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Canadian foreign minister (and former Financial Times deputy editor) Chrystia Freeland has been much in the news recently -— first for chastising Saudi Arabia on human rights and now for frantically trying to renegotiate the Nafta deal with the US. James Politi writes in a profile about her prodigious energy, informal style and determined commitment to democracy and the global international order.

Born in Western Canada and educated at Harvard, Ms Freeland dived into journalism, first in Ukraine and then Russia, the UK, the US and Canada. After reinventing herself as an expert on inequality, she won a seat in the Canadian parliament. She has impressed many with her fearlessness but drawn criticism at home from those who worry her crusade for liberal values has made it harder for the country to work out its differences with US President Donald Trump.

Michael Mackenzie catches readers up on all the markets action they missed at the beach. Now we all need to keep an eye on metals prices, Italian debt and above all the US 10-year bond yield, he suggests. 

Simon Kuper has words of sage advice for José Mourinho, the embattled manager of Manchester United. Face it, you're not special anymore.

Alex von Tunzelmann takes a look at the new ITV adaptation of Vanity Fair and public's obsession with period drama. She argues that historical dramas understand the power of spicing up bonnets and breeches drama with sexual modernity.

David Willetts remembers the heady days of Margaret Thatcher's 1988 speech in Bruges in which she articulated Tory objections to the European project and set the country on the road that led us to Brexit.

Best of the week

The fatal attraction of a no-deal Brexit— Gideon Rachman

Donald Trump’s circus act is a sinister distraction— Edward Luce

Populism is the true legacy of the global financial crisis— Philip Stephens

We need to talk about identity in a toxic age— Roula Khalaf

Donald Trump smells trouble as his former loyalists fall away— Courtney Weaver

Superstar chief executives can self-destruct— John Gapper

Steven Mnuchin’s flawed O-zone plan to tackle poverty in the US— Gillian Tett

What you've been saying

Humans will do things for which they are rewarded:
letter from Prof Louis Brennan, Trinity Business School, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

Given the overwhelming corporate ethos of shareholder value, it is surprising that Jesse Fried should appear to believe that corporate short-termism is not prevalent in today’s business environment. As noted by Unilever chief executive Paul Polman, there is a clash between a long-term sustainable business model for multiple stakeholders and a model that is entirely focused on shareholder primacy. […] Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Accountable Capitalism Act requires companies with more than £1bn in annual revenues to consider the interests of all major corporate stakeholders, and not just shareholders, in corporate decisions. This represents a welcome counterforce to the inherent logic in shareholder value that necessarily results in short-term decision-making.

In response to "Populism is the true legacy of the global financial crisis" , bearhouse says:

Is there no one who believes that Trump won because he got the chance to run against a spectacularly bad democratic candidate?

McCain pursued civility as an end in itself:
letter from Howard Greenfield, Montreal, QC, Canada

John McCain was, for all of his rebelliousness, an orthodox practitioner of a well settled American political philosophy, Jeffersonian democracy. He countered divisiveness with the biblical injunction: “Come! Let us reason together.” He pursued civility not simply as a means to a higher end, but as an end in itself. The coarsening of public discourse has some believing that we are on the brink. But the pendulum will eventually swing back. Pity he won’t be around to see it.

Today's opinion

How Thatcher’s Bruges speech put Britain on the road to Brexit
She believed that the vision of a ‘social Europe’ was a bridge too far

Alexander ‘Shura’ Shihwarg, poet and restaurateur, 1923-2018
A Russian sinophile who fought with the British to defend Hong Kong

Person in the News: Chrystia Freeland: a whirlwind storms the world stage
Canada’s foreign minister is taking on Trump to strike a deal that can salvage Nafta

Note to José Mourinho: you’re not special any more
The Manchester United manager must rethink his attitude and approach

The toil to discover ‘new physics’ after Higgs boson breakthrough
Six years after Cern scientists found the ‘god particle’, progress is slow

Ingram Pinn’s illustration of the week: Trump News
Trump tweets warning to social media

James Mirrlees, economist, 1936-2018
Nobel Prize winner best known for analysis of properties of income tax schedules

Instant Insight: Frank Field’s resignation raises the stakes for a Labour split
The maverick MP’s decisions will be watched closely by his former unhappy colleagues

FT View

The FT View: The 21st century Great Game is Africa’s to lose
Britain, like the rest of the west, is now competing on a crowded field

The FT View: Trump’s dangerous claim to the internet he wants
The US president’s attack on Google is part of his assault on news

The Big Read

The Big Read: The civil war in the Catholic Church
Conservative priests are using outrage over sexual abuse to try to force Pope Francis to resign

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2019. All rights reserved.

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