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6:32, 21 December 2017

Europe Edition: Catalonia, Poland, Damian Green: Your Thursday Briefing

Europe Edition: Catalonia, Poland, Damian Green: Your Thursday Briefing


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Excellent morning.

Here’s what you want to know:

Catalonia’s declaration of independence pushed Spain into uncharted waters, and the national government referred to as new elections in the region. With tens of thousands of young men and women preparing to vote, we brought with each other initial-time voters on distinct sides of the separatist debate and gave them inquiries to ask every other.Published OnCreditImage by Emilio Morenatti/Associated Press

• Catalans vote today in regional elections that are unlikely to resolve a deadlock over separatists’ quest to achieve independence from Spain.

Polls predict a fractured result, but our correspondent writes that such an outcome could push to the fore centrist politicians capable of bridging the gap between separatists and unionists.

In the video above, we asked very first-time voters how they felt about participating. Polls close at eight p.m. regional time. Expect results just before midnight. Here’s what to watch for.


CreditJanek Skarzynski/Agence France-Presse — Getty Photos

• Poland’s president, Andrzej Duda, signed sweeping legislation that successfully puts the country’s courts beneath the control of his correct-wing governing celebration, which it argues will make the justice technique more efficient.

In spite of a stern warning from the European Commission just hours before Mr. Duda signed the law, the bloc is unlikely to impose any quick punishment for Poland, like a suspension of its E.U. voting rights. (Hungary has already vowed to veto such a step.)

The U.S. has largely stayed out of the discussion, but President Trump’s check out in July was extensively interpreted as emboldening the government.


CreditAl Drago for The New York Instances

• In Washington, Congress passed the $1.5 trillion tax cut. Republicans are betting that their biggest overhaul of the tax code in a generation will assist them in subsequent year’s midterm elections, raise wages and create jobs. Couple of independent analyses agree.

At a cabinet meeting in which he praised the tax bill, President Trump also threatened to reduce aid to any country that votes in favor of a U.N. resolution at the U.N. Common Assembly denouncing his selection to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

A trip to the Middle East by Vice President Mike Pence has been tentatively rescheduled to January. His trip, extended planned for this week, was canceled after crucial religious and political leaders mentioned they would not meet him.


CreditMario Anzuoni/Reuters

• It was just one more day in the recording studio.

That was the key to writing Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You,” the runaway hit that topped Billboard’s year-end singles chart and has grow to be the most-played track ever on Spotify, with a lot more than 1.five billion streams.

In this video, Mr. Sheeran and his collaborators clarify how they crafted the tune in just 90 minutes. (He admits he had no concept it was anything particular.)


CreditHouston Cofield for The New York Instances

• The season of giving has also turn into a time for stealing other people’s gifts. But people are increasingly using surveillance technologies to thwart “porch pirates” and making use of social media to shame them.

The European Union’s highest court’s ruling that Uber is a transportation enterprise might give a benchmark for nations looking for to regulate the gig economy. (The court also quashed Champagne makers’ efforts to assure their protected designation of origin status against a German retailer.)

• An Italian judge ruled that Royal Dutch Shell and Eni, two of the world’s largest oil organizations, need to face trial on corruption charges over a $1.3 billion oil deal in Nigeria.

• France is considering raising minimum food rates in an effort to raise farmers’ earnings.

Here’s a snapshot of international markets.

In the News

CreditDaniel Leal-Olivas/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

• In Britain, Damian Green, a minister who was properly Prime Minister Theresa May’s deputy, was forced to resign right after an investigation found that he misled the public about pornography found on a function computer. [The New York Instances]

• Fighting in eastern Ukraine has flared up once more. The authorities in Kiev lay blame on the withdrawal of Russian officers from a cease-fire handle group. [The New York Occasions]

• The U.S. government imposed sanctions on Ramzan Kadyrov, the Chechen leader, and 4 other Russian folks accused of human rights abuses. [The New York Times]

• Uganda’s Parliament voted to lift the age limit for the presidency, setting the stage for President Yoweri Museveni to rule for life. [The New York Occasions]

• In Mexico, a close ally of President Enrique Peña Nieto was arrested as portion of a corruption inquiry that threatens the highest ranks of government. [The New York Occasions]

• Our Rome bureau chief, who reported for The Boston Globe from Rome in the course of the “Spotlight” series, reflects on the legacy of Cardinal Bernard Law, the disgraced archbishop of Boston who died on Wednesday. [The New York Times]

• A ceremony nowadays at The Hague will mark the finish of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. It has sentenced 90 men and women for genocide or other crimes. [The Guardian]

Smarter Living

Suggestions, each new and old, for a a lot more fulfilling life.

CreditDanny Ghitis for The New York Occasions

• Recipe of the day: Tonight, roast salmon with a glaze of brown sugar and mustard.

• Find outhow to resolve The New York Times Crossword. (Beginners welcome.)

• Sexual harassment coaching isn’t adequate — but here are some issues you can do.


CreditEttore Ferrari/ANSA, by way of Associated Press

• Citizens of Rome lament that the Italian capital’s official Christmas tree — drooping, wilting and dying — is a symbol of their city’s decline.

• Our sports correspondent went to basketball-mad Lithuania to uncover out how an obscure group there managed to lure two semifamous American players, sending its fans into a frenzy.

• The latest episode in our video series “Dance in the True World” requires you inside the vogueing scene in New York City.

• Personal computer game studios are turning to film and television writers to support craft narratives for their titles.

• These days is the solstice, the shortest day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere and the longest day of summer in the Southern. We may possibly not be here if Earth had a distinct tilt toward the sun.

Back Story

CreditPeter Kneffel/DPA, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Pictures

This is the time of year when the Krampus, a mythical, furry, horned beast, prowls cities and towns in the Bavarian and Austrian Alps, scaring away evil spirits and reminding naughty kids that Christmas is just around the corner.

The tradition of the Krampus, a mountain goblin who is an evil counterpart to the good St. Nicholas, has recently enjoyed a revival. Even just before the 2015 Hollywood horror version brought the tradition to millions of Americans, a new generation of Germans and Austrians had been reviving a tradition they cherished from childhood.

Dozens of “runs,” or parades of individuals dressed in horned masks and carrying whips or bells, take over towns in southern Germany and Austria from the final weeks of November to Dec. 23.

In a 2014 appearance on “The Tonight Show,” the actor Christoph Waltz explained Krampus to an American audience as the Austrian answer to Elf on the Shelf.

The Krampus, he said, does not just spy on kids and report back to Santa, but arrives “with a stick, a bag, and he threatens you. If you weren’t great, you get stuck in the bag and hit and shipped off.”

Modern day Krampus parades, even so, are bound by strictly enforced rules, including no drinking and no hitting. Scaring kids and vacationers is permitted, but not sticking anyone in a bag.

Melissa Eddy contributed reporting.


This briefing was prepared for the European morning and is updated on-line. Browse past briefings right here.

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Published at Thu, 21 Dec 2017 05:49:56 +0000

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