Palko Karasz, The New York Times, 16.11.2016
Good morning. A morning briefing to jump-start your day.
• Donald J. Trump’s plans for a smooth transition to the presidency are in disarray.
Officials said a purge of top aides was orchestrated by Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and close adviser. Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who was placed in charge of the transition, joined Mr. Trump in New York to speed the naming of a cabinet.
Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former mayor of New York and top contender for secretary of state, is facing a flood of questions about whether his business dealings should disqualify him.
The president-elect turned to twitter to deny that his team was in turmoil.
• Mr. Trump’s far-flung holdings present an array of potential conflicts of interest, complicated further by his decision to have his children serve on his transition team and run his businesses.
As president, he will be exempt from a federal ethics rule prohibiting government workers and members of Congress from actions that could benefit their financial interests.
Ivana Trump, the president-elect’s first wife, said she wanted to be ambassador to the Czech Republic, her homeland.
• President Obama made some of his strongest comments since last week’s election.
In Greece on the first leg of his last official international trip, he warned of a rise in “a crude sort of nationalism” and of “tribalism that is built on ‘us’ and a ‘them’ ” — an apparent reference to Mr. Trump’s appointment of Stephen K. Bannon, a hard-right nationalist, as chief strategist.
In Athens, protesters demonstrated against Mr. Obama’s visit.
• Russia resumed airstrikes on rebel-held areas of Aleppo, Syria, ending three weeks of relative calm in the city.
In Moscow, President Vladimir V. Putin dismissed his economy minister, who was arrested in a bribery case, citing a “lack of trust.”
• Germany banned True Religion, a Muslim organization known for distributing German-language copies of the Quran, following raids around the country on Tuesday.
The interior minister said the group acted as a “collecting pool” for would-be Islamist fighters.
• A security company based in Virginia discovered preinstalled software in some Android phones that was sending text messages, contact lists and other data to a server in China every 72 hours.
The scope of the issue is not clear. The software provider, Shanghai Adups Technology, said its code runs on 700 million phones, cars and other smart devices.
• Technologies that emerged from the effort to combat distracted driving have added to the problem, U.S. safety experts say, contributing to a surge in highway deaths.
• Fintech, the emerging industry that combines finance and technology, is looking for its Silicon Valley. Berlin, Singapore and Sydney, Australia, are in the race, but Hong Kong may have the inside track.
• Google still plans to expand its campus in Central London, adding space for up to 7,000 workers, in a move seen as a vote of confidence in Britain’s future.
• Twitter said it was making it easier for users to hide and report abusive posts, after facing scrutiny for a rise in hate speech online during the U.S. presidential election.
• The euro and pound gained against the dollar.
• An important U.N. committee approved a resolution condemning Russia’s “temporary occupation” of Crimea. [The Associated Press]
• The British prime minister’s office distanced itself from a leaked memo that said the government was unprepared for negotiations on “Brexit.” [The New York Times]
• President François Hollande has proposed extending France’s contentious state of emergency until the election in May. [The Guardian]
• The Belgian police have found the cellphone of one of the Paris attackers, lost for months, under a pile of paperwork. [BBC]
• Egypt has overturned the death sentence of Mohamed Morsi, the country’s first democratically elected president, who was ousted in 2013. [The New York Times]
• Despite concerns over Mr. Trump’s vow to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate change accord, top diplomats at a United Nations global warming summit said the pact would go ahead regardless. [The New York Times]
• Lake Baikal, one of the most pristine bodies of fresh water in the world, has been invaded by algae caused by an influx of untreated sewage.
• A sketchbook of 65 drawings attributed to Vincent van Gogh stirred debate between two scholars, who believe the work to be authentic, and the Amsterdam museum that bears his name.
• Jackie Chan finally received an Oscar. Mr. Chan, a Hong Kong native known for his comedic timing and martial arts expertise, received an honorary award for his long career as an actor, director and producer.
• Pollution in Tehran is the new normal for most Iranians, considered a problem so large and complex that it is better just to pretend that it is not there.
• “Post-truth” has defeated “Brexiteer,” “glass cliff” and “adulting” in the race for Oxford Dictionaries’ word of the year.
The movie adaptation of the book “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” was released in the United States 15 years ago this week. If the title sounds odd to American readers, that’s because in the U.S., the stone was a sorcerer’s.
Book and movie titles differ often in adaptation — and not always because producers think sorcery is more enticing than philosophy.
In some cases there’s a practical reason. “Schindler’s List” was first published in book form as “Schindler’s Ark.” Oskar Schindler actually did keep a list, and book publishers changed the title later.
Other cases are simply random.
While it would have been a stretch for the movie “Blade Runner” to carry “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” the film’s title doesn’t actually appear in Philip K. Dick’s book.
It was lifted from a different novel, Alan E. Nourse’s “The Blade Runner.”
American movie titles are often altered when they are released overseas to resonate with local audiences. That’s why “Up in the Air” became “Mileage, My Life” in Japan; and “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” turned into “It’s Raining Falafel” in Israel.
A movie critic there summed up the criteria film studios used. “They are looking for something catchy or funny,” he said, “even if it is ridiculous.”
Evan Gershkovich contributed reporting.