Foreign affairs

By Gideon Rachman

At the Democratic convention last week, I experienced an uncomfortable feeling of déjà vu. Emblazoned across the arena was the rallying cry of the Hillary Clinton campaign — “Stronger Together”. It was a depressing reminder of “Stronger In,” the slogan of the losing Remain campaign in Britain’s referendum on EU membership.

So long, Philly. Democrats are streaming away from their party convention and heading home for the final 15-week sprint to the presidential election on November 8. It’s going to be brutal.

Hillary Clinton left most of her party with a spring in its step after a rousing speech (by her standards) on Thursday night. Bill Clinton seemed to have a great time, judging by the fun he had with the balloons that fell from the ceiling. Read more

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Donald Trump is renowned for knowing how to dominate a news cycle, but did he really intend to dominate today’s? As the delegates at the Democratic convention cool down from the blistering Philadelphia heat outside, ahead of speeches tonight from Barack Obama, Tim Kaine and others, Trump has garnered a big chunk of attention for himself with his latest Russian turn.

In a press conference, he urged Moscow to track down and hand over tens of thousands of emails from Hillary Clinton’s private server which have yet to be released. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press,” he said.

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Discord at the Democratic Convention

The Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia got off to a turbulent start this week, revealing deep divisions between supporters of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. The FT’s World News editor Ben Hall discusses what this means for Clinton’s campaign for the White House with Washington bureau chief Demetri Sevastopulo and Gideon Rachmann, the FT’s chief foreign affairs commentator.

It must be hard being Ted Cruz. Just when you assume there could not be more people who dislike you, your own support base turns on you. The Texas senator’s decision not to endorse Donald Trump as the Republican candidate on Wednesday evening highlighted the divisions that have been simmering in Cleveland. Mr Cruz has the dubious honour of being the first person to be jeered at this convention — after Hillary Clinton, of course — and his wife, Heidi, had to be escorted from the arena.

Depending on your perspective, Cruz’s address was petulant or noble — given the personal attacks he has endured from Trump. He attempted to address those concerns head-on with the Texas GOP delegation on Wednesday morning, explaining he was not a “servile puppy dog” to Trump. But there were plenty of detractors present. (Read our report on Cruz’s clash with his own supporters here — and watch this video of Texans opining on what he has done.) Read more

Donald Trump has been a winner in Cleveland this week. But he has been a loser in Las Vegas.

Trump International Hotel Las Vegas – co-owned by the Republican nominee and his Sin City friend Phil Ruffin – has agreed to pay $11,200 in lost wages to settle a complaint filed on behalf of two pro-union workers. Read more

Outside the perimeter of the Republican National Convention, protesters have beenmaking the case against Donald Trump’s proposed wall with Mexico. Inside the convention, Marco Gutierrez, a 42 year-old Mexican-American mortgage broker, has found himself preaching a more unusual message: “Latinos for Trump”.

“He’s got life experience, knowledge and an ability to restore the economy. I’ve seen a lot of Latinos lose their savings. Donald Trump brings hope to businesses,” Mr Gutierrez said in an interview. Read more

Turkey’s bungled putsch

Following a failed military coup in Turkey, President Erdogan has launched a sweeping crackdown on alleged plot sympathisers. Who was responsible for the uprising? And how have Ankara’s western allies responded? The FT’s World News editor Ben Hall speaks to Mehul Srivastava, the FT’s correspondent in Turkey, and former Turkey correspondent Daniel Dombey.

It was a carefully worded criticism – just 160 words long – that Barack Obama delivered to Poland’s government on Friday, as the US president used the NATO summit in Warsaw to rebuke the country’s right-wing ruling party for moves that have caused a constitutional crisis and seen it charged with endangering democracy.

But the subtle critique, which drew surprise among Polish journalists and anger among some ruling politicians, was months in the making, involved dozens of advisers and hours of discussions, which culminated in a late-night meeting on the eve of the speech and a critical intervention from former secretary of state Madeleine Albright. Read more

A day that began with a rare show of political unity over the killing of five Dallas police officers had by the late afternoon taken on a sharper political edge, although sometimes in surprising ways. Read more

Chilcot report issues damning verdict on Iraq war

This week’s Chilcot report delivered a damning verdict on Britain’s decision to go to war in Iraq in 2003. The UK’s political, military and intelligence establishments were all implicated, but particular criticism was reserved for Tony Blair, the former prime minister. Daniel Dombey discusses the report’s findings with the FT’s James Blitz and Roula Khalaf

Broken-hearted by Brexit, thousands of Britons are applying, or thinking of applying, for citizenship in another EU country. All I can say is, unless you have recently won the BBC television quiz shows Mastermind or University Challenge, forget Denmark.

According to Inger Støjberg, Denmark’s integration minister, more than two-thirds of the first batch of foreign applicants who took a new Danish citizenship test in June have failed the exam. Only 31.2 per cent passed, she announced on Tuesday. Take a look at some of the questions, and you will see why most people have flunked the test. Read more

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As most Americans were getting ready to grill hamburgers and hot dogs for the July 4th holiday, Hillary Clinton was on Saturday being grilled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation over her installation of a private email server in her New York home and use of a personal account when she was secretary of state. The interview signalled that the FBI was nearing the end of a year-long investigation that hung over Clinton’s second bid for the White house. Read more

European rivals eye London’s banking business
How far will Frankfurt and Paris go to claim the business of the City of London once the UK has left the European Union? Which other cities are in the running and how many jobs does London stand to lose? Gideon Rachman puts these questions to Michael Stothard, the FT’s Paris correspondent and James Shotter, Frankfurt correspondent.Cancel

“Now it’s our turn!” So said Geert Wilders (above), leader of the far-right PVV party in the Netherlands, after the UK electorate voted in last week’s referendum to leave the EU.

In practice, there is next to no chance of a Dutch referendum on EU membership — certainly not under Dutch law as it stands. However, to say this is not to underestimate the serious political challenges that lie ahead in the Netherlands. Read more

By Gideon Rachman

All good dramas involve the suspension of disbelief. So it was with Brexit. I went to bed at 4am on Friday depressed that Britain had voted to leave the EU. The following day my gloom only deepened. But then, belatedly, I realised that I have seen this film before. I know how it ends. And it does not end with the UK leaving Europe.

Just a few months ago the idea that Britons would vote to leave the EU seemed implausible. But to the shock of the world, that’s what they just did. A short while back the idea of Donald Trump as president seemed equally inconceivable. Does the Brexit vote tell us we should now upgrade the odds of him winning? Read more

“We have a PhD in crises in Latin America. We had 25 crisis in 30 years. We are better managing crises than abundances,” the Inter-American Development Bank’s chief executive Luis Alberto Moreno told your correspondent on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum on Latin America in Medellín. After a commodity boom that placed many into the emerging middle class, he sees a key challenge is to make political actors use those supposed crisis skills to form a “new Latin American citizen” – more educated, more connected, more aspirational and demanding better and more transparent management.

As Venezuelans line up to validate a petition to recall socialist President Nicolás Maduro and call fresh elections, his government had better pay attention to the growing demands of its desperate people. Even China, Venezuela’s main lender, is getting itchy and has been approaching the opposition to safeguard debt payments. Venezuela’s situation has got so out of control that a gunman opened fire at the central bank as he asked for the board members. Meanwhile, emissaries led by former Dominican President Leonel Fernández are trying to lure the president to unify Venezuela’s exchange rates to give oxygen to the ailing economy. Read more

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If Republican leaders were looking for a more palatable Donald Trump, on Wednesday they got it.

In his long-awaited speech attacking Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Republican nominee mostly stuck to a prepared speech in which he lambasted Clinton as a “corrupt” politician and “world class liar” who had “spread death, destruction and terrorism everywhere she touched”. He also criticised his Democratic rival for taking money from regimes that repress women and gays. Read more

What next for Modi’s India?
The Indian government announced welcome reforms to attract foreign investors this week. But India-watchers were distracted by the resignation of the much-respected head of the country’s central bank, Raghuram Rajan. Gideon Rachman discusses the future of prime minister Narendra Modi’s reform programme with the FT’s South Asia bureau chief Amy Kazmin and former Mumbai correspondent James Crabtree.