In the lead-up to Hillary Clinton’s long-awaited announcement that she is running for president, potential Republican rivals for the presidency and GOP party leaders have had plenty of time to formulate an opposition strategy that has quickly coalesced around a single meme: “Stop Hillary”.
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
♦ The FT’s Henny Sender on how hedge funds are making big bucks shorting China’s banks in what looks a lot like the Chinese equivalent of the Big Short.
♦ Hillary Clinton has entered the lucrative world of paid speechmaking – and her political rivals are already keeping tabs on the schedule.
♦ Malala Yousafzi, the Pakistan schoolgirl shot in the head by the Taliban, will mark her 16th birthday by delivering a speech at the UN headquarters. She will call on governments to ensure free compulsory education for every child. In her home country, however, the Taliban war against girls’ education continues unabated.
♦ Americans may be living longer, but not better.
♦ Sultan al-Qassemi, a Dubai-based analyst, argues that Al Jazeera has turned from the voice of Arab Freedom to a shill for Egypt’s Islamists.
The best reads from today and the weekend to kick off your week… Read more
Ready and waiting – the venue for tonight's second presidential debate. (Reuters)
Welcome to the US election round-up on the morning of the second presidential debate, with polls showing the closest race for the White House since the Bush/Gore election in 2000 that was finally decided in the Supreme Court.
The RCP rolling average of polls is constantly changing – hardly a surprise when 10 national surveys of voting intention are published every day – but after showing a tie late on Monday night, Tuesday dawned with Mitt Romney holding a 0.1 per cent lead over President Barack Obama. Read more
From ghost towns to rooftop farms, here are our picks for today:
If you can have remarks that are both pointed and veiled, Hillary Clinton managed it this week – her comments on the limitations of authoritarian capitalism clearly taking a swing at China without mentioning it by name.
The State Department has been trying to improve what Mrs Clinton calls America’s “economic statecraft”, appointing its first-ever chief economist and musing on ways to advance US influence in the global economy. It’s hard for the US to do so directly, especially with Congressional suspicion of bailing out foreigners – which has limited its role in the eurozone crisis – and of signing new trade deals. So noting that rich countries are generally democratic ones might be a way of extending American soft power. Read more
Hillary Clinton and Latvian foreign minister Edgars Rinkevics on June 28 (Ilmars Znotins / AFP/ GettyImages)
Visiting Latvia on Thursday, Hillary Clinton praised the Baltic state for taking “very difficult” austerity measures that would ensure a “stable, prosperous future”.
The US secretary of state is not the only high-profile figure praising Latvia’s economic record.
Christine Lagarde, the IMF managing director, dropped in this month and proclaimed its austerity programme an “inspiration” for heavily-indebted eurozone countries.
Latvia and its Baltic neighbours Estonia and Lithuania suffered the world’s steepest economic contractions in 2009 amid swingeing austerity measures. But now they find themselves in the frontline of the debate over austerity versus growth as the best way to tackle the eurozone’s debt problems. Read more