Crunch moment for migrant crisis, Barclays cuts back and the rise of transatlantic dating

EU leaders prepare for emergency migration summit against backdrop of desperate scenes at Greece-Macedonia border

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EU leaders are preparing for an emergency migration summit against the backdrop of desperate scenes at the Greece-Macedonia border, where crowds of migrants were beaten back from storming a fence with a salvo of tear gas. Europe’s migration crisis is hurtling towards a potential turning point this month, with the pillars of the EU’s policy under sustained assault and German Chancellor Angela Merkel facing the first electoral test of her refugee policy.

Mainstream politicians in both the EU and US will continue to argue that building barriers is not the solution to the problems of the world or the west, says Gideon Rachman. But they are in danger of finding that their voters have stopped listening. Viewed from the comfort of Europe or the US, the problems of the Greater Middle East, Africa or Central America increasingly look both frightening and insoluble. (FT, BBC)

In the news

Barclays cuts back and quits Africa Barclays has announced plans to slash its dividend and sell its African subsidiary, as the bank’s new chief executive strips the business back to its core UK and US markets after net losses widened. Jes Staley, who took over as chief executive three months ago, said the bank would cut its dividend by more than half in 2016 and 2017 to boost its capital buffer, which has stagnated recently below both its own target and the level of several rivals. (FT)

Judge backs Apple in test case The US tech group has defeated a US government attempt to force it to unlock an iPhone as part of a criminal investigation into a drugs case, handing it an important victory in the first test case on the issue. The decision comes two weeks after Apple sought a showdown with the FBI over a separate demand in California. (FT)

Malaysia’s 1MDB scandal Deposits into personal accounts of Najib Razak, Malaysia’s prime minister, exceeded $1bn and global investigators believe much of it originated with the 1MDB state development fund. Malaysia’s influential former premier Mahathir Mohamad said he was quitting the ruling party in protest at alleged “corruption” under Mr Najib’s leadership. (WSJ, FT)

Argentina strikes deal with holdouts The country is set to return to international capital markets after a 15-year ban as it finally reached an agreement with a group of creditors led by Paul Singer’s Elliot Management. (FT)

Japan road tests driverless taxi Japanese social gaming giant DeNA is joining the race to put a driverless car on the road. Robot Taxi, a joint venture owned by the company and Tokyo-based robotics start-up ZMP, began a road test on Monday for a driverless taxi service in the Tokyo area. (NAR)

Micro computers power Syrian radio The Pocket FMs, as they are called, were designed by MiCT, a German organisation, as a way of providing Syrians with independent radio. The devices, powered by credit card-sized single-board computers, pick up a satellite feed of the channel and rebroadcast it on an FM frequency so people in Syria can listen on ordinary radios. As well as designing the Pocket FMs and maintaining Syrnet, MiCT employs a team of journalists, many of whom are expatriate Syrians, to make programmes. (BBC)

It’s a big day for

The Republican establishment, which is rapidly rallying behind Marco Rubio in an eleventh-hour attempt to derail Donald Trump, amid fears that this week’s Super Tuesday primaries could seal the outspoken former reality TV star’s grip on the party’s nomination. It may also be Ted Cruz’s last stand. Sign up for our daily US election email here. (FT)

Food for thought

How Obama and Clinton differ on Libya Both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton agree that the US was unprepared for the aftermath of Col Qaddafi’s fall. But where Mr Obama sees a cautionary tale about the limits of US power, Mrs Clinton sees a story about America failing to use that power when it should have. And that speaks to perhaps one of the most profound foreign policy differences between Obama and his possible heir to the mantle of Democratic leadership. (Vox)

China state enterprises: Zombie economy Beijing has been seeking to steer its economy away from an overdependence on heavy industry and construction. But state-owned enterprises are clustered in smokestack industries such as steel, coal, shipbuilding and heavy machinery, all tied to the old growth model. (FT)

Dating: transatlantic relations Tired of looking for love in London? Try New York. High-end matchmakers are reporting a rise in London-based clients asking for dates in New York, and vice versa. “There is a crisis in New York — a shortage of single, straight men,” said one would-be Cupid. (FT)

Millenials almost killed the cork A new generation of wine drinkers came of age with screw caps and plastic bottle stoppers. Now, cork producers are mounting a campaign to win their loyalty. (The Atlantic)

Video of the day

Oil industry fight for survival Leaders from the global energy community who gathered in Houston for the Cera Week conference have few choices about how to survive “brutal” market conditions if the price remains capped at about $50 a barrel in the medium to long term. (FT)

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