/FirstFT: Today’s top stories  | Financial Times (via Qpute.com)

FirstFT: Today’s top stories  | Financial Times (via Qpute.com)


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New sanctions against Iran could be unveiled as early as Monday, US national security adviser John Bolton said in Jerusalem, as he warned the Islamic republic not to confuse American “prudence for weakness”. Speaking ahead of a meeting with Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu, Mr Bolton repeated US President Donald Trump’s warnings that Washington would not allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons.

Mr Trump said he called off a military strike late on Thursday that was designed in response to the downing of an American surveillance drone by an Iranian missile over the Straits of Hormuz, which Tehran said was in Iranian territory. “Neither Iran nor any other hostile actor should mistake US prudence and discretion for weakness,” Mr Bolton told reporters. “No one has granted them a hunting license in the Middle East.”

Mr Bolton’s visit to Israel comes amid heightened tensions between Tehran and Washington, and concern about a possible military confrontation between the two countries. However, modern warfare is changing and news of a debilitating cyber attack against Iran reportedly ordered by the US president suggests that any conflict is unlikely to take the form of previous American-led military interventions in the Middle East. (FT)

In the news

Ethiopia rocked by assassinations The chief of staff of Ethiopia’s army and two senior regional political figures were shot dead in what the prime minister’s office called a co-ordinated attack, underlining the fragile nature of the country’s government led by Abiy Ahmed — Africa’s new talisman. (FT)

New mayor for Istanbul A political gamble by Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has backfired. Ekrem Imamoglu, the opposition challenger, won a resounding victory in the repeat of an Istanbul mayoral election, according to early results, massively increasing his majority. (FT)

Carrefour eyes China exit Europe’s largest retailer, Carrefour, took a decisive step towards exiting China on Sunday as it sold the majority of its struggling business in the country. The French group has agreed to sell 80 per cent of Carrefour China to Suning.com, a Chinese retailer with more than 8,881 stores in more than 700 cities.

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Trouble for Boris Johnson Steven Bannon, former adviser to US President Donald Trump, claims that he advised UK Tory leadership’s frontrunner Boris Johnson on the speech in which Mr Johnson attacked Theresa May for leaving the UK in a “miserable limbo” amid a “needless fog of self-doubt”. This video gives credence to the far-right activist Bannon’s claim — which Mr Johnson has refuted. Meanwhile, Jeremy Hunt exerted pressure on Mr Johnson to explain a police visit to his home. (FT, Guardian)

Big tech groups pose threat to stability The BIS, the central bank for central banks, said regulators worldwide may need to revamp rules to deal with the structural changes brought by digital platforms such as e-commerce sites and social networks, as Facebook plans to launch its own digital currency called Libra. Watch FT Washington correspondent Kiran Stacey dissect the regulatory hurdles for Libra. (FT)

Britain’s loss is Silicon Valley’s gain A group of Britain’s best-known quantum computing scientists have quietly moved to Silicon Valley to found a start-up called PsiQ that believes it can produce a commercial quantum computer within five years. Their relocation is driven partly by the need for capital. Quantum computers, if they can be built at scale, will harness properties that extend beyond the limits of classical physics to offer exponential gains in computing power. (FT)

Battle for Hong Kong Carrie Lam suspended the extradition-to-China bill following protests by 2m people — but still faces calls to quit. Read FT’s coverage from the streets of Hong Kong. Don’t miss the FT’s South China correspondent, Sue-Lin Wong, in conversation with human rights activist Joshua Wong and government youth adviser Lau Ming-wai who are on the either side of the battle. (FT)

‘Excellent content’ North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un praised the content of a letter sent to him by US President Donald Trump — who had earlier this month said that he had received his own “beautiful letter” from Mr Kim. The exchange between the two leaders has raised hopes that stalled negotiations on denuclearisation may resume. (FT, SCMP)

Trump and citizenship The US Supreme Court is expected to hand down its ruling by the end of the month on whether the Trump administration can add a question on citizenship to the 2020 census. The decision could affect political representation for millions of people, business decisions in one of the world’s most important consumer markets, and billions of dollars in federal spending. (FT)

Australia bows out Norway became the second team to qualify for the quarter-finals of the Women’s Soccer World Cup after beating Australia in a thrilling penalty shootout on Saturday. The United States will face Spain in their last 16 clash on Monday. To know what makes the US team such a feared force read this article on the team’s offensive might. (BBC, WSJ)

Read Moral Money

Gillian Tett, the FT’s US editor-at-large, explains why investors should pay attention to environmental, social and governance principles and introduces the FT’s latest newsletter, Moral Money, your guide to the investment and business revolution you can’t afford to ignore. Sign up here.

Gillian Tett is also in this week’s FT Magazine, exploring a distinctly 21st century trend: anti-terrorist urban architecture.

The day ahead

Elon Musk to launch two dozen satellites SpaceX, the rocket company founded by Tesla chief executive Elon Musk, is scheduled to launch two dozen satellites into space on Monday as part of the US Department of Defence’s Space Test Program 2. In May, the company launched 60 internet satellites into the orbit.

Keep up with the important business, economic and political stories in the coming days with the FT’s Week Ahead. Click to subscribe here. And don’t miss our FT News Briefing audio show — a short daily rundown of the top global stories.

What else we’re reading

Best reads of 2019 From Jeanette Winterson’s modern retelling of Frankenstein to the fallout from artificial intelligence and automation, our critics select their books of the year so far. Plus, FT readers recommend their favourite titles, too. (FT)

‘I always liked being number one’ Bernard Arnault recently overtook Warren Buffett to become the world’s third-richest man. Over the past four decades he has built LVMH from a near-bankrupt French textile company to a global luxury goods group with sales of nearly €50bn in 2018, creating a personal fortune of more than $100bn in the process, but in this interview he admits there was one thing he could not afford — the Financial Times. (FT)

Dinosaurs on the block The past few years have been marked by a spurt of groundbreaking discoveries by paleontologists. But their work is being overshadowed by outrage that yet another fossil has been sold to the highest bidder. (WSJ)

‘Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse!’ Too many speeches are littered with a torrent of information that makes them hard to deliver and digest. The best are often broken up into just three points, or at least have a beginning, a middle and an end. There are lessons to be learnt from Tory leadership candidate Boris Johnson. (FT)

Vietnam wins in US-China trade war US imports from Vietnam surged by nearly 40 per cent in the first four months of this year from the same period last year. Over the same period, US imports from China fell by 13 per cent, the second-largest contraction since 2009. (FT)

Another Oxonian at 10 Downing Street Six of the seven men who survived the first round of the Tory leadership contest earlier this month studied at Oxford. Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, the last candidates standing, were contemporaries along with third-placed Michael Gove in the late 1980s. The UK is thus about to install its 11th Oxonian prime minister since the second world war. Despite the Oxford connection, Mr Johnson and Mr Hunt have different views. Watch this video to learn what they are. (FT)

The final frontier Do you want to carry out a simulated space mission, gain Space Academy wings while also making some new friends? All you need is a window of 48 hours, $599 to spare and a flight ticket to Huntsville, Alabama. The FT’s Neville Hawcock takes us inside the academy where you can train for the ultimate launch into space — all at ground level. (FT)

Video of the day

Investor activism Meet the new generation of troublemakers. The FT’s Arash Massoudi explains how activist investors’ tactics are changing as they chase larger targets and expand their reach to Europe and Asia.


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