Europe Edition: Donald Trump, Emmanuel Macron, Ariana Grande: Your Wednesday Briefing

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Good morning.

Here’s what you need to know:

• President Trump took to Twitter to criticize Germany, but his complaints about the U.S. trade deficit overstate Berlin’s ability to do much about it.

Mr. Trump repeated his demand that Berlin contribute more to NATO, and he dismissed the U.S. investigation into Russian interference in the election — and the possibility that Jared Kushner, his son-in-law, sought a back channel with the Kremlin — as “fake news.”

A late-night presidential tweet had Twitter abuzz: “Despite the constant negative press covfefe,” it read in its entirety.

Meanwhile, a long-anticipated shake-up in the White House appears to have started with the resignation of the director of communications.

Interactive Feature | Local Weather Today’s Weather

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• Emmanuel Macron, the French president, has dispelled concerns about his inexperience in his first weeks in office, our Paris correspondent writes. A victory by Mr. Macron’s untested party in next month’s parliamentary elections is looking more likely.

But ethical questions surrounding two of his ministers could test his pledge to run a clean government. Prime Minister Édouard Philippe said he was “perfectly conscious of the exasperation of the French.”

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• The U.S. began delivering weapons to Syrian Kurdish fighters as they closed in on Raqqa, the Islamic State stronghold. The decision infuriated Turkey, a NATO ally.

The two attacks that shook Baghdad yesterday, one of which killed children out at an ice-cream parlor, above, created wrenching scenes reminiscent of those in Manchester, England, last week.

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• Ariana Grande, meanwhile, plans to perform again in Manchester on Sunday, almost two weeks after the concert where a bomber killed 22 people and wounded dozens more.

The 23-year-old singer will be joined by a medley of pop stars, including Justin Bieber and Coldplay.

“Music is meant to heal us, to bring us together,” Ms. Grande wrote in a note to fans.

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• An antiterrorism ad featuring a suicide bomber, released just ahead of Ramadan, has led to impassioned debates across the Middle East. While some said it failed to address the deeper causes of such violence, others praised its positive message.

Fasting can be difficult during the Muslim holy month, but it’s an act of devotion during a time filled with charity and festive gatherings. Our food writer asked some home cooks about their most cherished recipes for Ramadan.

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A new study compared “graduates” of preschools with an academic focus with children whose programs emphasized play. By the end of kindergarten, children in the first group were significantly ahead of their peers.

But don’t put away the Legos just yet. Some parents are concerned about putting too much pressure on kids.

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Business

Dutch lawmakers signed off on a European Union trade agreement with Ukraine. The Netherlands was the last holdout, after voters rejected the deal in a national referendum last year.

• Uber fired a star engineer who was accused of stealing self-driving car technology from Google, his former employer.

• Identifying plagiarized computer code has become a new challenge for educators as demand for coding classes grows.

• Here’s a snapshot of global markets.

Graphic | What the Markets Are Doing

In the News

Our reporters in Kabul are trying to find out more about a large explosion near embassies in the Afghan capital this morning. Check back for updates. [The New York Times]

• In war-torn Yemen, hundreds have died of cholera, and parents are selling girls into marriage to buy food as millions face famine, the United Nations said. [The New York Times]

• A court in Turkey acquitted two Kurdish German men accused of helping to kill their sister in 2005 because of her Western lifestyle. [The New York Times]

• In Britain, a scathing song that calls Prime Minister Theresa May a liar has climbed to the top of the charts ahead of next week’s general election. [The New York Times]

• A court in Switzerland convicted a man of defamation, in part for “liking” derogatory posts on Facebook. [Swiss Info]

• More than 25,000 photos that were stolen from plastic surgery clinics were leaked online, the police in Lithuania said, after hackers demanded ransom from clients across Europe. [Associated Press]

Smarter Living

• We’ve all been stuck in bad meetings. Here’s how to run an effective one.

• Research on Russian cosmonauts suggests that salt makes you hungry but not thirsty, and may help burn calories.

• If you’re craving an old-school recipe, tuna-macaroni salad is an excellent option.

Noteworthy

• Belgium’s prime minister, Charles Michel, above left, said he suffered hearing loss when Princess Astrid fired a starter’s pistol near his ear at a race on Sunday.

• “House of Cards” is back. We’ve put together a cheat sheet on where the show left every major player, and here’s an interview with Kevin Spacey, the star.

• The last few days have brought considerable change among the upper echelons of European soccer, just not at Arsenal.

• Paris Open: Here are five tennis matches to watch today. Alexander Zverev and Johanna Konta, two hopefuls, were ousted early.

• Explore the Venice Biennale with our longtime culture reporter in a video journal.

“Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was released 50 years ago. Our music critic re-examined the legacy of the Beatles’ album, calling it “a relic of a vanished era.”

Back Story

In a speech to graduates of Rhode Island College (now Brown University) in 1774, Barnabas Binney, a Revolutionary War surgeon, made a plea for an “infant” America to uphold religious freedom. He was an early voice in American history to offer words of wisdom to graduating students.

It is unclear when universities and military schools started to invite sitting presidents to address departing classes. The American Presidency Project’s first commencement speech on record dates to 1914, when Woodrow Wilson addressed the United States Naval Academy.

But it wasn’t until the 1940s that presidents began to make regular appearances at graduations, where they took on noble ideals and offered inspiration to the next generation. Topics included education, civil rights, technological achievement and courage.

Harry S. Truman spoke about the importance of public service in 1947 at Princeton University. John F. Kennedy tackled the topic of world peace under a growing nuclear threat in 1963 at American University.

Notre Dame holds the record among nonmilitary schools for hosting the most sitting presidents (six), while Barack Obama has given the most commencement speeches (24). President Trump has already given two.

Is it a uniquely American tradition for sitting presidents to address college graduates? Share your graduation traditions with us at briefings@nytimes.com.

Danielle Belopotosky contributed reporting.

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