They may have left their country for vacation, but a number of Argentine tourists in midtown Manhattan nonetheless found themselves at the centre of the most significant news event facing their country on Wednesday: last-minute negotiations to try to avert a default, Luc Cohen reports.

For the second straight day, Economy Minister Axel Kicillof and his delegation met in New York with court-appointed mediator Daniel Pollack to try to strike a deal with a group of hedge funds led by NML Capital who refused to accept bond restructuring after Argentina’s last default. Continue reading »

** FT News **

* Total suspends Russian share purchases | Total froze its programme of buying stock to raise 18% stake in Russia’s Novatek on the day Flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine Continue reading »

** FT News **

* EU and US toughen sanctions on Russia | Sweeping measures intended to cripple economy and convince the Kremlin to abandon its support for pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine

* Israeli military pushes deeper into Gaza | The IDF is racing to destroy a network of Hamas tunnels more extensive than it previously thought, even as condemnation of the war outside Israel grows Continue reading »

** FT News **

* Former Yukos shareholders awarded $50bn | An arbitration panel in The Hague has ruled against Russia in one of the biggest awards ever made against a sovereign state

* Gaza conflict resumes as truce hopes fade | Diplomatic efforts to agree a cessation of hostilities continue after a brief pause in the fighting breaks down and casualties start to mount once more Continue reading »

** FT News **

* Russia’s central bank lifts key rate to 8% | Russia’s central bank unexpectedly lifted its key benchmark interest rate to 8 per cent, citing the impact of heightened geopolitical tensions on inflation risk.

* West Bank erupts in anti-Israel protests | Israel’s military had no immediate comment on the shelling attack on the school, which brought the total death toll in Gaza to nearly 750 Continue reading »

** FT News **

* Israel shells UN school used as a shelter | Israel’s military had no immediate comment on the shelling attack on the school, which brought the total death toll in Gaza to nearly 750

* US says Russia fired artillery at Ukraine | Yatseniuk rebukes parliament for betraying revolution, while EU ambassadors reach no conclusion on widening sanctions against Russia Continue reading »

** FT News **

* EU to weigh extensive sanctions on Russia | Proposal includes ban on buying new debt or stock of Russia’s largest banks and from listing new shares on European exchanges

* Emerging markets slowdown hurts Unilever | Maker of Lipton tea and Dove soap reports bigger than expected drop in first-half sales as weakening currencies wipe €413m off operating profits Continue reading »

** FT News **

* Fears rise of Russia-fuelled arms race | Downing of Kiev fighter jets adds to suspicions among western intelligence officials who point to an extensive weapons-smuggling operation

* Why Slim’s three-day week is a great idea | A shorter week would work for many others if their companies have the imagination to agree to it Continue reading »

** FT News **

* Airlines halt Israel flights after attack | Cancellations after rockets fired from Gaza Strip landed within a mile of the airport come amid sensitivity after MH17 was shot down

* Cameron accused of hypocrisy on Russia | French Socialist party leader attacks David Cameron for criticising France’s warship sale when so many Russian oligarchs have ‘sought refuge in London’ Continue reading »

** FT News **

* Rupiah rises after Widodo election win | Reformist Jakarta governor beats self-styled strongman Prabowo Subianto, who said he would reject the results claiming the poll was unfair

* EU rifts scupper new Russia sanctions | Embargo meets resistance from some EU countries, particularly France, which was forced to defend its decision to continue honouring assault ships to Russia Continue reading »

** FT News **

* Mistral row dominates EU sanctions talks | François Hollande says the delivery of a second vessel under the €1.2bn contract will depend on Moscow’s attitude to the conflict in Ukraine

* UK to hold inquiry into Litvinenko death | Home secretary Theresa May is to announce an inquiry into the death in London of former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko Continue reading »

** FT News **

* Photo shows signs of missile hit on MH17 | Three experts confirm a photograph published by the FT over the weekend FT picture shows signs of shrapnel damage consistent with a missile strike

* Europe urged to harden Russia sanctions | UK-led group, including central and eastern European countries, wants to lay groundwork for an escalation to target entire sectors of economy Continue reading »

Antonio Soto, Asia Manager of AJE Group posed for a photoshoot at AJE factory in Cikarang, West Java, Indonesia. June 5, 2014. Rony Zakaria for The Financial Times©Rony Zakaria

Sebastianus Hendro Kistanto, an IT technician in the Indonesian city of Semarang, always drank Coca-Cola, even after he stop­ped working for the US soft-drinks company’s operation in the country.

That was until he picked up his first bottle of Big Cola last year, attracted by the low price – just Rp3,000 (25 cents) for a 535ml serving. “Coke has the best taste but Big Cola costs much less,” he says, adding that he drinks about four bottles a week.

 Continue reading »

** FT News **

* Dutch PM warns Moscow over MH17 access | Mark Rutte says ‘all political, economic and financial options’ are on the table if access to the crash site of the downed airliner does not improve

* Kerry due in Cairo as Gaza death toll mounts | More than 60 Palestinians have been killed and thousands displaced in Gaza’s biggest city in the most intense fighting yet in Israel’s two-week-old offensive Continue reading »

** FT News **

* Putin handed ultimatum over crash site | Britain, France and Germany warn Russian leader he faces further sanctions this week unless he ensures air accident investigators have full access to crash site

* Israel intensifies ground war in Gaza | About 60 Palestinians killed and thousands displaced in Gaza’s biggest city in the most intense fighting yet in Israel’s two-week old anti-Hamas war Continue reading »