Check back for the latest on the 47 Russian athletes who are still caught in limbo.
• It’s officially a market correction: U.S. stocks dropped again, to 10 percent from a recent high.
Our analysis of the cause: fears that the American economy could be showing the initial signs of overheating (here’s how the logic goes), as well as the Bank of England’s hint at an interest-rate increase.
One of our senior economics correspondents examines whether investors are right to be so worried about inflation.
• In Washington, Congress moved toward a last-minute vote on a far-reaching budget deal that to avert a government shutdown.
President Trump delivered a subdued message of faith and nationalist values at a gathering of religious leaders, a keystone of his political base. “We praise God for how truly blessed we are to be American,” he said.
But trouble swirled at his offices. The White House staff secretary is resigning after reports that two ex-wives accuse him of physical abuse.
• New photos offer the clearest views yet of China’s military buildup in the South China Sea.
And we look at the increasing number of countries seeking to improve the range and accuracy of their missiles, across Asia and the Middle East.
Our correspondents note several major risks: an increased likelihood of war, a reliance in some cases on obsolete technologies and the possibility that the weaponry could fall into the hands of terrorist groups.
• And scientists have reconstructed the features of “Cheddar Man,” Britain’s oldest complete skeleton — and what he looked like 10,000 years ago is upending perceptions about some of Britain’s early peoples.
He had dark skin along with blue eyes, adding to a body of data that the lighter skin pigmentation long considered a defining feature of northern Europe is, in fact, a far more recent phenomenon.
• Extreme weather is increasingly affecting global food prices. In the latest case, a drought in India has damaged chickpea harvests, sending prices of hummus soaring in import markets like Britain.
• Shares in Wynn Macau surged despite the resignation of the company’s chairman, Steve Wynn, amid sexual harassment accusations. Analysts said his departure decreases risks for the company and may help its chances of getting its Macau casino license renewed in 2022.
• Twitter reported its first profit as a public company.
• Yum! Brands, the owner of KFC and Pizza Hut, reported fourth-quarter profits that beat expectations. But in China, the company contends with the perception that Pizza Hut is a “backup boyfriend” of a dining option.
In the News
• Taiwan remains on edge as aftershocks continue in the area hit by Tuesday’s powerful earthquake. At least 10 deaths have been reported. [Taiwan News]
• Questions swirled over a ship that had been scouring the southern Indian Ocean for debris from MH370, a Malaysian airliner that vanished from the skies in 2014. The ship docked in Perth, Australia, after turning off its transponder at sea. [ABC]
• President Rodrigo Duterte and other Philippine officials will be investigated by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity in the government’s crackdown on drugs. [The New York Times]
• Iran played down reports that Washington had reached out to establish secret talks to negotiate the release of prisoners from both sides. [The New York Times]
• Catholic priests, archbishops and cardinals are sparring over the Holy See’s rapprochement with China. [Reuters]
• A court in Bangladesh sentenced the opposition leader and former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia to five years in prison for corruption, a move that bars her from running in elections this year. Her political party called for a protest today. [Reuters]
• Yolks on them. Chefs for Norway’s Olympic team mistakenly ordered 15,000 eggs for their kitchen in Pyeongchang, South Korea. They had meant to say 1,500. [The Guardian]
Tips, both new and old, for a more fulfilling life.
• Our guide to Snapchat (for people who don’t really get the whole Snapchat thing).
• Looking to gain strength and stay healthy? Lift weights and eat more protein, a new review of research says, especially if you’re over 40.
• Use these recipes to celebrate the Lunar New Year.
• “Digital nomadism” is all the rage among millennial workers indifferent to fixed offices. One start-up aims to take the concept mainstream — starting in Miami, Tokyo, London and Bali, Indonesia.
• South Korea has produced a trove of innovative films in the past few decades, many of which defy any single subgenre. Catch up by streaming these 10 recent works.
• A memoir about sex-and-porn addiction is, our reviewer says, inspirational but “still pretty kinky.” (And, while we’re at it, how do you think porn affects the way teenagers think about sex? Take our quiz.)
“Alligator Found in Uptown Sewer.” It’s a story that would have gone viral, had there been an internet at the time.
On this day in 1935, as recorded in The Times, a teenager named Salvatore Condulucci looked down a manhole while shoveling snow in East Harlem and saw an 8-foot alligator, thrashing in the icy water.
The story ignited the public’s imagination and spawned what Anna Quindlen, the author who was then a Times reporter, called “the most durable urban myth in the history of cities, reptiles or waste disposal.”
A Manhattan historian became so entranced with the idea that he has long observed Feb. 9 as Alligators in the Sewers Day. “I want it to be true,” he told us last year.
Big beasts have been found in sewers around the world. In Sydney, it took six people to drag a 55-pound snapping turtle from a drain in 2000, and in China, a full-grown cow was pulled from a sewer pipe in rural Guangxi Province.
The New York alligator is still a puzzle. The theory at the time was that it had fallen off a boat in the Harlem River.
John T. Flaherty, the former chief of design in the Bureau of Sewers, had a trademark reply to constant questions:
“No, Virginia, there are no alligators in the New York City sewer system.”
Inyoung Kang contributed reporting.
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