Photographer: Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images

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Here are today’s top stories for Europe.

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Almost six months into Donald Trump’s presidency, Americans are feeling fairly optimistic about their jobs, the strength of the economy, and their own fortunes. That should be welcome news for the president, except the public is also losing confidence in him. Trump’s approval rating in a new Bloomberg poll has fallen to 40 percent, while 55 percent view him unfavorably. That’s up 12 points since a similar survey in December. — John McCormick and Andy Reinhardt

Getting ugly. U.K. Brexit Secretary David Davis returned to Brussels today to kick off the second round of negotiations with the European Union over Britain’s exit. But back home in London infighting continued among cabinet members over the best route out, following public revelations of internal dissent over the weekend.

The headquarters of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt.
Photographer: Bloomberg

Taper tension. A Bloomberg survey of economists suggests that the European Central Bank will hold steady at its July meeting this week. That would soothe investors worried about its plan to start unwinding stimulus next year. Instead, the ECB will likely wait until September before slowing the pace of its bond-buying program, the precursor to any rollback.

All in the family. German drugmaker Boehringer Ingelheim is one of Europe’s most valuable closely-held companies. But the Boehringer family has resisted an initial public offering to raise capital, and now a younger generation faces a problem common among Germany’s family-owned businesses: Whether to invite outside investment —  and dilute family control —  or stick with tradition.

A twist in the plot. A new allegation is being made against Qatar’s rivals. Unnamed U.S. intelligence sources say that the United Arab Emirates was behind a May hack of Qatari websites that created false and incendiary quotes attributed to the Qatari leader. Those quotes helped spur the severing of ties by a Saudi-led alliance. The U.A.E. denies any involvement in the hacking.

Dipping a toe in the politics pool. Brands don’t normally go near politics. But after President Trump told France’s first lady Brigitte Macron that she was “in such good shape — beautiful,” sports-shoe maker Reebok mocked the president on Twitter. There can be only one situation in which the comment would be appropriate, Reebok said: That moment when you find “a forgotten action figure from your youth, unscathed after decades, in your parents’ basement.”

Game of Thrones is back. The penultimate season of HBO’s biggest hit has kicked off, thrilling devotees with the return of favorite characters, gruesome violence and political intrigue. The final season is due to air in summer 2018, and then that will be the end of Thrones forever. Or will it?

Game of Thrones
Source: HBO

Compiled by Andy Reinhardt and Leila Taha

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