♦ Many Iranians see basij– the ideologically-driven volunteer forces of the Revolutionary Guards – as stick-wielding thugs, but they show a softer side as they sip cappuccino and discuss art at Café Kerase.
♦ Although demographic and other factors are against the US Republicans, the Grand Old Party is seeing a strange revival.
♦ It’s not a good time for Japan to put its tax rates up, which is why the government is allowing retailers to act like they haven’t.
♦ Much has changed in Sarajevo since the day in 1914 when Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand was shot, providing the spark that lit the flames of the first world war, yet much has remained the same.
♦ The Egyptian army’s gift of land for homes has prompted speculation over a closely guarded secret: the size of the army’s stake in the economy.
♦ A property boom across Germany‘s biggest cities has been dubbed a betongold – literally concrete gold – rush. Read more
Will a slow down in Asian economies mean cancelled orders for Airbus and Boeing? Our Aerospace special report explores the possibilities and looks at how much western defence contractors such as Raytheon stand to gain from North Korean sabre-rattling and Asia’s territorial disputes. Read more
Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe did not shy away from discussing the tensions with China in his speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Lifen Zhang, editor-in-chief of FTChinese.com, examines the reaction of Chinese delegates and journalists.
♦ While many previously buoyant island states across the Caribbean are struggling, Jamaica’s crisis is the deepest. Robin Wigglesworth profiles a country teetering on the edge of an economic precipice.
♦ The FT interviews Haruhiko Kuroda, the central bank outsider who this year took over the Bank of Japan.
♦ Israelis see many positive economic, strategic and diplomatic developments despite Benjamin Netanyahu’s dark public statements on Iran that present an image of an embattled, paranoid state, says Gideon Rachman.
♦ The Washington Post spoke to refugees from all walks of life in its report: Stories from the Syrian exodus.
♦ When veteran Egyptian politician Amr Moussa unveiled Egypt’s new draft constitution on Sunday, he did so in front of a vast banner that proclaimed the text represented “all Egyptians”. Unfortunately for Moussa, three of the five models used to depict “all Egyptians” turned out to be westerners.
♦Veronique Greenwood in Aeon explains why Swiss farmers take such good care of their cows. Read more
It’s been a year since Shinzo Abe got financial markets excited with his plan to pull Japan’s economy out of its more than 15-year deflation. So has Abenomics been a success? Jonathan Soble, Tokyo bureau chief investigates: Read more
By Luisa Frey
♦ Fears of an accidental conflict are growing following China’s creation of an air defence zone over the Japanese-administered Senkaku islands it claims as its territory, with the US seeing the move as a provocative step, writes the FT’s Demetri Sevastopulo. Read more
By Luisa Frey
♦ The financial crisis has hit a whole generation of English graduates, “for whom a degree has all but ceased to be a golden ticket to a decent job“, writes the FT’s economics correspondent, Sarah O’Connor. Graduates now earn less and owe more in student debt.
♦ “China and Japan are heading for a collision“, says Gideon Rachman, the FT’s chief foreign affairs columnist. The fact that both countries are setting up National Security Councils may be dangerous in times of military jostling related to territorial claims.
♦ In Japan, communities devastated by the 2011 tsunami are receiving support from architects. A project called Home for All seeks to build communal structures incorporating local history and customs, reports Edwin Heathcote.
♦ A middle class is rising in Mexico as the country finally attracts higher-end industries. “Many people are beginning to believe they can get ahead through study and hard work” says the New York Times.
♦ In Syria, veteran commanders say a second civil war has started - in which the goals of freedom, Islam and social equality were replaced by betrayal, defeat and anger towards rival militias, jihadis and foreign powers, reports The Guardian.
♦ “Dispute over gay marriage erupts in Cheney family,” according to the New York Times blog: The Caucus. Read more