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Tuesday Briefing

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French voters may have rejected the far right in legislative elections on Sunday, but they now face a Parliament that is split and has an unclear path to a workable government, with an insurgent left in first place but still far short of holding power. These maps show how France voted.

It will take painstaking negotiations to eventually yield a viable government, my colleague Roger Cohen writes. France does not have a culture of such compromise, and the muddle could take months to sort out. President Emmanuel Macron asked his prime minister yesterday to remain in office “for the moment” to “assure the stability of the country.”

The New Popular Front, a left-wing alliance, has demanded that Macron ask it to form a government, saying it would soon put forward its choice for prime minister. Yet it is 100 seats short of a workable majority, and Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the combative left-wing leader, said he would not negotiate with potential coalition partners nor adjust the alliance’s program.

Possible scenarios: Macron could appoint a prime minister from outside his party and share power, but he has labeled the far-left and far-right parties too “extreme,” and other political groups have shown little appetite for working with him. Here’s more on what could come next.

President Biden made an aggressive attempt yesterday to dispel concerns that a broad range of Democrats have expressed about his re-election campaign. By the afternoon, he had called into a widely watched morning news program, sent a defiant letter to Democratic members of Congress and, during a call with fund-raisers, previewed his plan to attack Donald Trump.

“If any of these guys don’t think I should run, run against me,” he said, hitting back at his critics. “Go ahead, announce for president. Challenge me at the convention.”

Biden faces crumbling support from Democratic lawmakers and mounting fears of a rout by Donald Trump in November. He is expected to hold a news conference, most likely on Thursday, after he finishes hosting a NATO summit in Washington.

Health concerns: An expert on Parkinson’s disease visited the White House eight times from last summer to this spring, according to official visitor logs. The White House did not specify whether the expert was there to consult about Biden but said that the president was not being treated for Parkinson’s.

Republicans: Trump backed a draft Republican platform that softens the party’s position on abortion but is more nationalistic and protectionist.


Moscow rained missiles across Ukraine yesterday, destroying the country’s largest children’s hospital. Hundreds raced to the scene to help in a desperate search for survivors. One doctor and another adult were killed and at least 10 more people were injured, including seven children, local officials said. At least three children were pulled from the rubble, Ukraine’s emergency services agency said.

Across the country, at least 38 people were killed in the bombings, including 27 in Kyiv, and more than 100 were injured, officials said. The Ukrainian Air Force said it had shot down 30 of the 38 missiles launched during the attack. The U.N. Security Council will hold an emergency meeting today to address the strikes.

Strikes on health care: The strikes highlighted the growing number of deadly attacks by Russia on Ukrainian medical facilities, vehicles and workers.

In one image: The story behind a photograph of a bloodstained surgeon helping the search through the rubble.

Doreen Brodhead checked into a motel room in Kingston, N.Y., one night last November. With her was Stephen Miller, a former doctor who had served time in prison, whom she had met online. The next morning, her body was found on the bed next to a note. A gas canister was nearby, and Miller was gone.

Brodhead had lived with chronic pain for decades, and Miller had helped her die. But was he, as he claimed, an angel of mercy or, as prosecutors called him, an angel of death?

The New York Times Book Review asked hundreds of literary luminaries to name the 10 best books published since Jan. 1, 2000. The interpretation of “best” was left open — for some, this simply meant “favorite.” For others, it meant books that would endure for generations.

Stephen King took part in our poll. So did Claudia Rankine, James Patterson, Sarah Jessica Parker, Karl Ove Knausgaard, Elin Hilderbrand, Roxane Gay, Marlon James, Sarah MacLean, Min Jin Lee and Jonathan Lethem. (Take a peek at their ballots.)

We’ll be publishing the list over the course of this week, starting with those ranked 81st to 100th.



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