to be a loser,” said the author of a hit memoir in a country that grapples with often overt stigmatization and growing obesity. [The New York Times]

• In Australia, the latest TV spot for the No campaign against same-sex marriage can only air after 8:30 p.m. “because of references to sexual activities.” [ABC]

Chinese villagers in Yunnan Province found “the king of mushrooms.” It’s nearly 3 feet high and edible. [South China Morning Post]

Smarter Living

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Karsten Moran for The New York Times

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

• Recipe of the day: How to make the perfect bowl of soup. Any soup.

• There are a few simple ways to be better at remembering.

• Five ways to protect yourself against wedding catastrophes.

Noteworthy

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Evan Sung for The New York Times

• A land of coconuts and clean air. That’s one way a Times travel writer described Kerala, an Indian state on the Malabar Coast where young, newly rich Mumbaikars are arriving to roam the spice plantations, tea estates and beaches.

• In memoriam: George Young, 70, a musician and songwriter credited with creating “a new sound for the Australian music industry” and a producer for AC/DC, the band led by his brothers Angus and Malcolm.

• And Krtek, a cartoon mole equivalent to Mickey Mouse behind the Iron Curtain, is at the center of a bitter copyright squabble in the Czech courts, as a venerable icon of Communism adapts to 21st-century capitalism.

Back Story

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Petros Giannakouris/Associated Press

The Olympic torch is scheduled to be lit today in Greece, beginning the countdown to the next Winter Games.

The flame will travel more than 5,000 miles east to South Korea, arriving Nov. 1 — 100 days before the 2018 Olympics begin.

Starting in the city of Incheon, the torch will cross South Korea, with stops in nine provinces and eight major cities before arriving in Pyeongchang for the opening ceremony on Feb. 9.

The torch lighting goes back to the ancient games, but the Olympic flame made its first modern appearance at the 1928 Games in Amsterdam. The relay began with the 1936 Games in Berlin.

The torch itself is designed by the host country. The Times noted in 2010: “The modern Olympic Games have become as much a global contest among designers and architects as among athletes. Each Olympics is expected to produce a logo, a signature building — and a characteristic torch that symbolizes local tradition and national character.”

The torch for the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul featured a bright metal body and Korean graphic elements. The five-pronged shape of the 2018 torch represents the Korean symbol for Pyeongchang.

Inyoung Kang contributed reporting.

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

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