Rex Tillerson, Angela Merkel, Turkey: Your Friday Briefing

Rex Tillerson, Angela Merkel, Turkey: Your Friday Briefing


Meanwhile, the fringe far-right group basked in the limelight.

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Taha Jawashi/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

• At a meeting in Ivory Coast, African and European leaders agreed to a plan to fight people-smuggling networks and repatriate migrants stranded in Libya.

Between 400,000 and 700,000 migrants are living in Libyan camps, according to one estimate. So far, about 13,000 have returned to their home countries.

A recent video of the sale of migrants as slaves served as a reminder for European leaders that their policies risked trapping migrants in inhumane conditions, our correspondent writes.

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Kayhan Ozer/Presidential Palace, via Reuters

Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, ordered banks to participate in an oil-for-gold scheme to evade U.S. sanctions on Iran, a U.S. government witness told a court in New York. Mr. Erdogan has repeatedly denounced the inquiry.

Separately, the Turkish Parliament rejected a motion to investigate allegations by the opposition that Mr. Erdogan’s family had moved millions of dollars offshore.

Mr. Erdogan is expected to visit Greece next week in what would be the first visit by a Turkish head of state to the Mediterranean neighbor in 65 years.

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Denis Tyrin/Associated Press

• The Kremlin will host the 2018 World Cup draw today.

Each of the 32 teams has been assigned to one of four pots, based on its world ranking. Here’s how it all works, and how to watch it at 4 p.m. Central European Time, 10 a.m. Eastern. We will provide minute-by-minute coverage on nytimes.com.

(Above, a clock in Moscow that counts down to the first match in June.)

Business

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Eric Vidal/Reuters

Car companies and navigation services are racing to fix one of the most persistent headaches for drivers: finding a parking spot.

Major oil exporters extended production cuts.

An idea for creating air or fuel from the Martian atmosphere led to a breakthrough in powering big data centers.

Many Americans born in the 1960s are not earning as much as they expected.

Here’s a snapshot of global markets.

In the News

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Axel Schmidt/Reuters

Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, met the leader of the Social Democrats to break an impasse over the formation of a new government. [The New York Times]

Death and starvation in a war-ravaged Syrian suburb provided a pessimistic backdrop to the peace talks in Geneva. [The New York Times]

• Egypt, in a snub to the U.S., agreed to allow Russian military jets to use its airspace and bases. [The New York Times]

Many in Russia question whether Ksenia Sobchak, an opposition candidate in next year’s presidential election, is opposing Vladimir Putin or doing his bidding. Our correspondent followed her on the campaign trail. [The New York Times]

• As two more U.S. media figures face sexual assault accusations (Russell Simmons, the hip-hop mogul, and the playwright Israel Horovitz), we looked at some of the misguided reasons that such accusations are often doubted. [The New York Times]

(Our new gender editor provides her insights in the first edition of our newsletter The #MeToo Moment.)

A judge in Spain is set to review today the detention of a group of Catalan separatist leaders awaiting trial on charges of rebellion for declaring independence. [Associated Press]

• Five Arctic nations completed negotiations with the E.U., China and others to impose a moratorium on fishing in new ice-free areas. [The New York Times]

And the Japanese government set a date for the abdication of Emperor Akihito: April 30, 2019. [The New York Times]

Smarter Living

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

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Evan Sung for The New York Times

• Recipe of the day: This weekend, surprise someone with a homemade ginger stout cake.

• How to clean any type of holiday stain, from stout cake to gravy and wine.

• Exercise may enhance the effects of brain training.

Noteworthy

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Nadia Shira Cohen for The New York Times

The Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini sought inspiration in the working-class Rome neighborhood he called home. Some of its residents keep his memory alive more than 40 years after his murder.

Bored Panda, a tiny Lithuania-based publisher, is thriving on Facebook despite algorithm changes that doomed its competitors.

Pottery is the new Pilates as many are turning to crafts as a balm and a corrective.

Finally, some reading advice for the weekend: Our critics picked the 10 best books of 2017. (Random news fact: Iceland’s new prime minister is an expert in crime thrillers.)

Back Story

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An Rong Xu for The New York Times

It’s considered the highest art form of its class, with equal parts risk and high reward. It’s impossibly light, and taller than it is wide. The jeweled citrus peel is the (dried) cherry on top.

We’re of course speaking of panettone (pronounced pann-eh-TOH-nee), the traditional Italian bread served over Christmastime. The boxed fruitcake lines grocery stores around the world but is deeply rooted in Milanese folklore dating to the Middle Ages.

One legend of the origin of panettone involves a nobleman’s love for the daughter of a baker named Toni. Forbidden from marrying her, the nobleman disguised himself and went to work for the baker, creating a new bread to impress the woman, made with butter, eggs and candied fruit. The bread was such a hit at court, a new dessert was named in its honor — pan del Ton — and the nobleman was allowed to marry the daughter.

Five hundred years later, the boxed version of panettone became widely available. Homemade panettone is notoriously difficult: Butter a couple of degrees too warm can turn the dough to mush.

But the proof is in the pudding.

“It melts in your mouth and it’s suddenly gone,” one baker told The Times. “And then you want to eat more.”

Remy Tumin contributed reporting.

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

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