• The U.S. secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, on his way to India, stopped in Pakistan to deliver a strong message: Stop funding or sheltering terrorists. Now.
It’s hardly a new message. Yet the Trump administration is unlikely to see any immediate breakthroughs in the dysfunctional relationship with Pakistan. Above, Mr. Tillerson with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
And photos from Afghanistan raised questions about Mr. Tillerson’s secret meeting with the Afghan president on Monday. It was said to take place in Kabul, but the pictures told another story.
• In Hong Kong, Joshua Wong and Nathan Law, key figures in the pro-democracy Umbrella Movement, were released on bail to appeal their sentences.
And a Hong Kong bookseller who has been held in China for two years appears to be missing. Chinese authorities said that he was released from prison last week, but his daughter said no one has seen or heard from him.
• Australia is investigating a “clearly offensive and disturbing” Facebook page that has been “liked” by more than 100 active and former members of the Australian Defense Force.
The page, which posted memes depicting rape, child sexual assault and necrophilia, was the latest embarrassment for the military, which critics say has a persistent culture of misogyny.
• And a startling experimental surgery: Doctors at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston lifted a woman’s uterus out of her body to operate on her 24-week-old fetus.
The fetus had severe spina bifida, a disabling spine defect that the surgery, performed with tiny instruments through slits in the uterus, can mitigate.
The mother, Lexi Royer, and husband, Joshuwa, had always wanted children. Her due date is Jan. 14.
• “Davos in the Desert”: The Saudi crown prince gathered a Who’s Who of executives to give their pitches for diversifying the kingdom’s oil-based economy. Among the guests is Masayoshi Son, founder of Japan’s SoftBank, who received $45 billion from the Saudis this year.
• China’s business climate has become strained as the Communist Party tightens its grip, weakening adrive to invest and eroding confidence in the country.
• Climate change is turning olive oil production into an increasingly risky business in the Mediterranean. Some producers are turning to California, Australia and New Zealand.
• Hong Ge, the head of Airbnb’s China business, left just four months into the job.
In the News
• Thousands are gathering in Bangkok for a five-day royal funeral and cremation ceremony for King Bhumibol Adulyadej, following a year of mourning. [Bangkok Post]
• In Malaysia, the two women accused of murdering the half brother of North Korea’s leader were taken, handcuffed and in wheelchairs, to the crime scene. [Reuters]
• In South Africa, apartheid persists through economic inequality. That reality, our correspondent writes, is palpable in Cape Town. [The New York Times]
• Four Australian men who swam inside a baited crocodile trap “are vying for the idiots of the century award,” the local mayor said. [The New York Times]
• “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” comes to Melbourne’s Princess Theater in 2019 after setting records in London. [The New York Times]
• Mount Fuji had its first snowcap of the year, 23 days later than usual, but three days before last year, which was the latest date since 1894. [The Asahi Shimbun]
Tips, both new and old, for a more fulfilling life.
• Here are nine ways to become a better investor.
• Get a jump on next season’s most fashionable style trends right now.
• Recipe of the day: Baked chicken tenders will please children and adults alike.
• Jane Goodall, the primatologist, is the subject of an intimate new documentary that includes never-before-seen footage of her from the 1960s. “Can I give you a chimp hug?” asked Dr. Goodall, 83, at the end of a Times interview.
• As cold weather sets in, red-toothed shrews, tiny mole-like creatures, shrink their skulls and brains by as much as 20 percent, a study suggests. Exactly how remains a head-scratcher.
If you live in an urban area, you’ve likely come across — or been bumped into by — people who walk with their eyes glued to their phones.
In Honolulu, those “smartphone zombies” can now face fines of up to $99.
A law goes into effect there today that bans pedestrians from crossing the road while looking at their devices. The Hawaiian capital passed the measure as an effort to reduce accidents caused by “distracted walking.”
The ban is thought to be the first of its kind among major U.S. cities.
“Sometimes I wish there were laws we did not have to pass — that perhaps common sense would prevail,” Mayor Kirk Caldwell said. “But sometimes we lack common sense.”
Several cities have attempted to tackle pedestrians’ urge to tweet, text and swipe.
An announcement on Hong Kong’s escalators advises: “Don’t keep your eyes only on your mobile phone.”
And temporary “text walking lanes” have been set up in Washington, Philadelphia and Antwerp, Belgium. But in most cases, pedestrians didn’t notice the markings. They were too consumed by their phones.
Sara Aridi contributed reporting.
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