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5:58, 12 February 2018

Europe Edition: Russia, Olympics, Syria: Your Monday Briefing


Europe Edition: Russia, Olympics, Syria: Your Monday Briefing

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Excellent morning.

Hungary’s odd autocracy, Israel’s clash with Iran in Syria and the latest from the Winter Olympics. Here’s the news:

CreditTobias Schwarz/Agence France-Presse — Getty Pictures

• Europe risks losing the gatekeepers of its democracy: centrist parties.

In Germany and elsewhere, coalitions of mainstream parties have created them indistinguishable to many voters and fueled the rise of nationalist demagogy. Our Interpreter columnist warns of an incremental erosion of democracy.

(Above, Chancellor Angela Merkel, center, who said she intended to keep in office until 2021.)

Hungary leads this trend. Prime Minister Viktor Orban has pioneered a model of soft autocracy that combines crony capitalism and far-appropriate rhetoric with a single-party political culture.

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CreditAmmar Awad/Reuters

A new conflictbetween Iran and Israel is emerging in Syria’s multipronged civil war.

Israeli jets carried out what is believed to be the country’s initial direct engagement with Iranian forces in Syrian territory. And in yet another initial in decades, a single Israeli fighter jet crashed below enemy fire.

Our correspondent visited Kobani, a city in northern Syria, where the local Kurdish government plans to preserve downtown ruins as a monument of the battle against the Islamic State.

Separately, our video team looked at 4 guys from West London who became known as “the Beatles” of the Islamic State — both for their British accents and their brutality.

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CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

• A lot more than 100 gold medals will be awarded in 15 distinct sports at the Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The first a single went to Charlotte Kalla of Sweden, above, for the skiathlon.

So far, Norway is major the medal count (8), and Germany has the most gold medals (four). Right here are the full schedule and live results, and our substantial coverage.

(You can also sign up for our Sports newsletter to get the most current in your inbox.)

Gold in geopolitics went to North Korea. The visiting sister of Kim Jong-un outflanked President Trump’s envoy, Vice President Mike Pence, in the game of diplomatic image-creating.

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CreditClodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

• Mary Lou McDonald, above, is Sinn Fein’s first female leader. She succeeds Gerry Adams, who led the Irish celebration for 34 years.

Her ascendance could swing the party’s political center of gravity back to the south, exactly where it has a robust likelihood of getting into a coalition government for the initial time right after the subsequent election.

“The truth is, my friends, I won’t fill Gerry’s footwear,” she mentioned. “But the news is that I brought my own.”

Separately, ahead of March four elections in Italy, we profiled the country’s most common female politician: Emma Bonino. (Her slogan is “Love Me Significantly less, Vote Me More.”)

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CreditJim Lo Scalzo/European Pressphoto Agency

• American and European intelligence officials revealed a tale worthy of a John le Carré novel.

At a Berlin hotel, U.S. spies paid $one hundred,000 to a Russian who had promised details on stolen cyberweapons and kompromat on President Trump. What he offered was unverified and possibly fabricated.

Separately in the U.S., Republican operatives are alarmed about Mr. Trump’s fixation on the Russia inquiry and unwillingness to remain on message ahead of midterm elections. (More than the weekend, he also expressed doubts about the #MeToo movement.)

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CreditJohn Yuyi

• The factor you are performing now, reading text on a screen, is going out of fashion.

We have only just begun to glimpse the deeper, more kinetic possibilities of an on the internet culture in which text recedes to the background, and sounds and pictures become the universal language.

Business

CreditSam Hodgson for The New York Instances

• Stock markets: Funds that track economic indexes have grow to be a dominant force. They can act as accelerants, adding momentum to the present turmoil.

• The Greek Parliament is set to debate the creation of a committee to investigate prosecutors’ assertion that Novartis, the Swiss drug maker, bribed leading politicians.

• Iceland is expected to use far more electrical energy on virtual currencies than to power homes this year.

• The Weinstein Organization sale has hit a snag. A lawsuit in New York says it need to advantage harassment victims, not executives.

Here’s a snapshot of global markets and a appear at what could move them this week, like Airbus earnings.

In the News

A Russian plane carrying 71 individuals crashed shortly right after takeoff in the Moscow area on Sunday afternoon, killing all on board.Published OnCreditImage by Reuters

• A Russian plane carrying 71 people crashed shortly soon after takeoff from Moscow, killing all on board. [The New York Times]

In Gaza, a standoff amongst Hamas and the Palestinian Authority is ravaging the economy. Some predict a total collapse, or a desperate war to break Israel’s blockade. [The New York Instances]

• In Britain, calls for an additional Brexit referendum are gaining momentum amid political infighting and dire warnings by company leaders. [The New York Instances]

• Salah Abdeslam’s defiance at his terrorism trial in Brussels reflects numerous Muslims’ sense that European judicial systems are stacked against them. [The New York Instances]

• In South Africa, stress mounts on President Jacob Zuma to resign. The leadership of his celebration, the African National Congress, meets right now to go over a transition. [Occasions Live]

• In memoriam: Asma Jahangir, a fearless Pakistani rights activist, died at 66. [The New York Times]

Smarter Living

Ideas, each new and old, for a much more fulfilling life.

CreditAndrew Scrivani for The New York Times

• Wednesday is Valentine’s Day. Invest it at property with these recipes.

• Here’s what to doif you have a poor iPhone battery.

• Go meatless with creamy polenta and mushrooms cooked in soy sauce and butter.

Noteworthy

Five hundred years ago, Martin Luther shook the church — and the planet.Published OnCreditImage by Max Mönch, Alexander Lahl and Philipp Seefeldt

• 5 hundred years ago, Martin Luther shook the Roman Catholic Church and the world. An Op-Ed video explores the intellectual transformation that he set off.

• The French hit tv show “Baron Noir” shows politics as dark and gritty below a female president whose style has similarities with Emmanuel Macron. (The series finale airs tonight.)

The top quality of synthetic diamonds has enhanced to the point where they have produced their way into jewelry retailers.

• Is your dog ready for Instagram? The breed counts, but so does cuteness.

Back Story

CreditPhilip Montgomery for The New York Times

The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show opens in New York right now, an event that bills itself as the World’s Greatest Dog Show. The competitors has cultivated a powerful following because it opened in 1877 at Gilmore’s Garden, a venue that later became identified as Madison Square Garden.

So exactly where did the “Westminster” come from?

In the 1870s, a group of males met frequently at the Westminster Hotel near Union Square. They had an extraordinary affinity for the bar, as nicely as for dogs, and they decided to place on a dog show.

William F. Stifel’s book “The Dog Show, 125 Years of Westminster” specifics what occurred subsequent.

… They couldn’t agree on the name for their new club. But ultimately a person suggested that they name it after their favourite bar. The thought was unanimously selected, we imagine, with the hoisting of a dozen drinking arms.

Soon after the Kentucky Derby, the Westminster Dog Show is the second-oldest constantly run sporting event in American history.

The very first show had over 1,200 entries, and the judging took numerous days to select a winner. (Here’s our 1877 report on the preparations.)

Final year, the show had close to three,000 dogs from all 50 states. Judges hold themselves to two days.

Here’s our collection of stories on the show, and we’ll be adding live coverage starting at 6 p.m. in New York. (That’s around midnight in Paris.)

Claudio E. Cabrera contributed reporting.

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Published at Mon, 12 Feb 2018 05:35:26 +0000


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