Daily briefing: Stormy 60 Minutes, Uber quits SE Asia, orange snow


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“That’s a beautiful little girl. It’d be a shame if something happened to her mom.” Porn star Stormy Daniels, also known as Stephanie Clifford, has claimed that she was warned to stay silent about her alleged affair with Mr Trump. 

Her 60 Minutes interview was the latest twist in the long-running dispute between the actress and the president. Here’s how her lawyer is running circles around Mr Trump. (FT, Politico)

In the news

Trade war latest
Chinese government officials are confident that a carefully calibrated response to punitive tariffs outlined last week by US President Donald Trump will help contain the fallout from a Sino-US trade dispute. Beijing is understood to have offered to buy more semiconductors from the US. South Korea has now secured a tariff exemption on steel, while US businesses are seeking clarity from the Trump administration on the haphazard rollout of the tariffs. (FT)

Siberian shopping complex fire 
At least 64 people have died in a fire that tore through the Winter Cherry shopping and entertainment complex in the Siberian coal-mining city of Kemerovo. More than 40 children may be among the victims, many of whom were inside a cinema. (BBC)

Brexit’s space frontier
Britain is trying to head off an EU move to freeze Britain out of Europe’s €10bn Galileo satellite project, as space becomes a new frontier in Brexit negotiations. Hundreds of millions of pounds of contracts are at stake, as Brussels prepares to lock Britain’s space industry out to protect security elements of the satellite programme from being “irretrievably compromised” after Brexit. (FT)

Smells like teen spirit
On Saturday, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets across the US to campaign for gun control. The movement was led by teenagers and presented a radical new model for youth protest. Republicans have been relatively silent in response to the rallies — including Mr Trump, who spent the weekend golfing in Florida. Here’s a video on the march. (FT, New Yorker)

Zuckerberg under pressure
Mark Zuckerberg is yet to commit to testifying publicly over the Cambridge Analytica scandal, despite growing pressure to do so. But the US Congress has enough legal power to make it difficult for a reluctant chief executive to avoid testifying indefinitely. In other news, Elon Musk escalated his feud with Mr Zuckerberg and joined the #DeleteFacebook campaign. (FT, NYT)

Uber exits south-east Asia
The San Francisco-based company has sold its operations in the region to Grab in exchange for a 27.5 per cent stake in its erstwhile local rival. The deal could set the stage for a similar departure from India where it is battling with Ola. (FT)

Stink bugs stall car imports
Stowaway stink bugs dented New Zealand’s car imports in February after infestations were discovered on shipments from Japan. Statistics New Zealand said 8,000 vehicles were blocked and the value of car imports fell 33 per cent year on year. (FT)

The day ahead

EU-Turkey summit
An EU-Turkey summit takes place in Varna, Bulgaria. Relations between Ankara and Brussels have been strained but the two have mutual interests in trade, counter-terrorism and refugees. (Reuters)

Ex-Catalan leader held in Germany
Protests have broken out across Catalonia after former leader Carles Puigdemont was detained by police in Germany. He will appear before a German judge on Monday and risks being extradited to Spain to face charges of sedition and rebellion. The offence carries a maximum sentence of 30 years. (BBC, FT)

Egypt’s elections
Egypt begins a three-day presidential election, which President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is expected to win easily. Supporters of the president credit him with restoring stability to the country after the 2011 revolution, but critics say he is a dictator who has stifled political freedoms. (FT)

What we’re reading

Why Lagos works
In a country that is a byword for poor governance, Lagos is thriving — attracting investment and private enterprise. So what can the rest of Nigeria learn from it? (FT)

Knifed with a smile
Few medical research scandals are as spectacular as Dr Paolo Macchiarini’s. Five years ago he was a celebrity surgeon at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. But soon there were murmurs about his methods. His patients appeared to be dying. (NYRoB)

On the road
Meet Juan Villarino who — with 2,350 trips totalling about 100,000 miles in 90 countries — is probably the world’s most travelled hitchhiker. (NYT)

Mars on Earth
Dust from a sandstorm in the Sahara is causing snow in eastern Europe to turn orange, transforming mountainous regions of Ukraine, Russia, Bulgaria and Romania into Mars-like landscapes and making for some great pictures. (Guardian)

Europe’s most famous Nazi hunters
Serge and Beate Klarsfeld have been the vigilante enforcers of the continent’s moral conscience. Yet the couple is horrified by the rise of rightwing populist movements across Europe, often fuelled by young voters. (WaPo)

Vacuuming up talent
Andrew Hill uses Charles Dickens and James Dyson to explain why innovative juices are channelled away from manufacturing. “The rewards of banking and finance still vacuum up talented graduates.” (FT)

Video of the day

The week ahead
Josh de la Mare previews the big stories the FT is watching this week, including the start of the one-year countdown to Brexit day in 2019, the Egyptian election that will see its president return to power, attempts by the EU and Turkey to improve relations and results from H&M showing the fashion retailer’s problems. (FT)



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