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The Trump administration’s Russia problem just doesn’t go away. In the latest revelations, President Donald Trump’s eldest son, Donald Jr, admitted that he met last year with a Kremlin-linked lawyer in a previously-unreported meeting, along with the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and his campaign chairman Paul Manafort. It is the first confirmed private meeting between a Russian national and members of Mr Trump’s inner circle during the election race. Over the weekend Mr Trump Jr gave two different explanations for the meeting. Initially he said they discussed adoption issues. Later, he acknowledged that the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, was said to have compromising information about Hillary Clinton.

Separately, President Trump vowed to “move forward in working constructively with Russia” after Vladimir Putin denied that he had interfered with the US election at the G20 summit. Washington is facing another Russia problem after European energy companies demanded the US abandon an “unacceptable” threat of sanctions against Nord Stream, a proposed Russian gas pipeline to Europe that has become one of the EU’s biggest corporate and political battlegrounds. European officials say the sanctions are an attempt to promote US liquefied natural gas exports to Europe by limiting Russian supplies. (NYT, FT)

In the news

Profits set to fall at US banks
Profit forecasts for several of the biggest US banks including Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have taken a fall as concerns mount that a dearth of dealing in markets is leaving trading desks idle. An analysis of broker estimates shows Wall Street is anticipating a mixed batch of earnings, in spite of a boost to banks from higher interest rates and recent success in the Federal Reserve’s stress tests. (FT)

Canada joins the central banker retreat
The Bank of Canada is preparing to join the swelling ranks of advanced economy central banks that are pulling back on their emergency stimulus as investors bet that it could push through the first increase in its key rate for seven years as soon as this week. (FT)

Iraq claims victory over Isis in Mosul
Iraq Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi arrived in Mosul on Sunday to declare victory over Isis and pronounce the symbolic end to the jihadi group. Retaking the city has taken nine bloody months and left the country’s second-largest city in ruins. But the good news from Mosul does not signal the end of the jihadi group. (FT, NYT, Guardian)

Abe approval rating slides
A series of scandals and unpopular laws are thought to be responsible for a dramatic fall in the popularity of Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe. In a new poll, only 36 per cent of the Japanese public supported Mr Abe’s administration while 52 per cent opposed it — the worst figures since Mr Abe returned to office in 2012. The prime minister has announced a cabinet shake-up in an effort to regain public support. (FT, NAR)

Qatar’s $340bn sanction cushion
Doha has $340bn in reserves to help it weather the isolation imposed by its powerful neighbours, according to the tiny gas-rich state’s central bank governor. (Reuters)

World Heritage list updated
Unesco, the UN’s cultural body, has released its latest list of World Heritage sites. Included are the UK’s Lake District, Japan’s Okinoshima island — an ancient religious site where women are banned — and Asmara, the Eritrean capital, which is the world’s first modernist city to receive the coveted status. (Telegraph, BBC, FT)

The day ahead

Syria peace talks
A seventh round of intra-Syrian peace talks start in Geneva despite a shift in focus towards Russia and US-led negotiations. The US and Moscow agreed to a ceasefire in south-west Syria on Friday in a sign the two powers can co-operate on ending the six-year conflict. (FT)

Congress back in session
Republicans in the Senate will continue their attempts to pass a healthcare bill. Here’s Rana Foroohar on why “they should let it die”. (FT)

Amazon Prime Day
The company’s annual deals day for 2017 kicks off and will run for about 30 hours. If past years are any indicator, the deals will encompass a wide — and comical — variety of items. (CNN)

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

What we’re reading

Blurring the line between man and machine
Humanoid robots are already being used as security guards, nursing assistants, teachers and sex toys and within a decade could be all but indistinguishable from humans. The FT’s John Thornhill asks whether this is a good thing. (FT)

The art of being sacked
Last week Lucinda Chambers, the former fashion director of British Vogue, broke two golden rules on how to behave when you have just been fired. Lucy Kellaway is all for it: “The only shame is that people do not do this more often.” (FT)

Battle for Singapore’s soul
Two years after his death, a feud among Lee Kuan Yew’s children has highlighted faultlines in the gleaming city-state he shaped. Are Singapore’s advantages slowly disappearing in the face of competition from a more prosperous and assertive China? (FT)

Austen’s endurance
Can data analysis help explain why Jane Austen’s works have endured 200 years after her death? The New York Times mapped the vocabulary used in English novels and believes the Pride & Prejudice writer’s word choices may be why she has remained relevant. (NYT)

Syriacs under threat in Turkey
A legal battle over the ownership of church property in Southern Turkey threatens one of the world’s oldest Christian communities with extinction in its homeland. (Al-Monitor)

Tunisia’s tide of self-immolation
The north African state has advanced more than any other country in the region toward freedom and democratic governance after Mohamed Bouazizi, a fruit seller, set himself on fire and sparked a wave of uprisings across the Arab world. Yet the Tunisian government has been largely unable to provide hope and opportunity for a better life. That self-immolation has become commonplace is a sign of the frustration at that failure. (NYT)

Video of the day

The week ahead 
Vanessa Kortekaas parses the key stories to watch, including US president Donald Trump attending France’s Bastille Day celebrations with Emmanuel Macron, another round of Syrian peace talks and PepsiCo’s second-quarter results. (FT)


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