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North Korea, Angela Merkel, Laver Cup: Your Friday Briefing – New York Times

The storm’s projected path is northeast, away from land, as it diminishes.



Citizens Mobilize After Mexico Quake

Volunteers are banding together to help rescue workers clear rubble and distribute resources after the 7.1 magnitude earthquake shook Mexico City on Tuesday.

By KIRSTEN LUCE, NEETI UPADHYE and GUGLIELMO MATTIOLI on Publish Date September 21, 2017.

Photo by Kirsten Luce for The New York Times. Technology by Samsung..

Watch in Times Video »

The death toll from the earthquake that devastated Mexico City and surrounding regions rose to at least 230, as hopes faded of finding more survivors.

The Daily 360 video above shows the huge efforts of citizens helping to clear rubble in the Mexican capital.

(Tenemos toda nuestra cobertura en español aquí.)



Odd Andersen/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

German voters are widely expected to endorse Chancellor Angela Merkel in Sunday’s election, extending her 12 years in power. Here’s an overview of issues at stake. Expect first results just after polls close at 6 p.m. local time.

The authorities had prepared for Russian interference in the election, but the meddling didn’t materialize. Now some wonder why Moscow held back.



Seeking Asylum — and Finding Hatred — in Germany

Escaping violence in Libya, Abode struggles to belong in a German town that has become a flashpoint of anti-immigrant anger.


Photo by Andrew Mitchell Ellis.

Watch in Times Video »

In a new documentary, we follow Abode, above, who fled violence in Libya, only to find a new kind of hatred in Germany. “On TV, Europe is great. But in reality, it’s not,” he said. “There are people who don’t like refugees.”

Bolstered in part by frustrations over an influx of immigrants, the populist Alternative for Germany is poised to win seats in the federal Parliament, a first for a far-right party since World War II.

But voters in blue-collar strongholds such as Dortmund are providing a bulwark for Ms. Merkel. Our correspondent visited the onetime factory town to understand how Europe’s largest economy has avoided the wider working-class alienation that has nourished populist sentiment elsewhere.



Remy Gabalda/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Finally, a tale of redefined aspirations.

Sébastien Bras, above, is one of France’s most celebrated chefs. He has stunned the culinary world with an unlikely plea: Take my three Michelin stars away.

“Food should be about love — not about competition,” he said.



Brandon Dill for The New York Times

Environmentalists worry that making genetically modified seeds resistant to more weed killers will increase the use of pesticides. In the U.S., some farmers have turned against Monsanto’s practice of selling such seeds and weed killer.

Standard & Poor’s downgraded its debt rating on China, offering a warning of the challenges the Chinese economy faces as it matures and growth slows.

• Facebook said it was submitting 3,000 Russia-linked ads to the U.S. congressional committees investigating election interference.

In Russia, the bailout of B&N Bank, the second such rescue in a month, has investors worrying about the stability of the country’s private banking sector.

Here’s a snapshot of global markets.

In the News


Marta Perez/European Pressphoto Agency

In Spain, the Constitutional Court said it would fine officials planning Catalonia’s independence referendum between 6,000 and 12,000 euros a day over their defiance of its call to stop it. [Associated Press]

Theresa May, the British prime minister, will speak on “Brexit” in Florence, Italy, today. Leaks to the news media suggest that she could push for a limited-time transition period after her country’s departure from the E.U. [Politico]

• In France, the departure of a top aide of the far-right leader Marine Le Pen, along with key allies, is the latest sign of turmoil within her ranks. [The New York Times]

The Trump administration is preparing to dismantle key Obama-era limits on drone strikes and commando raids outside conventional battlefields. [The New York Times]

• Aaron Hernandez, the former N.F.L. star who committed suicide in April while serving a life sentence for murder, had a severe brain disease linked to repeated head trauma. [The New York Times]

The government of Botswana shared grim images of an elephant herd that died after being electrocuted by a fallen power line. [The New York Times]

And the U.S. Justice Department has asked a prominent New York law firm to hand over documents related to its work in Ukraine with Paul Manafort. [The New York Times]

Smarter Living

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


Recipe of the day: As autumn officially begins in the Northern Hemisphere, here’s an array of recipes for cozy dishes for the crisp days ahead, including the beet, greens and Cheddar crumble above.

• Always a good refresher course: Learn how to protect your information online.

• Safer cars help older drivers on the road.



Francois Durand/Getty Images Europe

• In memoriam: Liliane Bettencourt, the L’Oréal heiress who was the richest woman in the world, died at 94.

The Laver Cup, tennis’s latest novelty, begins today in earnest in Prague. Its format is unusual and potentially volatile. Here’s the full schedule.

• Judi Dench’s favorite things: tattoos, rap and embroidering cushions with raunchy sayings.

When Emanuele Farneti was named Italian Vogue’s new editor, the fashion world was shocked. Today, he is the host of Milan Fashion Week’s biggest party.

Finally, if you’re looking for a good read this weekend, here are our latest book recommendations.

Back Story


Bonhams, via Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

“The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien was published 80 years ago this week.

The book, and his follow-up trilogy “The Lord of the Rings,” set today, Sept. 22, as the birthday of the two greatest hobbit heroes, Bilbo Baggins and, 78 years later, Frodo. Fans celebrate it as Hobbit Day.

Tolkien said he first wrote of the invented being on an exam he was correcting while a professor at Oxford. He later told his friend, the poet W.H. Auden, “I did not and do not know why.” His inspired scrawl — “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit” — became the opening of his endlessly popular epic.

A British letter writer wondered if the hobbits were modeled after “little furry men seen in Africa” and pointed out a “Hobbit” fairy tale from 1904. Tolkien protested that “my hobbit did not live in Africa, and was not furry, except about the feet.”

He told The Times in 1967 that hobbits were inspired by the people of Sarehole, England, where he grew up. The Oxford English Dictionary included “hobbit” in the 1970s, attributing it to Tolkien.

Two years before his death in 1973, Tolkien reflected: “Oh what a tangled web they weave who try a new word to conceive!”

Charles McDermid contributed reporting.


Your Morning Briefing is published weekday mornings and updated online.

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North Korea, Angela Merkel, Laver Cup: Your Friday Briefing – New York Times

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