Republican Party, International Women’s Day, Lucknow: Your Morning Briefing

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Credit Ville de Bayeux

• Britain’s House of Commons approved a bill to sever the country’s ties with the European Union. It is now headed to the more pro-European House of Lords.

Facebook told lawmakers that it was reopening and broadening an internal investigation into the possibility that Russia had used the platform to influence the 2016 Brexit referendum.

President Emmanuel Macron of France is expected in Britain today for talks on security and the impact of Brexit on France’s north. (He is also expected to announce a loan of the 11th-century Bayeux Tapestry, above.)


Credit Dmitry Kostyukov for The New York Times

In Germany, a recent deadly stabbing has become Exhibit A for those arguing that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s migration policy has increased the risk of violent crime.

The murder shows how the debate on migration has reached a new and fevered stage, our Berlin bureau chief writes.

Mrs. Merkel hosted her Austrian conservative counterpart, Sebastian Kurz, in Berlin. Unlike Mrs. Merkel, Mr. Kurz rose to power in part by co-opting much of the far-right’s political agenda.


Credit Jung Yeon-Je/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

• Score one for the power of sports.

North and South Korea agreed to have their athletes march together under a “unified Korea” flag at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics next month. The two nations will also field a joint women’s ice hockey team.


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The moves are “the most dramatic gesture of reconciliation between the two nations in a decade,” our veteran Korea correspondent writes. (They also upend U.S. strategy.)

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Credit Minh Uong/The New York Times

• U.S. stocks have risen for so long that Wall Street is becoming nervous. What’s an investor to do? For insight, check out our latest quarterly report on investing.

Apple plans to bring back the majority of the $252 billion in cash that it has long held abroad, capitalizing on the Republican tax law.

• Britain fears a domino effect in layoffs among subcontractors of Carillion, the major construction and services company forced into liquidation.

Google is helping businesses build their own A.I. algorithms, even if they are novices.

• Changing fortunes: Goldman Sachs reported its first loss since 2011. Car sales in Europe recovered to reach their highest level in 10 years. And IBM’s yearslong losing streak could end today.

Here’s a snapshot of global markets.

Market Snapshot View Full Overview

    In the News

    Credit Mohammed Saber/European Pressphoto Agency

    • The U.N. agency that aids Palestinian refugees said it was facing the worst financial crisis in its seven-decade history after the U.S. withheld funding. [The New York Times]

    • In northern Nigeria, a double suicide bombing at a market killed at least 12 people and wounded 48 others. [Associated Press]

    • American troops will remain in Syria long after their fight against the Islamic State has ended, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said. [The New York Times]


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    • As the pope arrives in Peru, the Vatican’s handling of sexual abuse in a Catholic organization there has raised questions. [The New York Times]

    • Catalan lawmakers elected a secessionist politician as speaker of the regional Parliament. [Associated Press]

    • The British government has appointed a minister for tackling widespread loneliness and its impact on mental and physical health. [The New York Times]

    • Romania’s president agreed to appoint Viorica Dancila, a European Parliament lawmaker, as the country’s first female prime minister. [Balkan Insight]

    • Ahead of elections in April, Hungary’s governing Fidesz party has stepped up its populist campaign against George Soros, the Hungarian-American billionaire. [Politico]

    • The French government abandoned a decades-old plan to build a major airport near Nantes. Disagreements with activist squatters remain. [The Guardian]

    Smarter Living

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

    Credit Craig Lee for The New York Times

    • Recipe of the day: Skip delivery and make Hunan beef at home.

    • “Should I buy Bitcoin?” may be the wrong question.

    • Battle forgetfulness with these great tips.


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    Aziz Ansari Case Sparks Conversation About Consent

    A sexual-misconduct allegation against the comedian Aziz Ansari adds a new dimension to discussions of dating norms and consent.

    By BARBARA MARCOLINI and NEETI UPADHYE on Publish Date January 17, 2018. Photo by Todd Heisler/The New York Times. Watch in Times Video »

    A sexual-misconduct allegation against the comedian Aziz Ansari, above, adds a new dimension to discussions of dating norms and consent.

    • In Rome, a course aims to teach taxi drivers hospitality and useful phrases in Chinese and Arabic. “It’s important to make people understand that not every taxi driver is a bandit,” one operator said.

    • “Drag has finally arrived at the place it deserves in pop culture, in a way that cannot be ignored,” one aficionado said.

    And is that you in that centuries-old work of art? A Google app that compares selfies with artwork is the most downloaded app in the U.S. (In Europe, you can give it a try by using an American VPN service.)

    • A cloudy Moscow got only six minutes of sunlight during the entirety of December, making it the darkest month since the city began recording the data. Someone called it “Hillary’s revenge.”

    Back Story


    Double your money in just 90 days. Better yet, make it 45.

    That’s what Charles Ponzi, who died 69 years ago today, promised investors. In the end, Ponzi swindled more than $15 million in 1920, the equivalent of $191 million today.

    The trickery earned Ponzi his own namesake scheme, made notorious by Bernard Madoff, who defrauded clients of more than $50 billion. But the original scheme centered on postal notes.

    Ponzi took advantage of international postal reply coupons, which allowed postal customers in one country to buy a coupon redeemable for stamps in another country.


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    Money was invested through Ponzi’s Security Exchange Company with the idea that he would take investors’ dollars, use them to buy foreign postal coupons, convert each coupon into a 5-cent stamp, and convert the stamps into cash.

    But Ponzi never invested in the coupons.

    Instead, he collected the money and paid off his investors while waiting for another influx of cash to come in. Millions of dollars began arriving every week from working-class people.

    Ponzi’s scheme was eventually exposed, and he later died in a charity hospital in Brazil, with only $75 to his name.

    Remy Tumin contributed reporting.


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

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    Follow Patrick Boehler on Twitter: >@mrbaopanrui.

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