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US president Barack Obama axed a meeting with Philippine counterpart Rodrigo Duterte after the Filipino leader threatened to swear at him. Mr Obama was expected to confront Mr Duterte about the use of extrajudicial killings in the country’s war on drugs. 

Some 1,300 suspects have been killed since Mr Duterte's pledge to kill drug dealers in an effort to end the scourge of drug addiction in the Philippines. About 650,000 addicts have turned themselves into the police but the country is ill-prepared to help them kick their drug habit.

Mr Duterte has shown contrition for his threats to Mr Obama, but the diplomatic spat at the start of a heads of government meeting of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Laos highlights some of the tensions over the US’s “pivot to Asia” amid China’s territorial ambitions. (FT, NYT)

In the news

BA suffers IT glitch British Airways passengers around the world have faced long delays after a computer problem affected the airline’s check-in desks. IT hiccups have plagued the airline industry in recent years. Last month Delta was forced to ground all its flights because of a computer problem. Passenger misery was compounded at London's City Airport on Tuesday when protesters closed the runway. (BBC, FT)

Sweetening the deal Bayer said late on Monday that it was in “advanced” talks over the acquisition of Monsanto and that it was willing to sweeten its offer for the US seeds group. Germany’s Bayer said in a statement that “while key terms and conditions have not yet been agreed”, it would be willing to pay up to $127.50 a share for Monsanto, valuing its equity at $56bn. A tie-up between the two would create the world’s biggest agrochemicals company. (FT)

Japan-China summit Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese president Xi Jinping’s first official talks in 18 months only produced one agreement: to hold more talks. But it is a sign of warming relations. (Nikkei)

Banks hit by falling revenues The world’s biggest investment banks saw combined revenues sink 15 per cent in the first half of this year, the most since the aftermath of the financial crisis, underlining the urgency of taking radical measures to boost returns to shareholders. (FT)

Polluted mind Tiny particles of pollution have been discovered inside samples of brain tissue, according to “dreadfully shocking” new research that raises a host of new questions about the health risks of air pollution. (BBC)

It’s a big day for

Mexico-US relations Mexico is to consider revoking a series of bilateral treaties — including the 1848 agreement that transferred half its territory to the US — if the Republican candidate wins the presidency and rips up the North American Free Trade Agreement, according to a bill to be proposed today in Congress. (FT)

Food for thought

An exam paper from the future Gideon Rachman imagines the questions future historians will ask about today’s political events and invites readers to respond. (FT)

Out with a whimper Health problems and declining popularity mean “bunga-bunga” parties may be a thing of the past for Silvio Berlusconi. The former Italian leader is making an uncharacteristically quiet exit from Italian politics. (Politico)

Britain’s epidemic of loneliness There is increasing evidence linking loneliness to physical illness and to functional and cognitive decline. As a predictor of early death, loneliness eclipses obesity. In the UK, resources are now being directed at mitigating its effects. (NYT)

Ancient eco-warriors Forests on the coast of British Columbia are benefiting from organic waste left behind by indigenous tribes thousands of years ago. Researchers found that trees were healthier in areas where there was evidence of past civilisations, and discovered that waste containing shells, fish bones and charcoal, along with ancient fires, had enriched the soil with nutrients like calcium and phosphorous. (Globe and Mail) 

Hillary Clinton: China hawk When the then-secretary of state announced in 2010 that Washington had a “national interest” in freedom of navigation and international law in the South China Sea, Chinese officials were irate. The speech marked the beginning of the US “pivot” to Asia and cemented Mrs Clinton’s reputation in Beijing as the principal China hawk within the Obama administration. (FT)

Video of the day

The future of media What is the future of the media in the digital era? What is the role of an editor today? Financial Times editor Lionel Barber talks to Zanny Minton Beddoes, editor-in-chief of The Economist, and Alan Rusbridger, former editor-in-chief of The Guardian. (FT)

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