What We’re Following
Balancing Powers: After several months of setbacks, British Prime Minister Theresa May announced that her country had achieved “sufficient progress” in Brexit talks with the European Union to move on to the next phase of negotiations, which may prove even more challenging than the first. In Germany, the two most powerful political parties are stuck in a stalemate over whether to form a coalition government, with the potential rise of the populist far right hanging in the balance. And in Spain, the Catalan independence movement is gaining momentum—although its supporters can’t quite agree on what independence means. Rachel Donadio went to Barcelona to try to understand what the separatists want.
Open Seats: Representative Trent Franks is the latest congressman to resign in the face of an ethics investigation over alleged sexual misconduct. The Arizona Republican acknowledged that he had approached two female staffers about serving as a surrogate mother for his children, and the women said his advances suggested that he was asking for sexual intercourse. Such violations aren’t the only reason lawmakers are planning to step down ahead of the midterm elections, and this year’s wave of retirees could change the political landscape. Here’s a running list of all the Republicans and Democrats who—because of alleged misconduct, differences with President Trump, or frustration with Congress—will not seek reelection in 2018.