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Here are today’s top stories for Europe.
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Commuters in London on Monday walked along newly fortified bridges and saw additional police officers posted at tube stations as part of the city’s increased security measures after Saturday night’s attacks at London Bridge. The Met police erected barriers on some bridges to better protect pedestrians from rogue drivers, while British Prime Minister Theresa May praised London mayor Sadiq Khan after a series of critical tweets from President Donald Trump. The attacks, which killed seven people and injured dozens more, prompted political arguments over everything from tolerance for extremism to the use of force to confront criminals. — Andy Reinhardt
Nasty election rhetoric. May and her Labour party rival Jeremy Corbyn traded barbs over the terrorist attacks, after temporarily halting campaigns out of respect for the victims. Corbyn said that May should resign over cuts to police budgets when she served as Home Secretary; she called him “unfit to lead” the fight against terror. Meanwhile, in the background, anti-Labour social media campaigns have gone viral on Facebook, underscoring the changing nature of political races.
Tensions erupt in the Gulf. A Saudi-led alliance cut off most diplomatic and economic ties to Qatar, including severing land, sea, and air links. It’s an unprecedented move designed to punish one of the region’s financial superpowers for its ties with Iran and Islamist groups. Oil rose before retreating in the afternoon, and Qatari stocks plunged. Why does tiny Qatar anger its neighbors so much? We explain.
Twitterer-in-Chief talks travel ban. Trump seized on the London terrorist attacks to criticize his own Justice Department for submitting what he called a “watered down” and “politically correct” version of his proposed ban on travelers from six predominantly Muslim countries for Supreme Court review. He later tweeted that the DoJ should “seek a much tougher version” of the ban, though he approved the executive order currently being adjudicated.
Macron trolls Trump on the global stage. First came the bone-crunching handshake with Trump at the NATO summit in Brussels, which French President Emmanuel Macron later said was meant to send the message that he’ll hold his ground. After Trump announced that the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris climate accord, Macron invited U.S. climate scientists to work in France and hijacked Trump’s signature slogan with a call to “make our planet great again.” Macron is betting that his approach will pay off abroad — and at home in next week’s parliamentary election.
Sovereign wealth funds may sell off U.K. assets. Sentiment slumped after the vote to leave the European Union, and a new survey by Investco says about 41 percent of wealth funds and central banks, overseeing about $12 trillion in assets, expect to introduce new underweight positions in the country this year. The survey also found that investors were starting to question the future of Britain as an “investment hub” in Europe.
Worrisome vote of no confidence. Pacific Investment Management Co. (Pimco) has decided to sell its entire stake of Italian bonds on the conviction that the yields were too low to compensate for the nation’s mounting political risks. A growing number of investors and strategists say Italy could be the epicenter of Europe’s next political tremor as the rising popularity of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement fuels concerns about an electoral upset.
Squandered early lead. As far back as 1994, Daimler was already experimenting with self-driving cars. But the efforts were shelved and since then rivals ranging from Tesla Motor to Alphabet’s Waymo have leaped ahead. Now CEO Dieter Zetsche is spurring the German automaker to catch up.
Compiled by Andy Reinhardt and Leila Taha