Tue. Jan 18th, 2022


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Boris Johnson suffered the most difficult day of his premiership yesterday when leaders of the Scottish Conservative Party and some English Tories asked him to quit after admitting to attending a number 10 “bring your own drink” party during confinement.

The prime minister tried to buy time with a partial apology, saying he thought the May 2020 evening rally was a “job opportunity”, but it could not stem the tide of anger among some Tory MPs.

Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer said the public thought he was “lying through his teeth”, while many Conservative MPs said it was only a matter of timing before the prime minister faced a leadership challenge.

Douglas Ross, leader of the Scottish Tories, called on Johnson to quit and was quickly backed by his predecessor Baroness Ruth Davidson and more than half of the Tories in the Scottish Parliament.

Do you think Boris Johnson should resign? Tell us in our latest opinion poll. Thank you for reading FirstFT Asia. Here’s the rest of today’s news – Emily

1. US inflation rises to 7% for the first time since 1982 US consumer price growth has fastest pace in almost four decades in December, the Federal Reserve’s fears about the threat of rising inflation and its consequences for the economic recovery intensified.

Line chart of annual% change in CPI showing US inflation reaching 7% for the first time in almost 40 years

2. Epstein prosecutor allowed to sue Prince Andrew A civil lawsuit accusing Britain’s Prince Andrew of sexually abusing one of Jeffrey Epstein’s accusers will allowed to continue, a judge in New York has ruled and threatens with further embarrassment and legal consequences for the Duke of York.

3. HR software group Justworks pulls IPO as technology stocks fall The New York-based company was expect to complete an agreement to join the Nasdaq this week which would have valued it at up to $ 2 billion. But in a brief statement yesterday, Justworks said it had “decided to postpone its IPO due to market conditions at this time”.

4. Novak Djokovic admits Covid infringement Novak Djokovic admitted that he attended a photo shoot after testing positive for Covid-19 and said inconsistencies on Australian access documents were the result of “human error”. contribute to pressure on the tennis star while Canberra is considering deporting him.

5. Didi struggles with Hong Kong IPO challenges China’s leading ride app launches informal conversations with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on a public listing, according to two people familiar with the situation. Didi’s shares, which started trading at $ 14 in New York in June, are now worth $ 4.90, after losing more than $ 40 billion in market value.

Coronavirus consumed

  • Cathay Pacific has strike back after Hong Kong’s leader blamed the airline for the area’s first Omicron coronavirus outbreak, even as her government fought a scandal over a karaoke party attended by senior officials.

  • A Chinese court sentenced three dock workers up to 57 months imprisonment for violating Covid-19 restriction rules.

  • Businesses across the USA is temporary closing or adjusting working hours as the number of Americans infected with Covid peaks

  • Staff at London’s University College Hospital say fears of being overwhelmed by broken relationships and burnout.

The day ahead

China monthly trade data Figures will be announced today. Last month US-China trade hit its second highest level on record, although it fell from its October peak. U.S. exports of soybeans to China are generally highest between October and December. (Search alpha)

Monthly producer price index data New figures will be released one day later in Japan and the US US consumer prices soared.

Fast retail earnings The owner of Uniqlo will announce its quarterly earnings today, during a big week for retailers.

What are we still reading and listening to?

North Korean women suffer from black market oppression Thousands of women emerged under the nose of North Korean authorities as an entrepreneurial class, filling the void left by an incompetent state. But the regime reaffirms control of a black market economy dominated by women.

Seol Song-a, a North Korean defector now living in South Korea, in front of a photo of the 2000 inter-Korean summit attended by Kim Jong-il, the late North Korean leader © Lee Jae- Won / FT

US and China are not ready to talk about nuclear weapons control China wants to tackle increasing risk of nuclear conflict but he is reluctant to curb his nuclear weapons program. Meanwhile, the rivalry between the US and China stands in the way of meaningful dialogue, according to experts.

Abu Dhabi Wealth Fund Tends to Bet on Turkey While Turkey is struggling with huge declines in its currency, ADQ has made a commitment to pump billions into local businesses. The decision underscores the emergence of a fund that quickly became one of Abu Dhabi’s most active strategic investors.

Monetary policy widens the gap between rich and poor economies The Federal Reserve acts late to curb US inflation. Our economic editor, Chris Giles, asks what this will mean for developing countries. It could mean a year of reckoning for the weak, he reasoned.

Bolsonaro launches new social media strategy ahead of Brazil election The hard-right leader, who is seen as Brazil’s first “social media president”, used WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter dramatically to win the vote in 2018. But a suppression of misinformation by Big Tech force to reconsider before the presidential election in October.

Fitness

In its earliest repetition, physical fitness was pursued in preparation for war. Now it is increasingly being sold as a luxury item. Two new books explore the evolution of the global fitness industry, from the ancient Greeks’ fetishization of the human body to the barre classes of the mid-20th century and the explosion of home exercise sessions during confinement.

Chart showing that fitness and exercise form a trillion-dollar market

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