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Australia, Thailand, China: Your Thursday Briefing

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Good morning.

We’re covering growing frustration over climate change in Australia, swirling royal drama in Thailand and video game restrictions in China.

Beijing is urging Hong Kong’s leader, Carrie Lam, to implement new national security measures in the city to quell anti-government protests.

In Beijing on Wednesday, Han Zheng, a vice premier who oversees Chinese policy toward the territory, told Mrs. Lam, “This extreme violence and destruction would not be tolerated or accepted by any country or society in the world.”

But it seems unlikely that the Chinese government has the ability to impose its will on the territory’s British-derived legal system without damaging trust in Hong Kong’s special status or further inflaming protesters.

Details: Article 23 of the Basic Law, the mini constitution of Hong Kong, says the territory “shall enact laws on its own to prohibit any act of treason, secession, sedition and subversion” against the Chinese government.

But the upheaval that forced Mrs. Lam to withdraw a controversial extradition law has left Hong Kong’s legislators reluctant to use Article 23. And if China declared a state of emergency to impose security legislation, protests would almost certainly intensify.

On the ground: A pro-Beijing lawmaker was stabbed while campaigning for Hong Kong’s upcoming district council elections, the latest incident of political violence in recent weeks.

As in many other places around the world, growing frustration over inaction in the face of climate change in Australia has led to a surge of activism, and some of the biggest protests the country has ever seen.

But Australia is the world’s largest coal exporter and a major natural gas exporter, making it a resource-driven economy that lawmakers are reluctant to change.

The Australian government appears determined to suppress the climate movement, even as heat waves, drought and fires make the country’s vulnerabilities to climate change ever clearer.

Details: A law passed last year allows the military to break up protests. The Labor government in Queensland is fast-tracking a law that would fine protesters who use locking devices to prevent their removal. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has suggested outlawing boycotts and other efforts to pressure businesses.

Related: Italy’s education minister said this week that public schools would soon require students in every grade to study climate change and sustainability, a step that would put the country at the forefront of environmental education worldwide.

Six months after the coronation of King Maha Vajiralongkorn, aide after aide has been ousted and denounced with the dramatic extravagance of a Shakespearean plot.

The king’s official consort was accused of trying to upstage the queen and “undermining the nation,” according to the Royal Thai Government Gazette, which normally records more anodyne matters. A grand chamberlain was removed for “severely immoral acts.” Other courtiers were expelled for “extremely evil misconduct.”

At the same time, the 67-year-old king has been working to bolster his own authority. He assumed oversight of the Crown Property Bureau and ordered two infantry units in Bangkok moved from normal military command to that of his royal corps.

Context: The king’s explosive reign stands in stark contrast to that of his father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who at the time of his death in 2016 was the world’s longest-serving royal.

“This direct taking of control is something that we haven’t seen since the end of absolute monarchy in 1932,” said one expert.

The House of Windsor may have never seemed more anachronistic, but 56-year-old Peter Morgan has given it a new luster with “The Crown,” his popular Netflix series now beginning the third of its six seasons.

The Times Magazine looks at the life of the writer and showrunner, and the interplay between the “The Crown” and the real monarchy. “I understand why people are furious, why they want the whole institution gone,” Mr. Morgan said. “But I’m quite proud we haven’t kicked them out.”

Australia: More than 100 girls, some as young at 12, have been strip-searched by the police in the state of New South Wales in recent years, according to data released on Wednesday. Civil liberties advocates denounced the searches as an invasive overstep that creates psychological trauma.

Cryptocurrency: In a dramatic reversal, China removed digital currency mining from a list of industries that the government had planned to outlaw, indicating a growing enthusiasm for the technology among authorities.

Thailand: Gunmen killed at least 15 people at a security checkpoint on Tuesday night, the worst outbreak of violence in years in the insurgency-plagued border region with Malaysia.

France: President Emmanuel Macron announced new immigration measures, including clearing out informal migrant camps and implementing annual quotas for skilled foreign workers, in an attempt to lure voters away from the far right ahead of upcoming municipal elections.

Snapshot: Above, a scene at Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan, captured in 1955 by Sam Falk, a staff photographer at The Times who brought a sense of art to the paper. Our archives team looked back at his career.

Gaming curbs: The Chinese government released new rules limiting video game users younger than 18 years old to 90 minutes of play per day on weekdays, until 10 p.m., in an attempt to curb video game addiction, which officials blame for nearsightedness and poor academic performance.

In memoriam: U Tun Lwin, Myanmar’s top weather official, died at 71. The U.S.-educated meteorologist had warned of the power of Cyclone Nargis, which killed at least 140,000 people when it slammed the Southeast Asian country in 2008.

What we’re reading: This Billboard interview with the musician Trent Reznor. Michael Roston, a science editor, writes: “The man behind Nine Inch Nails and a lot of movie and TV soundtracks has many interesting things to say, but maybe the best is how he describes telling his kids he was the accidental musician behind Lil Nas X’s viral megahit ‘Old Town Road.’”

NASA isn’t the only U.S. agency working in space.

This month, the Navy’s Research Laboratory is testing the idea that space equipment could draw on electrons in the ionosphere to enable fuel-free space maneuvering hundreds of miles from Earth’s surface.

A satellite launched from a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket in June will, when given the command from Earth, split into two identical pieces, each smaller than a shoe box. They will unfurl between them a kilometer-long electrodynamic filament.

As they pull that tether through the Earth’s magnetic field, the minisatellites will draw in electrons at each end. Sending them through the tether in one direction creates a propulsive force, and in the other, drag. It’s the same physics — the Lorentz force — that drives an electric motor.

The experiment won’t generate enough more current for meaningful propulsion, but if it works, it holds the promise of longevity for satellites, as well as a way to nudge a satellite at the end of its useful life into the atmosphere to burn up, to prevent the accumulation of space junk in orbit.

That’s it for this briefing. See you at the next planetary revolution.

— Alisha

Thank you
To Mark Josephson and Eleanor Stanford for the break from the news. Kenneth Chang, who covers NASA for The Times, wrote today’s Back Story. You can reach the team at briefing@nytimes.com.

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