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Good morning. President Trump renews NATO criticism, Britain fines Facebook, and France heads to the World Cup final.
Here’s the latest:
• “NATO countries must pay MORE, the United States must pay LESS.”
On the eve of a tense summit meeting that starts in Brussels today, President Trump began his weeklong visit to Europe with tweets that renewed his criticism of NATO allies.
Mr. Trump’s tweets prompted a tart retort from Donald Tusk, the European Council president, who said on Twitter that the “US doesn’t have and won’t have a better ally than EU.”
Our correspondent took in the view from Latvia, nestled alongside Russia and the Baltic Sea, where NATO is no abstraction.
• Facebook has been hit with the maximum possible fine in Britain over the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
The Information Commissioner’s Office, an independent government agency, said it was fining Facebook 500,000 pounds, or about $ 660,000, for letting Cambridge Analytica harvest users’ information without their consent.
It is the social network’s first financial penalty since the data leak was revealed in March. Earlier this year, Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, above, appeared before the U.S. Congress to answer questions and also met with European lawmakers.
In its initial report, the agency said it had concluded that “Facebook contravened the law by failing to safeguard people’s information. It also found that the company failed to be transparent about how people’s data was harvested by others.”
• An 18-day ordeal in Thailand that captured the world’s attention is over: All 12 boys and their soccer coach have been rescued from the flooded cave where they were trapped.
The rescuers who had stayed with them for eight days underground — four Thai divers, an Australian doctor and three Thai Navy SEALs — also emerged. Here’s how they pulled off the daring, treacherous operation.
A Times reporter who once served as a U.S. Navy diver explained the grave difficulties that had to be surmounted. Above, Thai rescue teams in the Tham Luang cave.
The team members are in good condition. But before their misadventure, several of them knew hardship as refugees from Myanmar. One multilingual boy played a critical role in the rescue.
• Allez les Bleus!
Our full coverage continues with a look at how England’s run has brought the nation together at a time of government turmoil and division.
• Turkey may be sliding toward crisis as its currency plunges, corporate debts increase and an autocratic president undermines faith in institutions. One global economist took a grim view: “It has all the ingredients of the beginning of a failed state.” Above, a poster of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul.
• Martin Sorrell and his new firm beat out the advertising giant WPP, his former company, for the purchase of a Dutch marketing firm, a move WPP claimed could threaten his stock awards.
• Tesla will build a new factory in China with an aim to build 500,000 electric cars a year. The operation, based in Shanghai, would be the first overseas factory for the automaker’s electric vehicles.
In the News
• Boris Johnson, above, who stepped down as Britain’s foreign secretary on Monday, came under criticism for formal portraits taken the day of his resignation. His opponents called it evidence of self-interest during Britain’s political crisis. [The New York Times]
• Facing a legal deadline to return young migrant children separated from their parents at the border, U.S. officials said they had reunited four families. [The New York Times]
• Liu Xia, the widow of the Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo, who died last year while in prison, was allowed to leave China for Germany after years of house arrest. [The New York Times]
• India’s Supreme Court is considering decriminalizing gay sex. It will most likely reach a verdict in a few weeks. [The New York Times]
• Despite a ban on new sales, the illegal ivory trade is still flourishing across the E.U., an Oxford University study found. [Reuters]
• Archaeologists in Greece may have found the oldest written record of Homer’s “Odyssey.” The clay tablet was found near the Temple of Zeus in the city of Olympia. [BBC]
Tips for a more fulfilling life.
• Glorious surprises seem to lurk everywhere in Oslo, our 52 Places to Go columnist found. An art installation of giant balloon-bears, stellar food and sculpture parks are only the start. Here are some of her highlights.
• “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” doesn’t use elaborate special effects. Its theatrical magic comes from movement: swirling capes, moving staircases and miraculously fast identity switches. And Steven Hoggett is its wizard choreographer.
• The Empress Dowager Cixi, a teenage concubine who entered the male-dominated Chinese royal court in the late 19th century, becoming the de facto ruler of China, is widely seen as a power-hungry harridan. We look at recent revisionist interpretations that view her as an early feminist.
“It’s coming home.”
Those words can often be heard chanted in an increasingly giddy England as the country’s national soccer team exceeds expectations at the World Cup. The team plays a semifinal against Croatia today.
The phrase comes from “Three Lions,” a song released in 1996 to celebrate England’s hosting of that year’s European Championship, the first major soccer tournament to be played in the country since the 1966 World Cup (the only time England has won the trophy). It’s also a reference to England’s claim to be the birthplace of modern soccer, in the 1800s.
Despite its rich soccer tradition, England didn’t participate in the earliest World Cups, including the inaugural tournament in 1930. A dispute in the 1920s had prompted the Football Association, the sport’s governing body in England, to resign from FIFA, the organization that runs the World Cup.
For the English, “international soccer” at that time meant playing against Ireland, Scotland and Wales. England made its first appearance in the World Cup in 1950 in Brazil.
Sixty-eight years later, England’s team is tempting fans to dream.
As the manager, Gareth Southgate, said after his side beat Sweden in the quarterfinal: “None of us fancied going home.”
At least, not without the trophy.
Chris Stanford wrote today’s Back Story.
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