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Donald Trump has conceded that Joe Biden will become US president this month and condemned the “heinous” mob attack on Congress, putting an end to his unprecedented campaign to overturn the results of November’s election.
In an abrupt change of tone on Thursday evening, the president accused violent demonstrators of “defiling the seat of American democracy” and said those who broke the law “will pay”.
His comments in a video posted on Twitter came as Democrats mounted a push to forcibly remove him from office after he came under intense criticism for inciting the mob attack on Congress this week.
Tim Harford writes that his instinct has long been that the “first dose first” Covid-19 vaccine strategy was worth a try. But he has never believed that “Tim Harford’s instinct” is a sound basis for life-or-death public-health decisions. Follow our live blog for the latest.
Exclusive: SolarWinds hires former Trump cyber security chief The technology company at the centre of the most significant cyber hack in recent history has hired Chris Krebs, the fired US government cyber security chief, to help it deal with the fallout. (FT)
‘It’s going to be a big year’ US mortgage volumes could top $3tn this year — bettered only in 2003 and 2020 — as rising competition among lenders and an activist Federal Reserve combine to put further downward pressure on borrowing rates, according to industry executives and analysts. (FT)
2020 ties for hottest year on record Europe had its hottest year ever recorded in 2020, while globally the year tied with 2016 as the warmest on record, a signal of the increasing impact of climate change on the planet. (FT)
Boeing to pay $2.5bn to resolve criminal case over 737 Max crashes The US aerospace company has agreed to pay $2.5bn to resolve a criminal charge of defrauding federal aviation regulators assigned to adjudicate the safety of the 737 Max, which was involved in two deadly crashes. (FT)
Car manufacturing hit by global semiconductor shortage The world’s largest carmakers are facing a potentially crippling shortage of semiconductors, as chipmakers reserve supply for tech groups producing smartphones, tablets and gaming devices. Separately, Hyundai confirmed on Friday it had held early stage talks with Apple about building an electric car and Elon Musk has become the richest man on earth. (FT)
UK hauliers warned over tougher customs controls UK hauliers have been warned to expect much tougher French customs controls from Monday, raising fears of the first serious border disruption since the new post-Brexit restrictions were introduced. (FT)
Trump’s rules on China investment cause confusion Lawyers and financial executives have said the ambiguous wording of the ban on investing in companies with alleged ties to China’s military and guidance over the order’s enforcement have sown confusion. MSCI will drop three Chinese state-owned telecoms companies to comply with the executive order. (FT)
Beijing tells Chinese media to censor Alibaba probe coverage China’s government has told the country’s media to censor reporting on an antitrust probe into tech group Alibaba, as authorities crack down on founder Jack Ma’s business empire, according to people familiar with the matter. (FT)
Element Capital to return $2bn of cash to clients Jeffrey Talpins’ Element, one of the world’s biggest macro hedge funds, plans to return about $2bn of cash to clients, in a sign that some top-performing funds are limiting their size after a year of strong gains during Covid-19. (FT)
Economic data US non-farm payrolls on Friday are forecast to rise by about 100,000 for December, down from a 245,000 increase in November, while the unemployment rate is expected to edge up from 6.7 to 6.8 per cent. Germany has industrial production data out the same day, as does France with an industrial production update. (FT)
Join Peter Spiegel and Swamp Notes columnists Rana Foroohar and Edward Luce as they discuss what to expect on Inauguration Day and beyond. Sign up and tune in on January 19.
Chances are increasing for a US economic reset Capitol Hill unrest, the Democratic victory in Georgia and Covid-19 could spur action on inequality, writes Gillian Tett. The second world war was the US’s last big anti-inequality reset. The current moment may lead to the next. (FT)
Debt dangers hang over markets It is, to put it mildly, counterintuitive. In the midst of a global pandemic and one of the steepest recessions ever, mainstream investment markets are very fully valued by historic standards. With assets so expensively priced, investors face trouble chasing returns while trying to limit risks, John Plender writes. (FT)
Inside Germany’s slaughterhouses While Germany is known for strong trade unions and labour relations, pockets of its economy are dependent on cheap migrant labour and have been accused of exploitative conditions. Nowhere was this starker than in the service of cheap meat. (FT)
How Tinder became the app that defines online dating Cooped up, bored and lonely, user interactions on dating apps have soared during the pandemic. Given the number of apps, it is a wonder there are any single people left. In the US, Tinder remains the app that defines online dating, Elaine Moore writes. (FT)
An optimist’s guide to 2021 in Asia The pandemic has been a catalyst for change. While 2020 was one of the darkest years in modern history, it also accelerated consumer awareness of health and sustainability issues. Plus, new tech solutions such as 5G and improved cloud services are on the horizon. (NAR)
Last orders for Hong Kong taken at Club 71 The demise of the famous watering hole symbolises Beijing’s crackdown on free speech in the territory. Club 71 was more than just a bar, writes Joe Leahy. It was a place for civilised, open discourse, which has become a rarity in the polarised city. (FT)
How to find your motivation in the new year from hell 2021 would have been greatly improved had I simply stayed in bed, writes Jo Ellison. She sought advice from Julia Samuel, psychotherapist and author of the prophetically titled This Too Shall Pass. “Be self-compassionate”, she says. “What you say to yourself affects your mood and behaviour.” (FT)
Five things investors are worried about in 2021 Markets editor Katie Martin on the indicators to watch in coming months as fund managers and households look to protect their income and jobs. (FT)