Apple

♦ The FT argues today that Apple’s decision to borrow money in order to fund a dividend, despite being one of America’s most liquid companies, indicates a need for reform to the US tax system.
♦ Despite impressive economic growth, improvements in living standards in Malaysia have lagged behind those of its neighbours, building pressure for change ahead of Sunday’s election.
♦ North African governments are trying to stem the flow of young Islamic militants, heading to Syria to fight the regime.
♦ President François Hollande is struggling to please everyone and, in fact, anyone – leading to concerns that France might become the next European problem child. After a draft paper by the president’s party described Angela Merkel as “selfish”, Mr Hollande has had to reassure her that he still believes in a Franco-German relationship.
♦ William Finnegan discusses his article on Mark Lyttle, a US citizen from North Carolina who was deported to Mexico despite ample evidence that he was an American, and the soaring number of deportations.
♦ Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has told the FBI that he and his brother considered suicide attacks on July 4, but instead decided to strike on Patriots’ day.
♦ Politics and vetting processes mean that Barack Obama has yet to fill some long-empty posts in his cabinet.
♦ Evangelical Christians in California have struck up a debate over whether yoga is a religion or not – where is the line between the body and the soul?
♦ SAYA, a Jerusalem-based design studio, is trying to provide a architectural resolutions to territorial disputes: “you can’t stop terror with just a fence. We need to imagine structures that can build hope instead of fear and resentment.”
♦ When Alex Christodoulou tried to quit his job for life in the Greek public sector, he found the process harder (and more labyrinthine) than he ever thought it could be, especially when the government had committed to taking thousands of workers off the public payroll. “They wanted to rehire him so that they could fire him and include him in the number of public servants being laid off to appease Greece’s international creditors”.
♦ In a review of The Impossible State: North Korea, Past and Future, Richard Lloyd Parry argues against the idea that North Korea is a “zombie nation”, but wonders if the idea that the country is in a state of “political undeath” doesn’t perhaps suit some other states.
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Esther Bintliff

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  • Bankers’ bonuses are to be capped at two times salary and banks will be subject to a strict transparency regime.
  • Switzerland will hold a referendum on a package of strict curbs on executive pay put forward by entrepreneur Thomas Minder, who spoke to the FT about his proposals.
  • The Turkish government is negotiating with jailed Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan in an effort to end a conflict that has claimed 35,000 lives in the past three decades, but doubts linger about whether a historic deal is within reach.
  • If you’ve been using your iPad as a babysitter only to find that your child has managed to rack up a steep bill for a children’s games and apps, never fear – Apple is offering a refund.
  • The Obama administration is shifting policy on Syrian rebels. It will help with training and “nonlethal assistance” – vehicles, communications equipment and night vision gear.
  • China’s defence ministry claims that rather than being the perpetrator of hacking incidents, China is the victim: “According to the IP addresses, the Defence Ministry and China Military Online websites were, in 2012, hacked on average from overseas 144,000 times a month, of which attacks from the U.S. accounted for 62.9 percent.”
  • China’s burgeoning tomato-growing industry is troubling traditional tomato-growing countries like Italy.

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By Lina Saigol

Steve Jobs: Hero of the Arab spring. Or so say the tweeting foot soldiers of the unrest sweeping the region.

Their (somewhat tenuous) accolade is thanks to the biological father of the visionary co-founder and former chief executive of Apple who died on Wednesday, aged 56, being Syrian.

Abdel-Fattah Jandali, 81, was born in Homs, Syria’s third largest city and epicentre of the seven-month uprising against Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

A former professor of political science, Mr Jandali put Mr Jobs up for adoption because his girlfriend’s father was extremely conservative and would not let him marry her. Read more