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White House, Chris Cornell, Roger Ailes: Your Morning Briefing

Good morning.

Here’s what you need to know:

Let’s first look at Antarctica, where the ice sheet may be in the early stages of an unstoppable disintegration.

We traveled there with scientists who are racing to understand what is happening as billions of tons of ice are sliding toward the sea. Our four virtual-reality films take you on, above and below the surface.

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In Washington, President Trump said he was the target of a witch hunt, a day after the Justice Department appointed a special counsel to investigate ties between his presidential campaign and Russian officials.

In that tense atmosphere, Mr. Trump leaves today on his first foreign trip as commander in chief.

Saudi Arabia will be pulling out all the stops for a president who has declared “Islam hates us” and said the U.S. is “losing a tremendous amount of money” defending the kingdom. And we look at how Mr. Trump’s relations with Israel have cooled.

Above, Mr. Trump on Wednesday.

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Turnout is expected to be more than 70 percent as Iranians vote for a new president today.

The interior minister said results would be released “sooner” than in previous elections — so less than two days.

We take a look at the candidates — including the moderate incumbent, Hassan Rouhani, and Ebrahim Raisi, 56, a hard-line rival.

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In this week’s Australia newsletter, our new bureau chief takes a trip through The New York Times archives, starting with our first mention of the country in 1853.

It’s clear our current journalists are not the only ones fascinated by Australia’s mix of breeziness, intelligence and insecurity.

Check out our roundup of Australia-related articles and recommendations — and the debut of the NYT Oz Culture Club.

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“Two speeds: attack and destroy.”

That’s a former colleague describing Roger Ailes, who died Thursday morning at the age of 77.

Mr. Ailes created Fox News with Rupert Murdoch’s money, shaping it into a powerful force in American politics and beyond, until he was ousted over a sexual predation scandal. Here’s our full obituary.

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• And another bold, if perhaps impractical, move by the Philippine leader.

President Rodrigo Duterte ordered a strict ban on smoking, including electronic cigarettes, in all public spaces in the country, where more than a quarter of the population smokes.

• Alibaba posted strong profits driven by rising online retail sales and a stronger Chinese economy, but expansion beyond its core online marketplace has been slow.

Toyota, Subaru, BMW and Mazda agreed to pay $553 million to settle a class-action lawsuit seeking compensation for U.S. drivers affected by the recall of vehicles equipped with faulty Takata airbags.

• Sina Weibo, the Chinese microblogging platform, logged 340 million active monthly users, surpassing Twitter’s 328 million.

• A Chinese supersize container ship became the biggest vessel to dock on the East Coast of the U.S.

• U.S. stocks were higher, rebounding from drops in Asia and Europe. Here’s a snapshot of global markets.

• A man the police described as apparently drunk or on drugs plowed a car into pedestrians in New York’s Times Square, killing one person and injuring nearly two dozen others. [The New York Times]

• Animal rights groups claimed victory, saying officials agreed to ban the sale of dog meat before China’s popular Yulin Lychee and Dog Meat Festival. [The New York Times]

• A top Australian tax official faces charges after his son and daughter were among nine people arrested in an investigation of the theft of $165 million from government coffers. [ABC]

• Secret internal papers from Australia’s offshore detention center on Manus Island document brutal conditions, including suicide attempts, sexual assaults and drug use. [The Guardian]

• Immigration arrests shot up 38 percent in the first three months of the Trump administration. [The New York Times]

• The police in Hong Kong made the biggest marijuana seizure in 27 years, arresting 10 Vietnamese migrants at two industrial growing sites. [Hong Kong Standard]

Chinese celebrities, from rock bands to leading men, are increasingly opening hot pot restaurants across China. There’s been at least one fake duck blood scandal. [What’s on Weibo]

• The rare “T. Rex” ant was found alive for the first time, in a colony in Singapore. [National Geographic]

And a Bollywood musical romance based on a true story of women wrestlers has become the highest-grossing Indian film ever in China. A chagrined Chinese film critic said it “taught Chinese cinema a lesson.” [BBC]

• Here is some wise counsel on living from Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

• If you’ve been wronged at work, empathizing with the perpetrator could lead you to forgiveness.

• Recipe of the day: Make up a Dutch baby, a large, endlessly fluffy pancake, in just five minutes.

• In memoriam: Chris Cornell, the mighty vocalist whose band Soundgarden helped define the grunge era, died at 52. His death was judged a suicide.

• Tips on travel: D.J. Kaskade, the musician and producer, spends two-thirds of his time on the road. Favorite cities: Sydney and Tokyo. Travel items: flip-flops and compression socks.

Finally, a California-educated executive is building collegiate sports in Indonesia, and his goals go far beyond the field of play. “It’s like the wild, wild West,” he said of the country’s sports market, “looking for the gold rush.”

Saturday marks the first year in office for Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen.

The former law professor has defied conventional wisdom in many ways in a region mostly ruled by male autocrats and scions of political dynasties.

She sought reconciliation with the island’s aboriginal people and endorsed its move toward becoming the first place in Asia to legalize gay marriage.

And she has used her cats, Xiang Xiang and Ah Tsai, to sway voters — providing us with today’s theme.

South Korea’s new president, Moon Jae-in, sought to endear himself with voters by pledging to adopt Tory, a stray dog.

The choice of the rather disheveled mutt was a contrast to nine purebred Jindo hunting dogs that his predecessor kept in the presidential palace.

The U.S. has in Donald Trump its first president in decades who doesn’t keep a pet.

Many of Mr. Trump’s predecessors had exotic pets — and some even had zoos — according to the Presidential Pet Museum website. And then there was Andrew Johnson, who served after Lincoln’s assassination.

“It is known that President Johnson left flour out at night for a family of white mice playing in his room during his dark days of impeachment.”

Patrick Boehler contributed reporting.

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This briefing was prepared for the Asian morning. We also have briefings timed for the Australian, European and American mornings.

Your Morning Briefing is published weekday mornings and updated online.

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

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