Defence spending by Europe’s Nato states is set to rise for the first time in nearly a decade as fears over Russian aggression and the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean stoke anxiety over security across the continent.

The forecast comes as the alliance’s parliamentary assembly called on members to be ready to respond to the “potential threat” from Moscow. “The challenge from Russia is real and serious,” said Michael Turner, the US president of the assembly, which gathered about 250 lawmakers from the 28 member states. (FT, Yahoo)

In the news

Gulliver tops investors’ choice for removal HSBC’s Stuart Gulliver is the European bank chief executive who investors would most like to be replaced, according to a recent poll of large shareholders. (FT)

The end of England’s house price boom Signs of faltering demand are prompting estate agents and analysts to suggest England’s house price boom may be ending. “We believe the nation has now neared the limit in terms of price rises.” (FT)

Say no to contraception, urges Erdogan The Turkish president has called on Muslims to reject contraception and have more children. “We will multiply our descendants,” he said in a live TV speech. (BBC)

Brussels: caring for sharing The EU is to call on governments not to ban or limit sharing economy services, such as Uber and Airbnb, in a bid to head off a regulatory onslaught from national authorities. (FT)

Trump’s interminable stream of insults It seems that Donald Trump hopes to insult his way to the US presidency. One month after in effect securing the Republican nomination, he is increasingly applying the technique that helped him oust 16 party opponents ahead of his battle with Hillary Clinton. (FT)

It's a big day for

Lionel Messi The football star goes on trial on charges of defrauding Spain of €4.1m in unpaid taxes. (The Guardian)

London commuters Uber is to more than double the scope of its ride-sharing operations within the city in an effort to tempt commuters to leave their cars at home. (FT)

Food for thought

Xi has changed China’s winning formula Politics in the west are so dramatic at the moment that China can look relatively staid and stable by comparison. But that impression is deceptive. Xi Jinping is taking his country in radical and risky new directions, writes Gideon Rachman. (FT)

Nigeria: Running on empty Should the fall be this hard? The question is nagging at a growing section of the Nigerian public, angered that President Muhammadu Buhari — elected on a wave of optimism just last year — has not only failed to react fast enough to the changing economic climate but made matters worse. “The pain level is going up.” (FT)

Our man in New Delhi signs off The FT’s departing South Asia bureau chief Victor Mallet looks back on the things he has loved — and hated — during his four years in India. (FT)

Why some cultures frown on smiling In some countries, smiling might not be taken as a sign of warmth or respect — but rather evidence of a lack of intelligence. The issue relates to a phenomenon called “uncertainty avoidance”; these countries were typically institutionally unstable and therefore viewed smiling — and its implicit contentment — as an absurdity. (The Atlantic)

The man who decided to become a goat While walking along the Thames one spring day, Thomas Thwaites found himself taking stock of his life. Disillusioned and worried about the future, he thought wouldn’t it be simpler to live as an animal? What followed was a year-long metamorphosis that eventually found him embedded with a herd of goats in the Swiss Alps, eating grass and living the goat life. (New Yorker)

Video of the day

North Korea’s mystery unmasked North Korea provides a rare glimpse into the pomp and propaganda that drive the regime. FT comment editor Frederick Studemann, Asia editor Jamil Anderlini and Andrea Berger of RUSI discuss what’s at stake. (FT)