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We’re covering the French government’s role in the crumbling of the Fiat-Renault merger, progress on a deal between the U.S. and Mexico, and two teenagers who are running a presidential campaign.
Inside the dissolution of the Fiat-Renault merger
It was supposed to be a transformative merger in an industry facing intractable challenges.
In the end, the French government infuriated both Fiat and Renault executives, who wanted to create a competitive new industrial giant free of state influence, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions.
What happened: The merger appeared to be sealed after more than four hours of negotiations on Wednesday night in Paris. Then France’s finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, stunned those present with a request to delay the vote for five days to consult with his Japanese counterpart.
Soon after, the chief executive of Fiat Chrysler quit the talks.
Points of tension: The government insisted on a number of concessions, including job guarantees, a seat on the new company’s board as well as veto power over appointments of a future chief executive.
Reminder: Renault is often described as a crown jewel of French industry. The government is under political pressure to save well-paying jobs, and national pride was at stake as it considered a tie-up with an Italian-American organization.
Mexico and Guatemala have agreed to consider significant changes in asylum laws across the region that would allow the U.S. to reject requests for protection from many people fleeing persecution.
Mexico has also pledged to send thousands of troops to its border with Guatemala, if a deal is reached, and could also expand an American program in which asylum seekers wait in Mexico while their cases are processed.
Reminder: Mr. Trump, who has repeatedly demanded that Mexico end all illegal immigration into the U.S., has not yet given his approval of the direction of the talks, and no deal has been reached. Any final agreement would await his return from Europe.
Automakers ask Trump to change pollution rules
The world’s largest automakers signed a letter telling President Trump one of his most sweeping deregulatory efforts — his plan to weaken pollution standards for automobiles — threatens to hurt their profitability and produce “untenable” instability.
The letter, signed by 17 companies, including Volkswagen, General Motors, Toyota and BMW, was delivered to the White House on Thursday morning, according to a senior auto industry lobbyist; a similar letter was sent to Gov. Gavin Newsom of California.
Fears: Some officials have said they fear that the auto industry’s criticism of Mr. Trump’s rollback could lead the president to retaliate by imposing tariffs on auto imports.
Huawei makes a deal in Russia
The Chinese telecommunications giant signed a memorandum of understanding to build part of Russia’s high-speed 5G wireless network on Thursday, the first day of a three-day visit by President Xi Jinping of China.
The Trump administration continues to view Huawei with skepticism and has been trying to convince its allies that the company could enable Chinese espionage, turning Huawei into a flash point in the wider U.S.-China trade war.
Huawei has long denied the allegations and is suing the U.S. government over what it calls an unfair ban.
An escalation: On Thursday, China’s commerce ministry said it planned to draw up its own list of “unreliable” foreign companies soon, a move that is widely seen as retaliation against the U.S.
Impact: The U.S. campaign to shut out Huawei raises the possibility that the world would be divided, country by country, over how the “internet of things” develops.
If you have a block of time, this is worth it
The teenagers behind a presidential campaign
Two 18-year-olds from New York, David Oks, right, and Henry Williams, talked a former Alaska senator, Mike Gravel, who is 89, into running for president and letting them build his campaign.
On Twitter, the unorthodox persona they have built for him has attracted a following, with fans naming themselves #GravelGang or #Gravelanche.
Here’s what else is happening
Germany: A former nurse was convicted of murdering 85 patients and given a life sentence. The authorities say he may have killed up to 300 people from 2000 to 2005. He is believed to be the most prolific serial killer in peacetime Germany.
Netherlands: The case of Noa Pothoven, 17, who had written about being a rape victim and her experience with mental illness, ricocheted around the globe. But initial stories got it wrong.
European defense: Washington has been pressing the European Union to spend more and do more for its own defense for over a decade. Now that the bloc is actually responding, the U.S. is criticizing how it’s being done.
D-Day: Seventy-five years after the D-Day invasion, President Trump, who has called into question America’s allies around the world — including those whom Americans fought alongside in Normandy — pledged fidelity to friendships “forged in the heat of battle, tested in the trials of war, and proven in the blessings of peace.”
Stonewall riot apology: New York’s police commissioner apologized for a violent raid that set off the 1969 Stonewall uprising, speaking just weeks before the 50th anniversary of the milestone for gay rights, which coincides with the celebration of World Pride month. Some cautioned the Police Department that its future actions needed to back up its words.
Snapshot: Above, the picturesque fishing village of Mevagissey in southwestern England, where there is no longer a doctor for its 5,300 residents, after its only one announced she was quitting. Residents have started a social media campaign.
Women’s World Cup: A year after France’s men’s team won soccer’s World Cup, the women’s team is looking for similar success, starting with its first match today against South Korea.
French Open: Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem sailed through the quarterfinals at Roland Garros on Thursday, joining Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer for the semifinals on Friday. In the women’s tournament, an unseeded, 17-year-old American, Amanda Anisimova, upset Simone Halep, the defending French Open champion, in the quarterfinals.
What we’re reading: This sobriety guide from Vice. Jenna Wortham, a writer for The New York Times Magazine, says it offers “a super helpful tool kit for maintaining intentions and boundaries during one of the most celebratory and liberating times of the year — Pride!”
Now, a break from the news
Cook: Fresh cinnamon makes a big difference for snickerdoodles.
Go: There’s a quieter side to Majorca, the breezy island off the coast of mainland Spain. We have recommendations for a weekend there.
Watch: Octavia Spencer shows a new, dark side in a scene from “Ma,” narrated by the director Tate Taylor.
Listen: Two new projects revisit Bob Dylan’s 1975 Rolling Thunder Revue in extensive detail. Our critic breaks down the songwriter’s most peculiar tour.
Smarter Living: In the age of global warming, traveling is a fraught choice. Our reporter ventured to calculate the carbon footprint of his own family’s vacation, and found emissions that could melt about 90 square feet of Arctic ice, an area about the size of a pickup truck. He was surprised to find that cruise ships emit more carbon dioxide than jets. He’s still going to travel, but judiciously — and after buying carbon offsets.
And the Wirecutter team found only a few cases when single-use batteries beat rechargeables.
And now for the Back Story on …
The endurance of goth
Goths haven’t disappeared. They’ve just gone to Leipzig.
About 20,000 black-clad music fans are expected in this eastern German city for the 28th annual Wave-Gotik-Treffen, opening today.
We’re not talking gothic architecture (think Notre-Dame) or gothic literature (think “Wuthering Heights”) or even, really, the Teutonic tribes of the third century.
This year’s festival has more than 200 artists performing over four days, in addition to Renaissance fairs, Viking shops, film premieres and literary readings.
Goth is as much a fashion aesthetic as a musical one, and Leipzig will be awash in heavily made-up vampires, pagans, Victorians and pretty much anything to do with horror, decadence and the dark side.
Germany is “almost single-handedly keeping goth alive,” Alice Pattillo wrote last month in “20 Reasons Why Goth Will Never Die.”
Yesterday, our “What we’re reading” incorrectly identified David Young as a talent agency head. He is the head of the union representing Hollywood writers.
That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.
To Mark Josephson, Eleanor Stanford and Kenneth R. Rosen for the break from the news. Victoria Shannon, on the briefings team, wrote today’s Back Story. You can reach the team at email@example.com.
• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our latest episode is Part 1 of a two-part series about a genetic database that is transforming law enforcement and testing the limits of privacy.
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• The New York Times pop music critic Jon Caramanica hosts a weekly podcast, “Popcast,” which discusses the latest in music, from conversations about the biggest albums and songs to breaking news analysis.