Sat. Jan 22nd, 2022


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Hong Kong is around bans passenger flights from eight countries including the US, UK and Australia as part of a series of measures to address the spread of the Omicron variant of coronavirus.

Theme parks and gyms were ordered closed and dinner at restaurants was prohibited.

The Chinese territory, which has adopted a “zero-covid” approach with some of the world’s strictest quarantine restrictions, tried to keep the virus in check after the creation of the city’s first Omicron grouping.

Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s chief executive, said on Wednesday that passenger flights from the US, UK, Australia, Canada, France, India, Pakistan and the Philippines would be banned for two weeks from Saturday.

Do you think the “zero-Covid” approach is the right way forward? Or should we learn to live with the virus? Tell me what you think firstft@ft.com. Thank you for reading FirstFT Asia. – Emily

1. Fed indicates faster rate hikes possible The Federal Reserve may have to raise interest rates “sooner or at a faster pace” than officials initially expected, as it seeks to tame uncomfortably high inflation and promotes a stable economic recovery, according to minutes of its most recent meeting.

2. Kazakhstan calls on Russian aid to control protests Kazakhstan’s president on Monday called on a Russian-led military alliance for help after promising acts violently to quell protests which swept the resource-rich Central Asian nation due to anger over rising fuel prices. A state of emergency was declared after buildings were set on fire and protesters stormed an airport.

Smoke rises from Kazakhstan government building during protest in Almaty on Wednesday © AP

Taiwan to support Lithuania after dispute with China Taiwan is setting up a $ 200 million fund to invest in Lithuania and intends to take as much of the Baltic country’s goods banned by China as possible, as Taipei tries to reward Vilnius for its diplomatic support.

North Korea cultivates nuclear weapons and evades sanctions Pyongyang exploited “non-financial” businesses and professions, including precious metals traders and a casino, to to undermine international sanctions, unveiled a new report. Yesterday, it fired a suspected ballistic missile into the Sea of ​​Japan, according to the South Korean and Japanese governments.

5. Evergrande launches bid to delay payments The real estate developer will hold an online meeting with renminbi-denominated mortgage holders this week as the Chinese developer tries to postpone heavy debts more repayment periods and fights to complete its real estate projects.

Coronavirus consumed

  • Investors is to plunge shares in many technology companies which rose during the pandemic, instead of moving to equities related to the economic recovery.

  • Tennis star Novak Djokovic wash denied access to Australia after a 12-hour halt with government officials at Melbourne airport over questions about his medical release of a coronavirus vaccine. (NEW)

  • Boris Johnson announced a upheaval of the Covid-19 test regime, which scraps Covid-19 tests before departure for people traveling to England.

  • Emmanuel Macron came under fire in France for saying he wanted to “piss off” the unvaccinated by depriving them of social activities to force them to be provoked.

  • On Thursday he was told he would have to leave the country, following a 12-hour hiatus with government officials at Melbourne Airport

  • Opinion: To live with Covid, governments need to adopt emergency regimes that understand the public and businesses, writes Martin Sandbu.

The day ahead

Sydney festival begins The arts and culture festival kicks off today. More than 20 actions announced that they will to boycott the opportunity on a sponsorship agreement with the Israeli embassy. (The guardian)

Commemoration of US Capitol riot President Joe Biden is expected to speaks at the US Capitol in celebration of the anniversary of the deadly assault by a mob that supported then-President Donald Trump. A year later, many Capitol police officers are still suffering from the physical and emotional impact of the attack. (FT, NEW)

PMI figures IHS Markit’s Service Sector’s Purchasing Managers’ Index for Japan, Australia and China will be released.

What else are we reading

China’s business repression threatens growth and innovation The speed and ferocity of Beijing’s actions against private companies surprised both domestic and foreign observers. It is estimated that the repression has more than $ 1tn deleted of the market value of Chinese companies.

Investors prepare for ‘gold rush’ in metaverse hardware The metaverse – a striking term for the theory that humans will spend ever-increasing proportions of their lives in increasingly enthralling virtual worlds – may not have a precise definition. But the parameters are clear enough to predict the type of companies that benefit from it.

VR headsets used on the Steam gaming platform in 2021

The struggle to implement a historic global tax treaty The conversion of the political agreement into legally binding commitments can prove a long and hard blow. And ironically, the US, a main instigator of the agreement, could actually kill it because of the polarized policies that so often block domestic law.

Online flow looks to Asia for steady subscriber flow Emerging markets have billions of customers hungry for content, according to data from Omdia, a technology consultant. However, there are a variety of obstacles to turn that demand into rising revenue.

Hello, universe. Is there anyone out there? In the future we can look back on our times and ask the question: was it really such a good idea to contact with strangers? John Thornhill argues that astronomers must first consider whether they have the right to contact extraterrestrial life forms.

Travel

From the large former War Office building in Whitehall to a Rwandan island refuge, here are the largest hotel openings of 2022.

Accommodation at Sextantio Rwanda is in beehive-like thatched huts

Accommodation at Sextantio Rwanda is in beehive-like thatched huts

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