• If Narendra Modi becomes India’s next prime minister he may not be a tyrant (as his critics claim) but nor might he be an economic colossus (as his supporters believe), says the FT’s Victor Mallet. In fact, his economic accomplishments could turn out to be far more modest than market expectations.
  • Plans to restrict immigration in Switzerland are raising questions about the country’s relationship with the rest of the world and exposing the complications of the kind of arms-length relationship with the EU that eurosceptics around the continent crave.
  • Forty years after he first identified the deadly Ebola virus, the microbiologist Peter Piot returns to the village in the Democratic Republic of Congo where it all began.
  • Politico looks back at Hillary Clinton’s relationship with the media, which has spent decades raking over every aspect of her personal life as well as her political career, and how that could affect her decision to run for the presidency.
  • The New Republic reports from the Central African Republic on how the country is falling apart: “When looking for solutions to the horrors here, one is tempted to say that any ideas that don’t start or end with genocide qualify as good ones.”

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  • Whoever wins the Indian election will be courting Mamata Banerjee, whose Trinamool Congress has dominated politics in West Bengal and could be the third largest party in parliament.
  • Videos and messages on recovered phones bear witness to the sinking of the Sewol ferry off the coast of South Korea.
  • Charles Pierce at Esquire rages at the act of barbarism committed in Oklahoma when Clayton Lockett was executed.
  • China’s skewed demographics has contributed to social instability and could pose security risks.
  • Does high inequality foster culture or should a broader group of people be given freedom from the immediate demands of the marketplace?

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  • Gideon Rachman thinks Narendra Modi is the jolt that India needs, but in his risposte Edward Luce argues that the risk is not worth taking.
  • China is poised to pass the US as the world’s leading economic power this year. This moment has come sooner than expected: FT economics editor Chris Giles explains the working out.
  • David Gardner thinks Bashar al-Assad is more vulnerable than he looks.
  • The recent freeze in east-west relations has revived interest in Moscow’s Cold War museum.

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  • Gideon Rachman argues that India needs a jolt and Narendra Modi is the man to provide it.
  • When the political class tries its hand at populism it radiates inauthenticity, says Janan Ganesh.
  • The FT explores the looming crisis in the US infrastructure network.
  • A new and bloody front has been opened in eastern Syria as the country’s two most powerful jihadist groups battle for control of the region’s oilfields.
  • Judge Saed Youssef, nicknamed “the Butcher”, has gained notoriety in Egypt: he has sentenced 1,212 people to their deaths in the past five weeks.
  • The latest US sanctions don’t affect Putin’s personal fortune, they threaten Putin’s actual pressure point: the oil that is Russia’s lifeblood.

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  • Seoul’s response to the ferry catastrophe has added to growing accusations of authoritarianism.
  • As the European elections approach, Alex Barker looks at the European Parliament’s growing power.
  • Edward Luce argues that, with the US always struggling between a push for freedom and a Calvinistic urge to meddle, the pendulum is now swinging back towards intrusion.
  • A defence pact between Washington and Manila will help the US put more muscle behind its pivot to Asia.
  • Simon Kuper argues that inequality is the new apartheid: your life path is largely determined before birth.
  • As the tourism industry in the Sinai has slumped, bedouins are turning to illegal opium production.
  • The US has dispatched its first advanced weapons to Syria since the conflict began, raising hopes among rebels that the Obama administration will lessen its resistance to military aid.
  • Russia could create a weak, neutral Ukraine almost instantly. But will it?
  • Mikhail Khodorkovsky has been discussing the blunders that have fed Putin’s myth that “fascists” have taken power in Ukraine.

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  • Martin Wolf thinks private banks should be stripped of their power to create money.
  • Voting in Mumbai has been a tale of two cities as the most downtrodden residents of India’s financial capital have turned out to vote in large numbers.
  • The Naples tailoring industry has adapted to the 21st Century better than the city in which it resides.
  • Despite concerns over its reliance on the GCC, Egypt is now well placed to engage and negotiate some favourable terms from the IMF.
  • Emerging economies such as Mexico are the fastest-growing source of demand for many of the big food and drinks companies, but intensifying pressure from health authorities in developed markets could deprive them of growth opportunities.

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  • Playing the bad boy in Latin America is no longer the easy game it was: the FT welcomes the return of economic rationality.
  • Overfishing and pollution may be behind a rise in violent piracy and kidnapping for ransom in southeast Asia.
  • Sleeping arrangements in first- and business-class cabins are the competitive weapon of choice as airlines vie to woo the global one per cent.
  • On the anniversary of the Rana Plaza catastrophe, a Guardian interactive traces the journey (and human cost) of the shirt on your back.
  • Moscow is playing a new ‘great game’ Ukraine in which the primary tools are local assets, in the shape of Ukraine’s political and security elites.
  • The WSJ is tracking the fallout of the latest wave of sanctions in real time.
  • Nato’s eastern European members are nervous about the alliance’s ability, or even willingness, to counter Russia.

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  • The pragmatists have won out over the radical idealogues in Venezuela’s administration and Nicolás Maduro is starting to take orthodox steps to repair the economy.
  • Israel is staying out of the fracas in Ukraine: it cannot jeopardise ties with Russia, even if that puts it at odds with the US.
  • The US-Japan relationship has been the bedrock of Asian security and economic growth, but recent frictions have raised questions about how committeed they are to the partnership.
  • The decline in crime in Western nations could have been a result of the removal of lead from petrol.
  • It may have been disparaged for its decline since the fall of the Soviet Union, but the Russian army has upgraded to 21st-century tactics in order to seize the initiative from the west.
  • Residents of Crimea are living in a state of perpetual confusion, but Crimean authorities are pushing for the peninsula to become the world’s next Las Vegas.

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The stand-off continues. The ultimatum, reportedly given by Russia to Ukrainian military forces in Crimea to surrender by 5am (3am GMT), passed without incident. Russian President Vladimir Putin has given a press conference in which he stepped back from the brink of confrontation but insisted Viktor Yanukovich was toppled in an “unconstitutional coup”. The US continues to press for full withdrawal of Moscow’s troops from Ukrainian territory. Global equities traded higher and haven assets retreated as markets reacted with relief to an apparent easing of tensions.

By Shannon Bond, John Aglionby and Amie Tsang with FT correspondents around the world

 

  • Economix does its take on the Transpacific Partnership and free trade.
  • The Archdiocese of Newark doesn’t have enough money to keep a school open, but it does have funds to build a palatial vacation home.
  • Roy Isacowitz criticises Benjamin Netanyahu’s definition of boycott supporters as anti-semites.
  • Delphine Minoui sees in Egypt a current, real-life version of “Rhinoceros,” the 1959 play by Eugène Ionesco.
  • Soviet cuisine is making a comeback.
  • David Gardner on how efforts to pressure the Assad regime in Syria have backfired.
  • The suspension of Nigeria’s central bank governor, Lamido Sanusi, is likely to cost the country dearly.
  • The trial of Wu Guijun, who was accused of disrupting public order during a labour protest in Guangdong, could mark the end of a period of relative tolerance enjoyed by China’s worker movement.

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