Europe Edition: Kim Jong-un, Greece, Satan: Your Friday Briefing



Credit Saul Loeb/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

If the world economy is looking so great, why are global policymakers so gloomy?

Worries about trade and debt are the top concerns for officials, above, gathering in Washington for the I.M.F. and World Bank meetings. Beyond the threat of a trade war, they are worried about growing financial imbalances, like Germany’s export surplus, that could spur the next downturn.

The Trump administration’s policies have effectively crippled the Export-Import Bank, an 84-year-old Washington institution.



Credit Jason Horowitz/The New York Times

“Shut up, Satan!”

Yelling at the devil is just one way to rid a friend or loved one of demonic possession, or so 300 Roman Catholics, above, learned in an exorcism master class in Rome. (Also helpful: uninterrupted praying, chastity and good cellphone coverage.)

The annual seminar seeks to train an army of exorcists to confront a surge in evil that its ultraconservative sponsors blame on atheism — and Pope Francis.

(Warning: Black magic can be transmitted through smartphone screens.)



Credit Devin Yalkin for The New York Times

U.S. regulators are expected to fine Wells Fargo $1 billion for a range of alleged misdeeds, the biggest bank penalty of the Trump era.

General Electric, the industrial giant, invested heavily in digital technology but has pulled back, finding that becoming a big tech player is daunting and costly.

Qualcomm, the American chip maker, is finding itself in the cross hairs of a looming U.S.-China trade war.

Advertisers have long had a symbiotic relationship with Facebook. But user concerns about privacy are forcing companies to re-examine how they work with the social network.

Southwest Airlines’ fatal accident after takeoff from New York this week is renewing scrutiny of inspections. No problems were detected when the plane was checked two days before the explosion.

Here’s a snapshot of global markets.

In the News


Credit Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Rudy Giuliani, above, the former New York City mayor, will join President Trump’s legal team dealing with the investigation into Russian election interference. [The New York Times]

A Greek court’s ruling that lets migrants arriving on the country’s islands travel freely within its borders could threaten the E.U.’s refugee deal with Turkey. [The New York Times]

The British police are looking for a group of masked thieves who stole jade and gold Chinese antiques from a museum. [The New York Times]

Marriage to a U.S. citizen used to be a virtual guarantee of legal residency. That is no longer the case under the Trump administration. [The New York Times]

In Spain, the supermarket chain Carrefour introduced a new range of insect-based foods, including spicy chili buffalo worms and smoked crickets. New E.U. regulations paved the way for such products. [The Guardian]

The Cannes Film Festival ended a ban on Lars von Trier, the Danish film director, whom it declared persona non grata in 2011 for remarks about Hitler. [The New York Times]

Brexit: The E.U. rejected British proposals for solving the Northern Ireland border issue, the latest challenge for Prime Minister Theresa May’s government as it tries to prepare for leaving the bloc. [Politico]

Smarter Living

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


Credit Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

Recipe of the day: Close out the week with a sheet-pan meal of roasted chicken, potatoes, arugula and a garlic yogurt.

Here’s how to help colleagues who don’t know they need help.

Leftovers? Make a savory tart.



Credit Jonno Rattman for The New York Times

Can dirt save the world? Farming could pull carbon out of the air and into the soil, but that would mean a new way of thinking about how to tend the land.

In memoriam: Rob Matthews, 56, a blind British runner who won eight Paralympic gold medals and broke 22 world records. “Running turned back the fear,” he said.

A Frenchman has become the first person in the world to receive two full facial transplants.

Back Story


Credit Associated Press

“Old soldiers never die; they just fade away.”

Gen. Douglas MacArthur, above, took those words from an old Army ballad and made them famous 67 years ago this week in his farewell address to Congress.

Little did that five-star American general know that he had just given rise to an army of so-called snowclones, a relatively new linguistic phenomenon that’s tougher to explain than it is to use.

A snowclone, as defined by the linguistics professor Geoffrey K. Pullum in 2003, is a “customizable, instantly recognizable, timeworn, quoted or misquoted phrase or sentence that can be used in an entirely open array of different jokey variants.” (Mr. Pullum also called them “some-assembly-required adaptable cliché frames for lazy journalists.”)

Let’s try one. Using General MacArthur’s template, “Old golfers never die, they just lose their drive,” would be a snowclone. Using X and Y as stand-ins, snowclones are easy to spot: X is my middle name, a few Xs short of a Y, and so on.

It’s unclear who first said “pink is the new black,” but it is now one of the most popular snowclone templates, notably producing the title of the Netflix series “Orange Is the New Black.”

Study of the subject appears half-serious: One article was titled “Snowclone Is the New Cliché.”

Charles McDermid wrote today’s Back Story.


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