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Belgian investigators are widening the net in their investigation into the Brussels bombings, amid reports that police have identified a second suspect in the attack on Maalbeek metro station. Security camera footage showed an unidentified man carrying a large bag alongside Khalid El Bakraoui, who has been named as a metro suicide bomber. Tuesday's terrorist attacks have left at least 31 people dead.
Belgian prosecutors have been uncovering a web of interconnected people and safe houses that seem to tie the bombings to last year’s assault on Paris and several other attacks. Louis Caprioli, a former French intelligence counterterrorism chief, said this was “the first time” that a network of this scale had emerged.
European ministers are expected on Thursday to push telecommunications and digital service providers to work more closely with government authorities to track down terror suspects as part of a post-Brussels attack crackdown.(FT)
In the news
Valeant debacle claims Sequoia’s Goldfarb Bob Goldfarb, manager for the past 36 years of the Sequoia Fund, the $5.6bn mutual fund with historic ties to Warren Buffett, is to retire following huge losses on its investment in Valeant. The debacle, which wiped out almost 25 per cent of the fund’s value over the past year, has prompted a “period of reflection”, Mr Goldfarb’s co-manager David Poppe wrote in a letter to shareholders. (FT)
India takes on Monsanto The biotech and seed company is in a spat with India over its genetically engineered cotton seeds. The Indian government has ordered the company to reduce the royalties it charges seed producers, but Monsanto has indicated it may exit India instead. (NAR)
MH370 debris identified Australia and Malaysia say two plane parts found in Mozambique almost certainly came from missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. The pieces of debris were found by members of the public and flown to Australia for analysis. (BBC)
Return of 'affordable' supersonic flights Sir Richard Branson has announced that Virgin will be partnering with US supersonic jet start-up Boom, headed by pilot and former Amazon executive Blake Scholl. Virgin has signed up to build and potentially buy 10 of the planes, which it is hoped will reintroduce 3.5-hour flights between London and New York at an “affordable” $5,000 return fare. A prototype could be in the air by as early as the end of next year. (Guardian)
Bid to retake Mosul and Palmyra Iraqi forces have launched an operation to retake the northern city of Mosul, which has been under Isis rule since 2014. The operation has been supported by US air strikes and by Kurdish Peshmerga forces. Separately, Syrian forces have reached the edge of the ancient city of Palmyra, where Isis fighters have destroyed several ancient monuments since seizing the town last May. (BBC)
Israeli company ‘helping FBI’ An Israeli company is under pressure to reveal its involvement in efforts to extract data from an iPhone, after the FBI said it might have found a way to unlock the phone that belonged to San Bernardino killer Syed Rizwan Farook. An Israeli newspaper reported that data forensics experts at Cellebrite were involved in the case. (BBC)
Jeb Bush endorses Ted Cruz The former Florida governor has endorsed his former rival as the Republican establishment attempts to rally around its last hope of stopping Donald Trump. Such support from the very establishment that Mr Cruz has long castigated as the “Washington cartel” marks a dramatic shift in the Republican race, writes the FT’s Demetri Sevastopulo. Sign up for our daily US politics newsletter here. (FT)
Jailed Brazilian businessman co-operating in fraud probe Marcelo Odebrecht, one of the main construction bosses at the centre of Brazil’s Petrobras corruption investigation, is negotiating a leniency deal that could prove politically explosive for President Dilma Rousseff and her predecessor and mentor, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. (FT)
It’s a big day for
Radovan Karadzic After five years, 586 witnesses and 115,000 pages of documentary evidence, an international criminal court in The Hague will deliver a landmark ruling on whether the former Bosnian Serb president is guilty of some of the worst atrocities in Europe since the second world war. (FT)
Food for thought
The cost of a Beijing ‘like’ Mark Zuckerberg has just completed a high-profile visit to China, mocked by some Chinese and westerners as the “Zuck-up”. “As Mr Zuckerberg may already know, the Chinese phrase for sycophancy is pai ma pi, meaning ‘to stroke the horse’s posterior’. But there is an associated saying that warns if you stroke the horse’s posterior too hard and run your hand down its leg then you are likely to be kicked in the head,” writes the FT’s Jamil Anderlini. (FT)
Obama's bittersweet Argentine visit Barack Obama agreed last week to release extensive records on the US involvement with Argentina's military dictatorship. As a result, when he walks on Thursday into the Parque de la Memoria, a monument to the disappeared on the banks of the Río de la Plata, the river into which thousands were thrown to their deaths from military planes, he will face no mass protests from the groups that originally threatened them. (New Yorker)
Origins of US war on drugs Author and journalist Dan Baum, writing in Harper's Magazine, has recalled a brutally honest interview with former Nixon adviser John Ehrlichman in 1994 about origins of the drug war. The Nixon White House had two enemies, the antiwar left and black people, said Erlichman: “We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalising both heavily, we could disrupt those communities.” (Upworthy)
We’re more honest with our phones than with our doctors Having bowel trouble? Depressed? Besieged by weird, slightly embarrassing symptoms of unknown origin? Researchers are betting you’re more likely to tell a faceless app about them than your doctor. (NYT)
Shaking off the bears Even though US stocks have tripled since their low in the financial crisis, some suggest that the upward streak of the past seven years was not a bull market at all. There are even experts who argue that the bear market that started when the Nasdaq dotcom bubble burst in 2000 is still going on. (FT)
Video of the day
Piecing together a Brussels terror cell In Belgium, and across Europe, intelligence agencies are racing to learn more about the terror cell responsible for the bombings in Brussels that have left more than 30 dead. The FT’s Sam Jones examines what the nature of the attacks tells us. (FT)