The New York Times – Eric Schmitt, Adam Goldman and Nicholas Fandos / Spies and commandos warned months ago of Russian bounties on U.S. troops
- United States intelligence officers and Special Operations forces in Afghanistan alerted their superiors as early as January to a suspected Russian plot to pay bounties to the Taliban to kill American troops in Afghanistan.
- They believed at least one U.S. troop death was the result of the bounties, two of the officials said. Interrogations of captured militants and criminals played a central role in making the intelligence community confident in its assessment.
- The details added to the picture of the classified intelligence assessment, which The New York Times reported Friday has been under discussion inside the Trump administration since at least March.
- While Russia has at times cooperated with the United States and appeared interested in Afghan stability, it often seems to work at crosscurrents with its own national interest if the result is damage to American national interests.
- The Washington Post – Ellen Nakashima et al. / Russian bounties to Taliban-linked militants resulted in deaths of U.S. troops, according to intelligence assessments
Politico – Rym Momtaz and Elisa Braun / 5 French election takeaways as Greens win, Macron stumbles
- The Greens had their best electoral night, emerging as the new disruptors of French politics. They conquered some of France’s biggest cities, breaking decades-long holds of Socialist and conservative incumbents.
- La République en Marche (LREM) took a thrashing, having failed to put down local roots after growing out of a movement formed to propel Macron to the presidency. In many places, its alliances with other parties flopped.
- Turnout was historically low at 41 percent, with multiple factors discouraging voters such as the coronavirus pandemic, the unusual three months lapse between the first and second round of the elections due to the virus, and the good weather.
- Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo won reelection at a canter in the capital, claiming more than 48 percent of the vote — some 15 points ahead of her nearest challenger, the conservative Rachida Dati and far ahead of Macron’s former Health Minister Agnès Buzyn.
- Euractiv / Greens surge in French local election
The Guardian – Shaun Walker / Poland election: Duda forced into second round against liberal challenger
- Duda, allied with Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, had received 45.2% of the vote, according to results based on 87.2% of the total number of polling districts, with second place going to the liberal mayor of Warsaw, Rafał Trzaskowski, with 28.9%.
- The results mean Duda and Trzaskowski will go head to head in a second round on 12 July, in a vote that will determine Poland’s political future. Polls before Sunday’s vote suggested a runoff between the two candidates would be too close to call.
- Independent candidate Szymon Hołownia was in third place, while the far-right nationalist Krzysztof Bosak was in fourth. PiS has put Poland on a collision course with Brussels over democratic backsliding and rule of law issues.
- Turnout was estimated at 63%, well up from the 49% turnout in the last presidential elections in 2015, in a sign of how the polarisation of the last five years has mobilised voters on both sides of the divide.
- Foreign Policy – Dariusz Kalan / Will Poland’s presidential race deal a blow to nationalist conservatives?
Financial Times – Arthur Beesley / Micheál Martin takes helm in historic Irish coalition deal
- Micheál Martin, a veteran of the party blamed for Ireland’s financial crash and 2010 bailout, has taken over as prime minister as Dublin faces a fresh economic crisis.
- In December 2022 he will have to hand back the office of taoiseach to his predecessor Leo Varadkar — the hefty price for a historic deal between rival parties that have dominated Irish politics for nearly a century without ever ruling together.
- He leads a three-way coalition between his centrist Fianna Fáil, Mr Varadkar’s centre-right Fine Gael and the Greens. It follows a February election in which Sinn Féin nationalists, long on the fringes, won the popular vote.
- Installed 140 days after the election, the new coalition was a long time coming. Talks were delayed by coronavirus as the lockdown led to record joblessness, a far cry from rapid pre-election growth.
- Euractiv – Samuel Stolton / New Irish prime minister gives boost to EU centrists
Today’s holistic view:
- The Washington Post – Anthony Faiola / The virus that shut down the world
The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and EsadeGeo. The summaries above may include word-for-word excerpts from their respective pieces.