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Stock markets around the world were bearing the brunt of tensions between North Korea and the US on Friday. Asian equities suffered heavy losses, with European stocks also falling in morning trade. Investors were unnerved by Donald Trump’s comments on Thursday that his “fire and fury” threats to Pyongyang may not have been “tough enough”. His intervention prompted the US market to suffer its steepest decline in three months.

Seoul has offered peace talks to ease the crisis, but South Korean President Moon Jae-in has been accused of trying to please all parties, but satisfying none. Even as Mr Moon talks peace, the bellicose rhetoric from the north is prompting his country to beef up its military capabilities. The war of words widened when Australia said it would invoke its long standing military alliance with America in the event that Pyongyang attacks the US. Chinese state media said Beijing would remain neutral if North Korea launched an attack. To keep track of the unfolding crisis, here is a full guide. Finally, the FT analyses the high stakes game Pyongyang is playing. (FT, Bloomberg, NAR, Reuters, NYT)

In the news

Snap shares plunge
Bigger than expected losses pushed shares in the company behind Snapchat down as much as 17 per cent. Slowing user growth and a cautious third-quarter outlook helped fuel the drop, but chief executive Evan Spiegel remained positive, telling analysts they were focusing on the wrong metrics. (FT)

Tehran gets a reformist mayor
The Iranian capital has its first reformist mayor in 14 years after a unanimous vote by the city council. The win by Mohammed-Ali Najaf is a boost for supporters of the country’s reformist movement and strengthens centrist president Hassan Rouhani, who has been under pressure from hardliners. The high-profile mayoral post is often a launch pad for presidents and other prominent national politicians. (FT)

Google abandons meeting
The company-wide internal meeting to discuss a gender controversy was called off at the last minute. Sundar Pichai, chief executive, made the call after hearing from workers who were worried that speaking up at the internal event would make them targets of online abuse. (FT)

Cuban sound-off
Something strange is happening to foreign diplomats in Cuba: US personnel have suffered unexplained hearing loss. Washington suspects the bizarre incident was caused by a covert sonic listening device. It appears a Canadian diplomat has also been affected. (FT, Guardian)

Uber lawsuit
The company’s boardroom drama has taken another twist. One of Uber’s largest and earliest shareholders, Benchmark, has accused ousted chief executive Travis Kalanick of fraud and wants him removed from the board. The board is already at loggerheads over who will replace Mr Kalanick. (FT)

EU migrant crisis
Spain may overtake Greece this year in numbers of migrants arriving by sea, the International Organization for Migration says. The shift may be because migrants are finding the Spanish route safer. One boat landed at a popular beach this week, stunning tourists. (BBC)

Test your knowledge of this week’s news with the FirstFT quiz. Disney has decided to end its content-sharing deal with which company?

The day ahead

Tesla’s bond issue
The electric carmaker is set to boost its cash reserves with another $1.5bn as it tries to stave off the liquidity pressures caused by its headlong rush to become a mass-market car producer. Eric Platt wonders whether the issue would generate the same investor fervour if Tesla’s hip, shiny name were not attached. (FT)

What we’re reading

Russia’s agricultural transformation
While the country’s broader economy has been in the grip of recession over the past two years, agricultural output has grown — stimulated, in part, by Moscow’s embargo on western food imports, introduced three years ago in response to US and European sanctions. The move is resurrecting the sector from the doldrums it fell into after the collapse of the soviet economy in 1991. (FT)

The Nordics’ populist Petri dish
Norway’s parliamentary elections will be watched across Europe because they are a crucial test of the populists’ popularity and because the Nordic region — for decades held up as a paradigm for social democratic politics — has become something of a Petri dish in how to deal with rightwing populist parties. (FT)

Death of the internal combustion engine
It had a good run. But thanks to the rise of electric cars the end is in sight for the machine that changed the world. (Economist)

McConnell in the crosshairs
Mitch McConnell, the republican senate majority leader, has become Donald Trump’s second favourite target (after North Korea) over the party’s failure to repeal and replace Obamacare. (FT)

Can Netanyahu hold on?
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a consummate political survivor who is the country’s second-longest serving premier. Could two high-profile graft cases prove his undoing? (NYT)

Why stars like Adele keep losing their voice
More and more singers are cancelling big shows and turning to surgery to fix their damaged vocal cords. But is the problem actually down to the way they sing? (Guardian)

Video of the day

Groucho Marx and the JPX400
The index was meant to showcase Japan’s best companies but Leo Lewis says investors might be better off looking at the companies being booted off the list. (FT)


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