North Korea, Fox News, Ramadan: Your Wednesday Briefing
NewYork Times

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Good morning.

Here’s what you need to know:

North Korea issues warning to U.S.

• President Trump’s planned summit meeting with Kim Jong-un of North Korea is in doubt after Pyongyang threatened today to withdraw if Washington insisted on “unilateral nuclear abandonment.”

Rejecting the Trump administration’s demand that it quickly dismantle its nuclear program, as Libya did 15 years ago, North Korea singled out John Bolton, Mr. Trump’s new national security adviser, saying in a statement, “We do not hide our feelings of repugnance towards him.” Read a transcript of the North Korean statement here.

The announcement came hours after state media in Pyongyang warned that the meeting might be canceled to protest the joint military exercises between the U.S. and South Korea that began this week.

The State Department said that planning for the June 12 meeting in Singapore remained on track, but the news from North Korea reflected a pattern by the unpredictable regime: diplomatic outreach, followed by erratic behavior. Here’s a look at previous instances.

Women win in Pennsylvania

• At least seven women running for the House won Democratic primaries on Tuesday in the state, which currently has an all-male congressional delegation.

They won in districts that were redrawn after Pennsylvania’s congressional map was found to unfairly favor Republicans. Helped by the new map, Democrats have a shot at flipping at least three, and possibly as many as six, House seats in the state, which President Trump narrowly won in 2016.

For their part, Republicans in Pennsylvania appear to have taken a lesson from Mr. Trump’s victory, choosing candidates for governor and Senate who have followed the president’s model.

Here are three takeaways from the primaries on Tuesday, and full results from Pennsylvania and the three other states that voted: Idaho, Nebraska and Oregon.

Prime suspect in C.I.A. leaks is identified

• Last year, WikiLeaks released a stolen archive of documents about the agency’s hacking operations, the largest loss of classified information in the organization’s history.

The prime suspect in the breach has now been identified: Joshua Schulte, 29, is a former software engineer for the agency who had created malware to break into the computers of terrorism suspects, The Times has learned.

He has not been charged in relation to the breach, but in August, prosecutors filed charges of child-pornography possession against him. Those accusations, based on his actions nine years ago, are a thin pretext for keeping him incarcerated, his family members say.

Separately, Gina Haspel is likely to be confirmed today as the C.I.A.’s next director. She won the support of the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee after disavowing the agency’s torture program.

A mix of sorrow and support in Israel

Israelis grappled with the casualty reports from the Gaza protest on Monday: 60 killed and more than 1,700 hospitalized, according to Palestinian officials. Israel said that only a small number of those shot had been armed.

Some Israelis were defiant or defensive; others said they were ashamed.

“When we hear of the dead, it pains us,” one said. “I hope at least that each bullet was justified.”

In contrast with Washington’s full-throated support of Israel, Europe’s response has been more critical. On Tuesday, European officials also started working to save the nuclear accord with Iran, which President Trump pulled out of last week.

Business

Republicans are reviving efforts to impose work requirements on recipients of food stamps and other benefits. There’s little evidence that doing so lifts people out of poverty, our economics columnist writes.

Smarter Living

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

Here are five things to help with spring cleaning.

Moving across the U.S.? Don’t get scammed by movers.

Recipe of the day: Nail weeknight cooking with pork chops and Dijon sauce.

Noteworthy

In memoriam

Tom Wolfe, an innovative journalist and novelist who wielded an electric style and an acid pen, was also known for his white suits. He was 88.

A biting satirist, Mr. Wolfe used novelistic techniques in his nonfiction, helping to create the enormously influential hybrid known as the New Journalism. We assessed his career and looked back at some of his most famous works, including “The Right Stuff” and “Bonfire of the Vanities.”

A famous diary’s hidden pages

Anne Frank covered up two pages of writing in her diary that contained dirty jokes and a description of what she referred to as “sexual matters.”

Virginia Bennett, a recently retired State Department official, on the decision by the new secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, to lift a hiring freeze.

The Times, in other words

Here’s an image of today’s front page, and links to our Opinion content and crossword puzzles.

What we’re reading

Elisabeth Malkin, a Mexico City correspondent, recommends this piece from Univision: “It’s not only violence and crime that drives migration from the Northern Triangle countries — Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. This story looks at another ‘push’ factor: climate change, in the form of intensified drought.”

Back Story

The Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins today in many countries.

It starts with the sighting of the crescent moon the night before; regions where it is not seen will wait a day.

Learning to read the Quran at a school in India during Ramadan last year.CreditJayanta Dey/Reuters

From dawn to sunset, observant Muslims give up food, water and bodily pleasures. Most try to go about their normal routines, while making time for more prayer and charity. It can be a particular challenge for some people, like athletes.

Mosques hold extra prayers, called tarawih, each evening, during which the entire Quran is recited over the month.

It’s a time for reflection — but also for celebration. People hold festive gatherings to break the fast together. Each culture has specialties for the evening meal, iftar, and for the pre-dawn meal, suhoor.

The Muslim lunar calendar is 10 days shorter than the solar year, so Ramadan rotates through the seasons. Winter fasts are considered easier — the days are shorter, and usually colder, meaning less thirst — while summer fasts are more taxing. They are even harder in upper latitudes, where the days are long and the sun doesn’t set. So communities follow the times of the nearest Muslim country, or those of Saudi Arabia.

The traditional greeting during the holiday month? “Ramadan Mubarak.”

Aisha Khan wrote today’s Back Story.

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