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It was the showdown that has had US political junkies on the edge of their seats for weeks: bombastic billionaire Donald Trump squaring off against nine rivals for the Republican presidential nomination.
- Amid the political noise, the historic nuclear deal between Iran and international powers is a victory for pragmatism in Tehran, writes Roula Khalaf
- Greece’s creditors have destroyed the eurozone as we know it and demolished the idea of a monetary union as a step towards a democratic political union, argues Wolfgang Münchau
- Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump offers a megaphone to the noisy minority of Americans who believe they are losing the battle with modernity, writes Ed Luce
- Europe’s creditor-in-chief has trampled over values like democracy and national sovereignty, and left a vassal state in its wake. Which country will be next? asks Philippe LeGrain (Foreign Policy)
- We apologise to Marxists worldwide for Greece refusing to commit ritual suicide to further the cause. We elected a good, honest and brave man, who fought like a lion, writes Alex Andreou (Byline)
- Scott Walker, the “regular Joe” governor of Wisconsin and Republican presidential hopeful, needs to shrug off concerns that he is a foreign policy lightweight in his run for the White House
- Young people are shunning cocoa farming in Ghana, leading to fears that production and productivity could be harmed in the world’s second-biggest grower of the soft commodity
- Mexico’s most wanted drug lord, known as “Shorty”, has pulled off his second sensational jailbreak in 15 years – dealing a blow to the government which had taken pride in capturing top crime kingpins
- A full transcript of the first interview with Yanis Varoufakis, the former Greek finance minister, since his resignation (New Statesman)
- A nationalist militia in Ukraine engaged in a standoff with soldiers and police following a gun and grenade attack after its fighters confronted supporters of a local MP critical of the group (The Telegraph)
- Japan’s golden era of karaoke may have passed, but the companies supplying technology for the pastime are pinning their hopes on a new market: the silver economy
- International hotel groups are eyeing Iran’s tourism potential as a nuclear deal that could end economic sanctions nears
- Marco Rubio is rattling assumptions and could upend 2016′s US presidential election, writes Edwards Luce
- Can South Africa’s first female public prosecutor save the country from itself? (New York Times)
- The Dominican Republic’s tortured relationship with its Haitian minority (Foreign Policy)
The progressive wing of the Democratic Party has been urging liberal firebrand Elizabeth Warren to run for president for months, in the hope of creating a challenger to presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton on the left.
With the Massachussetts senator repeatedly declining to heed their call, an influential group of activists has now shifted tack. Their new objective? Making Mrs Clinton more like Ms Warren.
More than 200 leading Democrats in Iowa and New Hampshire, two critical early states in the US presidential primary calendar, have signed a petition urging Mrs Clinton (and any other potential candidate) to campaign on some of the “big, bold, economic-populist ideas” that Ms Warren has championed, from cracking down on Wall Street to reducing the burden of student debt and expanding entitlement programmes. Read more
Scott Walker, governor of Wisconsin and one of the early frontrunners in a crowded field of possible Republican presidential candidates, was expected to discuss foreign policy in an appearance on Wednesday at London’s best known foreign policy think tank.
Mr Walker declined to opine on a wide range of international affairs, from whether the UK should stay in the European Union, to the current turmoil engulfing Greece and Ukraine to how to combat terror groups like the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant at a Chatham House event. Read more
- Following the terror attacks in Paris, the direction that France takes matters hugely for the rest of the world, writes Gideon Rachman
- Mounting political crises – from a potential Grexit through to domestic protests against Islam and immigration – are set to test German chancellor Angela Merkel’s unflappable approach
- The strength of the US’s economic recovery is creating a quandary in Washington: how to galvanise the broad swath of voters who feel they have been left behind
- Why did the world ignore Boko Haram’s Baga attacks that killed hundreds while so much media attention focused on the Paris terror attacks? (The Guardian)
- Mexican traffickers are sending a flood of cheap heroin and methamphetamine across the US border following the decriminalization of marijuana in some American states (Washington Post)
- The Republicans’ midterm victory, built on strong grassroots and a disciplined campaign, gives the GOP new hope of taking the White House in 2016
- A quarter of a century after the Berlin Wall was toppled, a party including ex-communists and other leftists is set to take charge of a regional government in Germany
- Overnight US-led airstrikes on Jabhat al-Nusra mark the first major offensive against a radical group in Syria other than the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis)
- Australia’s hardline ‘stop the boat’ asylum policy may be controversial, but its success is the envy of European governments grappling with immigration issues
- China is seeking to scatter ethnic minorities such as the Muslim Uighur across majority Han territories through labour programmes in order to defuse tensions in restive areas, reports the New York Times
American elections – even midterm elections – always offer great entertainment: eccentric candidates, whooping crowds, bizarre attack-ads, pontificating pundits, the changing colours on electoral maps. But there is often a sneaking suspicion that the actual results may not have much relevance to real life. The turn-out in Tuesday’s midterm elections looks like it was about 40%. The majority of ordinary Americans may have felt that the 2014 elections were unlikely to change much. It is hard to disagree. Here are four arguments for the irrelevance of the mid-term elections. Read more
The funeral of Benjamin Crowninshield Bradlee at the Washington National Cathedral was part state occasion, part Shakespearean drama. Stirring eulogies, martial strains and trumpets, and a gathering of courtiers high and low, laying to rest one of the great warrior kings of modern newspaper journalism, perhaps the greatest. Read more
In next week’s US mid-terms, the Republicans are looking to win back control of the Senate and increase their majority in the House of Representatives, giving them control of the legislative agenda and the ability to further constrain President Barack Obama during his final two years in office. Ben Hall discusses the elections and their and longer term repercussions with Richard McGregor and Ed Luce.
By Gideon Rachman
Back in 1992 I was watching from the balcony of Madison Square Garden as Bill Clinton accepted the Democratic party nomination for the presidency. On stage with him was his wife, Hillary, and their young daughter, Chelsea. The music that blared from the loudspeakers as the Clintons took their bow was Fleetwood Mac singing “Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow”. It was a quintessentially American message – optimistic and forward-looking.
Are Americans more on board with President Barack Obama’s efforts to clinch massive deals with the Pacific Rim and the European Union than most Democratic lawmakers give him credit for?
This week, the well-respected, bipartisan, NBC-WSJ poll found that 44 per cent of Americans were more likely to vote for a member of Congress who “favours new trade agreements with other countries”, compared to 20 per cent who said they were less likely to; 34 per cent said it made no difference, and 2 per cent were unsure. Read more
First things first. Everything that happened on Friday, from President Barack Obama’s long-awaited speech on the National Security Agency to the long list of reforms published by the White House, would not have taken place without Edward Snowden.
When he first started leaking documents, the former NSA contractor said that all he wanted to do was initiate a debate. “I’ve already won,” he said last month. “For me, in terms of personal satisfaction, the mission’s already accomplished.” Read more
Welcome to our rolling coverage of Barack Obama’s inauguration for another four years as US president, complete with agenda-setting speech. By Johanna Kassel in New York and Stephanie Kirchgaessner in Washington with contributions from FT correspondents. All times are EST.
5.40 As we wrap things up for the night, a round up of the best the FT has to offer about President Obama’s second inauguration. Thanks for joining us
- Edward Luce: Lofty speech frames liberal core message
- Lawrence Summers: End the damaging obsession with deficit
- Jacob Weisberg: Obama’s encore must show more than pragmatism
- News analysis: Obama faces crowded agenda
- Editorial comment: The audacity of experience
5.30 As the parade continues, running about 45 minutes behind schedule, the arrival of the president and first lady at the balls will be delayed. We’ll leave them to review the rest of the floats and bands as the sun sets on Washington.
By Gideon Rachman
Everybody agrees that economic and political power is moving east. Barack Obama has constructed a whole new foreign policy around this theory – the “pivot to Asia”. But, as I assemble my annual list of the five most important events of the year, it is striking how events in Europe and the Middle East still dominate.
If I could be a fly on the wall, I would skip today’s White House lunch between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. I would rather be buzzing around the caddy when the president next plays golf with John Boehner, the Republican Speaker of the House.
For a start, no alcohol will be served. Mr Romney’s Mormon faith will forbid him from even accepting a coffee. This puts a ceiling on the potential for candid disclosures – convivial or otherwise. Any half-educated fly knows why the Latin phrase in camomile tea veritas was never coined.
But even if Mr Romney received some kind of a religious waiver and agreed to do a round of tequila shots with the president, this fly would still head for better walls in Washington. For all the White House’s piety about consulting Mr Romney on how to run the federal government better – the main topic of discussion according to Jay Carney, the White House press secretary – real business is unlikely to be conducted. Read more
The past week has offered a unique chance to compare politics in the world’s two biggest powers. The opaque formality of the Communist party congress in China makes an almost comic contrast with the made-for-television razzmatazz of the US presidential election.
Global challenges facing Obama in his second term
What does Barack Obama’s reelection mean for the Untied States’ relations with the world? FT editor Lionel Barber and Washington bureau chief Richard McGregor join Gideon Rachman to discuss the economic and geopolitical challenges facing the president in his second term.