France, United Airlines, Maria Sharapova: Your Thursday Briefing
Here’s what you need to know:
• Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, the two French presidential candidates, received starkly different welcomes from striking factory workers in Amiens, Mr. Macron’s hometown.
Mr. Macron was booed as tires burned, while Ms. Le Pen was greeted with hugs and selfies.
Their separate visits, covered live on French television, showed how Ms. Le Pen’s antiglobalization message resonates in regions struggling with job losses.
• Viktor Orban, above, Hungary’s prime minister, clashed with European Union leaders in a continuing spat over a university founded by George Soros, the billionaire financier.
The European Commission said that new legislation in Hungary that threatens to shut the university violated democratic values, and Jean-Claude Juncker, its president, plans to meet Mr. Soros today. Speaking to European lawmakers, Mr. Orban attacked Mr. Soros, a major supporter of liberal causes, as an “enemy of the euro.”
Meanwhile, a nonprofit group set up by Mr. Soros in Poland is battling government efforts to cut its funding.
• For decades, parties on Europe’s far right have blamed E.U. institutions for being onerous bureaucracies and lacking democratic accountability.
At the same time, many populist leaders, including Ms. Le Pen, have enjoyed the perks of seats in the European Parliament. Even more ironic, the Parliament provides them with a platform to coordinate their anti-Europe efforts — and to get paid for it.
• Turkey detained more than a thousand police officers, accusing them of being “secret imams” for Fethullah Gulen, a cleric living in exile in the U.S.
The authorities blame him for the failed coup in July, which has since led to the arrests of about 45,000 people.
Turkey’s demand that Mr. Gulen be extradited is almost certain to be discussed at a meeting in Washington between President Trump and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, next month.
• Our reporters take you into the heart of the war-torn city of Mosul, in Iraq, where civilians are trapped by vehicle bombs and snipers.
And our seven-minute video tracks how Syria and Russia distorted the facts surrounding a recent chemical weapons attack in northern Syria.
• The White House wants to shake up America’s economic base.
President Trump proposed cutting taxes for businesses and most citizens, which Republicans saluted but one Democratic congressman called “mathematically impossible.”
(We’re parsing the details, but our Washington editors see it as an opening bid, not a final plan.)
• Ivanka Trump, interviewed by NBC in Germany, said that allowing Syrian refugees into the U.S. “has to be part of the discussion,” a comment that was in contrast with the rhetoric from her father.
One of our investigative reporters uncovered the identity of a business partner of Jared Kushner, Ms. Trump’s husband: a member of one of Israel’s richest families, whose most prominent figure is under investigation in the U.S. for possible bribe payments in Guinea.
• United Airlines is again under fire because … Simon, an enormous rabbit, died on a flight from Britain. (Above, the rabbit’s father, Darius).
• Several soccer clubs in Britain and France were raided in a tax evasion and money-laundering inquiry.
• Credit Suisse is seeking to raise $4 billion through a share sale to address longstanding capital concerns.
• Tesla offered pay raises and job guarantees to defuse labor tensions at a key German supplier.
• Here’s a snapshot of global markets.
• Russia blacklisted a Britain-based group founded by Mikhail Khodorkovsky that has coordinated antigovernment rallies, but organizers said they would continue to mobilize for marches against the Kremlin in some 30 cities on Saturday. [The New York Times]
• Former President Barack Obama agreed on a $400,000 fee to speak at a conference sponsored by a Wall Street investment firm this year. [The New York Times]
• The authorities in Belarus tolerated a small march commemorating the Chernobyl nuclear disaster that also protested the construction of a new nuclear plant. [Associated Press]
• The owner of a 17th-century painting that the Nazi authorities looted from its Jewish owner withdrew the work from auction in Austria. [The New York Times]
• Francis is the first pope to give a TED talk. His message of hope came with an admonition: “The more powerful you are, the more your actions will have an impact on people, the more you are called to be humble.” [The New York Times]
• Looking to build up strength and muscle? A heavier bench press might not be necessary.
• Get happy: Here are four ways to cultivate a better you.
• Maria Sharapova returned to the tennis court after a 15-month suspension for a failed drug test and won.
• In memoriam: Jonathan Demme, the Oscar-winning director of “The Silence of the Lambs” and “Philadelphia,” died at 73. Leonard Reiffel, the U.S. military scientist who studied dropping a nuclear bomb on the moon, died at 89.
• In her inaugural column on desserts, Dorie Greenspan writes about the “joyful, comforting, gratifying and even magical” practice of making biscuits.
Tomorrow, Pope Francis will be visiting Egypt, the second trip by a modern pope to the biblical land, after John Paul II’s visit in 2000.
Francis is expected to meet another pope, one who is little known outside the country: Tawadros II of the Coptic Orthodox Church. Above, the two meeting at the Vatican in 2013.
Copts consider Tawadros II their 118th pope, after the apostle Mark is said to have established the church in Alexandria, in northern Egypt, in the first century.
The two churches parted ways in a dispute about the nature of Christ in the fifth century. It wasn’t until 1973 that a Coptic pope visited the Vatican, mending ties that had been severed for centuries.
Unlike his Roman Catholic counterpart, who is chosen by a group of cardinals, the Coptic pope is selected by a process that is said to incorporate the hand of God.
When Tawadros II’s predecessor, Shenouda III, died in 2012, an electoral college of clergy and laymen selected a shortlist of three candidates.
Crystal balls sealed with wax containing the candidates’ names were then taken to the St. Mark Cathedral in Cairo. There, a blindfolded 6-year-old boy in a white robe picked Tawadros’s name from a glass bowl.
This briefing was prepared for the European morning. We also have briefings timed for the Australian, Asian and American mornings. You can sign up for these and other Times newsletters here.
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