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A Tesla goes into space, markets rebound and Quentin Tarantino responds to Uma Thurman. Here’s the news:
• SpaceX, the billionaire Elon Musk’s space company, launched the most powerful rocket in operation.
It is the first time a rocket this powerful has been sent into space by a private company rather than a government space agency.
The payload is a cherry-red car made by Tesla, another of Mr. Musk’s ventures. The car will head away from Earth onto an elliptical orbit around the sun that extends to Mars’s orbit. (Here’s a live video stream.)
• Markets in the U.S. and Asia recovered some of their losses after Monday’s violent plunge.
Investors are bracing for uncertainty after the sudden swing from euphoria to anxiety. Our economics correspondent writes that the shift followed a realization: Interest rates are going to rise in Europe and the U.S., bringing the era of easy money to a close.
You can submit your questions on the turmoil here. (We already tried to answer some.)
• Poland’s president, Andrzej Duda, signed legislation making it a crime to suggest that Poland bore any responsibility for atrocities committed by Nazi Germany.
It is the latest controversial act by a government that has pushed a populist narrative that casts Poland in a battle with the European Union to regain its sovereignty.
Opponents said that the law puts questions of historical accuracy into the hands of judges and prosecutors.
• With the effects of climate change no longer theoretical, some potential parents are hesitating to have children.
They worry about the quality of life that children born today will have as shorelines flood, wildfires rage and extreme weather becomes more common.
• And a mutant crayfish species that didn’t exist until about 25 years ago has spread across much of Europe.
A drastic mutation in a single crayfish gave the creature the ability to clone itself.
• European antitrust regulators said they would examine Apple’s acquisition of Shazam, the British music app. (Separately, our technology reporter tested Apple’s new smart speaker against rivals from Google and Amazon.)
• “Look at situations from all angles, and you will become more open.” That was the Dalai Lama quote that Daimler, the German carmaker, publicly apologized for posting on Instagram after fury in China, a key growth market.
• Snap, the social media app, reversed its slide in earnings, perhaps in part thanks to Facebook’s woes.
• Can you trademark a color? An adviser for the European Court of Justice said no in the case of Christian Louboutin’s famed red soles.
• Stephen Wynn, the American billionaire casino mogul, resigned in response to sexual harassment allegations.
• Here’s a snapshot of global markets.
• The Syrian government has stepped up its bombing assault on besieged suburbs of the capital, Damascus. U.N. humanitarian officials declared the situation “extreme” even for the nearly seven-year war. [The New York Times]
• At least four people were killed after an earthquake struck Taiwan. More than 140 people were missing. [The New York Times]
• Newspapers in Germany suggest that an end to lengthy coalition talks is near. If rank and file Social Democrats approve it, a deal would renew Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mandate with no successor in sight. [Der Spiegel]
• As the European Union rolls out its new Western Balkans strategy, enthusiasm for joining the bloc varies greatly in the region. [Politico]
• Macedonia agreed to rename its main airport and a highway to try to resolve a long-running dispute with Greece over the former Yugoslav republic’s name. [Reuters]
• The latest in South Africa’s power struggle: President Jacob Zuma met with Cyril Ramaphosa, who seeks to replace him. And Mr. Zuma’s state of the nation address has been postponed. [The New York Times]
• Olympic officials are scrambling to contain a norovirus outbreak that has sickened dozens of security guards days ahead of the official start of the Pyeongchang Games. [The New York Times]
• “I’d love to see a shutdown.” President Trump threatened to oppose a possible deal in Congress to avert a government shutdown if lawmakers did not agree on a crackdown on illegal immigration. [The New York Times]
• Inspired by France’s Bastille Day parade, President Trump is said to have requested military parades in Washington. [The Washington Post]
• Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, will remain ensconced in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London after a British judge upheld his arrest warrant. [The New York Times]
Tips, both new and old, for a more fulfilling life.
• The director Guillermo del Toro’s best tips for a trip to Mexico.
• Should you worry about getting sick from a plane flight? Maybe.
• Baked rice with chicken is a great way to feed a crowd.
• Everyday life has become a new runway for models and celebrities as they embrace social media fandom. A rising guard of stylists is preparing them for staged spontaneity.
• Quentin Tarantino responded to Uma Thurman’s accusation that he had put her life at risk in a dangerous stunt while making the “Kill Bill” films. He called the decision one of his biggest regrets.
• The executive producers of “Game of Thrones” will write and produce a series of new “Star Wars” movies, the Walt Disney Company said.
• Fiction writers shared how they write about sex, and what happens when it goes wrong.
• Our classical music critic listened to outtakes from the pianist Glenn Gould’s 1955 recording sessions. The exercise seemed fruitless at first, he writes, but ultimately offered “a fleeting, revelatory glimpse” into Gould’s approach to Bach.
And you thought it was just the title of a Tom Wolfe novel.
On this day in 1497, supporters of the firebrand Dominican friar Girolamo Savonarola burned “indecent” cosmetics, art and books in Florence, Italy. It became the best-known of his many such fires, and gets uppercase status: the Bonfire of the Vanities.
Savonarola railed against corruption and advocated the destruction of secular art and culture. He denounced the nude paintings of the Italian Renaissance and attacked the ruling Medici family.
He briefly led Florence — one account called him its “moral dictator” — when the Medicis were temporarily ousted in 1494. He drew support from those who felt culturally and economically alienated. And he spread his message through one-page screeds, becoming one of the first purveyors of printed political propaganda.
But a few months after his historic bonfire, he was excommunicated by a foe, the Borgia pope Alexander VI. The next year, he was executed: hung on a cross and burned before an angry crowd in the Piazza della Signoria.
The monastery that served as his home and headquarters is now the Museum of San Marco in Florence.
Karen Zraick contributed reporting.
This briefing was prepared for the European morning and is updated online. Browse past briefings here.
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