Donald Trump’s acquittal in his second Senate impeachment trial has triggered friction and recrimination within the Republican party between lawmakers who want to break from the former president and those who embrace his brand of politics.
Trump was acquitted on Saturday despite seven Republican senators voting to convict him of inciting an insurrection in last month’s deadly assault on the US Capitol. The final 57-43 vote revealed a crisis within the Republican party over how to respond to their recent election losses. It also left the former president grappling with a tarnished brand and doubts about his political future.
After voting to acquit Trump, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell hinted that the former president’s legal woes were far from over. He echoed suggestions that Trump could face charges in criminal or civil courts relating to the January 6 siege.
The US has not purged Trump from its public life, writes our editorial board. But through moral pressure, it can make a possible political comeback trickier. (FT)
History is crucial to understanding vaccine hesitancy among people of colour, writes Esan Swan. Follow the latest with our live blog.
EU to allow UK data flows Brussels is set to allow data to continue to flow freely from the bloc to the UK after finding Britain provided an adequate level of protection for personal information. In other post-Brexit news, demand for routes linking Ireland to the EU has fuelled a boom at French ports including Cherbourg and Dunkirk. But small UK gin and whisky distillers and suppliers are struggling to ship to EU customers.
Exclusive: Apple approached Nissan for car project Apple approached Japan’s Nissan in recent months about a tie-up for its autonomous car project, according to people briefed on the matter. But talks are no longer active and did not advance to senior management following differences over branding. (FT)
HMRC reduces online sellers’ checks The UK tax authority has drastically scaled back inquiries into online sellers using platforms such as Amazon and eBay despite concerns over VAT evasion and complaints from bricks-and-mortar retailers. Between last April and the start of 2021, just 80 data requests were sent, down from 2,684 in the 2019-20 tax year. (FT)
UK targets China and Russia defence investments China and Russia should be barred from investing in the UK defence supply chain, MPs have warned, as pressure mounts for the government to take a more assertive stance on potential threats posed by Beijing and Moscow in the forthcoming defence and foreign policy review. (FT)
SoftBank-backed lender’s near £100m of defaults OakNorth, the UK lender that once boasted of its perfect lending record, has incurred close to £100m in defaults largely as a result of soured loans to property developers, according to analysis by the Financial Times. (FT)
Catalan separatists bolster majority With 99 per cent of the vote counted, Catalonia’s separatist parties strengthened their majority in the region’s parliament in Sunday’s elections, but the anti-independence Socialists won more votes than any other single party. (FT)
Draghi sworn in A short oath delivered at the presidential palace in Rome on Saturday completed Mario Draghi’s transformation from central bank chief to front-line politician. (FT)
WHO vaccine ruling The WHO is likely to issue an emergency use listing for the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine this week, possibly as early as Monday. Hannah Kuchler and Clive Cookson answered your questions about vaccines on Friday. (FT)
UK hotel quarantine All passengers arriving in England from 33 high-risk “red list” countries must quarantine in a hotel for 10 days from Monday. The NHS will begin vaccinating people aged 65-69. (FT)
Economic data The eurozone has industrial production data for December out, as eurozone finance ministers from 19 member states meet in Brussels. (FT)
Australia’s Big Tech legislation Australian MPs will begin debating landmark legislation to force tech giants such as Google and Facebook to pay for news on Monday. France is also pushing the EU to give member states more power to punish Big Tech’s bad behaviour and police content. (FT)
US financial markets are closed for the Presidents’ Day holiday on Monday and China is shut until Thursday for the lunar new year.
Bitcoin’s bid to go mainstream Elon Musk is not like most multibillionaires. But his embrace of bitcoin, with Tesla’s $1.5bn bet, suggests it is starting to win institutional acceptance. Rana Foroohar writes that the rise in popularity of volatile cryptocurrencies might be a sign that the US and the dollar will play a less important role. Bitcoin is carbon-tastic idiocy, argues Jonathan Ford. And the cheerleading of Musk makes it worse. (FT)
The race to clean up steel Skyscrapers, cars and cruise ships. All have one thing in common: steel. But the metal’s role in the climate crisis is under closer scrutiny. From the American rustbelt to China’s manufacturing heartlands, smelting iron pumps out huge quantities of carbon dioxide, the main contributor to man-made global warming. (FT)
Nigerian powerhouse to head the WTO As Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala prepares to take up the role of director-general of the World Trade Organization, she has an opportunity for the organisation to rediscover its original purpose of raising living standards and to revamp its outdated rule book at a time of accelerating change. (FT)
Lunch with the FT: North Korean defector Tae Yong-ho “A very small spark” is all it would take to topple Kim Jong Un, the former North Korean diplomat told Edward White over lunch in South Korea, where he now resides. “[L]ike what happened at the Arab Spring.” (FT)
The struggle for women’s rights in the Arab world Activists are trying to challenge predatory behaviour 10 years after regional uprisings raised hopes of substantial change. The horrific details of a woman who was allegedly raped at the luxury Fairmont hotel in Cairo in 2014 illustrate the obstacles in the path of change. (FT)
The ticking time bomb in the new world of work In a post-coronavirus world, there is a looming “discrimination crisis” if workers are allowed to work at home as often as they please, writes Pilita Clark. In an effort to attract workers back from their homes, WeWork will offer flexible options to UK tenants. The shift to online learning has allowed workers to access “elite” corporate training cheaply and efficiently. (FT)
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How strong is the commodities rally? Wall Street banks are telling clients to increase their exposure to raw materials. US finance editor Robert Armstrong assesses the recent commodities boom and asks whether the fundamentals justify the recent price rises. (FT)