Good morning.

Here’s what you need to know:


• One of the largest sporting goods stores in the U.S. is ending sales of assault-style rifles and barring gun sales to those under 21, regardless of local laws. (Some of the weapons offer military-level firing power.)

It’s one of the strongest stances taken by corporate America in the wake of the school massacre in Florida.

Across the country, protests against the gun lobby are coalescing into a powerful movement.


• Jared Kushner’s White House portfolio is expected to shrink significantly after he was stripped of his top-secret security clearance.

Mr. Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, had been operating on an interim clearance for months because of delays in his F.B.I. background check.

And Hope Hicks, the White House communications director, acknowledged that she sometimes tells white lies for Mr. Trump.


• Civilians did not evacuate, volunteer helpers stood idle, the wounded were not ferried out, aid did not flow in, and fighting persisted.

Russia’s calls for a “humanitarian pause” in eastern Ghouta — the rebel-held Damascus suburb under fierce bombardment by government forces — have been ignored.

“Shelling is calmer than before, it’s true, but there is still shelling,” a resident said.


• Xi Jinping’s power grab this week has sparked rare public dissent in China, where citizens urged lawmakers to reject the Communist Party’s plans to scrap presidential term limits. Above, Mr. Xi in Hong Kong last year.

The Chinese president, our Interpreter columnist writes, is essentially doubling down on the idea that China can refashion authoritarianism for this age — and possibly setting the country on a collision course with history.

China’s moves are also eroding the American sense that China’s path would bring it closer to the U.S.


• In Taiwan, young protesters carrying anti-China banners splashed red paint on the tomb of Chiang Kai-shek. In the capital, two former presidents called for a referendum on declaring a Republic of Taiwan.

Both demonstrated the island’s urgency for more political self-determination, complicating President Tsai Ing-wen’s efforts to navigate tense relations with China.

And the timing? The events happened on a national holiday commemorating an uprising that led to a massacre of Taiwanese by Chiang’s soldiers.


• Canada’s immigrants — whether from China, India, Europe or elsewhere — are embracing their adopted country’s way of life, especially on the slopes.

“Skiing is a part of Canadian life and culture,” an Indian arrival said. “If you plan to stay, you should adapt.”


• Whatever you imagine a flying car to be — stop. Some companies are planning for flying taxi services, and what they envision is something like a helicopter or a drone, and much more affordable.

• Germany is weighing whether to tighten the rules on when an investor needs to disclose holdings, after China’s Geely surprised markets by revealing its $9 billion stake in Daimler.

• The U.S. treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, said he had been in talks with other countries about what it would take to rejoin the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

• A Dutch supermarket has introduced a plastic-free aisle at its store in Amsterdam. It’s just one of many moves around the world to curb waste.

• Amazon acquired a maker of internet-connected doorbells and cameras as part of its push into the smart-home market.

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

• Australia has issued a compulsory recall for all 2.7 million vehicles with defective Takata airbags, which the government has linked to at least 23 deaths. [Associated Press]

• The North Korean leaders Kim Jong-un and his father, Kim Jong-il, reportedly used fraudulent Brazilian passports to apply for visas in the 1990s. [Reuters]

• The E.U. proposed keeping Northern Ireland in a customs union with the European Union when Britain leaves the bloc. [The Guardian]

• In his latest overture to the Taliban, President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan offered to treat the insurgent group as a legitimate political party and provide them with passports if they agreed to peace talks. [The New York Times]

• The death toll from the 7.5-magnitude earthquake in Papua New Guinea this week rose to 20. [CNN]

• Most of the roughly 90 people who drowned when a boat capsized off Libya’s coast in February were Pakistani migrants. Seven were from a single tiny village, which has been rocked by the tragedy. [The New York Times]

• Indonesia seized a luxury yacht sought by the U.S. Department of Justice as part of a corruption investigation related to a Malaysian state fund. [Reuters]

• Barbra Streisand cloned her dogs. (For $50,000, you can clone yours.) [The New York Times]

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

• If your marriage is in a rut, try these “love hacks.”

• “Smart” items may have more features, but sometimes the original is better.

• Recipe of the day: Pair your morning tea with maple scones.

• In London, a collaborative exhibition by Takashi Murakami, a Japanese fine artist, and Virgil Abloh, an American designer, has attracted an unusual crowd that includes sneakerheads and blue-chip art collectors.

• Xiao long bao, high-speed trains and dozens of art galleries: Our Frugal Traveler columnist found plenty to eat, see and do in Shanghai.

• Our audience growth editor in Sydney is getting married. In this week’s Australia Diary, she tells the story of when her fiancé tried to pay for his guitar lesson with a pineapple.

It has been called “the toughest job you’ll ever love.”

The Peace Corps got its start on this day in 1961, established under an executive order by President John F. Kennedy.

The idea to send American volunteers around the world to assist with development projects and to promote the image of the United States existed in various forms after the end of World War II.

But it was during a campaign stop at the University of Michigan a few weeks before he was elected president that Kennedy asked a crowd of students, “How many of you who are going to be doctors are willing to spend your days in Ghana?”

Kennedy would repeat that call to service a few months later during his inaugural address, when he urged Americans to “Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.”

The Peace Corps has not been without criticism: Richard Nixon said it was a haven for draft dodgers, and, more recently, the organization has faced questions about the health and safety of its volunteers, particularly women.

But after initially operating in only handful of countries, the Peace Corps has sent more than 230,000 volunteers to 141 nations.

Chris Stanford contributed reporting.


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