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US president Joe Biden has challenged the leaders of G7 countries to use their financial muscle to counter China’s rising global influence, as he declared that western democracies were “in a contest with autocrats”.
The US president said he was “satisfied” with the outcome of the weekend’s G7 summit in the UK but pushed European leaders to be more ambitious in backing an alternative to China’s Belt and Road Initiative by offering a broad package of infrastructure funding to poor countries.
Speaking after his first G7 as president, Biden praised the summit communiqué for its references to China.
“The G7 explicitly agreed to call out human rights abuses in Xinjiang and Hong Kong,” he said, adding there was also a strategy to pressure China on its use of forced labour.
Chinese state media, however, criticised the weekend meeting, saying the G7’s “belated” pledge to provide 1bn Covid-19 vaccine doses to countries in need was a “historic missed opportunity”.
The warmth between officials was reflected in the public bonhomie between Biden and France’s Emmanuel Macron, walking along the sand, arms draped around each other. Brexit, however, continued to dog Boris Johnson’s attempt to project the image of a confident “convening” country.
There are big questions about whether the G7’s delivery will match its rhetoric on vaccines, climate and the effort to create a global infrastructure drive to rival China’s Belt and Road Initiative, writes Gideon Rachman.
Read more of our G7 coverage on FT.com and listen to Sebastian Payne discuss whether Brexit overshadowed Johnson’s efforts to forward his Global Britain agenda.
1. Netanyahu ousted Israel’s parliament has voted in a new government, ending the 12-year grip on power of rightwing stalwart and five-time premier Benjamin Netanyahu. Naftali Bennett, an ultranationalist, will lead an eight-party ruling coalition that stretches from the fringe left to the extreme right and is buoyed by support from an Islamist party. Netanyahu’s dethronement has been slow and grinding — but is it the end of Israel’s longest-serving leader?
2. Goldman Sachs ramps up cobalt trading The Wall Street bank has been active in cobalt markets since last year but has more recently dipped into physical purchases of the metal for the first time, according to people familiar with the matter.
3. BNP Paribas under fire over lossmaking forex trades The French bank is facing allegations that its traders mis-sold billions of euros of lossmaking foreign exchange products to Europe’s largest wine exporter, amid a widening controversy that has enveloped Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank.
4. Toshiba board chair rebuffs calls to quit Osamu Nagayama, the chair of Toshiba’s board, rebuffed shareholder calls for him to resign at a 75-minute press conference on Monday and sought to blame the company’s crisis on a former chief executive who was forced to resign in April. A four-hour emergency board meeting on Sunday resulted in the exit of four senior executives.
5. Law firms offer UK staff fertility benefits for first time Californian law firm Cooley and London-based Clifford Chance are offering fertility benefits to their UK-based staff for the first time, including egg freezing and in vitro fertilisation (IVF), following a boom in these schemes in the US.
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Nato summit US president Joe Biden is in Brussels for his first Nato summit since taking office. Leaders of the transatlantic alliance are expected to warn of China’s growing military and economic presence in the Atlantic region. Europe Express has a full rundown on what to expect.
Americans face Carlos Ghosn escape trial Michael Taylor and his son Peter go on trial in Tokyo on charges they helped Nissan’s former chair skip bail and flee to Lebanon in 2019. (AP)
Aung San Suu Kyi faces junta charges The trial of Myanmar’s ousted 75-year-old leader will open today. Aung San Suu Kyi faces an array of charges heaped on since the military toppled her government in February.
The FT Commodities Global Summit With some predicting a repeat of the commodity supercycle of the 2000s, the agenda of this year’s event starting tomorrow will assess how commodity traders will seize the new opportunities as markets evolve and fundamentals change. Register here.
Fed to discuss slowing stimulus as recovery strengthens The US central bank is facing a tricky discussion about when it starts to dial back the huge monetary stimulus put in place during the pandemic. Washington bureau chief James Politi says it could start as early as this week at the Federal Reserve’s latest interest rate-setting meeting.
The rebirth of Hertz The FT’s Sujeet Indap details the inside story of how optimism about post-pandemic travel inspired a bidding war for the bankrupt car rental company. Hertz’s remarkable turnround mimics the dramatic rebound that large parts of the global economy are experiencing.
Why López Obrador’s Mexico is stable in protest-prone Latin America Mexico’s excess death toll during the pandemic has been one of the world’s highest. Yet President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and his allies have just won a string of state governorships and a fresh congressional majority. Latin America editor Michael Stott says López Obrador has brought social peace to Mexico amid the pandemic unlike leaders further south.
Market veterans mourn death of trading pits Covid-19 has killed off some of the last bastions of “open outcry” trading. Traders who prefer to negotiate deals face-to-face scored a rare victory last week when the London Metal Exchange reversed a plan to permanently close “the Ring”. But CME Group’s announcement last month that it would shutter trading floors for good signalled the end of an era.
The class of 2021 The jobs market for those leaving university has been turned upside down by the coronavirus pandemic but universities are helping to close the gaps. In a series of articles the FT provides analysis and insights on how to get ahead.
We should pull the plug on pointless after-hours emails, writes Pilita Clark. In a burnout epidemic, the right to switch off is needed more than ever.