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Donald Trump wants to make a splash and sees himself as a disrupter of US politics and the wider world — this much, and sometimes only this much, is certain. But Philip Stephens uses this week's column to argue that in the process he is ensuring the rapid decline of American influence.

Historic logjams have been freed by the White House, or so it believes, by dramatic decisions that include: moving the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, tearing up the Iran nuclear deal, and offering a summit to North Korean president Kim Jong Un. These, writes Philip, "are filed as game-changers."

But what of the cost? And will all the disruption actually bring about a US-brokered set of solutions? The American moment, Philip warns, may have past — in squandering America’s soft power, he has shrunk its ability to get things done.

Spain's constitutional crisis
Miriam Gonzalez Durantez argues that moves to tackle the political turmoil in Madrid (and the underlying public discontent) are merely tinkering at the edges. What is needed, she writes, is a real constitutional overhaul.

Grasping the NHS funding nettle
Martin Wolf believes that political cowardice is holding UK politicians back from prescribing the cure for chronic health service and social care underfunding — tax rises.

They're laughing in Kiev
Robert Shrimsley riffs on the bizarre case of the faked death of Arkady Babchenko and searches for levity in a world of fake news and contract killings.

What you've been saying …

Letter from Graham Hacche in response to Bill Emmott's column “Driving Italy out of the euro makes no sense at all”, May 30

'The international competitiveness of an economy cannot be judged only by reference to its balance of payments. Why hasn’t unemployment in Italy fallen back to (or below) its pre-crisis levels — as it has, for example, in the US, the UK, Japan and Germany? …Since the introduction of the euro in 1999 unit labour costs in Italy have risen by about 20 per cent relative to Germany and 10 per cent relative to the euro area average.'

Comment by Sic transit gloria mundi in response to Trailblazers bring Indian sexuality out of the shadows

'Unfortunately a majority of legislators, representing conservative rural constituencies, are unlikely to find the courage to push for repealing the ban on homosexual sex (their local opponents would make too much hay if they did). So it falls to an activist Supreme Court, so often happy to step up when the legislators fail, to take the lead. Of course Justice Singhvi had “never met a gay person”: to be openly gay in such a patriarchal, marriage-obsessed society is almost as hard now as it was in Britain in 1861. Let us hope that the justices find the courage that the legislators lack.'

Today’s opinion

White House unleashes billionaires to boost the space race
Washington slashes ‘red tape’ in the hope US entrepreneurs will push ahead of China

FT View: Happy Apple and the Curse of the iPhone
Not all blockbuster successes lead to complacency and collapse

Russian hits, Ukrainian hoaxes and killer facts
In search of levity amid plots, fake news and political sagas

Funding the National Health Service requires higher taxes
Political cowardice obstructs solution as the population ages and costs increase

Free Lunch: Treat money as the public good it is
Opponents of Swiss initiative have not shouldered their burden of proof

Stop tinkering at the margins and resolve Spain’s political crisis
The answer to the discontent lies in constitutional reform rather than quick changes

FT Alphaville: Further reading

FT View

FT View: Brazil’s paralysis augurs badly for the country’s next president
Whoever wins October’s general election will face an uphill task on reforms

FT View: Happy Apple and the Curse of the iPhone
Not all blockbuster successes lead to complacency and collapse

The Big Read

The Big Read: Chinese shares to transform emerging market investing
Adding 233 companies to MSCI Emerging Markets index will connect China’s market to the world

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