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Balance of Power: Macron’s Revolution

Emmanuel Macron may now be the most powerful French president since Charles de Gaulle after crushing the establishment yet again in the country's National Assembly elections.

Macron's Republic on the Move party and its allies won 350 seats in the 577-strong parliament after yesterday's second round. The result is even more astonishing for the fact that his party didn't exist 14 months ago.

Macron now has five years to remake a country plagued by economic weakness, terrorism and near-record unemployment. A recent poll showed 88 percent of people think France has lost its way.

It's a task that has eluded French presidents for decades, and the 39-year-old Macron will have to overcome a mixture of apathy and discontent if he's to pull it off. Turnout for the assembly elections was the lowest on record. And Macron will face the inevitable wave of street protests when he tries to implement his reforms.

But the prize is a big one. If he succeeds he'll join Margaret Thatcher and, to a lesser extent, Gerhard Schroeder in the pantheon of European leaders who transformed their countries.

If not, the populist wave may be difficult to hold back next time.

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Global Headlines

Another attack in London | Police are investigating a potential terrorist attack in North London after a van plowed into a crowd near a mosque early Monday, killing one person and injuring 10. London was already a city on edge and this would be the fourth terrorist incident in as many months. It comes as Prime Minister Theresa May clings to power after a disastrous election result and her widely criticized response to last week's Kensington tower block inferno.

Obamacare secrecy sparks Senate showdown | Democrats are mulling the prospect of grinding legislative business to a halt to protest secret efforts to craft an Obamacare repeal bill. Republicans want to fulfill their campaign pledge to repeal and replace the 2010 Affordable Care Act, but some of them have already voiced doubt about whether the Senate can act this year. A push by Democrats to stall proceedings won't make it any easier.

Brexit talks (finally) start | Almost a year since Britain voted to leave the EU, Brexit negotiations opened today in Brussels amid confusion over just what the U.K. wants from the divorce. Head over to Bloomberg's daily Brexit Bulletin for a full rundown of what's at stake and a closer look at the two negotiating teams.

Kushner  seeks to revive Mideast peace talks | President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and top adviser, Jared Kushner, plans to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas when he travels to Israel and the West Bank this week. The visit will be Kushner’s third to the region since Trump was elected and follows a report in the New York Times that he's seeking a criminal lawyer to defend him over his deepening involvement in the various Russia election-meddling investigations.

Abe's popularity slides | Japanese leader Shinzo Abe suffered his biggest drop in public approval since taking office for a second time in 2012 after another scandal reinforced allegations of cronyism. While it's unlikely he's going anywhere soon, members of his own party are starting to offer rare criticism of the once "Teflon" leader, denting his chances at becoming Japan's longest-serving prime minister.

Iran fires six missiles into Syria  | Iran fired missiles at Islamic State targets in Syria for the first time in retaliation for twin terror attacks in Tehran earlier this month. The strike may signal the Islamic Republic's willingness to deploy its military power in the region’s conflicts and show that it won't back down from its rivals -- particularly Saudi Arabia, which Iran accused of encouraging the deadly violence in its capital.

Cold War déjà vu | There’s been a lively debate among historians and diplomats for years over whether the U.S. and Russia are headed for a new Cold War. The case has been strengthened in recent days after Trump restored some restrictions on Cuba last week and the Senate approved a bill to toughen sanctions on Russia. As Marc Champion reports, this all has some of America's European allies worried.

Photographer: Miller, Chris

 

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