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Good morning. President Trump escalates his criticism of NATO, Twitter purges fake accounts and Croatia buries England’s World Cup dreams.
Here’s the latest:
• The NATO summit meeting in Brussels had a confrontational start as President Trump called European allies “delinquent” in their military spending and urged them to more than double their expenditures.
He also wasted no time in lashing out at Germany, saying it was “captive” to Russia. (Our fact-check finds otherwise.) Chancellor Angela Merkel, above, who grew up under Soviet domination, issued a polite rejoinder: that now-unified Germans “decide our own policies and make our own decisions.”
Mr. Trump did sign the 23-page NATO declaration, which is critical of Russia.
After the meeting ends today, Mr. Trump will head to Britain and then, on Monday, meet President Vladimir Putin of Russia. Here’s the latest from Mr. Trump’s trip.
• A “special relationship” put to the test.
In a political crisis over Britain’s plan to leave the E.U., Prime Minister Theresa May could use some help. She can’t be sure of that from President Trump during his visit to Britain.
The president has already said he’d like to catch up with his “friend” Boris Johnson, who resigned as foreign secretary this week. And asked whether Mrs. May should stay in her job, Mr. Trump said that question was “for the people.”
Regardless, Britain’s government will roll out the red carpet with a black-tie dinner at Blenheim Palace and tea with Queen Elizabeth II.
• Twitter said it would remove tens of millions of suspicious accounts starting today, in an effort to restore user trust.
Those who have bought fake followers in an effort to amplify their online presence, and others who are followed by suspicious accounts, will see their followings shrink. Above, Twitter headquarters in San Francisco.
The company said The Times’s investigation this year about fake followers had helped persuade it to take action.
We’ll keep watch for interesting cases.
• Here’s a snapshot of global markets.
• A new gene-editing method may revolutionize medical treatments for an array of diseases and infections, including cancer and H.I.V. [The New York Times]
• The 12 soccer players who were rescued from a Thai cave are recovering well, as is their coach, a Thai public health official said. [The New York Times]
• Despite a narrowing of the BBC’s gender pay gap, the publicly financed broadcaster released a list showing that men are still its 12 highest-paid stars. [The New York Times]
• “We have received notice that you are deceased.” PayPal sent a letter to a British woman who had died of breast cancer weeks earlier to demand payment of $4,000 in debt. [The New York Times]
• The sole surviving member of one of Germany’s deadliest neo-Nazi terrorist groups was sentenced to life imprisonment, ending a saga that has shamed the country’s security services. [The New York Times]
• How did Germany win the freedom of Liu Xia, the widow of China’s most famous dissident, Liu Xiaobo? Chancellor Angela Merkel’s personal touch was a factor, our correspondents explain. [The New York Times]
• Mankind did not evolve from a single population at a single destination, but rather an array of populations across Africa, researchers say. [The Guardian]
Tips for a more fulfilling life.
• Hua Qu, above, is fighting to save her husband, a graduate student at Princeton who was taken prisoner in Iran while doing research there in 2016. He is one of at least seven U.S. captives in the Islamic Republic being used as pawns in a nearly 40-year secret history of hostage–taking.
• Liquid Paper was the correction fluid that relieved secretaries and writers around the world from the pressure of perfection. But its creator, Bette Nesmith Graham, was never recognized with a proper obituary in The Times until now.
• Ginger lemon tea. Cannabis wash. Sweet almond milk. Whatever happened to a simple bar of soap? Our writer looks at how we got from Ivory’s “99.44 percent pure” to charcoal soap bars for the 1 percent.
The history of Aboriginal Australians stretches back more than 40,000 years, but a flag representing them was first flown on this day in 1971.
In the late 1960s, Aboriginal Australians were in a battle over land rights. Protests and demonstrations were accompanied with banners and posters, but for Harold Thomas, an Indigenous artist and activist, representation of Aboriginal identity was missing.
He designed a flag to correct that: A yellow circle, representing the sun, divides horizontal areas of black, representing the Aboriginal Australians, and red, representing their relationship to the land.
It was first raised in Victoria Square in the city of Adelaide and adopted officially as a flag of Australia in 1995. The Aboriginal athlete Cathy Freeman, above, made waves the next year when she took a victory lap at the Summer Olympics with both the Australian national flag as well as the Aboriginal flag.
Last year, the flag earned a small measure of digital recognition when Twitter added an emoji for it. (The emoji also includes the flag of the Torres Strait Islanders, another group of Indigenous Australians.)
“The Aboriginal flag is central to our national identity,” Mr. Thomas told The Times when the emoji was released. “We are the first people here, for a very long time, and we’ll stay here until eternity.”