Tuesday Briefing: Mexico elects its first woman president

Also, the U.S. is poised to change its asylum policy
Morning Briefing: Asia Pacific Edition

June 4, 2024

Good morning. We’re covering Mexico’s new president and President Biden’s shift on immigration.

Plus, what we can learn from the death of a pet.

Claudia Sheinbaum makes a heart shape with her hands in front of her chest.
Claudia Sheinbaum after her irreversible lead in the election was announced. Fred Ramos for The New York Times

Mexico elected its first woman president

Claudia Sheinbaum, a climate scientist and former mayor of Mexico City, will be Mexico’s next president, after winning a landslide victory in elections. She will be the first woman, and the first Jewish person, to hold the post.

Sheinbaum, a leftist, was beating her opponent by a stunning 30 percentage points or more, early returns showed. Votes are still being counted: See live results here.

Her victory suggests that most Mexicans are pleased with their country’s direction: Sheinbaum, 61, is the chosen successor of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the current president.

What’s next: Sheinbaum’s next hurdle will be stepping out of the shadow of López Obrador. She notes that they are “different people,” though she appealed to voters by promising to cement his legacy. Here’s what to know about Mexico’s next leader.

Region: Latin America has had more than a dozen female leaders, many in democracies that were once under the sway of authoritarian governments.

A Border Patrol boat, bearing emblems of Homeland Security and the American flag, travel on the Rio Grande River, as U.S. National Guardsmen watch from atop shipping containers in Eagle Pass, Texas.
A border patrol boat travels the Rio Grande. Cheney Orr for The New York Times

Biden plans to restrict asylum

President Biden is expected to sign an executive order today allowing him to temporarily seal the U.S.-Mexico border to migrants, a move that would suspend protections for asylum seekers in the U.S.

The order would be the single most restrictive border policy instituted by Biden, who is under intense political pressure to address illegal migration ahead of the November presidential election. It also echoes a 2018 effort by Donald Trump to block migration, proclamations that were assailed by Democrats and blocked by federal courts.

Details: The order would allow border officials to prevent migrants from claiming asylum and to rapidly turn them away once border crossings exceed a certain threshold.

The numbers: On Sunday, border agents apprehended more than 3,500 migrants crossing the border without authorization, according to a person with knowledge of the data.

Itamar Ben-Gvir in front of a microphone.
Itamar Ben-Gvir, Israel’s national security minister. Menahem Kahana/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Netanyahu tries to keep his cabinet from unraveling

Two far-right members of Israel’s government threatened to topple the governing coalition if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accepted a cease-fire deal that would end the war in Gaza without eliminating Hamas.

For Itamar Ben-Gvir, the national security minister, and Bezalel Smotrich, the finance minister, the cease-fire proposal does not go far enough to guarantee Hamas’s destruction. Pulling their support would take down the government. President Biden outlined the deal on Friday, saying it had been put forward by Israel.

The deal: Netanyahu offered assurances to lawmakers in a closed-door meeting yesterday that the proposal would not end the war without ending Hamas’s rule in Gaza. “The claims that we have agreed to a cease-fire without our conditions being met are incorrect,” he said.

Hostages: The Israeli military said an additional four hostages who were abducted on Oct. 7 were “no longer alive.” The men were believed to have been killed together “several months ago” near Khan Younis, in central Gaza, while Israeli forces were operating in the area, an Israeli military spokesman said.

MORE TOP NEWS

People surrounding a water tanker and filling their jerrycans and buckets with water.
Temperatures in parts of northern India have hovered well above 43 degrees Celsius. Saumya Khandelwal for The New York Times
  • India: As the country prepares for the results of its general election, a deadly heat wave has left water in short supply across the Delhi region.
  • U.S.: Hunter Biden, President Biden’s son, went on trial on three charges that he lied about his drug use on a federal firearms application in 2018.
  • Britain: Nigel Farage, a driving force behind Brexit, said he would run for Parliament next month, dealing a new blow to the prospects of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
  • Myanmar: The Arakan Army, a key force in the fight against the ruling military junta, has been accused of persecuting the Rohingya, a Muslim minority.
  • Nepal: The arrest of a media executive has threatened the country’s status as a stronghold of free speech in South Asia.
  • Covid: Dr. Anthony Fauci forcefully denied as “absolutely false” Republican claims that he had sought to cover up the possibility that the pandemic originated in a lab.
  • Politics: Donald Trump joined TikTok, which he tried to ban during his presidency. He’s trying to reach younger voters.

Business

  • Japan: Internal investigations at Toyota Motor, Honda Motor and other Japanese automakers found they had mishandled vehicle testing on dozens of models over the past decade.
  • Media: The executive editor of The Washington Post, Sally Buzbee, will leave her role, a major and sudden change at one of the U.S.’s pre-eminent news organizations.
  • Canada: Low levels of rain and snow have cut Canada’s hydropower production, forcing it to increase electricity imports from the U.S.

Sports

  • French Open: Novak Djokovic reached the quarter-finals. Alexander Zverev, the fourth seed, is playing Holger Rune, the 13th. We have updates.

MORNING READ

An animated image of a dog.
Animations by Gaia Alari

Pets teach us about life, love and death. That last one is especially important, Sam Anderson writes in this animated feature, which features a hamster named Mango and a dog named Walnut. Unlike us, Sam writes, animals don’t seem to spend their entire lives fretting about the fact that they are going to die.

“Maybe they exist in an eternal present,” he writes, “a perpetual lightness that we will never feel.”

For more, listen to Sam’s new podcast, “Animal.”

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  • Rhabarberbarbarabarbarbarenbartbarbierbier (we swear this isn’t a typo): TikTok loves a German rap about rhubarb, served by Barbara to rhubarb-loving barbarians, who drink beer while their beards are barbered.
  • The modern age: A group of experts came up with the 25 photos that have best captured the world since 1955.
  • Are women’s pants sexist? Unlike men’s trousers, with their standard inseam and waist, women’s sizes are more concept than reality.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this newsletter, which is made possible through subscriber support. Subscribe to The New York Times.

ARTS AND IDEAS

At the U.S. Holocaust Memorial in Washington, visitors look up as they walk through an exhibit called the Tower of Faces.
The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. Drew Angerer for The New York Times

Holocaust museums grapple with the war

The war in Gaza is forcing Holocaust museums in the U.S. to contend with how they discuss the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

For many supporters of Israel’s war, there is a direct line between the antisemitism that fueled the Holocaust and the ideology of Hamas. Hamas’s attack on Israel made Oct. 7 the deadliest day for Jews since the Nazi genocide, a history that is fading from living memory.

For many antiwar protesters, Israel’s military campaign is a genocide. And young memorial visitors — steeped in social media images that show tens of thousands of Palestinians killed and millions displaced from their homes — are bringing that context with them.

RECOMMENDATIONS

A plate of linguine with crushed red pepper, parsley and grated Parmesan.
Christopher Testani for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews.

Cook: You can embellish this lemon-garlic pasta with scallops, shrimp or mushrooms.

Read: Tariq Zaidi published a book of photos from North Korea.

Listen: “Girls of the Golden West,” an opera, is a classical music album you can stream right now.

Go: Travelers are flocking to Porto, Portugal’s second-largest city.

Play: Spelling Bee, the Mini Crossword, Wordle and Sudoku. Find all our games here.

That’s it for today. See you tomorrow. — Amelia

P.S. River Davis will cover business and economics in Japan, and will be based in Tokyo.

You can reach us at briefing@nytimes.com.

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