Listen to this article
Sign up to receive FirstFT by email here
The city of Manchester was in shock on Tuesday after a suicide bomber killed 22 and injured at least 59 at a pop concert. The blast took place outside the Manchester Arena concert venue on Monday evening soon after a performance by US singer Ariana Grande ended, sparking panic as people rushed for the exits. Many of the 21,000 concertgoers were children and teenagers, and police say there were children among the victims. Frantic parents took to social media searching for missing children and British media broadcast a number of heart-rending pleas from parents.
Tributes to the victims have come from around the world. Donald Trump, speaking from the West Bank, called the bomber an “evil loser”. Ariana Grande, who was not hurt in the attack, expressed her horror at the bombing. Other pop stars also sent their condolences, and called for security to be tightened at concert venues.
The bombing was the worst terrorist incident in the UK since the 7/7 attacks in London in 2005. Police are now focusing on whether the bomber acted alone. In a statement Prime Minister Theresa May said the security services believed they knew the identity of the attacker but were not yet able to confirm it. She also suspended campaigning in the general election. Here is what we know so far and here are the latest live updates. (BBC, FT, Reuters, Guardian, Telegraph, Independent)
In the news
Trump talks Middle East peace
Donald Trump continued his overseas tour on Tuesday with talks in the occupied west-bank town of Bethlehem. He has in the past referred to a peace agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians as the “ultimate deal”. After an hour of talks with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas he said he believed both sides were committed to a deal but offered no details on how it could be achieved. (Reuters)
Amazon video hits Europe
The US technology group will offer live television channels on its video platform for the first time in Europe. Amazon is stepping up its push into broadcasting and ramping up its competition with traditional networks. It will also start live-streaming premium sports content, beginning with the French Open tennis tournament. (FT)
Flying on bitcoin
Peach Aviation, a low-cost Japanese airline, is the latest carrier to accept bitcoin. The crypto currency has been used by a handful of eastern European airlines for several years, and virtual currencies are becoming more popular in Japan. Regulations there were changed earlier this year, legitimising bitcoin as a form of fund settlement. (FT, NAR)
Former South Korean leader’s trial begins
Former president Park Geun-hye has made her first court appearance over a corruption scandal that brought down her presidency. She cut a forlorn figure standing before judges, who asked her occupation. “I don’t have any,” she replied. (Reuters, FT)
No deal for Greece
Seven hours of talks on Monday ended without a deal on debt relief for Greece — mainly because Athens, Germany and the IMF could not agree on the next stages of the €86bn bailout. It leaves the euro area locked in a race against time to finish the negotiations before Greece faces crippling repayment deadlines in July. (FT)
The day ahead
South Africa sets rates
The South African Reserve Bank meets for three days to set monetary policy after warning this month that the country faces further downgrades to its credit rating. (FT)
US budget Donald Trump will hand down his first major budget since taking office and is expected to call on Congress to push through $3.6tn of spending reductions. (FT)
Keep up with the important business, economic and political stories in the coming days with the FT’s Week Ahead.
What we’re reading
Why are Nigeria’s Chibok girls in custody?
News that 82 of the girls kidnapped by Boko Haram militants had been released earlier this month brought enormous relief to their families. But they were only allowed to see their daughters after a fortnight for a brief meeting, after which the girls were returned to a government-run rehabilitation centre without explanation, raising questions over whether they sympathise with their former captors. (FT)
Alibaba’s do-it-yourself globalisation
A deep dive on the Chinese ecommerce company, whose tentacles reach into almost every aspect of life in the country. It is the world’s leader in ecommerce — ahead of eBay and Amazon in terms of global users — and the company’s dizzying international ambitions include breaking down trade barriers. But the biggest challenge facing Alibaba, ironically, is copycats at home. (FT)
Small enough to jail
A new documentary explores the case of Abacus, a family-owned bank in New York’s Chinatown that was the only US financial institution to be indicted after the 2008 financial crisis. (Salon)
When your child is a psychopath
What do you do when your child exhibits behaviour more commonly associated with serial killers? For a long time, there was nothing you could do — but new research suggests methods of treatment. (Atlantic)
Facebook confronts ‘sextortion’ epidemic
Leaked documents show the social media site faces a mammoth task policing content, assessing nearly 54,000 potential cases of revenge pornography in a single month. (Guardian)
Video of the day
What is a special counsel?
Sam Fleming explains the role played by former director of the FBI, Robert Mueller, as special counsel investigating the alleged collusion between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia. (FT)