Europe Edition: North Korea, Germany, Dogs: Your Thursday Briefing

Meanwhile, leaked complaints of harassment and incompetence from Paris Opera Ballet dancers have set off a furor and spurred resignations, the latest scandal to hit the world of ballet.

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Credit Pool photo by Axel Schmidt

• In Germany, a prize for best hip-hop album went to two rap artists, above, whose lyrics mocked the Holocaust and Auschwitz victims. The award has sparked an uproar and no small amount of soul-searching as the country struggles to reckon with rising anti-Semitism, particularly among Germany’s Muslim population.

The outrage grew in response to a video that showed a man in Berlin, wearing a Jewish skullcap, being attacked by a group of young men who spoke in Arabic.

The victim turned out not to be Jewish — he was an Arab Israeli teenager who wore the skullcap to find out how dangerous it is to be a Jew in Berlin.

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Credit Press Association, via Associated Press

• Barking sad.

A news report that Queen Elizabeth II’s last corgi, Willow, had died sent the British news media into a tizzy. The small, yapping dogs are a beloved symbol of the British monarchy.

While the palace declined to comment, we decided it was a good time to explain the enduring appeal of the queen’s pets, a few of which are seen above in 1973.

In other canine news, think you can identify the breeds in a mutt? Now you can test your knowledge with a new survey by the Darwin’s Dogs program at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Mass., a center for genome studies, and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. Good luck.

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Business

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Credit Sina Schuldt/DPA, via Associated Press

The German authorities, above, raided the Stuttgart offices of Porsche, one of Volkswagen’s most profitable units, in a widening investigation into an emissions-cheating scandal.

The French energy giant Total is investing in a small electric utility for $1.7 billion, a sign that oil and gas companies are diversifying their investments because of worries about climate change.

Marissa Mayer, the former chief executive of Yahoo, spoke with our columnist in her first interview since leaving the company.

Follow the ad trail: Our advertising reporter, Sapna Maheshwari, shares how she tracks the online ads that track us (and how you can protect your data).

Here’s a snapshot of global markets.

In the News

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Credit Ismael Francisco/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

End of an era in Cuba. Raúl Castro, above left, is stepping down as president. His handpicked successor will be the first person outside the Castro dynasty to rule the island since the Cuban revolution more than half a century ago. [The New York Times]

Internyet: Russia’s internet watchdog accidentally shut down scores of websites while trying to block the secure-messaging app, Telegram, causing a widespread outcry. [The New York Times]

The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has called for elections in June — a year and a half earlier than expected — in a move to solidify his increasingly autocratic hold on power. [The New York Times]

China conducted live-fire military drills in the Taiwan Strait, an exercise intended to show off its strength and deliver a message to the self-governing island. [The New York Times]

Addicted to “likes.” A Canadian woman was sentenced to eight years in prison for trying to smuggle $16 million worth of cocaine into Australia aboard a luxury cruise ship. “She was seduced by lifestyle and the opportunity to post glamorous Instagram photos,” the judge said. [Washington Post]

In Syria, the head of a medical relief agency said medics who responded to the suspected gas attack in Douma have been subjected to “extreme intimidation” by Syrian officials. [The Guardian]

Smarter Living

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

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Credit Peter DaSilva for The New York Times

Recipe of the day: Cook a weeknight salmon dinner with sesame and herbs.

Want to feel better? Express gratitude.

Here are 32 green foods to cook for Earth Day.

Noteworthy

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Credit Dusan Martincek/National Geographic

We sat down with Antonio Banderas to discuss his latest role: his boyhood hero, Pablo Picasso. He did painstaking research and preparation for the part, and wears elaborate prosthetics, above, to transform his face into Picasso’s.

In Saudi Arabia, a V.I.P. screening of the Hollywood blockbuster “Black Panther” signified the end of a decades-old ban on movie theaters, part of a wider social opening in the ultraconservative kingdom.

A robot conquered one of humanity’s most difficult tasks: assembling Ikea furniture. The researchers behind the technological marvel explain how they did it.

Back Story

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Our recent back story on the dispute over who was first to reach the North Pole mentioned Adm. Robert Peary’s expedition in 1909.

What it didn’t mention were the people with him, specifically Matthew Henson, above, who was originally hired as Peary’s valet but became an invaluable navigator and interpreter.

In the decades after the expedition, the roles of Henson and the party’s four Inuit members — Ootah, Seeglo, Egingwah, and Ooqueah — were played down.

Henson, who was African-American, was working at a store in Washington when he met Peary, above. Their partnership lasted through eight Arctic expeditions over 22 years. Peary admitted: “I can’t get along without him.”

Henson was the first to plant the American flag when Peary’s group believed it had reached the North Pole.

Henson died in obscurity in 1955 at the age of 88. In 1988, he was reburied in Arlington National Cemetery next to Peary.

At the re-internment, S. Allen Counter, who campaigned to have Henson recognized, said: “We are assembled here today to right a tragic wrong, to right the record.”

“Welcome home, Matt Henson, to the company of your friend Robert Peary. Welcome home to a new day in America. Welcome home, brother.”

Anna Schaverien wrote today’s Back Story.

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