Brexit, NATO, World Cup: Your Tuesday Briefing

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Good morning. Theresa May scrambles to save her government, Europe prepares for President Trump and the World Cup reaches fever pitch.

Here’s the latest:

• Prime Minister Theresa May is battling to save her government after her foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, quit over her plans for a “soft” Brexit.

He was the second minister to leave Mrs. May’s cabinet in 24 hours.

“We are truly headed for the status of colony,” Mr. Johnson, above, said in his resignation letter.

Under Mrs. May’s plans, Britain’s exit from the E.U. would preserve many connections with the bloc. Mr. Johnson was replaced by Jeremy Hunt, who had been serving as the health secretary.


• NATO leaders are bracing for their annual summit meeting, which starts on Wednesday in Brussels. Above, protesters were already out on the streets there over the weekend.

European officials are anticipating more off-the-cuff remarks from President Trump, who has again been pressuring them to expand their military budgets. The NATO nations may be reluctant to push back very hard because, as one analyst points out, “They’re caught between dependency and outrage.”

After Brussels, Mr. Trump will head to Britain for a few days. Protesters intend to find him wherever he goes (and aim to fly a 19-foot “Trump Baby” balloon over Parliament). Then he’ll go to Finland to meet with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.

• British officials suggested for the first time that Russia was behind the latest nerve agent poisoning in the area around Salisbury, England, above.

“The simple reality is that Russia has committed an attack on British soil which has seen the death of a British citizen,” the defense minister, Gavin Williamson, said in the House of Commons.

The authorities were still seeking a container that may have held the agent that poisoned two people this month, killing one of them.

Four more members of the trapped Thai soccer team were evacuated by daring cave divers after torrential rains cleared. Above, rescued team members were moved from a military helicopter. Eight players have been rescued so far; four others, and their coach, are still in the cave. [The New York Times]

• President Emmanuel Macron of France defended his business-oriented approach in cutting taxes for the rich and loosening labor regulations. “If you want to share the cake, you’ve got to have a cake,” he said. [The New York Times]

• Romania’s president fired the country’s anticorruption chief, indicating that a court ruling had left him no choice, as the government tries to weaken laws against graft. [The New York Times]

Flood survivors in Japan are digging out of the wreckage after heavy rains left more than 100 people dead and dozens missing. [The New York Times]

Israel moved to choke off commerce in the Gaza Strip, a penalty for flaming kites sent into Israel that have caused hundreds of fires. [The New York Times]

Scientists in the Sahara have discovered what they say is the world’s oldest color: bright pink. [The Guardian]

Smarter Living

Tips for a more fulfilling life.

Women are setting the stage ablaze in London. Three kindred productions, all directed by women, are “infused with a radiant empathy for its beleaguered heroine that approaches religious dimensions,” our theater critic writes. Above, Lia Williams in “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.”

Are you drawn to a certain painting? Science would like to know why. The mysteries of the aesthetic response and creative impulse are a new area of inquiry for researchers.

“I couldn’t tell anyone.” Even in places where abortion is legal, it can still be hard to talk about. When we invited readers from around the world to share their own experiences, more than 1,300 responded. Here are a few of their stories.

Back Story

He took a vow of silence on July 10, 1925, and kept it for 44 years.

Today, from Ahmednagar, India to South Carolina, followers of Meher Baba, above, a spiritual leader born in Pune, India in 1894, will observe silence in his honor.

When Baba was 19, a holy woman kissed him, transforming his life. He began studying with religious masters, gained devotees, took a new name (Meher Baba means “compassionate father”) and worked to alleviate suffering.

Baba never fully explained why he stopped talking. He first communicated in written form, later in gestures. But his reputation soared. He met Hollywood stars like Tallulah Bankhead and leaders like Gandhi (whom he told to renounce politics). He corresponded with Richard Alpert, Timothy Leary’s colleague at Harvard, later known as Ram Dass. (He told Alpert to renounce LSD.) Pete Townsend of The Who titled “Baba O’Riley” after him and dedicated “Tommy” to him. The Bobby McFerrin song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” is based on words Baba used.

He promised miraculous things would happen when he finally spoke: “There will be unfaltering love and unfailing understanding and men shall be united in an inviolable brotherhood.”

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