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Barack Obama has arrived in Cuba for a historic visit, the first by a sitting US president in 88 years. Accompanied by his wife Michelle and daughters Sasha and Malia, the president hopes the three-day trip will help loosen the grip of the Cuban regime on the country’s economy and politics.
One of the main risks is that he ends up with the sort of lopsided engagement that has characterised relations with China since Richard Nixon’s famous 1972 visit to Beijing — a relatively open welcome for American companies but a blunt refusal to talk about political reform. (FT)
In the news
PBoC governor warns on debt China’s central bank governor has added his voice to a growing chorus warning that the country’s corporate debt levels are too high. Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People’s Bank of China, said lending as a ratio of gross domestic product was excessive. (FT)
Ukraine pilot found guilty A Russian court has found captured Ukrainian pilot Nadia Savchenko guilty of the murder of two Russian journalists through helping direct artillery fire towards them. The widely expected verdict has the potential to either escalate tensions between Russia and Ukraine or facilitate a return home for Ms Savchenko after two years of imprisonment in Russia. (FT)
Dilma Rousseff faces growing calls to step down A deepening political crisis in Brazil threatens not just the president’s hold on power but the 13-year ascendancy of the ruling Workers’ party. The battle over a sweeping corruption investigation at Petrobras, the state oil group, has put the government at odds with judges and the police as well as wider public opinion. (FT)
ASX chief resigns Elmer Funke Kupper (pictured above) has resigned as chief executive of the Australian Securities Exchange amid allegations of foreign bribery at a gaming company where he was previously in charge. Mr Funke Kupper has also been granted a leave of absence from Tabcorp, the company under investigation, where he sits on the board. (FT)
Belgium’s war on terror Salah Abdeslam, the alleged Paris attacker shot and captured by police on Friday, has told investigators he was planning to strike again, according to Belgium’s foreign minister. (FT)
Colourful boost for dealmaking Sherwin-Williams and Valspar, two of the biggest names in the US paint industry, have agreed to merge in an $11.3bn deal including debt in a move that will be seen as a boost for merger and acquisitions activity amid a drop in global dealmaking since the beginning of the year. (FT)
It’s a big day for
Apple Facing the prospect of a drop in iPhone sales, the company is set to announce a cheaper and smaller version of its flagship smartphone. (FT)
Food for thought
High heels and boxing gloves Boardroom bruisers or modelesque bankers: Lucy Kellaway on the unrealistic portrayal of women in corporate life. (FT)
Me gusta Trump Fourteen per cent of Hispanic voters say they will support Donald Trump’s bid for the White House, despite his rhetoric on Mexicans and immigrants. One of them explains why. (New Yorker)
The ethics of AI Advances in artificial intelligence are blurring the line between humans and robots, raising a number of new ethical questions. (NAR)
Art against the odds Artist Diala Brisly fled Syria in 2013 and now lives in Beirut. But her work is published in a children’s magazine that is still printed there. (BBC Magazine)
Libya unleashed There is no sectarian divide between Sunni and Shia in Libya that Isis can easily exploit, and its resources are limited. However some fear the Islamist group will use its stronghold in Sirte as a springboard to expand across north Africa. (FT)
Video of the day
Ahead of the US president’s historic visit, John Paul Rathbone retraces his mother’s life in Cuba and gauges how the country is changing. He meets a new class of entrepreneurs and talks to a journalist about life in a police state. (FT)