US president Donald Trump vowed to “fight like hell” to keep the White House as he deepened the Republican division over presidential succession on the eve of a critical Senate election in Georgia.
Returning to the campaign trail for the first time in more than a month, Mr Trump held a rally in Dalton, north-west Georgia, on Monday night to support Republicans Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue. The outgoing president repeated his unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud but nevertheless urged Republicans to vote in Tuesday’s run-offs.
“Our country is depending on you. The whole world is watching the people of Georgia tomorrow,” he said.
The Trump rally was held just hours before incoming president Joe Biden spoke at an event in Atlanta to drum up support for Democratic challengers, Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff.
The last-minute visits from the political rivals underscore the importance both parties place on Tuesday’s contests, which have become the most expensive legislative races in US history.
If Democrats win the run-offs, the party will take back control of the Senate, giving it both chambers of Congress as well as the White House, providing more leeway for Mr Biden to achieve his legislative goals.
Back in the nation’s capital, Muriel Bowser, the Democratic mayor of Washington DC, has requested the National Guard be deployed as the city braces for potentially violent clashes when supporters of Mr Trump descend to protest the outcome of the November presidential election. (FT)
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NYSE reverses Chinese delisting plan The New York Stock Exchange has backtracked on plans to delist three Chinese state-run telecoms groups, reversing a decision to comply with a Trump administration executive order that bars US investors from holding stakes in companies with alleged ties to the Chinese military. (FT)
SkyBridge has worst year since 2008 Anthony Scaramucci’s SkyBridge is betting on the launch of a bitcoin fund after logging its worst year since 2008. Meanwhile, Howard Marks, founder of Oaktree Capital and one of the best-known specialists in distressed debt, told the FT companies may find themselves excessively indebted after the coronavirus pandemic even if their businesses rebound. (FT)
EU share trading flees London The UK capital’s financial sector started to feel the full effects of Brexit on the first trading day of 2021 as nearly €6bn of EU share dealing shifted away from the City to facilities in European capitals. (FT)
Haven healthcare venture unwound The joint healthcare venture between Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase will shut down less than three years since it pledged to use the companies’ combined heft to lower costs and improve care. (FT)
Unilever to market self-cleaning surfaces Unilever is set to begin consumer trials of a patented compound derived from seaweed that it says can create self-cleaning surfaces with applications from banknotes to odour-proof shoes. (FT)
Iranian assertion Tehran has begun enriching uranium up to 20 per cent and seized a South Korean-flagged tanker in Gulf waters on Monday, moves that could escalate tensions with the incoming US administration as it seeks to revive the nuclear deal. (FT)
Opec+ oil meeting Talks are due to continue on Tuesday between Opec and its allies after a virtual meeting on Monday was adjourned without agreement. Saudi Arabia warned the meeting against unleashing more barrels of oil on to a fragile market, putting the kingdom at loggerheads with rival Russia. (FT)
Gulf Arab summit Saudi Arabia will on Tuesday host the annual summit, where more details of Riyadh’s announcement to reopen its land, air and sea borders with Qatar are expected. (FT)
Stress test looms for 2021 financial system The banks emerged relatively safe from last year’s crisis, writes John Plender. But volatility is rising as shadow banks become a bigger provider of liquidity to markets. Mohamed El-Erian argues the new coronavirus strain will increase stress on the global economy and widen inequality. (FT)
‘Defund the police’ is the culmination of decades of calls for reform In 1968 the Kerner Commission report into that decade’s race riots put the blame on poverty, systemic racism and bad policing. Half a century later, the diagnosis is the same, writes Patti Waldmier, the US needs to spend more money preventing violence and less on catching or punishing people afterwards. (FT)
Europe has handed China a strategic victory By signing an investment treaty with Beijing, the EU has signalled that it doesn’t care about the squelched freedom of Hong Kong — where political pressure weighs on businesses and banks — intensified oppression in Xinjiang and other acts of aggression, writes Gideon Rachman. (FT)
EU recovery plan ‘bottleneck’ Brussels is set to begin disbursing its landmark €750bn recovery fund to member states to jump-start their pandemic-battered economies. But the largest beneficiaries, Italy and Spain, have a poor record of spending EU money. Here’s why. (FT)
Germany’s post-Merkel China relations Angela Merkel personifies old ideals of western rapprochement with China — the principle that ever deepening economic ties would encourage political change in Beijing and a shift to liberalism. But what will become of the German chancellor’s “partnership” approach when she steps down? (FT)
Turkey’s youth unemployment Turkey’s shift in the aftermath of the global financial crisis towards an economic model focused on consumption and construction, combined with periods of financial volatility, has caused growth to stall, say analysts — with youth unemployment rising and many disheartened. (FT)
Frequent flyers face more time on the ground — even post-Covid Companies are not only re-emphasising their environmental goals post-Covid: they are linking them to their travel policies, writes Michael Skapinker, who also points out that campaigners are targeting frequent flyers. (FT)
Joe Biden faces multiple domestic crises Washington correspondent Kiran Stacey looks ahead to the five key domestic crises that Joe Biden will have to tackle after his inauguration as US president on January 20. (FT)