Daily briefing: FBI investigates Kushner, Mosul strike, scenes from a ravaged city

President Trump’s son-in-law faces probe over his links to Russia

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Donald Trump may be away, but his problems at home continue to build. His son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is now under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation over his links to Russia, a sign that the probe into contacts between Trump campaign aides and Russian officials has moved closer to the White House. Lawyers for Mr Kushner said he would be willing to testify before Congress about past meetings he had with Russian officials. Here is a profile of the man sometimes described as “America’s princeling”.

In faraway Europe, Mr Kushner’s father in-law on Friday headed to his first G7 meeting in the the Sicilian coastal town Taormina, a playground for the jet set that could remind Mr Trump of his own upmarket resorts. G7 leaders will be waiting to see if the US president maintains the combative stance he took in Brussels on Thursday. At a meeting with EU leaders he aired deep differences over Russia, trade and climate. He also hit out at Germany’s trade surplus, describing Germans as “very, very bad”. (FT, Politico, USA Today)

In the news

Manchester latest
UK police have made a 10th arrest as they widen their search for associates of Salman Abedi, the Manchester bomber. Donald Trump vowed to prosecute anyone found to be leaking highly sensitive material related to the attack amid reports of an infuriated Downing Street. (FT)

US wants to ‘pre-negotiate’ with China
The US wants to “pre-negotiate” with China a tough new United Nations sanctions regime against North Korea before Pyongyang conducts another missile or nuclear weapons test, a senior US state department official said on Friday. Donald Trump described North Korea as a “big problem” ahead of the G7 meeting in Sicily. (FT, NAR)

Zuckerberg at Harvard
Mark Zuckerberg gave the commencement address to Harvard University, his alma mater. The Facebook founder set out a political battle agenda that will only increase speculation that he harbours political — and even presidential — ambitions. He also received an honorary degree from the Ivy League college (he dropped out after launching the social network site). (FT, BBC)

Mosul March strike
The US air strike in March was the single most deadly incident for civilians since anti-Isis operations began in 2014. The strike in the Iraqi city killed more than 100 civilians, the Pentagon said, after concluding an investigation into the attack. (Jazeera)

Kremlin critics targeted in hack attack
Hackers are stepping up efforts to steal and manipulate emails from critics of the Russian government, security researchers say, using techniques that were hallmarks of a cyber attack on Emmanuel Macron’s campaign on the eve of France’s presidential election. (FT)

Test your knowledge of this week’s news with the FirstFT quiz. Which country became Asia’s first to allow customers to pay for airline tickets in bitcoin?

The day ahead

G7 leaders gather
Donald Trump will make his first G7 appearance at a summit in Sicily. Meanwhile, Theresa May is planning to urge world leaders at the event to purge the internet of extremist material. (Guardian, FT)

What we’re reading

What’s wrong with the cultural elite
From their New Yorker subscriptions to their Trump-dissing conversations, firm bodies and watch fetishes, this is why the cultural elite is so despised as to have generated a global political movement against it. “Trump voters see a class that talks equality while living privilege and exuding contempt,” writes Simon Kuper. (FT)

Brazil’s culture of corruption
The bribery scandal involving President Michel Temer and JBS, the world’s largest meatpacker, has struck at the core of the system of political patronage and corporate favouritism that has poisoned the country’s attempts to realise its full potential. (FT)

Scenes from a ravaged city
A haunting portrait of devastation in Aleppo as it adjusts to its new reality — and why nobody can quite explain why what was once Syria’s commercial capital was so dramatically torn apart. (NYT)

Where freedom has ‘limits’
Once one of the world’s most controversial leaders, the 91-year-old former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad is spending his retirement trying to overthrow his successor. Over chicken satay in Kuala Lumpur, he discusses the risks of a rising China, “not overeating” — and why 9/11 was an inside job. (FT)

The battle for Laikipia
Kenyan pastoralists armed with assault rifles are fighting the police, attacking cattle ranches and destroying wildlife reserves in the Kenyan district of Laikipia, one of Africa’s wildlife conservation jewels. The destruction is fuelled by climate change and a breakdown of traditional structures of tribal authority. (Economist)

Video of the day

Can we delay ageing?
As part of a new FT video series, “Masters of Science”, on the men and women whose ideas are shaping our future, biologist Cynthia Kenyon explores research that gives hope we can turn back the years. (FT)



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