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FirstFT: Today’s top stories – Financial Times

FT subscribers can click here[1] to receive FirstFT every day by email.

US president Donald Trump has designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organisation[2], ratcheting up pressure on the country over its alleged efforts to promote instability in the Middle East. 

The move, announced on Monday, is the first time the US has named part of another government at that threat level, raising the risk of retaliation[3] against American troops and intelligence officers. 

In a statement, the White House said its decision would “significantly expand the scope and scale of our maximum pressure on the Iranian regime”. (FT, NYT)

In the news

BlackRock aims to control Chinese asset manager Larry Fink, the BlackRock chief executive, said in his annual letter to shareholders that BlackRock is “very engaged[4]” with Chinese regulators as the world’s largest asset manager attempts to take control of a local investment group. (FT)

Larry Fink says China wants greater participation of global companies in its domestic asset management market

Nissan ejects Ghosn Nissan shareholders voted to formally oust Carlos Ghosn[5] from the board at an extraordinary meeting on Monday, formally ending his 19-year reign[6] at the Japanese carmaker. (FT, Nikkei Asian Review)

Pinterest seeks $11.3bn valuation in New York IPO The online scrapbooking site on Monday said it planned to raise as much as $1.3bn from investors at a valuation of up to $11.3bn, below the price[7] of its most recent private share sale. The deal could prove to be an ominous sign for Wall Street’s interest in new tech listings, ahead of a series of big-name offerings in the coming months. (FT)

Tech regulation The UK government on Monday came up with its most detailed attempt yet to take action against technology companies in Silicon Valley[8], making the country a test case in internet regulation. Legislators want big tech groups to take responsibility[9] for the content that underpins profits. (FT)

At the heart of UK's proposal is a legal duty of care for technology companies, enforced by a strong regulator, codes of conduct and heavy sanctions. © FT Montage/Dreamstime

Fed to lower foreign bank requirements The US central bank unveiled proposals[10] that it said would reduce some foreign banks’ capital requirements and the costs of complying with rules such as drawing up “living wills”. (FT) 

US homeland security chief steps down Kirstjen Nielsen, the homeland security secretary, resigned[11] on Sunday after meeting with Donald Trump, ending a tumultuous tenure in charge of the border security agency that had made her the target of the president’s criticism. The move adds another challenge[12] for an administration grappling with its core immigration agenda. (NYT, WSJ)

Huawei takes 5G fight to India and Pakistan The Chinese tech group is pushing cash-strapped south Asian nations[13] to adopt its low-cost 5G technology. According to Huawei, 5G will bring industry opportunities worth $1.2tn to south Asia and south-east Asia over the next five years. (Nikkei Asian Review)

© Alamy

The day ahead

Theresa May to push for another Brexit delay The British prime minister is to travel to Berlin and Paris for talks with Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday, a day before a critical EU summit that will discuss Britain’s request for a delay to the date for its exit from the bloc[14]. Mrs May wants to push back the Brexit date[15] from April 12 to June 30. Meanwhile, the House of Lords[16] was preparing to approve a Brexit delay bill. (FT)

Theresa May will jet across Europe in the next 24 hours to try and convince other EU leaders such as Angela Merkel of the merits of handing Britain another short extension to get her deal across the line © Focke Straengmann/EPA

For the latest Brexit news updates, subscribe[17] to our Brexit briefing newsletter.

Benjamin Netanyahu targets West Bank Israel’s prime minister vowed to annex[18] swaths of the occupied West Bank to mobilise his rightwing base ahead of a fiercely contested election on Tuesday that is turning into a referendum[19] on his decade in office. (FT, WSJ)

Keep up with the important business, economic and political stories in the coming days with the FT’s Week Ahead[20]. Click to subscribe here[21]. And don’t miss our FT News Briefing[22] audio show — a short daily rundown of the top global stories.

Welcome to Tech Scroll Asia and TNW

Sign up[23] for a new weekly briefing from the FT and Nikkei: Tech Scroll Asia[24] offers exclusive insights into the dynamic world of technology in Asia and the billions being made and lost across the region.

The FT has also acquired TNW[25] (The Next Web), an events and media company focusing on new technology in Europe. FT readers have an exclusive 20 per cent discount[26] to attend TNW2019 in Amsterdam in May.

What we’re reading

Leaving London In the 33 months since the UK voted to leave the EU, thousands of financial services companies have begun eyeing challengers to London’s crown as Europe’s financial centre. The FT looks at six cities[27] — Paris, Frankfurt, Dublin, Amsterdam, Milan and Madrid — to hear how Brexit is playing out. (FT)

Electrical stimulation gives memory boost to elderly Electrical stimulation of the human brain can produce a striking improvement in the short-term memory[28] of the elderly, with people in their 60s showing memory functions equivalent to volunteers 40 years younger. Listen to Naomi Rovnick discussing the research through Podcast[29]. (FT)

To read more about health and science, subscribe[30] to FT Health newsletter. 

Royal baby tax dilemma As US citizens, both Meghan Markle and her baby[31] — who will be seventh in line to the British throne — will be liable to pay US taxes, which could potentially open up the notoriously private royal accounts to the US tax inspectors. (CNN)

Driverless cars to connect by WiFi A proposal for self-driving cars[32] to communicate with each other using a WiFi-based system hit a roadblock on Monday, with critics arguing for a neutral approach that would leave the door open for 5G technology. (FT)

Eating well is still a luxury for many We need to talk about nuts — but not the salted variety. That is one message to emerge from a vast study[33] of the eating habits of adults in 195 countries, which suggests that a poor diet[34] is implicated in a fifth of deaths worldwide. (FT)

EU publishes ethical guidelines on AI The EU has released its first guidelines for the ethical development[35] of artificial intelligence, which warn that algorithms must not discriminate on grounds of age, race or gender. (FT)

To stay up to speed with developments across Europe, subscribe[36] to our Brussels Briefing newsletter.

Game of Thrones Season 8 The final season of Game of Thrones is nearly upon us. The first two episodes of the season will begin on April 14, nearly two years since the last one. Here is a refresher on what was happening[37] and a brief prediction[38] of how it ends. (BuzzFeed, Washington Post)

stepping down last week, apparently in response to a series of changes behind the scenes by AT&T and a loss of autonomy © AP

Cherry blossoms arrive For a few weeks every year, Japan bursts into bloom, painting the country in shades of pink and white. The cherry blossom season[39] has become a national obsession — and a boon to the economy, drawing nearly 5m visitors. (Bloomberg)

Video of the day

How to win at group assessments A group exercise is often a key part of the interview process. Join Oxford university careers adviser Jonathan Black for top tips on how to stand out from the crowd. Then visit England men’s hockey training at the national sports centre at Bisham Abbey, where the head of performance psychology at the English Institute of Sport offers insights on performing under pressure[40]. (FT)

References

  1. ^ click here (on.ft.com)
  2. ^ foreign terrorist organisation (www.ft.com)
  3. ^ risk of retaliation (www.nytimes.com)
  4. ^ very engaged (www.ft.com)
  5. ^ formally oust Carlos Ghosn (www.ft.com)
  6. ^ ending his 19-year reign (asia.nikkei.com)
  7. ^ below the price (www.ft.com)
  8. ^ Silicon Valley (www.ft.com)
  9. ^ take responsibility (www.ft.com)
  10. ^ unveiled proposals (www.ft.com)
  11. ^ resigned (www.nytimes.com)
  12. ^ adds another challenge (www.wsj.com)
  13. ^ south Asian nations (asia.nikkei.com)
  14. ^ exit from the bloc (www.ft.com)
  15. ^ push back the Brexit date (www.ft.com)
  16. ^ House of Lords (www.ft.com)
  17. ^ subscribe (ep.ft.com)
  18. ^ vowed to annex (www.ft.com)
  19. ^ referendum (www.wsj.com)
  20. ^ Week Ahead (www.ft.com)
  21. ^ here (ep.ft.com)
  22. ^ FT News Briefing (www.ft.com)
  23. ^ Sign up (click.newsletters.ft.com)
  24. ^ Tech Scroll Asia (www.ft.com)
  25. ^ acquired TNW (click.newsletters.ft.com)
  26. ^ 20 per cent discount (click.newsletters.ft.com)
  27. ^ looks at six cities (www.ft.com)
  28. ^ short-term memory (www.ft.com)
  29. ^ Podcast (www.ft.com)
  30. ^ subscribe (ep.ft.com)
  31. ^ Meghan Markle and her baby (www.cnn.com)
  32. ^ self-driving cars (www.ft.com)
  33. ^ a vast study (www.thelancet.com)
  34. ^ a poor diet (www.ft.com)
  35. ^ ethical development (www.ft.com)
  36. ^ subscribe (ep.ft.com)
  37. ^ what was happening (www.buzzfeed.com)
  38. ^ brief prediction (www.washingtonpost.com)
  39. ^ cherry blossom season (www.bloomberg.com)
  40. ^ performing under pressure (www.ft.com)

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