In southwest Syria, a limited truce appeared to be holding for a full day so far, residents and human rights monitors said. Peace talks in Geneva continue.
Separately, President Trump’s advisers recruited the founder of Blackwater, the private security firm, and an owner of a military contractor to devise alternatives to the Pentagon’s plan to send thousands of additional troops to Afghanistan.
• In Germany, the violence that marred the G-20 meeting in Hamburg last week has opened a debate about who was to blame for the clashes and how to best safeguard the right to protest.
New York City’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, returned home from Hamburg to criticism over the timing of his surprise trip to speak at a nonviolent demonstration there against the G-20 meeting.
• The body of Christ cannot be gluten-free.
That’s the word from the Vatican. Communion wafers and other unleavened bread cannot be made from rice, potato or other wheat substitutes that are completely free of the protein. But products that use so little wheat starch that they can be legally labeled “gluten-free” are fine.
The Anglican Communion has a similar position, while some other Christian denominations do allow truly gluten-free bread.
• At Wimbledon, Gilles Müller, above, the No. 16 seed of Luxembourg, ousted Rafael Nadal in a match that lasted nearly five hours. Venus Williams advanced by beating Ana Konjuh of Croatia.
With a loss to Garbiñe Muguruza, top-seeded Angelique Kerber also lost her spot atop the WTA rankings. Our sports columnist notes that their match’s relegation to No. 2 Court was a slight to women’s tennis.
Here’s today’s schedule.
• Siemens of Germany said that it had unwittingly helped a Russian company close to the Kremlin break a de facto blockade of electricity to Crimea.
• A Trump administration nominee for a top post at the Federal Reserve could become a counterweight to its chairwoman, Janet Yellen, who has led the Fed’s efforts to strengthen financial regulation.
• A common refrain is that Amazon and other e-tailers are killing retail jobs, but one new statistical analysis begs to differ, our columnist writes.
• Hotels are finding that technology has its limits and are increasingly encouraging staff members to embrace their roles as ambassadors for their cities.
• Here’s a snapshot of global markets.
In the News
• A British court ruled that Britain’s sales of arms to Saudi Arabia are legal, rejecting claims by rights groups that those weapons would be used to kill civilians in Yemen’s civil war. [The New York Times]
• Survivors of the deadly fire at Grenfell Tower in London are challenging the official death toll, saying it was higher. [The New York Times]
• Turkey’s government condemned Austria’s decision to bar one of its ministers from entering the country. He was expected to attend a rally of Turkish expatriates to commemorate the first anniversary of Turkey’s failed coup. [Reuters]
• In Israel, the election of Avi Gabbay, a political novice, as the chairman of the Labor Party could breathe new life into the historic but diminished party. [The New York Times]
• China offered little hope that it would allow Liu Xiaobo, the dissident, to be taken to Germany or the U.S., as he requested, to be treated for liver cancer. [The New York Times]
• Today is the 22nd anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia, Europe’s worst since World War II. Uncovered video messages shed light on victims’ lives before the killing. [Balkan Insight]
Tips, both new and old, for a more fulfilling life.
• You can rewire your brain to crave better habits.
• Making a backup of your backup data can provide some peace of mind.
• If you’re in the mood for grilling, try spicy lamb sausage with onions and zucchini.
• Analytics and tech have persuaded baseball players to swing higher, which has led to a record in home runs this year.
• NASA’s Juno spacecraft is flying over Jupiter’s red spot, providing a first close-up view of the gigantic perennial storm.
• Aquatic perfumes are all the rage. Here’s how to get the essence of the ocean, minus the sand.
• Finally, our reporter writes about how she found joy in reading cookbooks in a village outside Paris.
“It was like a Roman candle,” one eyewitness said. “A shower of gold-colored sparks followed by a blue flame with flecks of green and red at its sides.”
In 1979, people across the deserts of southwestern Australia emerged from their homes to “sonic booms” and the smell of “burned earth” as fiery debris from the 77-ton Skylab, the U.S.’s first space station, rained down. It was July 11 in the U.S., and the early hours of July 12 for the witnesses.
Skylab was launched in 1973 to collect data, two years after the Soviets sent up the first space station, Salyut 1.
By 1979, Skylab’s orbit had decayed, and the world obsessed over its coming plunge. People threw parties, bought “crash helmets” and bet on where it would land.
Although no deaths or injuries were reported after the crash, President Jimmy Carter still apologized to Australia.
Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser responded: “While receiving Skylab is an honor we would have happily forgone, it is the end of a magnificent technological achievement by the United States, and the events of the past few days should not obscure this. If we find the pieces I shall happily trade them for additions to the beef quota.”
Tacey Rychter contributed reporting.
This briefing was prepared for the European morning. We also have briefings timed for the Australian, Asian and American mornings. You can sign up for these and other Times newsletters here.
Your Morning Briefing is published weekday mornings and updated online.
What would you like to see here? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Continue reading the main story