Asia and Australia Edition: Oprah Winfrey, El Salvador, Iran: Your Tuesday Briefing

Greenpeace said the accident may become an environmental disaster.


Beijing’s regulators are cracking down on Amway, the American marketing giant that found financial salvation in China, growing to more than $2.6 billion in revenue.

Now, Amway and other companies that use sales representatives to recruit others below them — in what’s called multilevel marketing — face public skepticism, and in some cases investigations.

Amway’s name in Chinese, an li, has even entered the vernacular to mean to “promote heavily” or to “be brainwashed.”


In Iran, President Hassan Rouhani used the recent nationwide protests to attack his hard-line opponents, saying the people who took to the streets did so because they were seeking a better life.

Mr. Rouhani said the protesters objected not just to the bad economy but also to widespread corruption and the clergy-led government’s restrictions on personal conduct.

Even so, Iran over the weekend banned the teaching of English in primary schools after religious leaders warned that it opened the way to a Western “cultural invasion.”



Credit Ben Cawthra/Sipa, via Associated Press

A senior BBC News editor for China resigned, accusing the network of operating a “secretive and illegal” salary system that pays men more than women in similar positions.

The editor, Carrie Gracie, who joined the BBC 30 years ago, said she only recently learned that her male colleagues earned 50 percent more than she did. She was offered a raise, but still not a salary matching her male counterparts.

“I simply want the BBC to abide by the law and value men and women equally,” Ms. Gracie, above, wrote in an open letter posted online.



Credit Jordan Strauss/Invision, via Associated Press

A rousing call-to-arms by Oprah Winfrey capturing the #MeToo mood was the highlight of a Golden Globes ceremony that confronted the issues of gender equality and sexual abuse.

“What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have,” Ms. Winfrey said, accepting a lifetime achievement award. Read the full speech here, which set off a cascade of calls for her to run for president in 2020.

Here’s a full list of the winners, and pictures from the red carpet.




Credit Atul Loke for The New York Times

• In India, cash is king, despite aggressive campaigns from electronic payment firms like Paytm, a local player with financing from Alibaba, and U.S. tech giants like Facebook, Google and PayPal.

• “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” bombed in China, the world’s second-largest movie market, with only $28.7 million in ticket sales over three days.

• Shares in GoPro sank on a dismal revenue forecast, and is this the year Twitter is sold? Check out these stories and others in our new DealBook Briefing.

• Chinese airlines took the last three spots in a new global ranking of airlines based on on-time arrivals. Air China’s on-time rating was just 60 percent.

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

In the News


Credit Matt Jelonek/Getty Images

• Same-sex marriage is finally legal in Australia, and some eager couples took their vows right after midnight. [ABC]

North and South Korean negotiators will meet for the first time since 2015. The talks will focus on North Korea’s participation in the Winter Olympics, to begin in South Korea next month, and “inter-Korean relationships.” [CNN]

• “The ancient Silk Roads were never only Chinese.” President Emmanuel Macron of France, visiting China, said Beijing’s “Belt and Road” initiative could not be “one-way.” [Reuters]

• In Malaysia, Mahathir Mohamad, 92, will face Prime Minister Najib Razak in the next general election. [The Straits Times]

Another U.S. military helicopter made an emergency landing in Okinawa, this time near a resort hotel. The police said no one was hurt. [The Asahi Shimbun]

• In Vietnam, a major corruption trial has begun. Most of the 22 defendants are current or former senior oil executives. [AP]

• A Chinese rap star facing criticism for his sexist lyrics blamed the influence of “black music.” [Agence France-Presse]

Smarter Living

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

• Don’t let a lack of self-awareness hold you back.

• Planning on getting organized this year? Try a paper planner, instead of apps.

• Recipe of the day: Make a loaf of classic zucchini bread for yourself, and another to share.



Credit Andrea Bruce for The New York Times

• Only two stripes demarcate the border between China’s restive Xinjiang region and Kazakhstan. In fact, it’s unusually easy to enter a special zone between the nations, unless your garb suggests you have Islamist leanings.

• In memoriam. Tatsuro Toyoda, 88, son of the founder of the Toyota Motor Corporation who led its international expansion; Ron Tandberg, 74, a celebrated Australian political cartoonist who “stood for the little man.”

• And security footage showed a thief in Denmark swiping a bottle of vodka worth $1.3 million. It was recovered dented, the police said — and drained to the last drop.

Back Story


Credit Pantone Color Institute, via Associated Press

Welcome to the year of purple.

The Pantone Color Institute, which helps manufacturers select colors for designs, has been naming a color of the year since 2000 (It chose Greenery last year, and Rose Quartz — think millennial pink — shared the title with Serenity blue in 2016).

This year the shade is Ultra Violet. “We wanted to pick something that brings hope and an uplifting message,” the institute’s director, Leatrice Eiseman, told The Times.

In ancient times, purple dye was made from the mucus of sea snails in the Phoenician city of Tyre, in what is now Lebanon’s Mediterranean coast.

Because the color was difficult and expensive to produce, it became associated with power and royalty, from ancient Rome to the kingdoms of Europe. In the 1500s, Queen Elizabeth I decreed that only members of the royal family could wear the color.

In 1856, a British chemist, William Henry Perkin, made the color more accessible when he accidentally created a purple dye while trying to concoct a treatment for malaria.

More than 160 years later, a color that’s rare in nature is about to have its moment.

For more on the color purple, read on.

Valencia Prashad contributed reporting.


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

We have briefings timed for the Australian, Asian, European and American mornings. And our Australia bureau chief offers a weekly letter adding analysis and conversations with readers. You can sign up for these and other Times newsletters here.

What would you like to see here? Contact us at

Continue reading the main story

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *