May rejects radical immigration shake-up, Merkel’s election defeat and Africa’s green wall

UK prime minister considers a more modest reform of rules for EU citizens

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Theresa May has ruled out a radical switch to an immigration system that would strip EU citizens of their preferential access to the UK, in comments expected to inflame Brexit supporters.

The prime minister, speaking ahead of her first G20 summit in China, is considering a more modest reform of immigration rules for EU citizens, knowing that severe curbs could leave Britain excluded from large parts of the single market.

Meanwhile, Barack Obama has reiterated that the UK remains at the back of the queue as Washington seeks major new trade deals, while lamenting June’s vote for Brexit and the risk that it might “unravel” the close US business relationship with Britain. (FT)

In the news

Beginning of the end for Merkel? German Chancellor Angela Merkel suffered a humiliating defeat in regional elections on her home turf on Sunday as voters turned their backs on her liberal refugee policy and gave the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party a political triumph. (FT)

Hong Kong activist victory The territory is likely to become more politically polarised after several young activists opposed to China’s control were elected to the legislature. The lack of party affiliation of the many newly elected council members is also expected to result in fractured politics that will create headaches for chief executive Leung Chun-ying. (FT, South China Morning Post)

Truckers’ refugee protest French lorry drivers are converging on Calais after threatening to blockade the port until a date is set for the dismantling of the infamous Jungle refugee camp, which houses up to 10,000 refugees and migrants. The drivers say they are being attacked by residents of the camp. (Guardian)

G20 and the global inequality challenge As they arrived in the Chinese city of Hangzhou over the weekend, G20 leaders were on the defensive amid a welter of familiar complaints back home: frustratingly slow growth, rising social inequality and the scourge of corporate tax avoidance. All seemed in agreement on their most pressing priority: to find a way to sell the benefits of globalisation to an increasingly sceptical public. (FT)

No deal for Syria US secretary of state John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov once again failed to agree on how to bring about a ceasefire in Syria in talks on the sidelines of the G20 summit. At least 38 people were killed in a series of bombings in Syrian government-held territory on Monday. (Reuters, WSJ)

It's a big day for

Westminster David Davis, the Brexit secretary, will update parliament on the government’s strategy for leaving the EU as MPs return to Westminster after their long summer recess. (FT)

Food for thought

US defence: Losing its edge For decades, there was a productive relationship between Silicon Valley and the Pentagon, resulting in some of the most important strides in military technology. But the relationship is no longer what it once was, potentially endangering US competitiveness in areas where it has always had an advantage. (FT)

‘Africa’s Great Green Wall’ A long-planned project to try and reverse land degradation and desertification is under way on the sandy edges of the Sahara. So far, 15m hectares of land have been restored in Ethiopia and 20,000 jobs have been created in Nigeria. When finished, it will be the world’s largest living structure. (Economist)

‘Roll coal’ rebellion A new wave of protest against environmentalism is hitting the US: diesel truck drivers are souping up their engines and removing emissions controls to “roll coal” or belch thick black smoke. (NYT)

Japan’s workers cheer Godzilla The first Japanese-made Godzilla film in more than a decade is all about realism — except for the massive monster that emerges from Tokyo Bay. Viewers are cheering the giant lizard as it smashes the buildings where they work. In its first month, “Shin Godzilla” raked in over $51.1m, making it the country’s most successful live-action film this year. (NAR)

How the Great Fire shaped modern-day London The legacy of 1666 are the building regulations, materials and hasty rebuilding, which inscribed the Roman street plan in perpetuity. (FT)

Video of the day

Heston Blumenthal on dreams and ice cream Celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal talks at the FT Weekend Live festival in London about where tastes come from, the new Fat Duck and the emotion in food. (FT)

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