Scolding allies for failing to defend themselves at the NATO summit in Brussels, President Donald Trump asked that members of the alliance to spend 4 percent — twice the bloc’s current goal and more than the U.S. budgets — of their gross national products on defense. Earlier, he blasted Germany as a “captive of Russia,” buying Moscow’s energy while expecting American protection. Trump, who’s to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday, had an earlier side meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and boasted of a “very, very good relationship.”
The Presidential Daily Brief
Croatia grabbed its place in World Cup history today, defeating England, 2-1, for its first shot at a world championship in Moscow. Mario Mandzukic fired the winning tiebreaker in extra time under English goalkeeper Jordan Pickford on a setup from teammate Ivan Perisic. So the cup won’t be “coming home” as Britons have been singing, but their team will now replay Belgium Saturday for a third-place designation. And Croatia, with half the population of London, will play France Sunday for the glory of dominating the world’s biggest sport.
Hoping to sway public opinion, Senate Democrats have launched a campaign casting Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s pick to replace Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, as a dangerous conservative who would imperil abortion rights, health care protections and gun reform. But blocking Kavanaugh — an experienced federal appeals judge welcomed by many in the legal community — will be an uphill battle, not least because of a White House media blitz targeting key interest groups and swing states. Republicans are pushing for a confirmation vote before the court’s next term begins Oct. 1.
A public health official in northern Thailand told reporters the 12 boys and their soccer coach rescued from a flooded cavern this week “took care of themselves well” during their 18-day ordeal. Three of the boys, as well as the 25-year-old coach, are reportedly suffering from minor lung infections. Meanwhile, divers involved in the complex, three-phase rescue effort revealed that the operation had narrowly avoided disaster, as water pumps draining the cave failed shortly after the last boy was rescued.
Just several days after imposing 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports, the White House says it will levy 10 percent fees on a further $200 billion worth of goods. The latest round of tariffs — which could hit U.S. consumers harder than last week’s duties — will likely spark retaliation from Beijing, whose Commerce Ministry said it was “shocked” and called the measure “completely unacceptable.” U.S. trade officials indicated they’re open to resolving the developing trade war, though no negotiations are scheduled.
Know This: Federal officials have failed to meet the court-ordered deadline to reunite families with children under 5 years old who were separated at the U.S. border. A member of a German neo-Nazi gang has been sentenced to life in prison for her role in 10 racially motivated murders between 2000 and 2007. Archaeologists in Greece have discovered what they say is the oldest known inscription of Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey. And today OZY’s Around the World campaign takes you to Taiwan, where you’ll meet a lot of friendly faces.
Read This: After more than two decades of violence, a new crop of activists, artists and entrepreneurs are hoping to breathe new life into Somalia’s capital.
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That was close. The 24-year-old American woman was charged with public endangerment through negligence after she declared the item as a souvenir to customs officers at Vienna International Airport. The arrivals and luggage halls were temporarily closed as a bomb disposal unit removed the 3-inch caliber shell, which the woman found while hiking in the Alps and later reportedly washed in her hotel room. Prosecutors fined her around $4,700. Unexploded ordnance from World War II is still regularly found throughout Germany and Austria.
Thanks to the island state’s global isolation and economic malaise, Taiwanese youth are suffering from “ghost island” syndrome, characterized by widespread feelings of doubt over high prices, low wages and an overbearing big brother in Beijing. The term, known in Chinese as guidao, can be heard everywhere from college lectures to online forums, and it’s increasingly attracting attention from artists and scholars. Traditional Taiwanese lore blames evil spirits for such social ills, but a more modern outlook suggests an earthly cause: China. Experts say Taiwan could use a period of self-examination.
On Twitter yesterday, the eccentric entrepreneur complained that the media’s use of the term is “almost always meant to devalue & denigrate the subject.” Musk’s outburst came shortly after officials in Thailand decided not to use the “kid-size submarine” he sent to aid the rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cavern. The gesture by Musk, who is worth around $20 billion, drew mixed reactions, with detractors accusing the tycoon of exploiting the situation and using it as an opportunistic publicity stunt.
The Canadian rapper currently has seven songs from his new 25-track album, Scorpion, ranked in the Billboard Hot 100’s Top 10, beating the Fab Four’s 1964 feat of holding five of the top spots at once. Drake has also bested Michael Jackson’s solo male record with 31 career Top 10s — in addition to breaking his own record for the most simultaneously charted songs, with 27 ranked in the top 100. Released June 29, Scorpion debuted at No. 1 and broke U.S. and global single-week streaming records.
He’s moving downfield. The 33-year-old Portuguese soccer star will join the Italian club with a four-year contract announced yesterday. In a letter to fans, Ronaldo said his tenure at Real Madrid — where he won two La Liga and four Champions League titles — were “nine of the most absolutely marvelous years.” The five-time Ballon d’Or winner will reportedly take home around $35 million per season with Serie A champions Juventus. Ronaldo was the world’s most expensive player when he joined Real Madrid in 2009.