Jonathan Derbyshire: For Vladimir Putin, last week’s summit in Helsinki with Donald Trump was a moment of deep satisfaction. Mr Trump’s hesitation when asked to condemn Russian interference in the 2016 US election (or even to recognise Moscow’s responsibility) echoed the standard Putinist response to the charge of attempting to subvert American democracy.
As Gideon Rachman argues in his column this week, Mr Putin maintains that the US has long attempted to undermine Russia’s political system. And because the west lies too, Moscow’s deceptions are a legitimate defence mechanism.
Mr Putin, Gideon argues, has ducked proper attempts to deal with Russia’s many domestic problems, preferring to blame the west instead. There is a lesson here for American liberals, who might be tempted to hold Russia responsible for the rise of Trumpism, rather than looking somewhat closer to home.
Robert Shrimsley argues that the UK Conservative party is caught in a Brexit trap of its own making. Either the Tories deliver a hard Brexit and pay electorally for any adverse consequences, or they concoct a compromise that leaves them open to charges of betrayal.
Peter Navarro, director of the White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, defends President Trump’s belief that “economic security is national security”. Increasing defence spending, he argues, will strengthen the US manufacturing base.
Linda Bauld, deputy director of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, writes that there are risks in relying on vaping, and now “Juuling”, to wean smokers off tobacco.
Miranda Green worries that the expansion of the faith school sector in Britain over the past decade has led to an accidental drift towards deeper religious and ethnic segregation.
John Thornhill writes that China is intent on overtaking America in the global “arms race” in artificial intelligence. For the time being, the US retains a significant edge, but the Chinese are catching up fast. - Financial Times