Tuesday, July 23

Political changes in France after early elections

After Sunday’s snap legislative elections in France, the nation faces a deadlocked parliament and significant political uncertainty. No major political faction, left, center or right, has won an outright majority.

The left-wing New Popular Front emerged as the leading group with 178 seats. President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist coalition followed with 150 seats, while Marine Le Pen’s anti-immigration Rassemblement National party and its allies secured 142 seats.

Contrary to expectations, the National Rally did not win a clear victory. A strategic move by centrists and leftists to form a “republican front” against the National Rally in the second round of voting proved effective. Candidates across France withdrew from three-way races to consolidate votes against Le Pen’s party.

The election result was a setback for Macron, whose party lost more than a third of its seats. He now faces a fragmented lower house of parliament, without an immediate governing coalition, just weeks before the Paris Olympics. The next steps are uncertain.

The New Popular Front’s platform includes raising the minimum monthly wage, lowering the retirement age, reintroducing a wealth tax, and freezing energy and gas prices. Unlike the National Rally, which promises to cut immigration, the alliance aims to improve the asylum process.

Israelis call for elections and ceasefire amid ongoing conflict

Nine months after the devastating Hamas-led attack on October 7, Israelis have held anti-government protests across the country, paralyzing traffic and demanding new elections and a ceasefire agreement with Hamas to return long-held hostages.

Progress toward resuming talks has been evident, even as Gaza faces an ongoing conflict. An Israeli strike recently hit a United Nations school complex. Many Israelis fear that a truce could be jeopardized not only by Hamas, but also by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who may prioritize political survival over a potentially risky peace deal.

Israel’s northern border remains unstable, with Hezbollah launching attacks into Israeli territory. In Gaza, journalists have been invited by the Israeli military to witness the widespread devastation firsthand.

Growing Concerns Over President Biden’s Re-Election Campaign

In a private call Tuesday, four top House Democrats urged President Biden to end his reelection campaign, signaling growing panic within the party about his viability as a candidate. Concerns about Biden’s age, mental acuity and fitness for office are mounting, with some donors and insiders concerned about his campaign strategy, especially after a poor debate performance.

Despite this pressure, Biden remains resolute and spends time in Philadelphia to reassure voters of his ability to defeat Donald Trump in the 2024 election.

Other top news

The Orient Express, synonymous with luxury travel, now offers a modern version where a sleeper can cost nearly $50,000. However, a similar trip from Paris to Istanbul can be arranged for less than $1,000, including private compartments.

Jon Landau, an Oscar-winning producer and longtime collaborator of James Cameron, has died at the age of 63.

Preparing for the heat: Olympic athletes train for Paris

The upcoming Paris Olympics could be the hottest on record. Athletes are now incorporating heat acclimatization into their training, simulating extreme conditions to improve performance. Methods include wearing heat-trapping clothing, training in hot chambers, and employing cooling techniques such as ice vests and frozen balloons.