Listen to this article
This is an experimental feature. Give us your feedback. Thank you for your feedback.
What do you think?
Sign up to receive FirstFT by email here
Donald Trump sowed confusion over his immigration stance in a highly anticipated speech that stressed that there would be “no amnesty” for illegal residents but was unclear about the fate of some of the 11m undocumented immigrants in the US.
Following a surprise trip to Mexico where he discussed his plan to build a wall on the border with the country’s president Enrique Peña Nieto, Mr Trump delivered a tough speech in Arizona that shattered any illusions that he was considering a major pivot on immigration — one of the two signature issues of his presidential campaign.
Mr Trump said he would start building the wall on his first day in the White House. He insisted that Mexico would pay for the wall, even though Mr Peña Nieto had tweeted that he had told Mr Trump that the country would not contribute to what would amount to billions of dollars in construction costs. (FT)
In the news
Gabon unrest follows disputed election Gabon’s presidential guard attacked the opposition party headquarters overnight, killing one person and injuring at least 20, opposition representatives said, following protests against the re-election of the central African country’s president. President Ali Bongo Ondimba beat opposition candidate Jean Ping by a slim margin, setting the stage for unrest. (AP)
Japan creates cabinet post focusing on Russia Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister, has appointed a close aide as special liaison to Russia, as Tokyo moves to strengthen economic ties with Moscow, hoping for tangible progress on territorial issues. (NAR)
Dilma Rousseff impeached Brazil’s Senate voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to impeach president Dilma Rousseff in a historic decision that ends nearly 14 years of rule by her leftwing Workers’ party in Latin America’s largest country. (FT)
China draws Cambodia closer in diplomatic embrace China’s growing ties with Cambodia are part of its effort to quell regional opposition to its sea territory claims across Asia — and are likely to raise concerns among their neighbours and the US. (FT)
Saudi weighs further sovereign debt sales Saudi Arabia’s first international debt sale has generated so much interest from Asian investors that the kingdom is considering following up with a full pipeline of bonds after the $15bn auction that could come as soon as October. (FT)
China’s P2P market slammed China’s self-styled “Warren Buffett” and billionaire businessman Guo Guangchang on Wednesday called the country’s $65.9bn peer-to-peer lending market “basically a scam”, becoming the latest high-profile executive to attack an industry that has been plagued by scandal. (FT)
It’s a big day for
London mayor Sadiq Khan who begins his first official foreign trip. Over five days Mr Khan will visit Canada and the US, meeting Bill and Hillary Clinton as well as Justin Trudeau, the Canadian prime minister. (FT)
Meanwhile, Mr Trudeau is on a trip of his own today — to China.
Food for thought
Throwing out the rule book For decades China has trumpeted its aversion to traditional realpolitik including foreign military intervention, building foreign bases, developing spheres of influence, creating buffer zones and forging alliances, as outdated relics of colonialism. But things are changing. (FT)
Apple, keep your cool over global tax Margrethe Vestager has made an audacious and revolutionary move — much in keeping with Steve Jobs’s style, notes the FT’s John Gapper. (FT)
Lifting the veil from America’s gun threat Despite the fact that the United States has a very, very high rate of gun deaths, little is known about the public-health threat posed by firearms. Congress, working closely with the NRA, passed legislation in the 1990s barring the Centers for Disease control from spending money on any research that could be seen as pro-gun-control, and the CDC has interpreted this ban in a broad manner — effectively choking off new research on an area of huge public importance. But this week, there’s some welcome news out of California that will chip away at this knowledge deficit: The University of California, Davis, is launching the first-ever state-funded centre on the study of gun violence. (NYmag)
Kurds’ ambitions test US ties with Turkey Amid the chaos of Syria’s war, the Kurds have carved out a semi-autonomous region called Rojava that is home to about 4m people. US military support has stirred Kurdish aspirations and strained America’s relationship with Turkey, a critical ally, although US officials say they have made clear that military backing isn’t equivalent to an endorsement of the Kurds’ political ambitions. (WSJ)
Is WikiLeaks helping Russian interests? In an interview with the New York Times, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange accused the press of supporting Hillary Clinton, whom he likened to a “demon”. WikiLeaks has already aimed to influence the 2016 election, releasing in July a trove of emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee’s servers. Some critics have accused Mr Assange of trying to undermine the Clinton campaign in an effort to help Donald Trump and advance Russia’s interests — an accusation he has denied, describing such concerns as “neo-McCarthyist hysteria.” (NYT, Politico)
Asean’s old ways under pressure Unlike the sovereignty-pooling EU, with a common currency, central bank and free movement of labour, Asean is “institution-light, outward-looking and market-driven.” Although less radical, Asean’s integration is happening. (NAR)
Smack in the suburbs Drug overdose has become the leading cause of accidental death in the US, overtaking traffic accidents. Why is this, and what can be done? (BBC Magazine)
Video of the day
Dan McCrum compares UK and European markets in August this year with the same month a year ago after a politically turbulent 12 months that peaked in June with Britain’s vote to leave the EU. (FT)