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The rhetoric between the US and North Korea is growing ever stronger after President Donald Trump issued his bellicose “fire and fury” warning to Pyongyang. Quite what “fire and fury” actually mean is unclear, but a US official has said there is no way the country would tolerate a North Korean deployment of nuclear ICBMs. Pyongyang has responded by saying it is mulling missile strikes on the US Pacific territory of Guam. This, just a day after the Washington Post reported that the country had successfully produced a miniaturised nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles. 

The escalating war of words has caused alarm around the world. Japanese and South Korean markets dropped in Asian trading, and European markets followed suit. The heightened tensions come on the 72nd anniversary of the US atomic bombing of the Japanese city of Nagasaki. The city's mayor, Tomihisa Taue, warned of the growing threat of nuclear war at a ceremony to commemorate the bombing, which killed 70,000 people. (FT, BBC, WaPo, NYT, NAR, Al Jazeera)

In the news

Kenya election results contested
Provisional results from Kenya’s presidential election indicated that Uhuru Kenyatta was set to win re-election. But the figures were rejected by his main rival Raila Odinga as “fake” and “illegal”. There are fears that the allegations of widespread irregularities could provoke violence. (FT, Times)

Suicide soars in Muslim countries
Suicide, murder, rape and mental health conditions are rocketing in Muslim-majority countries, many of which have been racked by violence and conflict, according to a major new study. Data from the past 25 years show soaring rates of death by suicide or at the hands of others. (The National)

Disney cuts cord with Netflix
Disney is taking the threat posed by the rise of online streaming very seriously. So seriously that the company is launching two streaming services for sports and family films. Netflix shares tumbled on news that Disney would pull content from its library — but here’s why it may not matter too much. (FT, WSJ)

Vantiv secures $10bn deal for Worldpay 
US credit card processing company Vantiv has made a formal offer to buy Britain’s Worldpay for £9.3bn ($10bn), putting it on track to create a $29bn global payments powerhouse. (FT, Reuters)

Western Union sponsors Liverpool
The money transfer services group has struck a multimillion-pound deal to sponsor Liverpool football club as part of a marketing push as it attempts to transform itself into a digital payments provider. (FT)

The day ahead

Belgium politicians discuss eggs
A snowballing health scandal over a poisonous insecticide in eggs has resulted in Belgium convening an emergency session of ministers in parliament to determine whether it can still rely on food safety apparatus created nearly 20 years ago. (Politico.eu)

Keep up with the important business, economic and political stories in the coming days with the FT’s Week Ahead.

What we’re reading

Google chief steps into gender debate
An Indian engineer who had risen, largely unnoticed outside Google, to head the world’s largest internet company, Sundar Pichai has made a virtue of avoiding public confrontation. This week, after one of his employees published a controversial memo, he stepped squarely into the middle of one of Silicon Valley’s most heated debates. (FT)

“Grandmother” Merkel’s youth appeal
Many young Germans cannot imagine their country without Angela Merkel at the helm — and they could propel her to victory in upcoming elections. The FT's Stefan Wagstyl looks at why the chancellor of 12 years is so popular with Germany’s youth. (FT)

Carmakers’ dark road
There is a growing fear that carmakers will be shut out from selling vehicles to individual buyers, as ride-hailing apps — soon to feature self-driving vehicles — displace car ownership. Their new buyers will instead be fleet services that can purchase in bulk at lower prices, robbing carmakers of their brand value. (FT)

How America went Haywire
Kurt Andersen in the Atlantic’s cover story this month traces how the US arrived at the post-truth age. He writes that Donald Trump tapped into an American vulnerability for conspiracy theories and “took advantage of the transformation of the GOP (and the country’s age-old susceptibility to hucksters) to become fantasist-in-chief”. (Atlantic)

A reckoning postponed?
South African president Jacob Zuma narrowly survived a vote of confidence on Tuesday but he still faces a number of criminal charges and presides over an African National Congress riven with politicking over succession. (Guardian) 

Video of the day

Rinehart bets on China’s demand for beef
Australia's richest woman wants to export live cattle to China but the success of her business depends on changing China’s laws over the disease bluetongue. The FT’s Jamie Smyth reports. (FT)

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