Morning Briefing Global Edition

An American Issue

The city of Dallas is locked down after two or more snipers shot and killed five police officers, and injured six more, last night during a demonstration against the police killings of two black men. The shootings of the two men earlier this week in a small town near St. Paul, Minnesota, and in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, reignited a ferocious debate in America over race, crime, the proliferation of weapons and police tactics against minorities. President Barack Obama, arriving yesterday in Warsaw for a NATO summit, called the racial disparity in U.S. law enforcement “an American issue.” He could have called it an American “tragedy.’’


Europe is not above setting double standards. In Italy and Greece, 160,000 migrants are supposed to be sent on to other E.U. countries that they have no interest in ever visiting. When China forced thousands of its own people to relocate for a large dam project, the West cried out for human rights. Now, when governments in Hungary and Slovakia balk at taking refugees, they are accused by E.U. leaders of lacking “solidarity.” It’s a lesson in the politics of power in real-time: Western values can change from solid to fluid when the interests shift.


Ideas are only as good as the people who defend them, it’s said. But the idea of a truly United States of Europe seems to be foreign to its top representative, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. The man who helped turn Luxembourg into a tax haven seems to have only one goal: less democracy for E.U. citizens and more power for Brussels. Our weekend read asks the question: Juncker, democrat or demagogue?


The heads of 28 NATO countries meet today in Warsaw to make plans to put more heavy arms and combat troops in Eastern Europe. The German reaction to the saber rattling against Russia? Eighty-eight percent want dialogue – not war. A whopping 67 percent are opposed to increasing the troop presence. But one group wants to reinstate the military draft – the elderly. Go figure.


A Handelsblatt ranking sized up supervisory boards of Germany’s 30 DAX companies. The good news?  The good ole boys’ club of corporate insiders has broken down: Only half of those who sat on corporate boards in 2012 are still there. The bad news?  They’ve apparently been replaced by a New Boys’ Club. Only four women made it on to our list of influential board power players, although most DAX blue-chips did comply with a new law reserving 30 percent of seats for women. But gender gaps, generation gaps and conflicts of interest still abound. It ain’t a pretty picture.


Germany lost 2-0 last night in the semi-final of the European soccer championships. France capitalized on a slew of errors by the German squad – defensive lapses, muffled shots, and a fatal handball seconds before the break at the half. The French hosts had not beaten Germany in a European final or semi-final for 58 years. The defeat was painful to watch, but a worthy end. And lo and behold: Our rival yesterday is today our new favorite.


Image of the Day

Ukrainians jumping over a fire during the traditional Slavic celebrations of Ivana Kupala in Kiev, Ukraine. Source: EPA/ROMAN PILIPEY
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