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FirstFT: Sri Lanka’s president flees to the Maldives


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President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has fled Sri Lanka on a army plane for the Maldives, in accordance with the nation’s air power, abandoning a deepening financial and political disaster within the island nation on the day he was anticipated to resign within the face of mass protests.

The 73-year-old chief was pressured to supply his resignation on Saturday by a avenue revolt through which tens of 1000’s of protesters angered by rising costs and shortages of gasoline and meals converged on Colombo, the business capital, and over-ran the presidential palace.

Rajapaksa’s downfall marks the top of one among Asia’s strongest political dynasties, which many Sri Lankans credit score with successful a long-running and brutal warfare towards Tamil separatists within the north of the nation.

Nevertheless, they now blame him for borrowing closely to construct China-backed Belt and Street spending tasks and for a sequence of failed financial insurance policies that prompted Sri Lanka to default on its debt in Could. “This has been a prepare wreck in sluggish movement,” mentioned one investor who holds Sri Lankan debt.

Thanks for studying FirstFT Asia. Right here is the remainder of right this moment’s information — Emily

1. Euro falls to parity with US greenback for first time in 20 years The chance that aggressive rate of interest rises might tip the US into recession, mixed with the doubtless harm to the European financial system stemming from its dependence on Russian power, have shoved the euro all the way down to parity towards the US greenback for the primary time in 20 years.

Line chart of $ per € showing Euro sinks to lowest level against the dollar since 2002

2. US employs ‘tuna politics’ to withstand China’s Pacific push The US has signed a very important fishing settlement with a bunch of Pacific islands that may assist strengthen safety ties in Oceania to counter China’s marketing campaign for affect within the area. Vice-president Kamala Harris appeared by video hyperlink on the Pacific Islands Discussion board as she detailed a renewed diplomatic push into the area.

3. Central banks all over the world react to inflation The Financial institution of Korea, the Reserve Financial institution of New Zealand and Canada all raised rates of interest as inflation continues to roil the globe. The US shopper worth index revealed right this moment hit an annual tempo of 9.1 per cent, a contemporary 40-year excessive that cements expectations of one other traditionally giant 0.75 proportion level Federal Reserve rate of interest rise this month.

4. Trafigura sells stake in Putin-backed oil challenge to obscure HK outfit
The commodity dealer has bought its multibillion-dollar stake in Vostok Oil, a large Russian oil challenge, to a the obscure Hong Kong firm Nord Axis Restricted, which was arrange simply 9 days earlier than Russia invaded Ukraine. The sale shines a highlight on a brand new group of merchants in Russian oil that has emerged because the invasion.

5. Kim Jong Un regime blames balloons for Covid unfold For a rustic that has sought for many years to isolate its inhabitants from the surface world, balloons despatched from neighbouring South Korea symbolize an unacceptable incursion — and even a bearer of Covid-19, in accordance with North Korean state media.

Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt develop into frontrunners in Tory management race

The day forward

Second poll in UK Conservative management contest Conservative MPs will scale back the variety of candidates additional in a second spherical of voting on Thursday — the contender with the bottom stage of assist will fall out of the race. Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt have develop into the frontrunners.

Biden meets with Israeli officers Throughout his Center East tour, US president Joe Biden is predicted to signal a joint declaration with Israel enshrining strategic co-operation, committing each nations to stopping Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. Biden can be anticipated to push Saudi Arabia on a timeline for upgrading ties with Israel.

Be a part of FT journalists on Friday July 15 at 1pm BST/8pm HKT for a digital briefing for FT subscribers on what awaits Britain and enterprise after Boris Johnson as rival Conservative candidates battle to succeed him as prime minister. Register without cost.

What else we’re studying and listening to

Inside the autumn of Celsius The decline of Celsius has been labelled the crypto neighborhood’s “Lehman Brothers second”. It loaned deposits from retail traders to giant crypto firms and promised exceptionally excessive rates of interest. But it surely now has a gap in its steadiness sheet of as a lot as $2bn and is going through collapse. This week the FT is launching a cryptocurrency publication to assist information you thru the crash. Premium subscribers can enroll right here.

How we turned a Covid high-risk household On a current Friday morning in Beijing, a person arrived at FT reporter Ryan McMorrow’s door to seal him and his household inside; they’d been categorised as a “high-risk” needing not less than 4 days of house quarantine. For the following 4 days Ryan, his spouse, their 11-month-old and his spouse’s mother and father remained holed up within the condominium.

A brand new period of astronomy has begun The maiden picture of deep area exhibits a vanishingly small piece of the night time sky, equal to the dimensions of a grain of sand held at arm’s size. Every dot or disc represents a galaxy that itself is made up of hundreds of thousands, even billions, of stars. Every grain of sky incorporates extra worlds than it’s humanly potential to ponder.

Diagram explaining where the James Webb Space Telescope is positioned in orbit

India takes political gamble on $1.3bn struggle with satellite tv for pc agency The ruling Bharatiya Janata occasion says India’s unique contract with Devas Multimedia was fraudulent and refuses to pay damages ordered by tribunal. Now the problem has develop into politicised because the BJP makes use of the battle to assault the Congress occasion, its chief political rival, which struck the contract.

Why firms might quickly pay for local weather change On this week’s episode of the Behind the Cash podcast, hearken to the story of a David vs. Goliath battle: How one man is taking over one of many world’s largest polluters in a landmark case that would in the future power firms to pay for harm they’ve completed to the setting.

Books

The Work & Careers workforce choose what to learn this month, together with the teachings for enterprise from Alabama’s American soccer coach Nick Saban and a information on how to reach a altering world by Seamus Gillen.

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