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Good morning. Theresa May scrambles to save her government, Europe prepares for President Trump and the World Cup reaches fever pitch.
Here’s the latest:
• Prime Minister Theresa May is battling to save her government after her foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, quit over her plans for a “soft” Brexit.
He was the second minister to leave Mrs. May’s cabinet in 24 hours.
“We are truly headed for the status of colony,” Mr. Johnson, above, said in his resignation letter.
Under Mrs. May’s plans, Britain’s exit from the E.U. would preserve many connections with the bloc. Mr. Johnson was replaced by Jeremy Hunt, who had been serving as the health secretary.
• NATO leaders are bracing for Tuesday’s summit meeting in Brussels. Above, protesters were already out on the streets there over the weekend.
European officials are anticipating more off-the-cuff remarks from President Trump, who has again been pressuring them to expand their military budgets. The NATO nations may be reluctant to push back very hard because, as one analyst points out, “They’re caught between dependency and outrage.”
After Brussels, Mr. Trump will head to Britain for a few days. Protesters intend to find him wherever he goes (and aim to fly a 19-foot “Trump Baby” balloon over Parliament). Then he’ll go to Finland to meet with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.
• A committed conservative.
President Trump has selected Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, a politically connected member of Washington’s conservative legal establishment, for the Supreme Court.
The nomination of Mr. Kavanaugh will set off a furious confirmation battle. His confirmation would fundamentally alter the balance of the United States’ highest court and put dozens of precedents at risk.
• British officials suggested for the first time that Russia was behind the latest nerve agent poisoning in the area around Salisbury, England, above.
“The simple reality is that Russia has committed an attack on British soil which has seen the death of a British citizen,” the defense minister, Gavin Williamson, said in the House of Commons.
The authorities were still seeking a container that may have held the agent that poisoned two people this month, killing one of them.
• The World Cup is at fever pitch.
If you need more proof that the 2018 World Cup is one for the ages, consider its stoppage-time goals. There have been 23 goals scored in the 90th minute and second-half stoppage time so far, shattering the previous high of 14. Of the 23, more than half have been tying or go-ahead scores.
And we looked at the bizarre theater that permeates World Cup news conferences.
• Facebook is taking a huge reputational risk in aggressively pushing facial recognition technology. The company is forging ahead with tools that can be used to remotely identify people by name without their knowledge or consent.
• The rise of automation is a particular concern for poor countries, where there are more unskilled laborers in agriculture and manufacturing, a new study shows.
• The venture firm Index, which plans to announce $ 1.65 billion in new funds, is hoping to use the money for investments in Europe and Silicon Valley.
In the News
• Four more members of the trapped Thai soccer team were evacuated by daring cave divers after torrential rains cleared. Above, rescued team members were moved from a military helicopter. Eight players have been rescued so far; four others, and their coach, are still in the cave. [The New York Times]
• President Emmanuel Macron of France defended his business-oriented approach in cutting taxes for the rich and loosening labor regulations. “If you want to share the cake, you’ve got to have a cake,” he said. [The New York Times]
• Romania’s president fired the country’s anticorruption chief, indicating that a court ruling had left him no choice, as the government tries to weaken laws against graft. [The New York Times]
• Flood survivors in Japan are digging out of the wreckage after heavy rains left more than 100 people dead and dozens missing. [The New York Times]
• Israel moved to choke off commerce in the Gaza Strip, a penalty for flaming kites sent into Israel that have caused hundreds of fires. [The New York Times]
• Scientists in the Sahara have discovered what they say is the world’s oldest color: bright pink. [The Guardian]
Tips for a more fulfilling life.
• Women are setting the stage ablaze in London. Three kindred productions, all directed by women, are “infused with a radiant empathy for its beleaguered heroine that approaches religious dimensions,” our theater critic writes. Above, Lia Williams in “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.”
• Are you drawn to a certain painting? Science would like to know why. The mysteries of the aesthetic response and creative impulse are a new area of inquiry for researchers.
• “I couldn’t tell anyone.” Even in places where abortion is legal, it can still be hard to talk about. When we invited readers from around the world to share their own experiences, more than 1,300 responded. Here are a few of their stories.
He took a vow of silence on July 10, 1925, and kept it for 44 years.
When Baba was 19, a holy woman kissed him, transforming his life. He began studying with religious masters, gained devotees, took a new name (Meher Baba means “compassionate father”) and worked to alleviate suffering.
Baba never fully explained why he stopped talking. He first communicated in written form, later in gestures. But his reputation soared. He met Hollywood stars like Tallulah Bankhead and leaders like Gandhi (whom he told to renounce politics). He corresponded with Richard Alpert, Timothy Leary’s colleague at Harvard, later known as Ram Dass. (He told Alpert to renounce LSD.) Pete Townsend of The Who titled “Baba O’Riley” after him and dedicated “Tommy” to him. The Bobby McFerrin song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” is based on words Baba used.
He promised miraculous things would happen when he finally spoke: “There will be unfaltering love and unfailing understanding and men shall be united in an inviolable brotherhood.”
He died in 1969 without uttering a word.
Nancy Wartik wrote today’s Back Story.
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