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An EgyptAir aircraft flying from Paris to Cairo disappeared over the Mediterranean in the early hours of Thursday 10 miles inside Egyptian airspace, as the aircraft flew at 37,000ft.

The flight, which left Paris’s Charles de Gaulle Airport at 23.09 on Wednesday evening local time, had 56 passengers and 10 crew and security personnel on board, according to the airline, which is owned by the Egyptian state. Among the passengers, 30 were Egyptian, 15 French and two Iraqi, with one each from Britain, Belgium, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Chad, Portugal, Algeria and Canada.

Search and rescue teams are currently looking for any sign of wreckage in the area the aircraft went missing. If the aircraft has crashed then search vessels will be expecting to pick up the signal from transponders fitted to the aircraft’s black box recorders. (FT, The World blog)

In the news

Rolls-Royce corruption probe widens A UK probe into suspected bribery at Rolls-Royce has spread to Nigeria. Britain’s Serious Fraud Office is examining the engineering group’s former energy operations in the oil-rich west African state, as part of a wider inquiry that also covers Brazil, Indonesia and China, the Financial Times has learnt. “Rolls, to its credit, self-reported the claims that set the investigatory ball rolling in 2012,” says the FT’s Jonathan Guthrie. But the allegations are “uncomfortably timed” as Warren East, chief executive, tries to rally trust following a collapse in profits. (FT)

Bayer bids for Monsanto The US agribusiness said it had received an unsolicited takeover offer from Bayer just a week after it emerged that the German chemicals and drugs conglomerate was exploring a $40bn bid. Monsanto said its board of directors was “reviewing the [non-binding] proposal in consultation with its financial and legal advisers”. The deal would make sense, say analysts, allowing both companies to boost their agrichemical businesses at a time when rivals are bulking up and commodity prices are falling, pressuring revenues. (FT)

Trump’s Supreme Court short list Republicans are delighted with Donald Trump’s Supreme Court short list. All 11 names are staunchly rightwing, “more in the vein of the blatantly partisan Justice Samuel Alito than of the libertarian-leaning iconoclast Justice Antonin Scalia”. (Washington Examiner, WSJ, Slate)

Fed hints at June Federal Reserve policymakers opened the door to lifting short-term interest rates at their next meeting in June, even as many cautioned that a number of economic hurdles lie in the way of another rise. (FT)

Superbugs to ‘kill every three seconds’ A new report says superbugs could kill someone every three seconds by 2050 unless the world acts now. At the core of the issue is a dearth of new antibiotics and misuse of the ones we have now. (BBC)

‘Unsafe interception’ Two Chinese fighter jets carried out an “unsafe” intercept of a US spy aircraft over the South China Sea, the Pentagon said. According to a US military official, the Navy EP-3 spy plane was forced to descend about 60 metres to avoid a collision. The incident earlier this week comes amid increased tensions between Washington and Beijing over the disputed waters. (FT)

Activist investors form lobby group Billionaire investors Paul Singer, Carl Icahn, Barry Rosenstein, William Ackman and Daniel Loeb are setting aside their political differences to launch a Washington-based lobbying group to fight mounting attacks on shareholder activism. (WSJ)

It’s a big day for

Walmart, which releases its first-quarter results. Analysts expect earnings for the period ending in April of 88 cents a share, down 14% from a year ago. (WSJ)

Suzuki Shares in Japan’s fourth-biggest carmaker bounced back a day after the group said its fuel testing methods had not complied with domestic standards for more than five years. (FT, NAR)

Nato Foreign ministers gather in Brussels to discuss migrants, trafficking in the Mediterranean, Russia, Nato-EU co-operation and the organisation’s policy toward eastern countries. The meeting comes as a former deputy commander of the alliance warns that it is on course for a war with Moscow. (FT, Guardian) 

Food for thought

What North Korea really thinks Relations between Pyongyang and Beijing are often described as being “as close as lips and teeth”. Yet, on the ground there is a deep animosity among North Koreans towards their former comrades across the border. The FT’s Asia editor Jamil Anderlini looks at why relations have deteriorated. (FT)

Can Saudi Aramco fix a one-trick economy? The kingdom is planning a mega IPO and says it can kick its oil “addiction”. But many questions abound over what this means for potential investors. (FT)

Trump derails Koch political ambitions The Koch brothers were supposed to buy the 2016 election. What happened? “If the Kochs are the poster children for the supposedly corrupting role of money in politics in a post — Citizens United world, Trump demonstrates that money isn’t everything,” writes Reihan Salm. “Running on a shoestring budget, he vanquished Koch-friendly candidates like Scott Walker, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio by railing against immigration, free trade and pretty much everything else the Kochs hold dear. To two brothers who think long and hard about the effectiveness of every dollar they spend, spending money on electoral politics is no longer looking like such a great investment.” (Slate)

Erosion of media freedom in Russia On Friday tensions at the heart of Russia’s last remaining independent news organisation burst into the open with the sacking of RBC’s three top editors under what employees say was pressure from the Kremlin. Their dismissal, which prompted more than a dozen journalists to quit in protest, is the latest incident in a long erosion of media freedom under Mr Putin as he tightens the screw on dissent. (FT)

What makes a jihadi? Brookings Institution researcher Chris Meserole and his collaborator, Will McCants, looked at the social position of Sunni Muslims in each country that sent jihadis to Syria to see if any aspects of that position seem to correspond with the number they sent? Meserole thought that some new analytics techniques could help cut through the data, and once he applied them he found several correlations. Two were not especially strong or surprising: countries where Sunni Muslims were densely concentrated in cities and had high rates of youth unemployment tended to produce more Isis fighters. But the most powerful variable by far in predicting how many jihadis a country would produce was whether the people in that country spoke French. (New Yorker)

Video of the day

Trump on women Gillian Tett and Cardiff Garcia discuss Donald Trump’s attitudes to women and the challenge he faces winning over female voters. (FT)

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