Liu Xiaobo, Paris, Wimbledon: Your Friday Briefing

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Good morning.

Here’s what you need to know:

Rights advocates around the world are grieving for Liu Xiaobo, China’s most prominent political prisoner and a Nobel Peace laureate who died of cancer at 61.

His last days, spent silenced and under guard, reflect how human rights issues have receded in Western diplomacy with China. In a sign of a shifting world order, Germany, not the United States, most vocally called for Mr. Liu’s release.

Nicholas Kristof, who reported from Beijing in 1989 when Mr. Liu was a leading figure in ill-fated democracy protests, mourned “the timidity of world leaders at the brutalization of one of the great men of modern times.”


President Trump is visiting Paris for Bastille Day celebrations that will also honor the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entry into World War I.

The visit appears to be smoothing over an initially uncomfortable relationship with President Emmanuel Macron, and possibly vaulting France ahead of Britain and Germany as a point of U.S. contact in Europe.

The two presidents acknowledged differences on the Paris climate accord, but Mr. Trump’s comments suggested that he could be open to compromise.

The two first couples visited Napoleon’s tomb and dined at the Eiffel Tower. Mr. Trump raised eyebrows by complimenting France’s first lady on her physical appearance, and there was another unusual handshake.


• Mr. Trump’s domestic troubles followed him. He offered his first extended account of his closed-door meeting with President Vladimir Putin of Russia last week and how they moved on from questions of election meddling: “What do you do? End up in a fistfight?”

Separately, Senate Republican leaders released their latest version of the health care bill, but two key Republicans rebuffed it.

In our magazine, a veteran political reporter takes stock of how Washington has — and hasn’t — changed in the time of Trump.


• Before meeting Mr. Trump, Mr. Macron, along with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, announced plans to unite European efforts to build a fighter jet. They made no reference to Britain, Europe’s largest military spender, as the country negotiates its withdrawal from the E.U.

Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain introduced her “great repeal bill,” with which the country seeks to achieve a smooth legal transition after “Brexit.” Opposition lawmakers vowed to oppose it in its current form.


• Tragic soccer news: Ajax midfielder Abdelhak Nouri’s brain damage appears to be irreversible. He had collapsed during a friendly match.

At the Tour de France, Fabio Aru of Italy took the lead after Chris Froome, the previous wearer of the yellow jersey, cracked during a grueling climb.

At Wimbledon, Venus Williams and Garbiñe Muguruza reached the Wimbledon final. Sam Querrey plays Marin Cilic, and Roger Federer faces Tomas Berdych at the men’s singles semifinals today.

As the end of the tennis tournament nears, our reporter reflects on its charms: its sloping lawns and its signature treat, strawberries and cream.


• The competition to lead Uber is robust, despite a year of scandals. In Eastern Europe, the company decided to merge its ride-hailing business with Yandex, its Russian competitor.

• Daimler stocks receded over reports of a widening investigation of emissions cheating allegations in Germany.

• Emmy Award nominations: HBO got 111. Netflix came in second with 91, reflecting the rise of streaming services. Here’s the full list.

Here’s a snapshot of global markets.

In Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, above, called the failed coup a “turning point” in the country’s history. Events commemorating the plot’s first anniversary tomorrow have already begun. The extent of the coup remains unclear. [The New York Times]

We’re following reports on a shooting in Jerusalem’s Old City. Check back for updates.

• A court in Moscow sentenced five Chechens to lengthy prison sentences over the 2015 killing of Boris Nemtsov, the Russian opposition leader. The organizers may still be at large. [The New York Times]

• A court in London is weighing a last-ditch plea by the parents of Charlie Gard, a terminally-ill infant, to have him treated with an untested, experimental therapy. [The New York Times]

• The number of Italians living in poverty tripled over the last decade to reach 4.7 million. [Bloomberg]

Hungary’s government reacted defiantly to legal action by the E.U. over Budapest’s new rules on foreign funding for civic groups. [Associated Press]

• An appeals court in Belgrade halted Serbia’s first trial over war crimes committed in Srebrenica in 1995. [Balkan Insight]

Tips, both new and old, for a more fulfilling life.

• Tempted by takeout? Make moo shu pork at home instead.

• Who really needs to be gluten-free?

• Scientists converted a video clip from 1878 into a DNA sequence and inserted it into bacteria, where it can be retrieved at will and multiplied indefinitely as the host divides and grows.

• Our magazine followed researchers around the world who are building repositories of nature — from seeds to ice to mammal milk — in a race to preserve an environmental order that is fast disappearing.

“Game of Thrones” returns on Sunday. Here’s a guide to where the last season left off. Only 13 episodes remain.

• Our TV critic writes that it’s fine to start watching a TV show in the middle. “Life is short,” he notes.

The banning of high-value bank notes, as India did last year, is nothing new. Many nations have done the same.

On this day in 1969, the U.S. said its $500, $1,000, $5,000 and $10,000 bills would be discontinued. By then, the bills had not been printed since 1945. The Federal Reserve even burned them, citing lack of use.

The Times’s archives attest to the bills’ rarity. In 1910, we reported on the furor after a Wall Street errand boy lost a $10,000 bill, which featured Salmon Chase, a Treasury secretary and Supreme Court chief justice. (The reporter wryly noted that entire fortunes had been lost in that neighborhood with less fuss. The errand boy was eventually convicted of larceny.)

In 1942, a girl found a $500 bill (bearing President William McKinley’s portrait) in Bloomingdale’s mailroom. (Given a $250 reward, she bought war bonds and roller skates.)

Two years later, The Times reported on Lt. Gen. George S. Patton Jr.’s denial to his superiors that he had landed in Europe waving a $1,000 bill (which has pictured Alexander Hamilton and President Grover Cleveland) and making bets on reaching Berlin.

Patton, above, offered a simple defense: “I have never seen a $1,000 bill.”

Charles McDermid contributed reporting.


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