Mon. Jul 4th, 2022

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The President and Prime Minister of Finland have said that the Nordic country should join NATO in a move that would end decades of neutrality and extend the border of the Western defense alliance with Russia by more than 800 miles.

Helsinki’s announcement is expected to be followed quickly by neighboring Sweden, which has been neutral since the Napoleonic Wars of the 19th century.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted a rapid shift in public opinion toward NATO membership in the two Nordic countries. The principle of collective defense is enshrined in Article 5 of the NATO Constitution, which means that any attack on one of the 30 members of the alliance is an attack on all.

For years, public support for NATO membership ranged from 20% to 30% in Finland, even after Russia’s raids on Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014. But the latest poll recently showed that 76% of Finns supported NATO membership, and only 12 percent. one hundred opposite. Support for NATO membership in Sweden has also grown since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine.

NATO is expected to approve applications for membership from Finland and Sweden quickly, and an alliance official said both countries could become formal guests in “a couple of weeks” before a NATO summit in Madrid in late June.

Boris Johnson signed a security agreement with Helsinki and Stockholm yesterday and offered military support to both nations in the event of an attack before ratifying their membership in NATO.

Finland, which shares an 832-mile border with Russia, would bring a well-trained army and a high level of preparedness to the alliance and strengthen its forces in the Baltic region.

Russia has repeatedly threatened “serious military and political consequences” if Finland and Sweden join NATO.

Speaking to reporters at a conference call, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Finland’s measures to join NATO were a cause for regret and a “threat” to Russia.

Thanks for reading FirstFT Americas. Here’s the rest of the day’s news: Gordon.

1. Saudi Aramco surpasses Apple in becoming the most valuable company in the world Saudi Aramco, not Apple, is now the most valuable company in the world after rising oil prices pushed the share price of the crude oil exporter to record levels, while a wide sale of shares technology weighed on the iPhone maker. Technology stocks suffered another day of intense sales yesterday, with the Nasdaq Composite falling 3.2%.

Thousands of dollars worth of market value line chart showing Saudi Aramco outperforms Apple

2. The bill to protect the right to abortion is not advancing in the Senate Legislation to enshrine the right to abortion did not advance last night in the U.S. Senate. A critical-vote vote on the Democratic-backed Women’s Health Protection Act, which aimed to protect access to abortion and the ability of health care providers to provide the procedure, did not get the necessary 60 votes, and fell 49 to 51.

3. Tether breaks $ 1 pin The world’s largest stable currency, valued at about $ 80 billion, has fallen below its $ 1 bond this morning as digital currency sales show no sign of slowing. . Bitcoin, the most actively traded cryptocurrency, fell nearly 7% to $ 26,250, the lowest level since December 2020.

4. The EU is threatening retaliation if the United Kingdom abandons the Northern Ireland Protocol The EU has pledged to retaliate if the UK breaks a post-Brexit trade deal for Northern Ireland after the threat of unilateral action by London triggered alarm in Brussels and Washington. Joe Biden called on the UK to show “courage, co-operation and leadership” to resolve the dispute slowly.

5. Disney is gaining ground on Netflix Walt Disney added 7.9 million new subscribers to its Disney Plus streaming service in its last quarter, bringing the total number of paying customers to 137.7 million. The new listings were well above the projections of about 5 million and painted a very different picture of the Netflix industry leader, who last month warned that he would lose customers for the first time in a decade.

The day ahead

Meetings G7 foreign ministers will begin a three-day meeting today in Weissenhaus, Germany. Germany is the current chairman of the group, which also includes the United States, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom. The European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee welcomes Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto for a debate on European security challenges in the light of the war in Ukraine. The White House will host the Association of Southeast Asian Nations for a summit starting today.

Economic data Inflation will be in the spotlight again this morning with the release of the latest US producer price index. Yesterday’s data showed that the consumer price index rose at an annual rate of 8.3% in April, below the previous month’s 8.5%. It is also expected that the producer price index, which tracks the prices that companies receive for their products, also fell slightly last month to 10.7%, from 11.2% of March.

Corporate gains Tapestry, the luxury fashion company known for its Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman brands, is expected to update investors on its operations in China, where it has recently expanded. Brookfield Asset Management, WeWork, and amusement park operator Six Flags also report, as does provider Affirm and language learning website Duolingo.

Monetary policy Mexico’s central bank is expected to raise its benchmark interest rate to 7% from 6.5% at its monetary policy meeting this afternoon. Mary Daly, president of the San Francisco branch of the Federal Reserve, will take part in a “fire talk” organized by her bank in Anchorage, Alaska.

Join us in person or online at FT Business of Luxury Summit May 18-20 to listen to luxury leaders such as British Vogue, Valentino, Zegna and YSL.

What else are we reading

Can Xi Jinping defeat Covid without crushing China’s economy? Even before the blockades arrived, China’s economy had been hit hard by Xi’s “leverage” on the heavily leveraged real estate sector. Now, a series of ad hoc and open blockades imposed to save the president’s strict zero-Covid policy are making things worse.

The tycoon, the casino and the robbery that shook Mayfair In the summer of 2017, a man got his first robbery at a central London casino in decades. Staff were clear that the incident at the Park Lane Club was not a random robbery. Maybe the crime had something to do with his head. Or maybe it was an inside job.

New York is regenerating even as it parades The mass shooting at the New York subway last month was the terrifying culmination of a degraded system that had become a haven for the homeless and the mentally ill without treatment. Joshua Chaffin argues that he also captured the modern reality of the city: a metropolis that is being torn apart and rejuvenated.

The myths of Mark bring the dictator’s son to power in the Philippines The return of the Marcos family has been in the process for decades, but it crystallized this week with Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr.’s landslide victory in the Philippine presidential election. Marcos will now follow in the footsteps of his late father, dictator Ferdinand Marcos, when he is sworn in for a six-year term in July. But the campaign was aided by what researchers said was the coordinated online promotion of false historical narratives.

How to direct the return of your computer office If you run a team of a company that has announced a strict mandate to return to the office, you’ve probably found yourself trying to navigate between the expectations of leaders and the real needs of your reports. This week’s Working It newsletter offers some helpful tips on how to set up your company’s return-to-work policy.

Try this

These electric chopsticks reduce salt intake. Not really. The Japanese consume about twice the recommended amount of salt. A new gadget is meant to help.

Japan's electric toothpick gadget

There are four power parameters in chopsticks and you can feel the electric current in all of them, writes Leo Lewis © Issei Kato / Reuters

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2022-05-12 10:22:57

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