Brexit has a rocky start, Infosys hires American and China makes final push on poverty

Stark divide between UK and EU on show in a leaked account of private meeting between Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker

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Nobody said Brexit would be easy but the process has got off to a particularly rocky start. The stark divide between the UK and the EU was on show in a leaked account of a private dinner meeting between UK prime minister Theresa May and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker. The report described the private meeting as a “disaster” and threatens to do real damage to the negotiations. 

Mrs May has dismissed the account as “Brussels gossip” and accused the commission of seeking to “punish” the UK over Brexit. But analysts say the report makes damning reading, with David Allen Green writing that the “disturbing conclusion is not that the UK and EU disagree but that the relevant UK ministers do not (yet) know what they are doing”.

Adding to the tension is the news that Brussels is rushing out legislative proposals that would heavily restrict London’s ability to host its lucrative euro-clearing market, one of the UK's flagship financial businesses. (FT, FAZ, Telegraph, Scotsman)

In the news

Infosys is hiring Infosys, the Indian IT services company that stands to be one of the biggest losers from a US visa crackdown, plans to hire 10,000 Americans in the next two years, according to Vishal Sikka, the company’s chief executive. Mr Sikka acknowledged that the local hiring push is because of pressure from the Trump administration to recruit more Americans. (FT)

Greece agrees deal with creditors After months of wrangling with bailout monitors from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, Athens has agreed a deal on reforms that must be enacted before the country can receive the next disbursement from its €86bn bailout programme. Greece urgently needs the next bailout payment to meet July deadlines for repaying more than €6bn of debt. (FT)

Fear factor eases The Vix index, Wall Street’s fear gauge, has hit its lowest level since before the credit crisis and the broader US stock market inched closer to a new all-time high on Monday. It has remained subdued over the past year despite a string of geopolitical events that investors and strategists had warned could rock markets, including US and French elections and the Brexit vote in the UK. (FT)

Pyongyang warns Washington North Korea has accused the US of pushing the Korean peninsula to the brink of nuclear war after a pair of US bombers flew training drills with the South Korean and Japanese air forces. The statement came after Donald Trump said he would be “honoured” to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in the right circumstances. Amid the flurry of announcements, the US military said that its controversial Thaad missile defence system, which can intercept North Korean missiles, was operational in South Korea. (Reuters, FT, BBC)

Hamas tweaks its charter The Palestinian militant group has published a new policy document — the first since its 1988 founding charter. It declares for the first time a willingness to accept an interim Palestinian state within pre-1967 boundaries — but stops short of recognising the state of Israel. Analysts say the decision is aimed at ending its international isolation. (Jazeera)

Venezuela shake-up Venezuela’s socialist president Nicolás Maduro has announced the creation of a new popular assembly with the ability to re-write the constitution. The opposition denounced the move as a power grab designed to stifle weeks of anti-government unrest. (Reuters) 

It’s a big day for

Apple The tech giant reports results for its fiscal second quarter. Investors seem to be anticipating another big quarter for the world’s most valuable company. The FT’s Tim Bradshaw points to seven things to look out for in Apple’s numbers. (FT)

German-Russian relations Angela Merkel’s first visit to Russia to see Vladimir Putin in two years offers only slim hopes of easing the tensions between the two countries. (FT)

Keep up with the important business, economic and political stories in the coming days with the FT’s Week Ahead.

Food for thought

Achieving Zero Inbox Email has become one of the most acceptable and ubiquitous of modern intrusions, with the Radicati Group estimating that by 2019, the number of emails sent each day will reach 246bn. Nilanjana Roy wonders whether France’s “right to disconnect” law is the right approach for helping people reclaim time for their personal lives. (FT)

Facebook’s fake news battle The social media giant has come under fierce criticism for influencing the US election by failing to police the fake news that has proliferated on its platform. Now it has hired an army of fact-checkers — but that does not appear to be enough. (FT)

Facebook has provided online tips for spotting fake news © PA

Have you been in the back of a police van in Moscow? OVD-Info would like to know. The self-described “start-up” to monitor political oppression has served as a one-stop shop for digging up information on political prosecutions in Russia for several years. The company has been subject to threats and cyber attacks as new protests spring up across the country ahead of a 2018 presidential election. (WaPo)

Wiping out poverty in China China has been at the forefront of the world’s poverty-reduction efforts but its success has been based on a model of sustained economic growth that provides jobs. It now aims to have no one left under its poverty line of Rmb2,300 a year at 2010 prices by 2020. But wiping out the remaining poor is likely to be complicated. (Economist) 

Japan’s anime craze hits China Affluent young consumers in China are showering cash on Japanese and Japan-inspired content, creating a $21bn industry. (NAR)

Video of the day

Brazil’s moment of possibility John Authers reports from Brazil, the most popular market in the world over the past year, on the chances for reforms and the continuing problems facing a country that is still in recession. (FT)

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