FirstFT: Sri Lanka’s president flees to the Maldives


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President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has fled Sri Lanka on a navy plane for the Maldives, in response to the nation’s air pressure, forsaking 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 compelled 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 in all Asia’s strongest political dynasties, which many Sri Lankans credit score with profitable a long-running and brutal warfare in opposition to Tamil separatists within the north of the nation.

However, they now blame him for borrowing closely to construct China-backed Belt and Road spending tasks and for a sequence of failed financial insurance policies that precipitated Sri Lanka to default on its debt in May. “This has been a train wreck in slow motion,” stated one investor who holds Sri Lankan debt.

Thanks for studying FirstFT Asia. Here is the remainder of immediately’s information — Emily

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

2. US employs ‘tuna politics’ to withstand China’s Pacific push The US has signed a significant 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 Forum as she detailed a renewed diplomatic push into the area.

3. Central banks around the globe react to inflation The Bank of Korea, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand and Canada all raised rates of interest as inflation continues to roil the globe. The US shopper value index revealed immediately 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 mission to obscure HK outfit
The commodity dealer has bought its multibillion-dollar stake in Vostok Oil, an enormous Russian oil mission, to a the obscure Hong Kong firm Nord Axis Limited, 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 for the reason that 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 skin world, balloons despatched from neighbouring South Korea signify an unacceptable incursion — and even a bearer of Covid-19, in response to North Korean state media.

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

The day forward

Second poll in UK Conservative management contest Conservative MPs will cut 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 turn into the frontrunners.

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

Join 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 spending a dime.

What else we’re studying and listening to

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

How we turned a Covid high-risk household On a latest Friday morning in Beijing, a person arrived at FT reporter Ryan McMorrow’s door to seal him and his household inside; that they had been labeled as a “high-risk” needing a minimum of 4 days of residence quarantine. For the subsequent 4 days Ryan, his spouse, their 11-month-old and his spouse’s dad and mom remained holed up within the house.

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. Each dot or disc represents a galaxy that itself is made up of tens of millions, even billions, of stars. Each grain of sky incorporates extra worlds than it’s humanly attainable 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 celebration says India’s authentic contract with Devas Multimedia was fraudulent and refuses to pay damages ordered by tribunal. Now the difficulty has turn into politicised because the BJP makes use of the battle to assault the Congress celebration, its chief political rival, which struck the contract.

Why corporations might quickly pay for local weather change In this week’s episode of the Behind the Money podcast, take heed to the story of a David vs. Goliath battle: How one man is taking over one of many world’s greatest polluters in a landmark case that might sooner or later pressure corporations to pay for injury they’ve carried out to the surroundings.


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 achieve a altering world by Seamus Gillen.

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