FT News

Britain’s stunning medals success in the Rio Olympics was a cause for elation at home — but in parts of Europe it was met with sneers and some incredulity. Joshua Chaffin discusses this reaction and what’s behind it with Guy Chazan and Henry Foy, FT correspondents in Berlin and Warsaw.

 

Record low bond yields have intensified the pressure on pension funds already struggling to provide for retirees who are living longer. This squeeze has widened the pension deficit for hundreds of funds globally, prompting fears of a slow-moving but painful social crisis. The FT’s John Authers and Robin Wigglesworth explain.

 

The future of the Affordable Care Act’s open insurance marketplaces is at risk as large providers such as Aetna threaten to pull out of the state exchanges in response to the administration’s crackdown on industry mergers. The FT’s Barney Jopson explains.

 

Several towns in France have taken the unusual step of banning the burkini from their beaches, and a number of women in the resort of Cannes have already been fined for wearing the concealing swimwear favoured by some Muslims. Josh Noble discusses what’s behind the move and why Italy has taken a different approach, with the FT’s Paris and Rome bureau chiefs Anne-Sylvaine Chassany and James Politi.

 

China has launched a quantum satellite to test whether communications can be rendered hack-proof, in its latest challenge to US supremacy in space. Clive Cookson, the FT’s science editor, discusses the development with Lucy Hornby, FT Beijing correspondent. Music from Star Trek theme by Alexander Courage

 

The share of electricity that the world’s 20 major economies are generating from the sun and the wind has jumped in the space of five years, new figures show. John Murray Brown asks FT environment correspondent Pilita Clark whether this breakthrough is sustainable and what it means for the battle against climate change.

 

Europe plans to regulate ‘over-the-top’ web services like WhatsApp and Skype as part of a radical overhaul of rules on telecoms due out in September. Duncan Robinson, FT correspondent in Brussels, tells Chris Nuttall why the EU is trying to fix this regulatory grey area and what it will mean for companies and consumers.

 

Why does Jamaica, an island nation of just 2.7m, produce sprinters that so easily trounce those from richer, more populous nations? The FT’s Murad Ahmed put the question to Usain Bolt shortly after he won his third 100m Olympic gold medal, and he tells John Burn-Murdoch how the athlete replied.

 

Britain’s ancient system of patronage for the ruling elite has come under renewed scrutiny after David Cameron showered honours and titles on his allies shortly before leaving office.
Janan Ganesh, the FT’s political columnist, tells Hugh Carnegy he thinks Theresa May, the new prime minister, has the puritan instincts to clean up the system.

 

The Bank of England’s bond buying programme intended to cushion an expected slowdown in the economy caused by the British vote to quit the European Union had a dramatic effect on financial markets this week, with yields on UK government bonds turning negative for only the second time in history. Hugh Carnegy asked FT markets editor Michael Mackenzie and economics writer Martin Sandbu to explain what happened and why it matters.