From the FT:

The mining arm of Beny Steinmetz’s business empire won its rights to a multibillion-dollar iron-ore prospect in Guinea through a bribery scheme involving the wife of the late dictator Read more

Gideon Rachman

The news that Greece is returning to the markets as an issuer of sovereign-debt is symbolic of the resurgence of interest in Europe among international – and particularly US – investors. As ever there is a circular logic in play here.

Because most investors no longer fear a collapse of the euro, Greece can come back to the markets. And the sight of Greece returning to the markets will confirm the prejudices of those who argue that the crisis in the eurozone is over.

But just as international investors were, in retrospect, too panic-stricken about Europe in 2012 – I suspect they are probably too relaxed now.

Greece’s return to the markets is one striking sign of this. Another is the fact that 5-year Spanish bonds now have a lower yield than their US equivalent – despite the fact that Spain is barely growing, that its budget-deficit continues to bust EU rules, while unemployment is more than 25 per cent. Read more

From the FT:

Russia’s militarism has caught Nato with its guard down after years of defence cuts Read more

While officials at the debt management agency prepare to trumpet Greece’s return to international capital markets, for long-suffering Athenians it is just another day marked by anti-austerity protests in the centre of the capital.

The five-year bond issue will be snapped up by investors eager for extra yield. But Greek risk, though diminishing, is unlikely to disappear soon. Here is a quick checklist of informal indicators tracked by local analysts. Read more

Could the UK go it alone in the cut-throat world of global trade?

Iain Mansfield, the 30-year-old British diplomat awarded a €100,000 prize by the eurosceptic Institute of Economic Affairs for his plan for a British exit from the EU, certainly thinks so. At the centre of his plan is the case for the UK to go it alone in negotiating trade agreements with big players like China and the US. Read more

From the FT:

As India’s election gets underway, Amy Kazmin explains why the Congress party is gearing up for a big defeat. Read more

Vladimir Putin speaking at a session of the Russian security services board April 7 (Getty)

At one level, what is happening this week in the cities of eastern Ukraine is thoroughly confusing. Ukrainian security forces are trying to recapture government buildings in Donetsk, Kharkiv and Luhansk that were seized earlier this week by unidentified pro-Russia demonstrators. Who exactly is fighting whom? Who is really in charge in the region?

But at another level, what is going on is very clear. Vladimir Putin is providing an object lesson in how to destroy a state. Read more

By Gideon Rachman
“Whatever it takes.” Mario Draghi’s declaration that he would save the euro could well go down as the most effective three-word statement by a Roman since Julius Caesar’s veni, vidi, vici.

♦ Twenty years on from the Rwandan genocide, the savage events of 1994 remain pivotal to efforts to build a post-ethnic nation, reports Katrina Manson

♦ As India, the world’s largest democracy, embark on one of its most hotly contested national polls in decades, this interactive graphic explains what is at stake Read more

Afghanistan steps into the unknown: With Karzai heading for the exit and Nato winding down its troop presence, the country is entering a new era – and many Afghans fear renewed violence and foreign interference.

The US is playing the crooked lawyer in an Israeli-Palestinian drama, says David Gardner.

Anger over the economy simmers in Cyprus even though Brussels and Berlin have judged the island’s bailout to be a success.

♦ A South Sudan rebel leader with a satellite phone, a touch-screen tablet and a copy of “Why Nations Fail” ponders the next step in a young country’s civil war. The New York Times reports.

♦ A middle class job no longer supports a middle class life. The Washington Post explores the high price of middle class membershipRead more