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Europe Edition: Yemen, Germany, Ireland: Your Monday Briefing

#briefing-market-module.interactive-embedded .interactive-caption { display: none; } Market Snapshot View Full Overview In the News Photo Credit Egyptian Defense Ministry, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images • Friday’s terrorist attack on a packed Sufi mosque, the deadliest in Egypt’s modern history, exposed a failing strategy in combating extremism on the Sinai Peninsula. Above, images showing retaliatory airstrikes. [The New York Times] • Anxiety is building in Italy that its elections next year will be the next target of a destabilizing campaign of fake news on social media. [The New York Times] • Our article on an American Nazi sympathizer has drawn much feedback, most of it sharply critical. [The New York Times] • A trial that is about to start in a Lower Manhattan courtroom is the talk of Turkish television and cafes. Some expect revelations of illegal dealings in high places. [The New York Times] • President Trump and Saudi Arabia have helped Iran’s hard-line leaders achieve what years of repression couldn’t: middle-class support. [The New York Times] • Ramzan Kadyrov, the autocratic leader of Chechnya, said he was ready to step down, leaving the Kremlin to choose his successor. […]

To the World, They Are Muslims. To ISIS, Sufis Are Heretics.

Their particular animus toward the Sufi practice involves the tradition of visiting the graves of holy figures. The act of praying to saints and worshiping at their tombs is an example of what extremists refer to as “shirk,” or polytheism, according to Brill’s Encyclopedia of Islam.“Shirk literally means association. It is the act of associating God with other entities,” said Jacob Olidort, a scholar of Islam, a foreign policy adviser to Senator Orrin Hatch and the author of several reports for the Brookings Institution on these and other concepts. “What they take the Sufis to task principally for is the intercession, the use of other media, to access God, rather than going directly.”Alexander Knysh, the author of two studies of Sufism and a professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, agreed. “They believe Sufi shrines are the most egregious expression of that shirk,” he said. “You are turning to a mediator, who is inserting himself between the believer and God, and in this way it becomes a kind of idol.”Sufis venerate mystics, who in their lifetime were seen as close to the divine. […]

Texas, North Korea, Qualcomm: Your Tuesday Briefing

• Protections for Nicaraguans to end. Thousands who arrived illegally in the U.S., many of them decades ago, will have to leave the country, the Trump administration said. Continue reading the main story • A fight over gardening? The altercation that left Senator Rand Paul nursing bruised lungs and broken ribs was said to have begun over a landscaping dispute with a neighbor. • Partisan writing you shouldn’t miss. Writers from across the political spectrum discuss the church shooting in Texas. • A parasite problem in Norway. Fish farmers face new curbs aimed at protecting the country’s stocks of wild salmon, which have more than halved, partly because of the spread of sea lice. […]

Citigroup, 21st Century Fox, Twitter: Prince’s Arrest Touches Many

It could also shake investor confidence in Saudi Arabia as the kingdom tries to shed its image as an oil-dependent petrostate. The move comes just days after Saudi Arabia held a major investment conference to drum up interest in that effort.The arrest, which was part of a sweep that included at least 10 other princes as well as current and former ministers, came just hours after the creation of a new anti-corruption committee by King Salman, who gave it broad powers to freeze the assets of anyone it considers corrupt.Prince Alwaleed made early bets on some of the tech world’s biggest stars, also including Snap, riding a boom that has catapulted many young entrepreneurs to top the rich lists, and earned him handsome returns. Prince Alwaleed also made an early bet on JD.com, a Chinese online retailer, anticipating that country’s emergence as a vast e-commerce market.In moments of corporate crises, Prince Alwaleed has stepped in to tip the balance.When the phone hacking scandal rocked a London tabloid owned by the Murdochs, the prince went on the BBC to say that Rebekah Brooks, the chief executive officer of the British unit of Mr. Murdoch’s News Corporation, had to resign. “You bet she has to go,” he said in July 2011. […]

European Leaders Criticize Trump’s Disavowal of Iran Deal

Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s foreign minister, said that Mr. Trump was sending “a difficult and also from our point of view dangerous signal.”He said that the Iran deal, and other diplomatic achievements, were necessary “to convince countries like North Korea, and maybe also others, that it is possible to create security without acquiring nuclear weapons.”“Destroying this agreement would, worldwide, mean that others could no longer rely on such agreements — that’s why it is a danger that goes further than Iran,” he added.Reaction from Iran was quick and pointed. Appearing on television, its president, Hassan Rouhani, denounced Mr. Trump and called the United States an outlier that had become “more lonely than ever” in the international community. Mr. Rouhani did not threaten to withdraw from the deal, but made it clear that he would not renegotiate the terms, either.“The statements of Mr. Trump are nothing but abuse and threats against the people of Iran,” he said. “An international agreement cannot be disregarded.”The European leaders noted that the United Nations Security Council had unanimously endorsed the deal, and that the International Atomic Energy Agency had confirmed Iran’s compliance with it.But Mr. Trump’s aggressive stance on Iran won plaudits from several nations on Friday, specifically from adversaries of Iran like Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.Continue reading the main storyBenjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister who has always opposed the agreement with Iran, said that Mr. Trump’s announcement created “an opportunity to fix this bad deal” and was a sign of Mr. […]

News Analysis: Trump Offers a Selective View of Sovereignty in U.N. Speech

“It looks like we will respect the sovereignty of countries we like, whether they are dictatorships or democracies, but we will not respect the sovereignty of countries we don’t like,” said Vali R. Nasr, the dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. “His definition of sovereignty comes from a very narrow domestic prism.”There was an echo of George W. Bush’s democracy promotion agenda in Mr […]

Behind the Sudden Death of a $1 Billion Secret C.I.A. War in Syria

The program did have periods of success, including in 2015 when rebels using tank-destroying missiles, supplied by the C.I.A. and also Saudi Arabia, routed government forces in northern Syria. But by late 2015 the Russian military offensive in Syria was focusing squarely on the C.I.A.-backed fighters battling Syrian government troops. Many of the fighters were killed, and the fortunes of the rebel army reversed.Charles Lister, a Syria expert at the Middle East Institute, said he was not surprised that the Trump administration ended the program, which armed and trained thousands of Syrian rebels. (By comparison, a $500 million Pentagon program that envisioned training and equipping 15,000 Syrian rebels over three years, was canceled in 2015 after producing only a few dozen fighters.)“In many ways, I would put the blame on the Obama administration,” Mr. Lister said of the C.I.A. program. “They never gave it the necessary resources or space to determine the dynamics of the battlefield. They were drip-feeding opposition groups just enough to survive but never enough to become dominant actors.”Mr. […]