FirstFT: Today’s top stories | Financial Times

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Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state, has hit out at John Bolton, calling his former colleague a “traitor” and accusing Donald’s Trump’s ex-national security adviser of “lies” in a new memoir.

“John Bolton is spreading a number of lies, fully-spun half-truths and outright falsehoods,” Mr Pompeo said about The Room Where It Happened, Mr Bolton’s book that is scheduled to be released next Tuesday.

In a statement headlined “I was in the room too”, Mr Pompeo said it was “both sad and dangerous that John Bolton’s final public role is that of a traitor who damaged America by violating his sacred trust with its people”.

Mr Bolton, a foreign policy hawk who departed the administration on bad terms with the president, has been slammed by Mr Trump and his supporters after parts of the book were published this week. The president has called the man who served as his national security adviser for 17 months a “sick puppy”. (FT)

Coronavirus digest

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In the news

Supreme Court protects ‘Dreamers’ The US Supreme Court has blocked the Trump administration from cancelling the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals programme, which protects 700,000 immigrants from deportation. The White House is also weighing a significant expansion of visa restrictions for skilled foreign workers. (FT)

A man celebrates after the US Supreme Court ruled against a Trump administration bid to end Daca © Reuters

Facebook removes Trump ads The social network said it had taken down posts and advertising from Donald Trump’s re-election campaign that featured a Nazi symbol used to mark political prisoners in concentration camps. (FT)

India-China ties After a vicious Himalayan mountain brawl, senior officials say New Delhi will pare back economic ties with China, looking to countries including the US. Satellite images show increased Chinese activity ahead of the clash. The FT View is that it is up to New Delhi and Beijing to draw back from the brink. (FT, Reuters)

Johnson and Macron seek deal Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron agreed to step up efforts for a UK-EU trade deal amid signs Britain could accept a compromise and face tariffs if it undercuts European regulations. (FT)

Wirecard share price collapse Wirecard shares crashed another 50 per cent in chaotic trading on Friday, as two of Germany’s biggest investors threatened legal action over an escalating accounting scandal that leaves the future of the once high-flying payments company in doubt. Wirecard’s future survival is now at stake. Read the FT’s investigation here. (FT)

Wirecard says if it failed to file audited financial statements on Friday, it would be at the mercy of lenders who could terminate €2bn worth of loans © FT montage; Bloomberg; Lino Mirgeler/dpa

Market moves Hertz scrambled to secure a $1bn bankruptcy loan on Thursday after terminating a controversial $500m stock sale that drew securities regulators’ scrutiny. US grocery chain Albertsons is planning a $9.6bn flotation. (FT)

Hong Kong ‘homecomings’ Bankers are pitching “homecoming” offerings to dozens of Chinese companies listed on Wall Street as US-China tensions threaten the future of shares worth $1tn. To understand the new wave of small investors, look to China. (FT, Economist)

Bar chart of Funds raised from share offerings ($bn) showing Chinese tech groups' 'homecoming' offerings boost Hong Kong market

Facebook has launched a WhatsApp-based digital payments service in which country: Russia, Israel or Brazil? Take our quiz.

The days ahead

Trump in Tulsa Donald Trump is due to hold a 20,000-person election rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday, which was postponed in March. Health officials are still concerned: attendees have waived their right to sue the campaign if they contract coronavirus. (FT, CNBC)

Juneteenth June 19 commemorates the end of slavery in the US, and has taken on new resonance this year amid protests in response to the police killing of George Floyd, with numerous companies adopting the holiday. (NYT, FT)

Juneteenth 2020 will see protests across the US, including marches and demonstrations of civil disobedience © AP

EU recovery fund EU leaders meet virtually on Friday to discuss the bloc’s budget and €750bn recovery fund. Europe’s summer of summitry — read Brussels Briefing. (FT)

What else we’re reading

Prospering in the pandemic In a dismal year for most companies, a minority have shone: pharmaceutical groups hunting for a vaccine; tech giants buoyed by the working from home trend; and online retailers selling lockdown necessities. The first in an FT series examines the corporate winners. (FT)

Big tech companies lead stock market winners

How the Fed came to focus on racial justice When Jay Powell convened the most recent meeting of Federal Reserve policymakers, his agenda included an unusual item for a central bank — the mass protests against racial injustice that followed the police killing of George Floyd. (FT)

Moves to limit Big Tech still only half-formed The Summer of Techlash has officially arrived, writes Richard Waters. The days leading up to the solstice have reverberated with a drumbeat of investigations and proposals aimed at limiting the power of Big Tech. But regulators will have to work harder to formulate an answer to digital dominance. (FT)

Opioids Inc The pharmaceutical company Insys has come a long way from its former status as a Wall Street darling. In January, some of its executives were handed prison time for their role in the US opioid epidemic and the bribery of doctors to induce them to prescribe the company’s fentanyl spray. With PBS “Frontline”, the FT’s Hannah Kuchler investigated life inside Insys, a company found to be a flagrant flouter of the rules. (FT)

Why were the warning signs around Insys ignored for so long? The FT and PBS series ‘Frontline’ investigate © Edmon De Haro

Britain’s coronavirus mistakes For the UK, Covid-19 has been a “teachable moment”: we have learnt that our political leaders are incompetent, our bureaucracy ineffective and our economy fragile, Martin Wolf writes. Here’s what countries can, and can’t, learn from each others’ responses, Tim Harford writes. (FT)

Post-Covid world The pandemic does not just teach us to be careful — it teaches us to avoid regrets, Janan Ganesh writes. A bias against risk is the way to a safer, longer-lived society, but also one suffused with late-life remorse. How will coronavirus reshape architecture? (FT, New Yorker)

Football clubs patch up fraying social fabric Even as some of Argentina’s more cash-strapped clubs fight for survival, many are lending their space and their standing as community hubs to help vulnerable communities during the pandemic. Meanwhile, Sam Agini and Murad Ahmed answered your questions on how the business of football will survive coronavirus. For more on the business of sport, subscribe to our weekly Scoreboard newsletter. (FT)

Making society less racist Individual shaming does little to root out racism. Much more powerful, Simon Kuper writes, is systemic racism: the system of inequality that benefits white people, wreaking damage largely out of white sight. (FT)

Podcast of the day

India’s twin crises: coronavirus and China Gideon Rachman talks to Pratap Bhanu Mehta of Ashoka University about how the Modi government is handling the pandemic and India’s biggest foreign policy crisis in decades. (FT)

“The China relationship was one where Mr Modi had invested a lot of personal capital. There’s a palpable sense that China has betrayed that spirit.”



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