F.B.I., Britain, Winter Olympics: Your Thursday Briefing


And Prime Minister Theresa May’s efforts to promote trade on her visit to China are shadowed by uncertainties about her hold on power and the country’s withdrawal from the European Union.




• Just as global sports officials are preparing to travel to South Korea for the Winter Olympics, we obtained a subpoena showing that the U.S. is investigating international sports corruption.

Prosecutors are seeking information from FIFA and the International Olympic Committee.

In a lighter vein, Times Magazine writers explore how a top skier trains, how curling went subtropical and why Koreans excel at speedskating. They also profile Nigeria’s bobsled team, above. It is Africa’s first.

And tag along with our Moscow correspondent to the snowy Caucasus, where new ski resorts are part of an improbable effort by Russia to ski and snowboard its way out of a long-simmering Islamist insurgency.



Péter Rákossy

Two performances that reflect major debates in Europe:

In Hungary, conservative columnists have rallied behind a Budapest production of “Porgy and Bess” against criticism that it did not respect the wishes of its creators to use only black performers. (The opera, above, has been transplanted to a refugee camp.)

Meanwhile in London, a show by the theatermaker Javaad Alipoor invites the audience to join a messaging group to explore themes of ideological radicalism and masculinity.


With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, we are looking for couples who have dealt with the struggles or triumphs of dating someone with opposing political beliefs. Tell us your story.



Doug Chayka

• For too long, the digital ad business has been underregulated and underpoliced, our columnist writes. We’re now dealing with the consequences, like Russian propaganda and tech addiction.

• German carmakers are struggling to squelch a public outcry over emissions experiments on monkeys.

• A growing number of virtual currency investors are worried that the price of Bitcoin has been inflated by Bitfinex, a widely used exchange.

• Economists studying how changes in the nature of work fueled Western populism warn of another wave of disruption: artificial intelligence.

Here’s a snapshot of global markets.

In the News


Evgeny Feldman/Associated Press

• In Moscow, two associates of Aleksei Navalny, the opposition leader, were sentenced to prison after returning from Lithuania, where they had hosted a webcast about nationwide protests in Russia. [The New York Times]

• An Istanbul court ordered the release of Amnesty International’s top representative in Turkey, one of the country’s most prominent political prisoners. [The New York Times]

• In an Op-Ed, a columnist argues that only talks between the Turkish president and the imprisoned Kurdish leader, Abdullah Ocalan, could lead to peace. [The New York Times]

In Poland, lawmakers approved draft legislation that would outlaw blaming Poles for the crimes of the Holocaust. [Reuters]

• Tariq Ramadan, a renowned scholar of Islam, is said to have been questioned in France over two allegations of sexual assault. [France 24]

• The United Nations human rights office is examining more than 200 companies over their involvement with Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which are considered illegal under international law. [The New York Times]

In Ukraine, the prosecutor general is the latest high-profile official to cause a stir by going on a luxurious vacation few civil servants could afford. [Kyiv Post]

Smarter Living

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


Rikki Snyder for The New York Times

• If you haven’t cooked with gochujang, the spicy Korean condiment, start with this braised chicken dinner.

• More kitchen advice: Learn the best ways to cut almost anything (without hurting yourself).

• Bring positive energy into your home, no matter how tight the space.



George Etheredge for The New York Times

• Mural painting in the U.S. used to be unfashionable. But today, thanks to Instagram and hipster culture, it’s a growing business with boldface sponsors.

• Not long ago, the Norwegian midfielder Martin Odegaard was European soccer’s next big thing. But the road to the top, our correspondent found, is not always straight.

• Europe’s premier concert halls have sent a group of promising young musicians on tour. The venerable institutions may benefit as much as the up-and-comers.

• New research on the Dutch Hunger Winter of 1944 suggests that prenatal trauma can influence health across lifetimes.

• “House of Cards,” the Netflix drama, is back in production with a revamped cast.

• We asked readers of the generation after millennials to pick a name. Thousands responded. “Don’t call us anything,” one reader wrote. “The whole notion of cohesive generations is nonsense.”

Back Story


Reed Saxon/Associated Press

On this day in 1887, Harvey Wilcox, a real-estate developer from Kansas, filed a plan with Los Angeles County for a small, gridded subdivision that he called Hollywood. (The origin of the name is disputed.)

Over the next decade, Mr. Wilcox and his wife, Daeida, conjured out of the desert a strict Christian utopia of orchards and Victorian cottages, connected to nearby Los Angeles by a lone streetcar line.

There were just a few hundred residents, and the hamlet banned alcohol, bowling alleys and, even briefly in 1910, movie theaters. But the same year, Hollywood voted to merge into Los Angeles.

Soon, movie studios fled the enforcement of Thomas Edison’s monopoly on film patents and started setting up shop in the ideal Southern California light.

In 1923, the Hollywoodland sign went up (it was truncated to Hollywood in 1949). Animated by the same frontier puritanism as early Hollywood, it was an illuminated billboard for a segregated housing development that called itself a fortress against “metropolitanism”; an ad urged, “Protect your family.”

The sign was left up as the so-called Golden Age of Hollywood arrived, a noirish era embodied by the starlet Peg Entwistle, who jumped to her death from the H in 1932.

Penn Bullock contributed reporting.


This briefing was prepared for the European morning and is updated online. Browse past briefings here.

You can get the briefing delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday. We have four global editions, timed for the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia, and an Evening Briefing on U.S. weeknights. Check out our full range of free newsletters here.

If photographs appear out of order, please download the updated New York Times app from iTunes or Google Play.

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

Continue reading the main story

Source link


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.