THE WORLD CUP What makes a country good at football? Wealth, size and interest in football explain almost half of countries’ international performance. The rest can be taught. -The Economist

EU to triple spending to €5bn a year targeting illegal migration New border infrastructure including number plate recognition systems will be prioritized -The Guardian

Italy uses migrant threat for domestic and diplomatic gain Interior Minister Matteo Salvini refused permission for a ship carrying 629 migrants to dock at Italy’s ports. -Politico.eu

Brexit: Theresa May avoids withdrawal bill upset after compromising with rebel MPs British lawmakers rejected a proposal that would have given them the power to reject Theresa May's final Brexit deal. The prime minister dodged defeat by pledging to strengthen parliament's powers in other ways. -DW

France battles to topple Britain as Europe’s top tech nation The two historic rivals are fighting a new war, this time on the tech scene. And Emmanuel Macron has the upper hand. -Politico.eu

What Spain owes the ejected Mariano Rajoy -The Economist

Norway to invite more U.S. Marines, for longer and closer to Russia -Reuters

Saudi Coalition Set for Yemen Port Siege as UN Warns of Disaster Yemeni forces and their Saudi-led allies are massing for an assault to retake the country’s aid lifeline, a siege that could dramatically exacerbate the humanitarian crisis without tipping the balance of the war. -Bloomberg



EU investigates Deutsche Telekom's Dutch deal amid competition concerns Deutsche Telekom faces a four-month investigation into its bid to buy the Dutch business of Swedish peer Tele2 after EU antitrust regulators voiced concerns about the deal. -Reuters

Hit them in the Harleys: EU fights Trump tariffs -BBC

German businesses seek answers from Britain on post-Brexit relations The head of one of Germany's business groups warns that Britain and the EU could "sink into insignificance" if they stay divided. Businesses fear that Britain could crash out of the bloc in March 2019. -DW

French farmers block refineries over palm oil imports -France24

World Cup: Nike boots barred for Iran footballers amid US sanctions -BBC

French carmaker PSA to leave Iran over risk of US sanctions French automaker PSA said Monday that it would pull out of two joint ventures to sell its cars in Iran to avoid the risk of US sanctions after Washington withdrew from a key nuclear deal with Tehran. -France24

U.S. counterspy warns World Cup travelers' devices could be hacked -Reuters


Why the G7 Is a Zero Since its creation in the 1970s, the Group of Seven has become increasingly irrelevant in a world of new emerging powers. An institution that excludes the BRICs while still including economic basket cases like Italy cannot possibly claim the legitimacy required to exercise global economic leadership. -Project Syndicate

The big Italy short was hiding in plain sight -Reuters

Italy’s new economy minister rules out leaving euro ‘No discussion’ in government about quitting single currency, Giovanni Tria says. -Politico.eu

How Turkey's currency turmoil and the uncertainty of the upcoming elections could affect its struggling economy The country’s challenges extend well beyond the currency markets: the population has been living under state of emergency laws since the coup attempt in July 2016. -The Independent