2019年5月27日 星期一

Your Tuesday Briefing

Tuesday, May 28, 2019 | View in browser
Good morning,
We’re covering President Trump’s visit to Tokyo, the European Parliament election results and a rare panda sighting.
By Alisha Haridasani Gupta
Matteo Salvini, Italy's deputy prime minister, at a news conference in Milan on Monday, after his right-wing, anti-immigrant party clinched an overwhelming majority of the country's seats in the European Parliament.  Miguel Medina/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

European Parliament becomes increasingly divided

The results of the four-day election, which many saw as a referendum on the institution of Europe, have only created more fragmentation and polarization, leaving the direction of the bloc clouded in uncertainty.
Populists and euroskeptics increased their seats in Parliament to 25 percent, up from 20 percent five years ago, and are likely to press harder on issues like immigration and the European Union’s budget. But the populist parties might find it hard to forge alliances.
Takeaways: In Italy, Matteo Salvini’s anti-immigrant, populist League came in first, with more than 34 percent of the vote. In France, the results suggested a difficult time ahead for President Emmanuel Macron.
In Germany, the Social Democratic Party did badly, which may prompt the party to leave the existing coalition. And in Britain, estimates indicated that the Brexit Party, led by Nigel Farage, was on course to take 31 percent of the vote. Here are more takeaways.
Meanwhile: Chancellor Sebastian Kurz of Austria and his caretaker government were ousted from power in the wake of a secretly filmed video that showed a party leader promising government contracts to a woman claiming to be a wealthy Russian in exchange for financial support. New elections planned for September may now be moved forward.
President Trump and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan held a joint news conference at the Akasaka Palace in Tokyo on Monday.  Erin Schaff/The New York Times

North Korea hangs over Trump-Abe meeting

President Trump shrugged off North Korea’s recent short-range missile tests in a joint news conference with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan in Tokyo at the end of his four-day state visit, contradicting both Mr. Abe and his own national security adviser.
On trade, another issue that looms over the U.S.-Japan relationship after Mr. Trump threatened auto tariffs, Mr. Abe said the two sides were pursuing a bilateral “win-win” agreement but didn’t provide details.
A first: Mr. Trump became the first foreign leader to meet Naruhito, the country’s new emperor, and his wife, Masako. The empress, a multilingual former diplomat and Harvard graduate, stole the spotlight.

Renault considers a merger with Fiat

If the French carmaker agrees to merge with Fiat Chrysler, it would create the world’s third-largest car company and significantly change the global balance of power in the industry.
Fiat’s proposal, which would give each company a 50 percent stake, is aimed at improving their chances of surviving amid the costly shift to electric and self-driving cars.
Complications: The combination could destabilize Renault’s longtime alliance with Nissan, which is already troubled. Lawmakers in France and Italy may also put up a fight to preserve jobs. And Renault’s powerful CGT union denounced the plan.
What’s next? The Renault-Nissan board is expected to meet Wednesday in Tokyo, where the merger plans are likely to be discussed.
Reaction: Investors cheered the proposal, with both Renault and Fiat shares rising sharply on Monday.

Pakistan accuses Chinese of human trafficking

In recent weeks, Pakistan has been rocked by charges that at least 150 women were brought to China under the false pretense of marriage and instead forced into prostitution or made to work in bars and clubs.
Investigators have cracked down on brokers said to have arranged the marriages, arresting two dozen Chinese citizens and several Pakistanis and charging them with human trafficking. In other cases, Chinese men forged documents to show prospective brides they were Muslim.
Context: The allegations are a disturbing aspect of China’s growing presence in Pakistan, particularly with Beijing’s ambitious Belt and Road infrastructure project expanding into the country.
In addition, China has one of the world’s most skewed gender ratios, with 106.3 men for every 100 women as of 2017 — an imbalance created by the country’s one-child policy, which ended in 2015, and a preference for boys. Now that those boys have reached marriage age, the demand for foreign brides has increased.

If you have 10 minutes, this is worth it

Household workers run for respect

Xyza Cruz Bacani for The New York Times
Six days a week, domestic workers in Hong Kong typically cook, clean and look after their employers’ children, with little time left for themselves.
But for a growing number of maids, trail-running offers an escape. They train in their limited time off — at the crack of dawn or late at night — and race against locals and expatriates, turning the sport into an unlikely equalizer between employers and maids.
“On weekdays, people say, ‘Oh, you’re a domestic helper,’” one maid said. “On weekends, on the trails, they say, ‘Oh, you’re a good runner.’”
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Here’s what else is happening

Mount Everest: This climbing season has been one of the deadliest, with at least 10 fatalities so far, in part because of inexperienced, and even unfit, mountaineers who crowd the perilous paths.
Huawei: The impact of the Trump administration’s ban, the latest move against the Chinese technology company, will be felt acutely in rural America, where wireless carriers rely on Huawei’s cheaper products.
Nike: After criticism of how the brand penalized its sponsored athletes who became pregnant, first revealed by The Times’s opinion department, the company committed to waive performance-pay reductions for those who decide to have a baby.
Ireland: The country overwhelmingly voted to ease restrictions on divorce, which was legalized in 1995 but with strict conditions, in a move that continued Ireland’s shift to the left on social issues.
Germany: The nation’s top anti-Semitism official suggested that Jews were not safe wearing traditional skullcaps everywhere in public amid concerns over rising anti-Jewish crimes.
Is that a U.F.O.? After U.S. Navy pilots reported seeing unidentifiable flying objects from 2014 to 2015 over the East Coast, the Navy this year sent out new classified guidelines on how to report sightings. No one in the Defense Department is saying that the objects are extraterrestrial, though.
Wolong National Nature Reserve
Snapshot: Above, an all-white, albino giant panda captured on camera in southwestern China last month, the first of its kind to be documented, an expert said this week.
French Open: Clay courts, like those at Roland Garros in Paris, are among the most demanding terrains: They require peak physical conditioning as well as mental and emotional stability. Follow the latest updates from the tournament here.
“Lady Chatterley’s Lover”: The copy of the D.H. Lawrence novel that in 1960 was used by a British judge in one of the most famous obscenity trials of the century was sold at auction last year to an unidentified buyer. Now, the British arts minister is preventing it from being exported until August, as a crowdfunding campaign tries to top the price to keep it in the country.
What we’re watching: This CBS News clip shared by the historian Michael Beschloss, in which former President Dwight Eisenhower visits a cemetery in France with Walter Cronkite 20 years after D-Day.

Now, a break from the news

Romulo Yanes for The New York Times
Cook: Warm-weather days are perfect for simple, flavorful meals like chicken and mango soba salad with peanut dressing.
Read: Our summer reading list is here. Find 75 books to keep you company as the days grow long.
Go: Bordeaux, France, is especially appealing to those in the wine-sipping, food-loving crowd. Here are our recommendations for a weekend there.
Watch: The director Olivia Wilde discusses a fantasy musical scene from “Booksmart” that involved teaching a nondancer how to dance.
Smarter Living: Everything with the “dry clean only” label doesn’t actually need a trip to the dry cleaners. Some materials — like wool and silk — can be hand-washed at home, right in the bathroom sink. We asked experts to help sort out when to heed the label’s warnings and when to break the rules.
And, despite alarmist headlines and a study that suggested morning people live longer, the truth is more complicated.

And now for the Back Story on …

The newest euro notes

There’s more than meets the eye in the new bank notes circulating in Europe as of today.
The 100- and 200-euro bills are the last of the “Europa” designs to go into use since 2013. The 5, 10, 20 and 50 preceded them.
The new 100-euro banknote.  Toms Kalnins/EPA, via Shutterstock
The newest bills have extra security features, only a few of which the European Central Bank has disclosed.
For one, a hologram shows a portrait of Europa as well as small € symbols that move around and become clearer under direct light. (In Greek mythology, Europa was a nymph seduced by Zeus posing as a white bull. Her image was taken from a vase in the Louvre.)
There may be other features — like infrared watermarks — readable only by machines.
The 200-euro note is now the largest euro denomination.
The 500-euro bill stopped being printed by the central bank in 2016, after research linked its use to money laundering, tax evasion and terrorism financing. Sometimes called the “Bin Laden,” it was removed from circulation last month.
That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.
— Alisha
Thank you
To Mark Josephson, Eleanor Stanford and Kenneth R. Rosen for the break from the news. Victoria Shannon, a briefings editor who lived in Europe when the euro started circulating in 2002, wrote today’s Back Story. You can reach the team at briefing@nytimes.com.
• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our latest episode is about accusations of child sexual abuse against a founder of the Sundance Film Festival.
• Here’s our Mini Crossword, and a clue: Simple skateboard jump (5 letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
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