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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

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Europe Edition
Your Tuesday Briefing
Good morning.
Here’s what you need to know:
Ozan Kose/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
“He’s not a dictator. He’s a democrat.”
That’s a description of Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, by one of the slim majority of voters who approved the new presidential system of government, which takes effect at the next election, slated for 2019.
The outcome reflected a divided country. Voters in the major cities opposed the changes while those in rural areas, who usually are more religious and conservative, voted in favor of them.
External monitors said the referendum was unfair. In Istanbul, hundreds of “no” supporters demonstrated in the streets.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (C) greets his supporters after voting at a polling station for a referendum on the constitutional reform in Istanbul, Turkey, 16 April 2017. Sedat Suna/European Pressphoto Agency
• For decades, the European Union dangled the possibility of membership before Turkey. That courtship may be over as Mr. Erdogan strengthens his already near-authoritarian powers.
To Mr. Erdogan, the fomenting of nationalist pride could also appear more enticing than the potential benefits of membership in a bloc over which he in any case holds substantial leverage.
The German government called on Mr. Erdogan to include the opposition in coming decisions. President Trump called the Turkish president to congratulate him.
Eric Gaillard/Reuters
It’s now France’s turn to worry about Russian meddling in its presidential election with only a few days left before the first round of voting on Sunday.
Squalls of fake news reports and hacking attacks on the computers of the campaign of Emmanuel Macron, a liberal front-runner, have left many with an unnerving sense of familiarity.
Russia’s state-controlled news media has been backing two candidates: François Fillon, a conservative, and Marine Le Pen of the far right.
Mohamad Torokman/Reuters
More than a thousand Palestinian prisoners in Israel staged a hunger strike to demand better conditions, led by Marwan Barghouti, who is often seen as a future Palestinian leader.
The local news media reported that he was moved into solitary confinement in retaliation for the hunger strike and for smuggling out an Op-Ed essay that he wrote, which was published in The Times on Sunday.
Above, a rally in the West Bank in support of the prisoners.
Carl Court/Getty Images
• When Islamic State militants overran the Iraqi town of Qaraqosh nearly three years ago, they smashed every crucifix they found. The few Christian residents who stayed were forced to spit on images of the Virgin Mary.
Our correspondents visited the city’s first Easter service after the militants’ expulsion and found a largely deserted church still defaced by Islamist graffiti.
Pete Kiehart for The New York Times
“Gruyère time!”
That is one of the catchphrases (for when a team’s defense is full of holes) of the broadcaster George Eddy, who is largely responsible for introducing the N.B.A. to France, the American basketball league’s main European market.
Now guess where the oldest basketball court in the world is? Paris. The court has been continuously functional since 1893 and feels like a walk-in time capsule.
Mandel Ngan/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
• The International Monetary Fund releases its latest forecasts for global growth today as central bankers converge in Washington for the fund’s spring meetings.
• Likely on the agenda: The nascent boomlet in emerging markets, where stocks and bonds have attracted large inflows as worries about President Trump’s anti-trade statements are fading.
• Facebook is in a quandary over what kind of role it plays in policing content after a video of a man being fatally shot was viewed thousands of times before it was removed.
Here’s a snapshot of global markets.
In the News
Lee Jin-Man/Associated Press
• Vice President Mike Pence left South Korea for Japan today amid heightened tensions with North Korea. Our Interpreter columnist looks at why peace might actually be riskier for Pyongyang than the threat of war. [The New York Times]
Prince Harry said he suffered for years after the death of his mother, Princess Diana, until he sought counseling about three years ago. [The New York Times]
• A small airplane crashed near a supermarket on the outskirts of Lisbon, killing five people. [Reuters]
• The home of Prince, the American pop star, was strewn with narcotic painkillers for which he did not have prescriptions, according to new documents in the investigation into his death last year. [The New York Times]
Smarter Living
Dominic Kesterton
The case for exercising: If the effects of exercise could be put in a pill and prescribed, it would be rightly hailed as an almost miraculous cure.
Confused about quinoa and nutrition? You’re not alone.
Recipe of the day: If you can make a ragú, you can make this chicken curry.
Paul Connell/The Boston Globe, via Getty Images
• The Kenyan runners Geoffrey Kirui and Edna Kiplagat swept the 121st Boston Marathon. Among the other runners was Kathrine Switzer, who in 1967, above, became the first woman to compete in the race. At age 70, she was only 24 minutes slower.
• In Spain, a former monk has been building an extraordinary church since the 1960s near Madrid, without church backing or a building permit.
• “Math is beautiful on a purely abstract level, quite apart from its ability to explain the world.” So argues an Op-Ed writer, citing neuroscience studies that show that elegant equations activate the same part of the brain that music and art do.
Back Story
Tyler Hicks/The New York Times
When the U.S. sent a team of warships to the Korean Peninsula, we wondered about the namesake of the aircraft carrier leading the group — the Carl Vinson — and the broader question of how Navy ships are named.
Carl Vinson was a long-serving Georgia congressman whose zeal for military expansion led him to be called the “Father of the Two-Ocean Navy.” Launched in 1980, a year before Mr. Vinson’s death, the carrier was one of the first major Navy ships named after a living person since the 1800s.
In 1862, Congress specified that ships, depending on their class, should be named after the states, rivers, or “principal cities and towns.” But naval expansion soon exhausted geographical names.
There have been controversies over some names. The Clinton administration took heat for naming a destroyer after a British citizen, Winston Churchill, and traditionalists objected to plans to name a ship after Harvey Milk, the slain gay rights activist. Mr. Vinson himself was a staunch segregationist.
And sometimes the name just doesn’t fit. Cesar Chavez, the civil rights activist, had a cargo ship posthumously named after him. A proponent of nonviolence, he once said his time in the Navy was “the two worst years of my life.”
Charles McDermid contributed reporting.
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