FirstFT: Left push for talks with Putin

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A group of liberal Democrats in the US Congress is pressuring Joe Biden to negotiate directly with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, opening new pressure on the president’s Ukraine strategy as his administration seeks to maintain domestic support for Kyiv.

“We urge you to couple the military and financial assistance provided to Ukraine by the United States with an active diplomatic push, redouble efforts to seek a realistic framework for a ceasefire,” the group wrote in a letter to the White House.

It urged the US to “engage directly with Russia” and “explore opportunities for a new European security arrangement acceptable to all parties”, demanding “a quick end to the conflict and reaffirming this goal as a top US priority”.

The letter was signed by 30 lawmakers, including Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley — a group of liberal congresswomen known as “The Squad.”

The latest split between Democratic progressives and the White House comes a week after Republican House Leader Kevin McCarthy warned that future aid to Ukraine could be limited if the party wins the House of Representatives in November’s US midterm elections.

Confirming receipt of the letter, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the White House appreciated their “thoughtful concerns about what could happen in the war in Ukraine,” but that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky would have to make the decision. When to engage with Putin.

Do you agree with progressives? Is it time for America to start direct talks with Russia? Email your thoughts to [email protected] or hit reply on this email? You can also vote in our latest poll.

1. The US has accused Chinese officials of trying to interfere in the Huawei investigation The Justice Department has charged two Chinese intelligence officials with seeking to obstruct the criminal prosecution of Huawei. At large, two Chinese citizens, Gochun He and Zheng Wang, paid $61,000 in Bitcoin to a US law enforcement official to obtain information on the prosecution and investigation.

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2. Trump offers cash injection to Republican Senate hopefuls After sitting out most of the 2022 election cycle, Trump’s political action committees are spending millions of dollars in the final weeks of the campaign. Since early October, Maga Inc, the newly created Trump Super Pack, has spent $8.5mn on advertising in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada and Arizona.

  • FT Live: A special event on November 10 will feature US columnists Edward Luce and Rana Foruhar, DC Bureau Chief James Politi and celebrity commentator Norm Ornstein discussing the midterm election results.

3. Apple raises prices for TV and music streaming subscriptions Apple said yesterday that it is raising the prices of its TV+, music and services bundle subscriptions for the first time since their respective launches. Apple’s move will put more pressure on Spotify, which faces steep consumer price hikes.

4. The renminbi hit 2007 lows after Xi unveiled tougher leadership China’s currency hit its weakest level against the dollar since 2007 as President Xi Jinping appointed a tough leadership team and a struggling economy spilled over from equities to currency markets. The latest renminbi weakness took its losses against the US currency to 13 percent this year and followed sharp falls for Chinese equities in Asia and the US yesterday.

5. UBS profits fell as turbulent markets spooked wealthy clients The Swiss bank reported a 24 percent drop in net profit as its wealthy clients retreated from turbulent markets and investment banking revenues shrank. In contrast, HSBC, the UK’s biggest bank, reported third-quarter profits that beat expectations as it announced an overhaul of its leadership team and the appointment of a new chief financial officer.

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the day before

Big tech earnings Big tech earnings start after Google parent Alphabet and Microsoft Bell Their results — as well as results from Amazon, Apple and Meta later this week — will face scrutiny from investors, as they are expected to report slowing revenue growth and a slowdown in advertiser spending. Credit card company Visa also reported on a busy results day, including Coca-Cola, UPS, Raytheon, General Electric, 3M and General Motors.

Financial Indicators: US home prices in the 20 largest cities are expected to cool further, with price growth slowing from 16.1 percent in July to an annual rate of 14.4 percent in August, as mortgage rates rise, pricing out some home buyers. Separately, economists expect the Conference Board’s index of consumer confidence in the US to ease from a five-month high of 108 in September to 106.5 in October as inflation continues to rage at elevated levels.

US Intermediates: Democrat John Fetterman and Republican Mehmet Oz will face each other on the debate stage as they compete for a key US Senate seat. The winner of the race for senator from Pennsylvania could tip the balance of power in the upper chamber of Congress. Elsewhere, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, will meet her Republican challenger Lee Zeldin for their own debate.

‘Davos in the Desert’ begins Jamie Dimon, Stephen Schwarzman and David Solomon will be among US bankers and investors flocking to Saudi Arabia to speak at the Future Investment Initiative, dubbed “Davos in the Desert.”

Britain got a new prime minister Rishi Sunak will become the UK’s youngest prime minister in more than two centuries and the country’s first non-white leader after meeting King Charles at Buckingham Palace. Liz Truss heads to the Palace to resign, confirming her status as the shortest-serving British Prime Minister.

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What else are we reading?

US legal move lets corporations off the hook 3M, the conglomerate, is part of a recent trend whereby US corporations use bankruptcy court not because they are going bankrupt but to handle tort claims. The maneuver is called the Texas two-step and seeks to exploit loopholes in the legal system, but judges have begun cracking down.

‘Clunky’ bidenomics proved a tough sell Under the Democrats’ watch, the US economic recovery has created 10 million jobs by January 2021 and lowered unemployment to 3.5 percent. But months of relentlessly high inflation have made “Bidenomics” a tough sell on the campaign trail.

Xi Jinping’s China and the Rise of the ‘Global West’ If the US is to keep its network of international allies together, it will have to convince its partners that dark fears about Russia and China are justified, writes Gideon Rachman. Recent scenes in Beijing help make that case.

TSMC faces challenges as the world demands ever smaller chips Chipmakers are bumping up against the laws of physics as they try to make semiconductors faster and more energy-efficient. Will the world’s largest contract chipmaker stay ahead of the pack as the industry is forced to develop new transistor technology?

Office workers embrace hybrid work According to a Financial Times analysis of phone-tracking movements published by Google, trips to offices in the world’s seven largest economies are well below levels before the coronavirus took hold in early 2020. Economists say that this change has normalized.


From Scotland through Australia and Chile to Sri Lanka, here are five amazing routes worth traveling.

Torres del Paine in Chile

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