The New York Times 2024-07-08 20:08:47

5 Takeaways From France’s Snap Election

France’s left-wing parties surged unexpectedly in nationwide legislative elections on Sunday, denying the nationalist, anti-immigration National Rally party a majority in the lower house of Parliament.

But no party appeared on track to secure an absolute majority, leaving one of Europe’s largest countries headed for gridlock or political instability.

The results were compiled by The New York Times using data from the Interior Ministry, and they confirmed earlier projections showing that no single party or bloc would win a majority.

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Russia Strikes Children’s Hospital in Deadly Barrage Across Ukraine

A Russian strike ripped into a crowded children’s hospital in the center of Kyiv on Monday, part of a large-scale aerial bombardment that killed at least 20 people in cities across Ukraine.

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine said that at least 40 long-range missiles had been fired in the deadly barrage and that people had been trapped under the rubble at the children’s hospital. There were also reports of damage in central and eastern Ukraine, raising questions about the state of Ukraine’s air defenses just a day before NATO leaders were due to meet in Washington to discuss how to bolster them.

At least 50 people were wounded in the barrage, according to Ihor Klymenko, the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Officials cautioned that the toll was likely to rise.

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Viktor Orban, Hungary’s Leader, Surprises Europe Again With Visit to China

Just three days after a visit to Moscow that infuriated his European allies, Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary sprung another surprise on Monday by turning up in Beijing for previously unannounced talks with China’s leader, Xi Jinping, that featured promises to strengthen their countries’ robust relationship.

The visit to China, planned in secret like his trip on Friday to Moscow to meet President Vladimir V. Putin, is likely to intensify criticism in the European Union that the Hungarian leader is courting authoritarian leaders in defiance of the bloc’s stated foreign policy goals.

In May, Mr. Orban had given Mr. Xi a red-carpet welcome in Budapest, the Hungarian capital, bolstering China’s efforts to restore its influence in Europe at a time when the European Union as a whole is trying to contain the reach of a country it views as a “systemic rival.”

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Soaring Temperatures and Profit Seekers Amplify Dangers on the Hajj

Rana F. Sweis, Emad Mekay and

Rana F. Sweis reported from Jordan, Emad Mekay from Egypt and Lynsey Chutel from South Africa.

Huda Omari sat outside a broker’s office in Jordan for two days, waiting for her visa to make the annual hajj, or pilgrimage, to Saudi Arabia.

In Egypt, Magda Moussa’s three sons pooled their resources to scrape together nearly $9,000 to realize a dream of accompanying their mother to the hajj. When she got the go-ahead for the trip, she said, relatives and neighbors in her village ululated in celebration.

The dayslong pilgrimage is a profound spiritual journey and an arduous trek under the best of circumstances. ​But this year, amid record ​h​eat, at least 1,300 pilgrims did not survive the hajj, and Saudi authorities said that more than 80 percent of the dead were pilgrims who lacked permits.

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