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We start today with populism in the European Parliament elections, more about Deutsche Bank and the end of “Game of Thrones.”
Opinion polls suggest they could win up to 180 seats.
The races are seen as the best barometer of just how angry and alienated Europe really is — and just how broadly populists of various stripes can break through after years of gaining political strength.
As the populists are playing to anger and nationalism, mainstream leaders are trying to sell their apathetic voters on maintaining the course.
Reality: Populists are not expected to win the biggest number of the Parliament’s 751 seats, let alone a majority. Still, analysts predict a major electoral breakthrough that is certain to disrupt European politics.
A big question is whether the varied populists, assuming they win a sizable number of seats, can coalesce into a powerful coalition.
Context: The recent scandal in Austria, which forced the resignation of the far-right Freedom Party vice chancellor and the collapse of the government on Saturday, may also damage the populist surge, reminding voters of how close many of these parties are to Russia.
Deutsche Bank staff flagged Trump and Kushner transactions
Anti-money-laundering specialists at the German bank recommended in 2016 and 2017 that transactions connected to President Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, be reported to a federal financial crimes watchdog.
But executives ignored the employees. While international real estate deals sometimes raise money-laundering concerns, employees saw the bank’s inaction as part of a pattern of rejecting valid reports to protect relationships with lucrative clients.
How we know: Five current and former bank employees detailed the cases. The flagged transactions set off alerts in a computer system designed to detect illicit activity. At least some involved money flowing between overseas entities and individuals, including Russians.
Response: A spokeswoman for the Trump Organization said the family businesses had “no knowledge of any ‘flagged’ transactions with Deutsche Bank.”
Reminder: Deutsche Bank was the only mainstream financial institution that remained consistently willing to do business with Mr. Trump despite the repeated red flags. The relationship between the president and the bank is under investigation, and he has sued to block the bank from complying with congressional subpoenas.
Austrian president calls for new elections
President Alexander Van der Bellen said the country had “exact rules and procedures” to handle the government collapse that ensued after the emergence of a video showing the far-right vice chancellor promising favors to a woman who claimed to be a Russian investor.
“I urge there to be new elections in September, if possible at the beginning of the month,” Mr. Van der Bellen said after meeting with Chancellor Sebastian Kurz on Sunday.
The video: The German newsmagazine Der Spiegel and the newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung released a video on Friday that depicted a conversation between a woman who said she was the niece of a Russian oligarch and Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache. After the woman offered to invest 250 million euros, or about $280 million, in Austria, Mr. Strache promised infrastructure contracts.
It was filmed months before the 2017 election, in which Mr. Kurz led his party to victory. The meeting appeared to be a setup.
If you’re following the Indian elections …
Exit polls predict Modi’s victory
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, one of the most divisive leaders India has produced in decades, appears headed for a second term, according to exit polls released shortly after the marathon election wrapped up on Sunday.
More than half a dozen polls suggest that Mr. Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party will pick up at least 280 of the 545 seats in the lower house of Parliament — well past the 272 seats needed to form a government on its own.
Exit polls in India have a patchy track record. But if the official results, due Thursday, back them up, it would appear that Mr. Modi has been unscathed by economic distress and sectarian tensions, giving him a strong hand in the next term.
“One thing we know for sure is that Modi remains incredibly popular despite everything that’s happened in the last five years,” said Milan Vaishnav, a South Asia expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “Nothing really sticks to him.”
Critics worry that victory will embolden Mr. Modi to assert the Hindu nationalist policies that his party campaigned on, placing India squarely within a global shift to the right.
Send us your feedback or questions on this series here.
Here’s what else is happening
Switzerland: Voters agreed to tighten the country’s gun laws to reach parity with E.U. antiterrorism legislation that came into force following attacks in Paris and elsewhere.
Britain: One of the country’s most prolific extremist networks, Al Muhajiroun, which was implicated in the London bombings of 2005, appears to be regrouping as a founder, Anjem Choudary, and other members are being released from detention.
Snapshot: Duncan Laurence, representing the Netherlands, won Eurovision, the unapologetically kitschy singing contest that in the past had catapulted acts like Abba and Celine Dion to international fame. This year’s competition included 41 countries and took place in Tel Aviv, Israel, against a backdrop of intense political tensions in Gaza.
Elba: Hotels on the idyllic Italian island are offering tourists refunds for rainy days during their trips. Guests receive a refund for one night if it rains for more than two hours between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.
Human rights: Taiwan became the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage, a step that human rights activists hope will inspire the rest of the region, where gay rights have lagged.
“Game of Thrones”: The finale is over, but the arguments about it are just starting. Find out who rules and who rests in peace in our recap.
What we’re reading: This guide from The Washington Post, recommended by Anna Holland, a London-based editor. “I loved seeing where ambassadors go to eat in Washington when they miss home,” she writes. “I left New Mexico nearly 15 years ago, but my hunt for proper enchiladas (stacked, with red chile and a fried egg) continues.”
Now, a break from the news
Go: Like so many good ideas, the Every Woman Biennial was born of a joke. Now it’s in its third edition, displaying the work of over 600 female and nonbinary artists.
Smarter Living: Everyone has cherished grudges, but they don’t do you any good. You free yourself from stress and unhappiness when you give them up. Think about what set off the grudge. Create a little mental space between what happened and how you reacted. And try a different way of telling the story — where you’re more of a hero and less of a victim.
And next time you’re doing laundry, spice up your folding techniques.
And now for the Back Story on …
The world’s third-largest economy
Japan released new quarterly growth data today. In a surprise, the economy expanded, despite a slowdown in China.
The country has enjoyed several years of modest growth, but China’s slowdown is dragging Japanese export figures down. And the trade war between Washington and Beijing will most likely make things worse.
In the 1980s, Japan was in China’s place: an upstart economic powerhouse vying with the U.S. to be the world’s largest economy.
Watching the trade war from Tokyo, there’s a strong sense of déjà vu and relief that President Trump, preoccupied by China, hasn’t put much muscle behind his threats to slap tariffs on Japanese automobiles.
Japan just has to keep him happy. Mr. Trump arrives in Tokyo on Saturday to meet the new Japanese emperor, Naruhito.
During the visit, Mr. Trump is expected to talk trade with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The leaders have previously bonded over their love of golf. If they hit the links again, Mr. Abe may want to let him win.
That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.
To Mark Josephson, Eleanor Stanford and Kenneth R. Rosen for the break from the news. Ben Dooley, our Japan business correspondent, wrote today’s Back Story. You can reach the team at [email protected].
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