We also fact-checked rumors and hoaxes.
And in our podcast, The Daily, our correspondent discusses what happened within ISIS in the hours after the attack.
• President Trump met with an occasionally dour Pope Francis in the Vatican as they sought to bridge their vast philosophical differences. The pope pointedly gave the president a copy of his 2015 encyclical on climate change.
Mr. Trump is now in Brussels, a city he once described as a “hellhole,” to meet with European leaders. (Belgians reacted: “I love our hellhole.”) He’ll have lunch with France’s new president, Emmanuel Macron.
Mr. Trump is then expected to endorse NATO’s mutual defense policy, ending months of questions over how he’d handle it. Check back for our live coverage.
• Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, will today meet with two U.S. presidents — Mr. Trump and his predecessor, Barack Obama — providing her with an opportunity to showcase her role as a global leader ahead of elections in the fall.
She will discuss civic engagement with Mr. Obama in front of 80,000 people in Berlin to mark the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s Reformation before heading to Brussels for talks with Mr. Trump.
• Bomb scars, “hell cannons” and trash piles so high they block streets.
Our magazine writer and a photographer traveled to Aleppo, Syria, which the government regained complete control of in December.
They found destruction, pessimism and blame, but also resilience and determination to rebuild.
• Distraction, and a drink.
It has been a tough week so far in the news. So here’s an ode to Berlin’s timeless cocktail dens, where both the intriguing interiors and the suave drinks are memorable.
• OPEC ministers meet in Vienna today to extend output cuts, but they are increasingly losing their grip on oil prices. The shale boom and the growing use of electric engines are partly to blame.
• Moody’s downgraded China’s credit rating for the first time since 1989. Our analysts explain how the country’s growing debt problem threatens to weaken its economy.
• Bond holders in Azerbaijan’s largest bank counted on the government to prop it up, deeming it “too big to fail.” But the gamble backfired.
• Here’s a snapshot of global markets.
In the News
• U.S. spies learned months before last year’s presidential election that top Russian officials were strategizing about how to exert influence over Donald Trump through his advisers, including Paul Manafort, above. [The New York Times]
• In the U.S., 23 million fewer people would be insured by 2026 under the health care bill passed by the House of Representatives, the Congressional Budget Office said. [The New York Times]
• In France, the government defended a minister and ally of President Emmanuel Macron, after a report in the weekly Canard Enchaîné raised questions on a property deal. [Reuters]
• At least 34 migrants, including children, drowned in the Mediterranean when a smuggler ship capsized off the Libyan coast. [ANSA]
• The Czech president appointed a former Microsoft executive as finance minister, replacing Andrej Babis, the billionaire populist whose party is favored in elections set for October. [Politico]
• Spain’s Supreme Court upheld a 21-month jail sentence for Lionel Messi, the soccer star, over tax offenses, but it will most likely be suspended. [El País]
• Another grisly scene on Mount Everest: Rescuers who were sent to the “death zone” for the body of a Slovak climber found four more dead bodies, bringing the season’s total to 10. [BBC]
• Recipe of the day: Hot and sour seared tofu with sugar snap peas is a meatless dinner to cook often.
• Here are some legal, financial and practical things to keep in mind when moving in with your significant other.
• Although it can feel as if your flaws and missteps can be the focus of everyone’s attention, research suggests otherwise.
• Manchester United beat Ajax 2-0 to win the Europa League. Our soccer correspondent profiled its midfielder, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, above, who likes to spend hours on YouTube watching dubious-quality soccer from his native Armenia.
• Alexander Burdonsky, a renowned theater director in Russia and a grandson of Stalin, died at 75.
• Cannes Film Festival: Our critic was scratching her head about why some titles were included.
• And a new study sheds light on how whales became the biggest animals on the planet. A climatic change within the past 4.5 million years allowed the behemoths to binge eat.
“Star Wars” appeared in theaters for the first time on this day in 1977, unleashing one of the greatest pop culture explosions this galaxy has ever seen.
The Force drew us in as much as anyone: Over the past 40 years, The Times has published thousands of articles about “Star Wars” and the universe that surrounds it.
Some now seem quaint: In a prerelease interview, George Lucas described Chewbacca as “a cross between a large bear, a dog and a monkey.” (Chewie, as we know now, is a 200-year-old Wookiee from the planet Kashyyyk and one of the greatest sidekicks in the history of film.)
Other reports were serious: We covered President Ronald Reagan’s “Star Wars” antimissile system in the 1980s, the “Star Wars” “piracy menace” of bootleg films in Hong Kong, and the obituaries of franchise stars like Sir Alec Guinness, in 2000, and Carrie Fisher, in December.
We also tried to be playful. We covered the recent campaign to make Jediism a religion, and the “Star Wars” socks worn by the prime minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau.
And maybe we got a little obsessed, too. Last year, we offered “Star Wars” teaching ideas — from “Tackle Shakespeare With Yoda, You Will” to an economics primer, “The Death Star, Too Big to Fail?”
In any case, may The Force be with you.
Charles McDermid contributed reporting.
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