Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny has been sentenced to 30 days in jail just a day after returning to his home country, triggering condemnation from western powers and sanctions calls from several EU member states.
It came despite demands from the US and the EU to release him, and calls from two EU member states for the bloc to impose new sanctions against Moscow if he is not swiftly released.
Mr Navalny, president Vladimir Putin’s most prominent critic, was detained by police at Moscow’s main airport on Sunday evening after returning from Germany, where he had recovered from an assassination attempt involving the Soviet-developed nerve agent novichok.
There is no doubting Mr Navalny’s courage, says Europe Editor Ben Hall, or that today’s Kremlin regards him as its greatest domestic enemy. (FT)
South Korean court sends Samsung head back to jail for bribery South Korea’s appeals court has thrown Samsung’s Lee Jae-yong back in jail for bribery, in a landmark ruling that will leave the country’s biggest conglomerate without its top decision maker for a year-and-a-half. (FT)
Biden names Gensler to head SEC President-elect Joe Biden has tapped Gary Gensler, the former Goldman Sachs investment banker and financial regulator during the Obama administration, to be the next chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission. (FT)
Total deepens ties with India’s Adani French energy major Total is to expand its presence in India through a strategic partnership with Adani Green Energy, owned by business tycoon Gautam Adani whose infrastructure conglomerate spans ports to coal-fired power plants. (FT)
Thyssenkrupp considers spinning-off troubled steel business The German company is considering a spin-off of its ailing steel division. EU competition regulators blocked a proposed tie-up between the business, which employs roughly 27,000 people, and India’s Tata in 2019. (FT)
Bets pile up against the dollar Speculative bets against the dollar, by investors such as hedge funds, have built up to their highest level in nearly three years, as bears cling to their negative view of the currency despite its near 1 per cent rebound this year. Many investors believe that looser monetary policy in the US compared with rival economies such as China mean January’s rebound will not last. (FT)
Chinese broadcaster sues Premier League A Chinese broadcaster has retaliated against England’s Premier League, escalating a legal feud over the collapse of their $700m contract during the coronavirus pandemic. (FT)
US Capitol riot raises questions over racial ‘double standard’ in policing Investigations into how pro-Trump rioters came to overrun the Capitol building need to reckon with US history, experts say, and whether a racial double standard has been embedded in forces including the Capitol Police. (FT)
Trump to announce pardons Donald Trump, the outgoing US president, is expected to issue more than 100 pardons and commutations in his final full day in office. Mr Trump, who has already issued two waves of pardons in the past month, reportedly met advisers on Sunday to finalise the list. (CNN)
Yellen confirmation hearing Former chair of the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, is to testify before the US Senate finance committee in Washington on her nomination to be the new Treasury secretary. (FT)
Earnings Bank of America and Goldman Sachs follow JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Wells Fargo and report fourth-quarter earnings today. Netflix will also publish results after the market closes on Tuesday. (FT)
Italian PM faces vote in the upper chamber Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte won a crucial vote of confidence in Italy’s lower house of parliament on Monday, but will face a much tougher vote in the upper chamber today. (FT)
Trial of former French prime minister begins Édouard Balladur, who was prime minister between 1993 and 1995, faces allegations that kickbacks from an arms deal with Pakistan helped fund his failed 1995 presidential attempt. (FT)
The Business of Football Summit is on February 17-18, featuring sessions with Manchester United striker and food poverty campaigner Marcus Rashford, Fifa general secretary Fatma Samoura, player super-agent Jonathan Barnett, and many more. Register for the event here
America’s disarray is China’s opportunity A dispassionate assessment of world affairs, as it stands, cannot avoid the conclusion that the US is currently in deep trouble — and China is well placed to take advantage of that, writes Gideon Rachman. (FT)
Markets approaching a boiled frog moment Markets have a whiff of simmering frog about them. Investors are growing adept at ignoring the warning signs like the proverbial amphibian in a pot of slowly heated water, not recognising the dangers until too late, writes Markets Editor Katie Martin. (FT)
London’s financial services have been let down by Brexit Financial services — a sector worth £132bn a year to the UK and employing more than 1m people — has been neglected by a deal that is better for European exporters of goods to the UK than it is for its world-leading service sector, writes London mayor Sadiq Khan. (FT)
Turkey pushes into Africa Trade, development aid and even soap operas have been instrumental in cementing Ankara’s influence on the continent. These efforts at soft power, experts say, are aimed at countering the sway of Gulf rivals such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as well as the US, France, China and Russia. This is the latest part of our series exploring Turkey’s geopolitical ambitions. (FT)
How lockdown caused a creativity crisis Doomed: that was the prevailing mood at Color, a 50-person creative agency, when the pandemic shut their offices in Seattle and Los Angeles. With the introduction of new lockdowns, there are growing fears that months of virtual work are taking a toll on creativity. (FT)
Covid-19 tests a generation of graduate trainees For most graduates, the prospect of starting a job after university is exciting yet onerous, with several rounds of interviews, tests and — usually — rejections. This mix of emotions is normal. The pandemic, however, has amplified them. (FT)
The race between vaccines and new variants Anna Gross lays out the threat new variants of the disease pose to the UK’s vaccination programme. The hopes of the rest of the world could rest upon whether Britain succeeds in its target of 15m vaccinations by mid-February. (FT)