Morning Briefing Global Edition

GE, Meet Germany Inc.

The CEO of General Electric said his company is looking to expand in Germany, where it sees a strong industrial base and resilient auto industry. Jeff Immelt told Handelsblatt the American engineering giant, a rival to Siemens, is open to buying a Germany company, but didn’t give specifics. With a turnover of $115 billion in 2015, anything is possible.

 

In a setback for Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s center-left coalition, the upstart Five Star Movement made big gains in local elections over the weekend. Rome’s new mayor will be the charismatic Virginia Raggi, a 37-year-old lawyer who was thrust into office on the promise of breaking up the crony clans with Mafia ties that permeate the capital.

 

Britain’s big decision on E.U. membership is upon us this week, and the latest polls suggest the “in” camp may carry the day. The swing could be the fallout of the grisly murder of pro-European British MP Jo Cox by a deranged man who said his name is “death to traitors.” Prime Minister David Cameron is sounding the alarm over the economic damage a Brexit would cause. But his threats may prove less persuasive than the public disgust over Cox’s murder, which was apparently inspired in part by the Brexit campaign’s overheated rhetoric.

 

Blind rage is not in short supply. There’s Donald “build a wall” Trump in America, Marine “let’s leave the euro’’ Le Pen in France, Vladimir “Crimea a River’’ Putin in Russia and even a populist strongman in the Philippines who likes death squads. Handelsblatt sat down with U.S. philosopher Michael Sandel to discuss the new nadir in public discourse, the rising frustration in many democracies, and the true meaning of never-ending referendums.

 

If it is ideas that change the world you are looking for, look no further than artist Christo. His latest project, the “Floating Piers” walkway connecting islands on Lake Iseo in northern Italy, gives people a bird’s-eye view of aquatic life. His floating yellow-wood road is so popular, it has caused pedestrian traffic jams and two serious injuries so far. No wonder: Who wouldn’t like to walk on water?

 

Photo of the Day

People walk on the monumental installation entitled 'The Floating Piers' created by artist Christo Vladimirov Javacheff on Iseo Lake, in northern Italy, on June 18, 2016. Some 200,000 floating cubes create a 3-kilometers runway connecting the village of Sulzano to the small island of Monte Isola on the Iseo Lake for a 16-day outdoor installation opening today. / AFP PHOTO / MARCO BERTORELLO / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION - TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION
People walk on the monumental installation entitled ‘The Floating Piers’ created by artist Christo Vladimirov Javacheff on Iseo Lake, in northern Italy, on June 18, 2016. Some 200,000 floating cubes create a 3-kilometers runway connecting the village of Sulzano to the small island of Monte Isola on the Iseo Lake for a 16-day outdoor installation opening today. Source: AFP PHOTO / MARCO BERTORELLO
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