We’re covering Boris Johnson’shard-line stance, a new report on Russian election interference, and the record-breakingheat in Western Europe.
Boris Johnson, Britain’s new prime minister, outlined tough Brexit demands in a speech in Parliament on Thursday. Jessica Taylor/House of Commons, via Associated Press
Boris Johnson pushes a hard line
Britain’s new prime minister culled about half of the cabinet he inherited from his predecessor, Theresa May, and installed staunch Brexit supporters in key positions.
In a speech in Parliament on Thursday, less than 100 days before the nation is expected to crash out of the E.U., Mr. Johnson outlined tough Brexit demands, including the “abolition” of a so-called “backstop” plan that would have allowed goods to flow freely across the Irish border.
Both moves appeared intended to send one message to the E.U.: He is serious about leaving without a deal if necessary.
Impact: Mr. Johnson’s ejection of so many members of Mrs. May’s team frees them up to openly oppose a no-deal Brexit. And Mr. Johnson seems willing to call a general election this fall if Parliament tries to block a no-deal Brexit.
In Spain: Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, whose Socialist Party victory in April’s elections was seen by E.U. leaders as a vote of confidence against the rising tides of nationalism and populism in the bloc, failed to form an alliance that would re-elect him in Parliament, moving the country closer to another national election.
U.S. Senate report outlines Russian election meddling
Election systems in all 50 U.S. states were targeted by Russia in 2016, the Senate Intelligence Committee concluded, painting a Russian intelligence effort more far-reaching than the federal government had previously acknowledged.
Mahogany Hotel and Suites(Ibadan) 08099887255/ 08083061500
But the report — the first from the committee’s investigation into 2016 election meddling — was so heavily redacted at the demand of American intelligence agencies that key lessons for 2020 were blacked out.
While not directly critical of either American intelligence agencies or the states, the report described what amounted to a cascading intelligence failure.
Details: The findings landed just hours after Senator Mitch McConnell stepped forward to block consideration of a package of election security bills, and a day after the special counsel Robert Mueller warned that Russia was moving again to interfere.
Other Capitol Hill news: After Mr. Mueller’s testimony, demands for impeachment are growing louder and more divisive. Four more House Democrats came out on Thursday in support of beginning impeachment proceedings against President Trump, but a majority of Democratic caucus members remain skeptical about what they see as a politically perilous push.
Swimmers on a pontoon floating on a lake in Hanover, Germany. Christophe Gateau/DPA, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Heat wave blazes across Western Europe
A dangerous heat wave swept across the region on Thursday, with the temperature in Paris soaring to almost 43 degrees Celsius, or nearly 110 degrees Fahrenheit, the hottest in recorded history. Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands all set national records, too.
Scientists say the hottest summers in Europe in the past 500 years have all come in the last 17 years. Several heat waves have been linked to human-caused climate change, and many more are likely to scorch temperate zones like northern Europe in the future.
Climate politics: The northern French town of Grande-Synthe has been a vibrant laboratory of pragmatic green policies. Its mayor, who was recently elected to the European Parliament, faces the challenge of persuading more voters that climate change is a concern for everyone.
In response to globally growing anger and potential government regulation after the 2016 U.S. elections, Facebook created a library to hold all the advertisements on the social network.
Anyone can see individual ads, but researchers say access to the library’s data for creating databases and tools to analyze the ads is so flawed that it’s effectively useless as a way to comprehensively track political advertising.
The library was the centerpiece among initiatives like expanded fact-checking efforts that Facebook executives used as examples of how their company could be trusted to fix its own problems. But these issues raise questions about the social media company’s efforts to quash disinformation, and reflect the struggles of big tech firms and governments to counter it.
New data deal: Tech giants’ corporate wealth is built on harvesting and commercializing the information supplied by online multitudes. As the backlash against Facebook and other tech giants intensifies, a growing collection of people are calling for a better bargain on how these companies use their data.
Side note:Facebook’s co-founder, Chris Hughes, and antitrust academics have been meeting with government officials to argue that for nearly a decade, Facebook has been acquiring companies to protect its dominant position in the market for social networks.
If you have some time, this is worth it
How Turkey purges its intellectuals
Emin Ozmen/Magnum, for The New York Times
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has sought to dismantle the country’s academic sector in an attempt to consolidate his grip on power.
Since 2017, about 6,000 academics have been fired. Many have also had their passports canceled, and some face legal proceedings as the country swerves toward an authoritarian state.
Here’s what else is happening
Iran: A U.S. military official said Iran fired a Shahab-3 medium-range missile on Wednesday. It appears to be a political statement by Tehran, acting both as a carefully calibrated effort at escalation — and as a message to Europe.
ASAP Rocky: The rapper was charged with assault on Thursday and will remain in custody until his trial on Tuesday, Swedish prosecutors said. The case, which started as a street brawl, ballooned into a diplomatic incident involving President Trump, who lashed out on Thursday at Sweden’s prime minister over what he said was unfair treatment of the rapper.
Libya: About 150 migrants who were likely looking to reach southern Italy drowned in a shipwreck on Thursday, according to the United Nations, which said crossing the Mediterranean had become increasingly perilous because of the decline in rescue ships patrolling the waters.
Ukraine: In a move that is likely to increase tensions between Moscow and Kiev, Ukraine seized a Russian tanker that it claims was used during a naval confrontation last year to block passage through the disputed Kerch Strait.
Tunisia:President Béji Caïd Essebsi,the country’s first popularly elected leader, died at the age of 92. He steered the country through a democratic transition after an uprising that set in motion the Arab Spring of 2011.
Dunamis Kente +233 50 257 6068
Vinícius Júnior: Real Madrid’s teenage forward has kept his native Brazil close, and his life as simple as he can, while he makes his way in Spain. Our reporter visited the star at his villa in the nation’s capital, and got a glimpse at the transition from prodigy to pro.
What we’re listening to: This mini-series from Radiolab on intelligence. “From the dark side of I.Q. tests to a scavenger hunt for Albert Einstein’s brain, ‘G’ highlights the power, and fragility, of humanity,” Remy Tumin on the briefings team writes.