When President Donald Trump meets Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday, Topic A should, many believe, be Friday’s indictments of 12 Russian intelligence operatives by special counsel Robert Mueller’s election meddling investigation, with charges that include hacking party offices and state election systems. Trump’s said he won’t interrogate Putin — adhering to his insistence on cordial relations — but that he’ll “firmly ask” about meddling. The new focus may leave little time for other worries, like the U.S. possibly canceling NATO military exercises or recognizing Russia’s Crimean annexation.
The Presidential Daily Brief
“To all the moms out there, I was playing for you today.” So said Serena Williams, 36, after being overpowered, 6-3, 6-3, by Angelique Kerber in today’s Wimbledon final. But she’d already shushed the doubters — including the All England Club, which seeded Williams 25th following disappointing outings since enduring multiple surgeries for blood clots resulting from the September birth of her daughter. Kerber, 30, had her own tennis news: She became the first German to bring home a Wimbledon trophy since her idol and training partner Steffi Graff won in 1996.
Bombers killed more than 130 people at campaign rallies in Pakistan Friday before ex-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was arrested on a corruption conviction upon his return from exile. The atmosphere was already tense ahead of July 25 elections, seen as a showdown between Sharif’s party and the cricket star Imran Khan’s increasingly popular nationalist party. Most of the dead, 128 by a recent count, were at a rally in the southwestern province of Balochistan, where Islamic State militants claimed the country’s deadliest suicide attack in four years.
President Trump took Brussels by storm this week, telling NATO leaders to double their defense spending and accusing Germany of enriching Russia while requiring American military protection. In the end, he claimed to have whipped the allies into shape. And then he went to Britain, where he told a tabloid that ex-foreign secretary Boris Johnson could fill the shoes of Prime Minister Theresa May, who’d botched Brexit and now couldn’t conclude a trade deal with the U.S. because of it. But he later praised May, declaring the Anglo-U.S. bond was “the highest level of special.”
From each according to his ability. The Kurdish cause in the northern Syria enclave of Rojava, with its promises of socialism and equality, attracted militant leftists from around the world looking to fight in a modern-day Spanish Civil War. One group of fighters, coming together under the antifa (anti-fascist) banner while picking up nonideological Westerners along the way, would help liberate Raqqa from ISIS. They saw their share of action and tasted victory. Now with ISIS all but defeated and their comrades scattered, they wonder what comes next.
The Week Ahead: Today Serena Williams tries to certify her postpartum comeback by defeating Angelique Kerber in the Wimbledon women’s final. On Tuesday, Washington, D.C., hosts Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game. And the Aspen Security Forum begins Wednesday, likely stoking headlines about Russian efforts to influence U.S. elections.
Know This: While some 60 children under 5 have been reunited after being separated from their immigrant parents, the U.S. government says more than 2,500 kids await a court-ordered reunification. The self-authored obituary of a 5-year-old Iowa cancer victim is going viral with details like his preference for a funeral with “five bouncy houses, Batman and snow cones.” And rescue divers say they located 12 trapped boys in a Thai cavern using their sense of smell.
Get up to Speed: Will ISIS be replaced by officially sanctioned radical Islamists in Libya? The OZY PDB Special Briefing will tell you what you need to know about the Madkhalists and their links to the country’s late dictator. With carefully curated facts, opinions, images and videos, this latest Special Briefing will catch you up and vault you ahead.
Behold the rise of the Bollygarchs. There are now 119 billionaires worth a collective $440 billion in India. That’s quite a change from the mid-’90s when the country claimed only two in the ultrawealthy class. India’s super-rich have accumulated money quicker than plutocrats in perhaps any other time or place. So resentment isn’t surprising when the average Indian earns barely $1,700 a year. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has promised to crack down on industrialist-fostered corruption while sustaining growth and bringing India to “middle-income” status — hopefully with an actual middle.
As more U.S. states legalize marijuana, THC’s sister, cannabidiol, remains in a legal gray area. Known as CBD, its oils are derived from hemp. They won’t get you high, but many are intoxicated by their miraculous curative reputation. Already a cult favorite among the wellness set, CBD is believed to combat inflammation, anxiety and pain. Forty states have passed legislation allowing hemp pilot research and cultivation programs, 19 of which are up and running. In the other 10 states, though, experimenting with loco weed can still land you in jail.
In Nigeria, some users might suffer from techno-angst when putting their life savings into an app. But for millennials, it’s the reverse: They don’t trust traditional banks, and tech often has an answer. That’s why younger Nigerians are becoming more comfortable socking money away with digital services like PiggyBank. Still, these innovators need more than just venture capital to thrive. Getting approval from a recalcitrant central bank helps, and providing more than 6 percent interest when inflation’s twice that may also make the difference between success and failure.
Meet Dr. Pimple Popper. That’s TLC’s dermatologist Sandra Lee, delving TV into realities that will make some viewers shudder — with anticipation. Admit it or not, many get a kick out of watching the sudden release of pent-up pus. And DPP’s got massive boils and varying species of pustules in need of squeezing. And there are compelling personal stories of patients suffering the stigma of unsightly skin conditions. But what will make the show pop, if you will, are moments when Lee says, “These guys are fun to remove and satisfying to watch.”
England’s run was exciting. But it lost to Croatia, which advances to Sunday’s final with an origin story that’s hard to top. This little nation wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for soccer, the story goes. A violent 1990 Serb-Croat match is said to have sparked the country’s tragic independence struggle. Eight years later, the country finished third in the World Cup and today funnels top players into European clubs with little glory for fans back home. So if they improbably beat France Sunday, noise, blood and tears will follow.