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The five must-read posts from today, on Sri Lanka, Barack Obama and friendly conservatives.

1. Questions Fox must answer over close links to Sri Lankan "dictator"

Left Foot Forward reveals that Liam Fox met Sri Lanka's president three times last year and says the Tory defence spokesman must explain why he accepted hospitality from a man with such a poor human rights record.

2. A history of Obama feigning interest in mundane things

Does what it says on the tin -- New York magazine has compiled a slideshow of pictures of Obama feigning interest.

3. Tory proposals are designed to fatally wound Labour by 2015

At LabourList, Paul Richards argues that three seemingly innocuous Tory proposals are in fact carefully calibrated to undermine Labour's effectiveness in parliament.

4. Ends and means

The Economist's Bagehot asks whether people on the right of politics are nicer than people on the left.

5. The Gnu is back!

John Rentoul explores the possibility of a government of national unity.

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Cabinet audit: what does the appointment of Liam Fox as International Trade Secretary mean for policy?

The political and policy-based implications of the new Secretary of State for International Trade.

Only Nixon, it is said, could have gone to China. Only a politician with the impeccable Commie-bashing credentials of the 37th President had the political capital necessary to strike a deal with the People’s Republic of China.

Theresa May’s great hope is that only Liam Fox, the newly-installed Secretary of State for International Trade, has the Euro-bashing credentials to break the news to the Brexiteers that a deal between a post-Leave United Kingdom and China might be somewhat harder to negotiate than Vote Leave suggested.

The biggest item on the agenda: striking a deal that allows Britain to stay in the single market. Elsewhere, Fox should use his political capital with the Conservative right to wait longer to sign deals than a Remainer would have to, to avoid the United Kingdom being caught in a series of bad deals. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. He usually writes about politics.