Migrants, Catalonia, CES: Your Thursday Briefing

Migrants, Catalonia, CES: Your Thursday Briefing

Meanwhile, the “Trump effect” seems to have worn off at the southern border of the U.S. Illegal crossings are up again.



Hani Amara/Reuters

• The Libyan Navy said that about 100 migrants were missing and feared dead after their dinghy sank in the Mediterranean. The Coast Guard rescued at least 279 migrants.

In Belgium, the migration minister’s decision to expel several Sudanese migrants late last year — several of whom say they were tortured when they went back home — has led to calls for his resignation.

The number of migrants reaching Spain from Africa almost tripled to nearly 22,000 last year. Short on space in detention centers, Spain has sent someAlgerian migrants to a prison.



Eric Vidal/Reuters

• In Catalonia, the main parties seeking secession from Spain are said to have reached a preliminary agreement to re-elect Carles Puigdemont as the region’s leader. He remains in Belgium to avoid prosecution in Spain.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has rejected a proposal by Mr. Puigdemont to meet outside Spain to negotiate a settlement. The Catalan Parliament is set to reconvene next Wednesday, and is expected to elect a regional leader within two weeks.



Roger Kisby for The New York Times

• Our reporter at the International Consumer Electronics Show answered some readers’ questions ranging from Apple’s absence to smart kitchens. (Embarrassingly, the giant exhibition had a two-hour electricity failure attributed to rain.)

• Canada has filed a sweeping trade case against the U.S. at the World Trade Organization. The case also outlines problematic U.S. actions taken against other countries, including Germany and China.

• Using data, female economists have forced a reckoning over the barriers they face throughout their careers.

The kidnapping drama “All the Money in the World” has become a new flash point in the debate over gender equality in Hollywood.

Kodak is betting its future on digital currencies with an initial coin offering intended to help photographers sell their work.

Here’s a snapshot of global markets.

In the News


Abed Omar Qusini/Reuters

• The Islamic State’s Sinai branch in Egypt has urged attacks on Hamas’s members, courts and security positions, accusing the Islamic group that dominates Gaza of betraying Palestinians. (Above, Hamas supporters at a rally in the West Bank last month.) [The New York Times]

• Key European foreign ministers meet their Iranian counterpart today to show their commitment to the 2014 nuclear accord ahead of a deadline for President Trump to decide whether to reimpose sanctions. [Reuters]

• The arrest of a prominent human rights advocate in Chechnya appears to be part of an effort to drive out dissidents. [The New York Times]

• In a marked change from earlier statements, President Trump declined to commit to being interviewed by the special counsel investigating whether his campaign colluded with Russia to sway the 2016 election. [The New York Times]

• Greece has passed a law to limit the powers of Islamic courts in a northern region. [The New York Times]

• Jewish advocacy groups in Germany welcomed an idea to make tours of concentration camps mandatory for immigrants. But some experts called the idea simplistic. [The New York Times]

• In an Op-Ed, an Obama-era security official argues that the European Union needs to rein in the authoritarian impulses of Poland’s government. [The New York Times]

• Hackers tied to Russian intelligence released private emails in an apparent attempt to retaliate against antidoping investigators. [The New York Times]

• No plane, no money: Malaysia will pay a U.S. company up to $70 million if it finds debris of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which vanished in 2014, within 90 days. [The New York Times]

Smarter Living

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


Karsten Moran for The New York Times

• Recipe of the day: For a fish dinner, try halibut with brown butter, lemon and sage.

• Fiber’s good for you. Here’s why.

• Eight tips to help keep your travel expenses down.



Elizabeth Lippman for The New York Times

• Tonya Harding, the disgraced U.S. figure skater, is back. And she’d like an apology. She tells her side of the 1994 Nancy Kerrigan scandal in a new movie, “I, Tonya.

• The Vatican’s plan to take 2,100 homeless and poor people to the circus, along with refugees and prisoners, did not go down well with animal rights activists.

• Dolphins develop the ability to recognize themselves in a mirror at an earlier age than children do, which fits with how fast they develop generally.

• With the improbable help of human nose hair, researchers found the earliest fossils of butterflies in 200-million-year-old rocks in Germany.

• The former head of Disney promised Portsmouth, a proud English soccer club fallen on hard times, the prospect of an underdog’s triumph.

A dash of this. A bit of that. Our writer recalls how a French babysitter once taught her to make rice pudding “au pif” — without the constraints of precision.

Back Story


Richard Perry/The New York Times

In the 1850s, a U.S. Army lieutenant exploring the Grand Canyon made one of history’s less accurate predictions, saying that the area had no financial value and that his “party of whites” would probably be the last to visit.

Far from it. In 1919, the year the Grand Canyon became a national park, it had more than 44,000 visitors, and today it receives six million a year.

The canyon’s path to national park status began in the 1880s, when Senator Benjamin Harrison of Indiana introduced several bills, but to no success. Later as president, he made it a forest reserve.

President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed parts of it a federal game reserve and then established it as a national monument on this day in 1908.

Five years earlier, on his first visit to Arizona (then still a territory), Roosevelt said he could not attempt to describe the Grand Canyon and implored people to preserve it. “You cannot improve on it; not a bit,” he said.

Like Roosevelt, the environmentalist John Muir was left at a loss for words by the canyon’s beauty, writing in 1902 that no artist could do justice to its colors: “And if paint is of no effect, what hope lies in pen-work? Only this: some may be incited by it to go and see for themselves.”

Jennifer Jett contributed reporting.


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

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