Iran, Russia, Olympics: Your Monday Briefing

Iran, Russia, Olympics: Your Monday Briefing

And a Russian curler who won a bronze medal failed a preliminary doping test.

Here’s the full Olympic medals table, results and schedule. You can sign up here for behind-the-scenes messages from our editor Sam at the Games.



Lennart Preiss/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Major tensions roiled an annual security conference wrapping up in Munich, Germany.

Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, brandished what he said was part of an Iranian drone shot down by Israel and warned that he was ready to go to war if Tehran continued to entrench itself in Syria.

And our chief diplomatic correspondent tracked the rise of U.S. doubts about one of its own pet projects: a deepened European commitment to self-defense. The concerns include that U.S. military manufacturers might suffer.



Saul Martinez for The New York Times

In the U.S., the “mass shooting generation” is speaking out.

They were born into a world reshaped by the 1999 attack at Columbine High School in Colorado. They grew up practicing active shooter drills — and wondering whether it could happen at their schools.

After last week’s school shooting in Florida, students there and across the country responded with loud calls for gun control measures.



Finbarr O’Reilly for The New York Times

“An endless war without boundaries, no limitation on time or geography. We don’t know exactly where we’re at in the world militarily and what we’re doing.”

That was a senior member of the U.S. Congress, after an attack in Niger in October that left four American and five Nigerien soldiers dead. The mangled operation has revived debates in Washington on the sprawling war against jihadist groups that began after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Our team did a deep dive on what happened. Dozens of interviews with officials, soldiers who survived and village witnesses point to intelligence failures and miscalculations that left the soldiers in hostile territory with no backup.



Ahmad Yusni/European Pressphoto Agency

Two disrupters in Asian politics:

Malaysia’s 92-year-old former prime minister wants his old job back. Mahathir Mohamad, above, is cozying up to opposition figures he once repressed to try to supplant the current prime minister, his former protégé Najib Razak.

And Taro Kono, 55, is bringing a maverick streak to Japan’s usually stodgy political arena. The foreign minister tweets pictures of macarons, pokes fun at himself on social media and doesn’t always toe the conservative governing party’s line.




Yasuyoshi Chiba/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

• “Black Panther” smashed records with a global box office of $387 million on its opening weekend in most markets, disproving the idea that movies rooted in black culture cannot be blockbusters. (The film reaches Japan and China in March.)

• President Trump’s eldest son arrives today in India, the Trump Organization’s biggest — and possibly most star-struck — market. He aims to help sell more than $1 billion in luxury residential units being built with local partners.

• The virtual currency craze has gotten the attention of U.S. regulators. But so far they can only look on, our columnist writes, perhaps in horror.

• A takeover of the Chicago Stock Exchange is the latest Chinese bid to be blocked by U.S. regulators.

Here’s a snapshot of global markets. U.S. and many Asian exchanges are closed for holidays.

In the News


Tasnim News Agency, via Reuters

• Iran is investigating the crash of on a commercial plane that went down about 485 miles south of Tehran, killing all 66 people on board. [The New York Times]

• At least 50 people were rescued on southeast Queensland beaches as huge waves from the aftermath of Cyclone Gita slammed the coast. The storm is headed toward New Zealand. [ABC]

• Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull defended his criticism of his deputy, Barnaby Joyce, over an affair with a former staff member, and revealed that he consulted his wife on the matter. [The Guardian]

• A new U.S. study shows that petroleum-based chemicals in deodorants, perfumes and soap emit harmful pollution at levels comparable to cars and trucks. [The New York Times]

• A Lunar New Year show televised to millions in China set off a flood of outrage with caricatures featuring blackface and African men in animal suits. [The New York Times]

• “Holiday from hell.” Passengers on an Australian cruise marred by days of violence rejected the company’s compensation offer: a discount on another cruise. [The Queensland Times]

Smarter Living

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


Miguel Porlan

• Here’s how to break up with your phone.

• Our best travel tips to make the most of a getaway to China.

• Embrace meatless Monday with a vegetable stir-fry.



Pool photo by Mark J. Terrill

The rebooted N.B.A. All-Star Game is just hours away. This year, rivals LeBron James and Stephen Curry picked their teams as if captains on the playground. The game begins at 8 p.m. Sunday Eastern, noon Monday in Sydney. Here’s a guide to streaming with guidance for those outside the U.S.

• Kengo Kuma, the Japanese architect, is poised for fame with the National Stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Yet it’s his least characteristic work, and will arrive trailing controversy.

• And in India, Hijras, who include transgender and intersex people, occupy a special place in Hinduism, but their role in modern Mumbai remains fraught.

Back Story


Sam Falk/The New York Times

When “The Feminine Mystique” started flying off the shelves, Betty Friedan’s publisher assumed that her husband had bought all the copies.

The assumption encapsulated why she wrote the book, published on this day in 1963. It went on to sell more than three million copies worldwide by 2000.

Helping to ignite the women’s liberation movement in the U.S. in the ’60s, the book tackled what Friedan, above, called “the problem that has no name,” a dissatisfaction among women, like herself, who were defined only by their roles as wives and mothers.

The book’s premise was a “damning indictment,” a Times review said in 1963.

Friedan used her success to advocate feminist causes and helped found the National Organization for Women and other groups. She died in 2006, on her 85th birthday.

Though the book is held up as essential feminist reading, it has come under fire for its lack of diversity and inclusivity.

But 20 years after “The Feminine Mystique” was published, Friedan wrote in The Times: “I am still awed by the revolution that book helped spark. That I was able to put it together at the time it was needed is something of a mystery to me.”

Anna Schaverien contributed reporting.


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