Malta, Club World Cup, Airbnb: Your Friday Briefing

Malta, Club World Cup, Airbnb: Your Friday Briefing

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Good morning.

We’re covering developments in Malta’s high-profile murder case, recent soccer diplomacy in the Middle East, and the best photos of the 2010s.

For years, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman were obscure businessmen in Florida with no footing in government or diplomacy. Now they face charges of campaign finance violations, and their connections with President Trump and his personal lawyer are central to the impeachment drama.

Photo editors at The Times have pored over images of moments both fresh and faded to tell the story of the 2010s, a decade of seemingly ceaseless upheaval.

Above, migrants arriving in Greece in 2015, when more than one million entered Europe, many fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Britain: The House of Commons is set to vote today on legislation to allow the country to exit the European Union by Jan. 31. Queen Elizabeth on Thursday confirmed in a speech that Brexit would indeed happen by that date. The bill would also force Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government to meet its self-imposed — and likely unrealistic — deadline of hammering out a comprehensive trade deal with the bloc by the end of next year.

Russia: Up to three people were killed after a gunman opened fire near the fortresslike headquarters of Russia’s spy agency on Thursday, according to Russian news reports. The incident is highly unusual for such a secure part of Moscow.

Spain: Snap elections may be imminent in Catalonia, where a court ruling in Barcelona on Thursday barred Quim Torra, the pro-independence leader of the region’s government, from holding public office for 18 months.

Italy: In a sprawling operation against ’Ndrangheta, a crime syndicate with wide influence over local politics, the police made more than 330 arrests across Italy and in Switzerland, Germany and Bulgaria.

Trade deal: In a rare bipartisan gesture, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a new three-way trade agreement with Canada and Mexico. Many Democrats and Republicans alike have long said the deal’s original version, ratified in 1993, contributed to an outflow of American jobs.

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