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Axios Apr 17
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Emmanuel Macron: Trump's unlikely international friend

Macron in a palace dining room
Macron at Elysee Palace. Photo: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Ahead of next Tuesday's White House state dinner for French President Emmanuel Macron, Vanity Fair's The Hive posts an interview by Tom Sancton, with photos by Annie Leibovitz, from the May issue.

The odd couple: "Macron, at 40, is a sophisticated and highly educated aesthete who quotes Hegel in his speeches; Trump, 71, is more at home with reality TV. One sleeps four hours a night and, more or less, works the other 20. The other watches four hours of television a day. One married a teacher 24 years his senior. The other married a model 24 years his junior."

  • At Élysée Palace, "Macron occupies a vast office, the same one where de Gaulle sat when he founded the Fifth Republic, in 1958 ... Louis XVI armchairs upholstered in gold-colored satin, an enormous crystal chandelier."
  • "On policy questions, they have some sharp differences: Macron has criticized Trump’s decisions to pull out of the Paris agreement on climate change and clamp stiff tariffs on steel imports, as well as his threats to tear up the nuclear deal with Iran."
  • Macron: “I have always been very clear and straightforward about our disagreements ... Our strong bilateral relations actually enable us to address our divergences in a constructive way.”
  • Worthy of your time.
Haley Britzky 9 hours ago
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The E.U. and U.K. want to be front and center on AI research

Theresa May visits an engineering facility.
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May visits an engineering training facility in Birmingham. Photo: Andrew Yates/AFP/Getty Images

The E.U. and U.K. both announced major investments in artificial intelligence research this week, with more than 50 tech companies contributing to a £1 billion deal in the U.K., and the European Commission announcing it would be allocating €1.5 billion to AI research until 2020.

The big picture: The U.K.'s deal, as detailed in a government press release, will include funding for "8,000 specialist computer science teachers, 1,000 government-funded AI PhDs by 2025," and development for a "prestigious global Turing Fellowship" program to attract top talent. Per the release, the U.K. will also be developing "a world-leading Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation," to emphasize ethical standards with AI research. The E.U.'s deal also includes laying out clear ethical guidelines by the end of 2018.

Mike Pompeo’s first foreign trip

Mike Pompeo
CIA Director Mike Pompeo testifies on worldwide threats. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

If he is confirmed as Secretary of State tomorrow, Mike Pompeo will embark on his first foreign trip as secretary to Brussels for the NATO Summit, Axios has learned. Bloomberg first reported the contingency planning for the potential trip.

The details: “The acting secretary John Sullivan is ready to go to the NATO summit in Brussels Thursday,” a senior administration official told Axios. “The secretary-designate Mike Pompeo is prepared to travel to the meeting of foreign ministers to reaffirm our commitment to NATO and coordinate the alliance’s response to Russian aggression.”

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect the latest developments.