The daily briefing “FirstFT” from the Financial Times.

This article is published in collaboration with FirstFT.

France’s finance ministry is seeking new authority to track the bank accounts of people who have merely come under the suspicion of the intelligence agencies as part of intrusive new plans to combat terror financing.

Meanwhile, Belgian authorities captured a man suspected of involvement in the Paris terror attacks during a series of raids that have netted 21 suspects so far, not including Salah Abdeslam, alleged to be one of the Paris gunmen. (FT)

In the news

Record pharma deal Pfizer called on Washington to support its $160bn takeover of Dublin-based Allergan — the third-largest announced deal in history — as politicians including Hillary Clinton lined up against the drugmaker’s attempt to slash its tax bill by moving overseas. The company stands to save at least $21bn in future tax bills by moving the combined group to Ireland. (FT)

VW’s emissions scandal widens (again) The carmaker has admitted that the engines in a further 85,000 Audi cars contained illegal software, dealing a blow to the German carmaker’s efforts to contain its cheating scandal. (FT)

The year of debt defaults The number of companies defaulting on their obligations this year looks set to reach the 100 mark, driven largely by struggling US shale gas providers. Currently, 99 global companies have defaulted since the year began, a dubious tally only exceeded during the financial crisis in 2009. (FT)

China’s copycat cows A Chinese-Korean joint venture hopes to produce 1m cloned calves a year with the establishment of the world’s largest cloning factory in the city of Tianjin. According to executives, the aim of the project is to sate the country’s growing appetite for beef: “I can tell you, cloned beef is the tastiest beef I’ve had!” (FT)

‘Clock boy’ gets litigious Ahmed Mohamed, a 14-year-old American who made global headlines after being arrested for taking a homemade clock to class, is seeking $15m from his city and school. His lawyer said the incident left him deeply traumatised. (BBC)

It’s a big day for

France-US relations François Hollande meets Barack Obama at the White House to discuss the Paris attacks and the possibility of collaboration with Russia in the fight against Isis. (FT)

Food for thought

Selling the Forbes family jewels A complex sale of Forbes magazine to Asian investors quickly fell apart, prompting a messy legal dispute and placing the family’s reputation on the line. (FT)

The mid-life crisis is real A study that involved tracking the happiness of 50,000 adults through their lives has found that people’s life satisfaction follows a U-shape. Happiness hits a trough in the early 40s but from there on it only gets better. (Quartz)

A case for rapprochement with Russia Moscow’s behaviour following the Paris attacks raises an interesting possibility: is there room for Russia and the west to bury their differences by making common cause in the war against Isis? The FT’s Gideon Rachman explains why it is worth a try. (FT)

Donald Trump’s dangerous racial rhetoric Jamil Smith looks at the Republican frontrunner and reality TV star’s recent comments , including lying about witnessing Muslims in New Jersey celebrating the fall of the Twin Towers, cheering fans who beat a black protester at one of his rallies, and promoting made-up statistics about African-American crime made up by a neo-Nazi. (TNR)

Mutant mosquitoes US scientists say they have bred a genetically modified mosquito that can resist malaria infection. If the lab technique works in the field, it could offer a new way of stopping the biting insects from spreading malaria to humans. (BBC)

Video of the day

Argentina elections in 90 seconds The FT’s Latin America editor John Paul Rathbone looks at Mauricio Macri’s election win and its broader implications for the region. (FT)

Publication does not imply endorsement of views by the World Economic Forum.

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Author: FirstFT is the Financial Times’ editors curated free daily email of the top global stories from the FT and the best of the rest of the web.

Image: A general view of the Eiffel tower and La Defense business district skyline. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen.