All eyes on Trump-Xi meeting, Draghi dispels rumours and lessons in digital disruption

Summit between the US and Chinese presidents in Florida is one of the most important in decades

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The world’s eyes will be on Florida today. Xi Jinping will meet Donald Trump in Florida at his Mar-a-Lago club for the first summit between the two superpowers since Mr Trump took office. The meeting is one of the most important in decades. According to the FT: “Rarely since Richard Nixon made his landmark visit to China in 1972 have relations between Washington and Beijing been so antagonistic, complex and consequential.” Issues on the agenda include North Korea, China’s expanding influence in the South China Sea and — most importantly for the US president — trade.

Personal chemistry will be important to keeping communications open between the two leaders, who are opposites temperamentally. There will be no golf, for example; unlike his host, Mr Xi is not a fan. Here is a list of five things to watch. (FT, NYT)

In the news

Draghi dispels rumours The head of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, has tried to squash speculation that the ECB’s experiment with negative interests will finish before the end of the year. Bankers whose profits are being eroded by the policy will not be happy. (FT)

Reassessing Syria Donald Trump says this week’s gas attack in Syria, in which at least 70 people were killed, has made him reassess his views on the Assad regime. But he declined to give details of any potential action. Turkish officials say autopsies carried out on bodies brought across the border show that chemical weapons were used in the attack. Survivors have given harrowing accounts of the “bloodless massacre”. (NYT, Jazeera, FT)

Unilever restructures In an effort to shore up investor support after rejecting a takeover bid from Kraft Heinz, the Anglo-Dutch consumer goods group plans to sell its margarine business, launch a €5bn share buyback and aim for substantially higher profit margins. (FT)

Reduce reduce reduce Most US Federal Reserve policymakers expect to begin the process of cutting the size of the central bank’s balance sheet later this year if the economy stays on track. Starting that process would be a major landmark for the Fed as it unwinds its ultra-loose monetary policy built up after the financial crisis. (FT, WSJ)

Pepsi’s ad flop Pepsi pulled an ad starring Kendall Jenner that borrowed imagery from the Black Lives Matter movement after a social media backlash. Despite the controversy, some believe it was a success — especially after it was pulled from the airwaves. (FT, NYT, Atlantic)

It’s a big day for

US Supreme Court The Senate will vote on “cloture” — ending a debate — on the confirmation of supreme court candidate Neil Gorsuch. If Republicans fail to get enough votes, they will set in motion a “nuclear option” to change procedure and seek confirmation through a simple majority. (FiveThirtyEight)

Food for thought

The shadow over Murdoch’s empire Six years after the tabloid phone-hacking saga torpedoed Rupert Murcoch’s bid for Sky, a federal investigation into another company controlled by the 86-year-old billionaire could undermine his latest offer for the European pay-TV group. (FT)

What big data can do for China The central government is acutely aware of how little it knows about the country. If big data are managed correctly, they could offer a solution to China’s data governance problem that has lasted for thousands of years. (NAR)

Lessons in digital disruption Music was among the first industries to be digitally disrupted and music labels were badly hurt. The industry’s recovery — and even growth — thanks to audio streaming has useful lessons for those where piracy remains widespread, writes John Gapper. (FT)

Colour blindness in Brazil In an effort to determine who is — and who isn’t — disadvantaged, race tribunals are resorting to measuring skull shape and nose width to prevent people from taking advantage of affirmative action policies. (Foreign Policy)

Miracle drug that no one wants A male contraceptive nearing approval in India is 98 per cent effective. But Big Pharma could not be less interested. (Bloomberg)

Video of the day

The town that turned to Le Pen Henin Beaumont, a mining town in northern France, voted Socialist for decades but is now a model for the way Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Front party is capitalising on economic hardship. Anne-Sylvaine Chassany visited the region to find out why. (FT)

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