Obama attacks ‘free-riding’ allies, typo foils $100m heist, British latte papas

US president says Cameron was distracted in months after death of Muammer Gaddafi in 2011

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US President Barack Obama has partly blamed the UK and France for the “mess” in Libya that followed the 2011 fall of Muammer Gaddafi, in a new interview in which he attacks “free riding” by American allies.

Mr Obama told The Atlantic magazine that British prime minister David Cameron was “distracted” in the months after the death of Mr Gaddafi and suggested that then French president Nicolas Sarkozy was more interested in trying to “trumpet” his country’s involvement in air strikes in Libya than ensuring a peaceful transition to a new government. (The Atlantic, FT)

In the news

Positives from negative rates The European Central Bank president Mario Draghi may have found a way for bankers to take some positives from negative interest rates. In a move to boost the eurozone economy, new measures will allow banks to borrow from the central bank at a rate as low as minus 0.4 per cent — depending on how much they lend to businesses and consumers. (FT)

The Isis HR department A cache of 22,000 documents obtained by German authorities provides an unparalleled snapshot into the jihadi group’s recruitment of foreign fighters. The documents include detailed questionnaires filled in by recruits and the names of at least 16 British and four US citizens. (FT)

Typo trips the alarm One of the most audacious bank raids in history — a $101m cyber heist at the Bangladesh central bank — came to a shuddering halt when a typo in one of the transaction requests raised suspicions and prompted an investigation. (FT)

Ex-Kremlin aide died from ‘blunt force’ A former top Kremlin aide found dead in a Washington DC hotel room died after suffering “blunt force injuries” to the head, a medical report found, fuelling speculation over the nature of his death. (FT)

US and Canada make methane pledge The two countries announced plans to cut methane emissions from the oil and gas industry by 40-45 per cent. The move was welcomed by environmentalists but criticised by business who warned of its impact on shale. (FT)

Goldman hired daughter of Malaysian PM ally The bank was seeking to expand its business in the country at the time. It would later win valuable business with the government’s 1MDB investment fund, which is under investigation for allegations of misconduct and misappropriation of state funds. (FT)

China investment in the American heartland The money Chinese companies have poured into rust belt towns may complicate Donald Trump’s protectionist rhetoric. (FT)

 

Test your knowledge with the week in news quiz. China’s foreign exchange reserves this week fell to what figure?

It's a big day for

Japan, which commemorates five years since the devastating earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster. Almost 165,000 people were evacuated in the wake of the catastrophe and more than 97,000 are still unable to return. The FT’s Robin Harding and Kana Inagaki report from Fukushima. (FT)

Techies The South By Southwest festival — known as “Spring Break for nerds” — kicks off in Austin, Texas. It will feature everyone from Twitter co-founder Biz Stone to JJ Abrams, director of the latest Star Wars movie, to President Barack Obama. (AP)

Food for thought

Britain's 'latte papas' It’s been almost a year since Shared Parental Leave was introduced in the UK, promising to bring radical change to the way mothers and fathers divided up work and childcare. Emma Jacobs looks at how a growing number of British “latte papas” — as the fathers who juggle coffee and infants are known in Sweden — are coping. (FT)

Tunisia after the revolution The African nation has been feted as the only successful democratic transition among the Arab uprisings. But it is under attack from Isis and its faltering economy is unable to meet the aspirations of its young people. (FT)

Plastic-eating bacteria Researchers in Japan have discovered a species of microbe that eats PET, the polymer widely used in food containers, bottles and synthetic fibres. The bacteria could help break down otherwise non-biodegradable debris in landfills or recycling plants. (WSJ)

Lunch with Thaksin Shinawatra Over a dim sum lunch, the exiled former prime minister of Thailand talks about why he is not trying to take back power. (FT)

The fat years are over This week saw the seventh anniversary of the S&P 500’s post-Lehman low of March 9 2009. The rally since then has been remarkable by any standard, writes John Authers, but there is growing evidence that the fat years may now be over. (FT)

Video of the day

Mumbai’s $1bn makeover India’s Bohra Muslim community is transforming its old neighbourhood, tearing down decrepit buildings to make way for skyscrapers. The project is touted as a model for other old urban areas, but could it be replicated? Amy Kazmin reports from Mumbai. (FT)

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