Photographer: Etienne Laurent/AFP via Getty Images
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France’s military chief has resigned after a dispute with President Emmanuel Macron that spilled into public over cuts to the defense budget. General Pierre de Villiers said he no longer felt capable of assuring the nation’s military model. Observers leapt in to label the face-off a test of Macron’s leadership style, which another retired French general calls “juvenile” and “authoritarian.” Macron is the first French president never to have served in the miliary. — Andy Reinhardt
Making waves abroad. Two foreign visits made by U.S. President Trump, to Saudi Arabia and Poland, were followed soon after by major policy changes in those countries. Apparently emboldened by Trump’s backing, Saudi Arabia and its allies cut off relations with Qatar, while the Polish government moved to assert more control over the judiciary. It seems the real Trump effect happens after he leaves.
Running out of time. The crypto coin market is a ticking time bomb. Initial coin offerings, a means of crowdfunding for blockchain-technology companies, have generated so much attention that even the co-founder of the ethereum network, where many of these digital coins are built, says it’s time for things to cool down.
Lonely voice. He predicted Britain’s 2008 financial crash, served in the U.K. cabinet, and performed a foxtrot on the BBC’s “Strictly Come Dancing.” Now veteran politician Vince Cable is staking everything on convincing Britain to stop Brexit. He’s vying to become the next leader of the pro-European Liberal Democrats and take charge of Britain’s vacant political center.
It’s all relative. Ordered by the U.K. government to disclose the salaries of its top stars, the BBC today revealed eye-popping earnings for on-air personalities such as Chris Evans and Gary Lineker. No question, compared with average people and behind-the-scenes BBC employees, the earnings are huge. But compared with TV stars around the world, BBC talent are significantly underpaid.
Back on the table. The North Sea’s supply of cod, the staple ingredient in a traditional British plate of fish and chips, has recovered after appearing to be on the “brink of collapse” a decade ago. Cod caught by British and Scottish boats can even be labeled with a sustainability certification. Meanwhile, read about how an American entrepreneur turned a “trash fish” into a billion-dollar fortune.
Rugged luxury. Mercedes-Benz is releasing its first ever pickup truck, an attempt to lure wealthy buyers who like quad biking and sailing, and who might fancy an open-bed hauler with leather seats, oak trim and autobahn handling. The X-Class, priced from €37,300 ($43,200) in Germany, will hit dealerships in the brand’s home country starting in November.
Compiled by Andy Reinhardt and Leila Taha