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FirstFT: Turkey drops opposition to Nato expansion

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Turkey has dropped its opposition to Finland and Sweden joining NATO, paving the way for the Scandinavian countries to join the alliance in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The three countries signed a joint memorandum after hours-long talks on Tuesday brokered by NATO, ending a six-week Ankara veto over terrorism concerns.

The agreement on the eve of NATO’s annual Madrid summit ends a dispute that threatened to overshadow an event heralded as a demonstration of unity against Russia, support for Ukraine and the alliance’s ten-year “strategic concept” to renew the approach to the defense of his Eastern European country. allies.

NATO officials drafting the 10-year strategy have also had intense discussions about China, people briefed about the process told the FT, reflecting the range of economic ties NATO members have with Beijing and differing perceptions of the threat from China.

China dismissed the doctrine change as “old wine, new bottle”, accusing NATO of a “cold war mentality” and “clinging to archaic security concepts”

What do you think of NATO’s approach with China? Tell me what you think firstft@ft.com† Thanks for reading FirstFT Asia. — Emily

1. China lowers quarantine restrictions as Covid cases fall China has halved the mandatory quarantine period for international travelers to a week, in the first significant nationwide easing of restrictions since the Covid-19 outbreaks in Shanghai and Beijing this year led to draconian restrictions on travel and economic activity.

2. Trump wanted to march to the Capitol with the mob, says ex-assistant Donald Trump attempted to take his mob of supporters to the Capitol on Jan. 6 last year, even after being told they were carrying weapons, according to former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony to Congress. Trump was stopped by the Secret Service, leading to an altercation in the presidential vehicle in which he tried to grab the wheel.

  • Related reading: Donald Trump’s chief of staff was warned by a White House attorney that “blood will be on your hands” in the event of any violence at the US Capitol on Jan. 6, a congressional committee heard.

Cassidy Hutchinson testifies before the Jan. 6 committee on Tuesday

Cassidy Hutchinson testifies before the Jan. 6 committee on Tuesday © AP

3. Maxwell Sentenced To 20 Years For Helping Epstein’s Abuse Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years in prison after she was convicted of her years-long role in enticing and grooming underage girls to abuse the late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Judge Alison Nathan announced the verdict at a federal courthouse in Manhattan on Tuesday.

4. G7 accused of ‘falling back’ on climate targets In his latest communiquée at this week’s summit, the G7 said investment in liquefied natural gas was a “necessary response to the current crisis.” Climate groups have criticized the G7 for failing to deliver on new climate finance commitments and for its renewed focus on gas.

5. KKR joins Toshiba .’s bidding process US private equity firm KKR is stepping back from a potential $22 billion bidding war for Toshiba’s future, people familiar with the talks said, leaving its main rival Bain Capital in pole position for Japan’s largest take-private deal. to close.

the next day

Japanese retail figures May data will be released today. Earlier this month, the head of Japan’s largest discount store pledged to defend its price tag of ¥100 ($0.75) per item, despite an existential threat to the company from global inflation and the plummeting yen.

UK Parliament hearing on UK-Australia trade agreement MEPs will question International Trade Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan about the UK’s free trade agreement with Australia.

US GDP figures U.S. gross domestic product data for the first quarter will be released today. The IMF on Friday lowered its growth forecast for the US in 2022 to 3.7 percent from 2.9 percent. (Reuters)

  • Opinion: The recession should put an end to the romantic notion that growth is a mixed blessing, writes Janan Ganesh.

Join us online today for our FT Live event, The Evolution of Thematic Investing, where we will discuss the next chapter on thematic investing and the key technology, innovation and sustainability trends for investors in the APAC region. Register here for free.

What else do we read and listen to?

China’s Covid health apps rule life but ripe for abuse The daily lives of most of China’s 1.4 billion citizens depend on the color of a health code on a smartphone app. The Chinese government maintains that the system is purely for health purposes, but it has already been used by some officials as a tool of social control.

Image showing how health codes have come to be central to life in China

The Billionaire Who Brought Down Porn The world’s largest porn company was transformed almost overnight by a hedge fund billionaire. It started with a scathing column he read about a popular porn site and an angry text message to one of finance’s most powerful CEOs. The latest episode of the Hot Money podcast explores what happened next.

Australian honey bees are locked Australia is shutting down its honeybees as it applies the lessons learned from implementing one of the world’s most restrictive Covid-19 regimes to block another threat – a parasite that is wiping out hives around the world.

A beekeeper tends to have an HIV

Australia was the only region in the world to contain the Varroa mite, a parasite partly responsible for the decline in bee populations worldwide © Gavin John/Bloomberg

Foreign affairs in Hong Kong look to the long term Despite the erosion of freedoms, companies and investors are prioritizing access to the capital market oasis, writes Tom Mitchell. Most financial services firms say the National Security Act is not an existential concern for their employers.

Central role of China under scrutiny as Zambia seeks debt relief With Beijing now the largest bilateral lender to low-income countries, Zambia’s trials are a test case of its willingness to lead the way in restructuring the debt obligations of defaulting states. With Sri Lanka in default and Pakistan close by, other countries heavily indebted to Beijing are closely monitoring proceedings in Lusaka.


As a long-range pilot, Mark Vanhoenacker has discovered several specialized tactics for beating jet lag. Among Vanhoenacker’s proven strategies: using ice-cold showers, naps and good ‘sleep hygiene’.

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