A contentious running mate
Mitt Romney’s decision to choose Paul Ryan as his running mate has energised the race for the White House. Is it a masterstroke or a terrible mistake? Gideon Rachman is joined by Washington bureau chief Richard McGregor and US economics editor Robin Harding to discuss where the truth lies and what Mr Ryan really stands for.

The Curiosity Rover (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

By Ines Burckhardt and Amie Tsang

Curiosity, Nasa’s $2.5bn robotic rover, landed safely on Mars on Monday, reinforcing US dominance of space even after the end of the shuttle programme.

Different space agencies have made their own attempts to reach Mars over the years, with varying degrees of success. These articles take a look at some of those endeavours. Read more

London 2012: The first week of the Olympic games
FT sports writers Matthew Engel and Simon Kuper join Gideon Rachman to provide their mid-term assessment of the London Olympics.

Conflict intensifies in Syria
This week the FT’s world news editor Shawn Donnan is joined by James Blitz, diplomatic editor and Abigail Fielding-Smith in Beirut to discuss the conflict in Syria. Violence in the capital Damascus and commercial centre Aleppo, the disclosure that the regime possesses chemical weapons, refugee flight and the risk of instability spreading into Lebanon – is there now a case for western intervention?

Articles piquing our interest today:

Britain takes le Tour

As the Tour de France enters its final stages, Shawn Donnan is joined by Jennifer Hughes and Hugh Carnegy to discuss the rise of Team Sky and Bradley “Wiggo” Wiggins, concerns over doping and the shadow it casts over the sport. Could a Brit ride up the Champs Elysées to glory for the first time?

Welcome to the FT’s live blog assessing the outcome of an extraordinarily dramatic night in Brussels. Markets have responded powerfully with sharp moves in equities, bonds and currencies after EU leaders agreed measures that will see a shift towards central supervision of eurozone banks in exchange for short-term support on Italian and Spanish sovereign debt. We will bring you details of the overnight deal and trace reaction.

18.10: We’re wrapping up the live blog after a day that started very early in Brussels. The action is now shifting over to Berlin, where the German parliament will hold a key vote to approve the ESM and the previously agreed fiscal discipline treaty. For updates on the Bundestag this evening from our own Gerrit Wiesmann, please follow FT.com.

In the meantime, here are some of the highlights from a busy day following the summit’s late-night deal. Read more

Photo AFP

Welcome to our coverage of the EU summit in Brussels on Thursday. By John Aglionby and Ben Fenton in London, and Shannon Bond in New York. All times BST.

The big question will be whether the European leaders who favour quick fixes to the eurozone crisis can persuade German chancellor Angela Merkel that she is wrong to describe their proposals as “eyewash and fake solutions”.

The key event today will be the Italy-Germany semifinal of the Euro 2012 championship the leaders’ dinner but we’re expecting much jockeying and market action before then.

01.40: As of pixel time, negotiations continue in Brussels and our crack team is still on the case.

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We’re shutting down our live updates from New York, but this blog will be back in the swing of things soon, anchored by the FT’s Hong Kong bureau and later by our London colleagues.

As always, keep tuned to FT.com for the latest news. Read more

Euro 2012: Football and politics in Poland and Ukraine

With the European football championship reaching its climax this week, we look at how Poland and Ukraine have fared by hosting the tournament. Neil Buckley, east Europe editor, Jan Cienski, Warsaw correspondent and Simon Kuper, the FT columnist covering the tournament, join Gideon Rachman.

For anyone reading the tea leaves ahead of a major EU summit, early drafts of the final communiqué are always essential reading – not necessarily for what’s in them, but for what’s not, says Peter Spiegel.  Read more