WikiLeaks, Donald Tusk, European Central Bank: Your Friday Briefing

Good morning.

Here’s what you need to know:

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CreditChung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

A South Korean court ousted President Park Geun-hye from office, a first in the nation’s history that could reshape the strategic landscape in Asia.

Hundreds of thousands of people had taken to the streets in recent months to protest a sprawling corruption scandal that reached the presidency.

Her downfall is expected to shift South Korean politics to the opposition on the left, whose leaders want more engagement with the North.

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CreditStefan Wermuth/Reuters

Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain is resisting pressure to call an early general election to solidify her Conservative majority in the House of Commons while the opposition is in disarray.

A larger majority would take pressure off Mrs. May in the negotiations to leave the E.U., the result of which Parliament must approve, and allow her to claim her own personal mandate as prime minister. But she has vowed not to hold an election before the next scheduled vote, in May 2020.

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CreditLefteris Pitarakis/Associated Press

• A bitter dispute between Germany and Turkey escalated as leaders in both countries accused the other of acting in bad faith.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has accused Germany of using “Nazi practices” to block him from campaigning among Turks living there for a constitutional referendum at home that would expand his powers. In remarks to Parliament, Chancellor Angela Merkel called the Nazi comparison “sad and incredibly misplaced.”

In Ankara, the prime minister also accused Germany of pushing for the referendum’s defeat, which he said would backfire.

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CreditWikiLeaks, via Associated Press

The founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, moved to seize the moment after his organization released a new trove of classified information about the C.I.A.’s cyberweaponry.

Speaking from the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, where he has sought refuge since 2012, Mr. Assange presented himself as a defender of some of the biggest American technology companies against their own government.

The C.I.A. described Mr. Assange as “not exactly a bastion of truth and integrity.”

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CreditArab 24 network, via Associated Press

The U.S. is sending an additional 400 troops to Syria, nearly doubling the American forces deployed there.

A spokesman for the U.S.-led command said the move was intended to support preparations for an assault on Raqqa, which the Islamic State claims as its capital.

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Business

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CreditDaniel Roland/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

• The European Central Bank held monetary policy steady but faces growing pressure to begin the politically charged task of drawing years of stimulus to a close.

Facebook reported the BBC to the British police after a reporter provided the company with examples of sexualized images of children that had been posted on the social network.

Oil fell below $50 a barrel for the first time since December. Here’s what to make of the volatility.

Chloé, the French fashion label owned by Compagnie Financière Richemont, has named Natacha Ramsay-Levi as creative director.

With Donald J. Trump in the White House, other American executives are asking, why not me?

Here’s a snapshot of global markets.

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In the News

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CreditEric Vidal/Reuters

Donald Tusk, above, was appointed to a second term as president of the European Council, despite objections from his own country, Poland. [The New York Times]

The German police arrested a man in an ax attack that injured seven people at the main train station in Düsseldorf. [The New York Times]

Swiss lawmakers in the upper house voted against a proposal that would ban the niqab and the burqa in public places. [Politico]

The U.S. Justice Department declined to confirm a White House statement that Mr. Trump was not the target of a counterintelligence investigation. [The New York Times]

Jon M. Huntsman Jr. is said to have agreed to be U.S. ambassador to Russia. [The New York Times]

An antiques specialist visiting Blenheim Palace in England discovered an ancient Roman sarcophagus that was being used as a flower pot. [The New York Times]

New research by the British Library suggests that Jane Austen may have died from arsenic poisoning. [The New York Times]

Smarter Living

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CreditCraig Lee for The New York Times

• Prefer cold-brew coffee? Here’s how to do it right.

• Recipe of the day: Treat yourself to the comfort of Swedish meatloaf and caramelized cabbage.

Noteworthy

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CreditChristopher Furlong/Getty Images

In memoriam: Howard Hodgkin, above, a British painter who was one of the most admired artists of the postwar period, has died at 84. And Kurt Moll, a German basso who was his generation’s pre-eminent Baron Ochs in “Der Rosenkavalier,” has died at 78.

• The actor Samuel L. Jackson questioned the casting of the black British actor Daniel Kaluuya over a black American in the comedy-horror film “Get Out.” Here’s what some British minority actors who have worked in the U.S. have to say about the issue.

• Want to get in tune with today’s music? Here’s a curated 25-song playlist featuring Future, Adele, Mitski and more, with essays by some of our best culture writers.

“Countryfile,” a British television show that focuses on rural issues, is wildly popular in a nation where people have a “proprietorial attitude” to the countryside.

Back Story

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CreditElias Williams for The New York Times

In this age of e-readers and Amazon, it might be surprising that an American mail-order book business started nine decades ago is still supplying readers with literary selections.

Before best-seller lists and well-stocked bookstores, the Book of the Month Club tried to steer a growing middle class to the “right” books. Having such titles in the home became a sign of status.

In March 1926, “Lolly Willowes” by the British author Sylvia Townsend Warner was gaining acclaim, and a month later, it became the club’s inaugural pick.

Famously, a panel of literary experts made the choices over lunch and sherry around an oak table. Their credibility built the fledgling club’s membership.

They had hits like “Gone With the Wind” and “The Catcher in the Rye.” One miss was “The Grapes of Wrath.”

While critics viewed the club as middlebrow, it became a powerful literary institution in the U.S. Its influence diminished with the spread of bookstore chains in the 1980s and further declined with online bookselling.

But some of us still want to be guided by their judges. As an early club brochure said, “What a deprivation it is to miss reading an important new book at a time when everyone else is reading and discussing it.”

Adeel Hassan contributed reporting.

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Your Morning Briefing is published weekday mornings and updated online.

Read the latest edition of the U.S. briefing here and the latest for Asia and Australia here.

What would you like to see here? Contact us at europebriefing@nytimes.com.

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