An urgent push by Democrats in Congress to impeach Donald Trump for a second time is running into resistance in the US Senate, with senior lawmakers on both sides of the aisle voicing their opposition to the move.
House Democrats plan to hold a vote on impeaching the president for “inciting an insurrection” on Tuesday or Wednesday, having gathered nearly 200 signatures in support. Mr Trump stands to become the first president in history to be impeached twice.
While a growing number of Republicans have criticised the president for his role ahead of the violence in the US Capitol last week, none have said they will vote to convict him of wrongdoing in the Senate.
The outgoing president himself has been uncharacteristically silent, having had his preferred megaphone removed when Twitter suspended his account on Friday. That move, along with the decision by Amazon, Google and Apple to remove rightwing social network Parler from their platforms, has provoked a fierce conservative backlash against technology companies.
US business leaders are also distancing themselves from the president. And organisations including Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Marriott, Commerce Bancshares and Citi Bank said they would stop donating to members of Congress who tried to overturn the election. (FT, Popular Information)
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Governments must focus on speed, openness and innovation in their vaccination strategy — some signs so far are not encouraging, writes Camilla Cavendish.
In the news
US banks to delist hundreds of HK-listed products JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs are set to delist 500 structured products listed on Hong Kong’s stock exchange following US President Donald Trump’s executive order barring investment in companies with alleged links to China’s military. On Friday, MSCI said it would drop Chinese state-owned telecoms companies China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom. (FT)
Stacey Cunningham, New York Stock Exchange president, has been caught up in the Sino-US tension.
China unveils protections from US sanctions The new commerce ministry regulations prohibit Chinese companies and individuals from complying with punitive measures mandated by foreign governments as Beijing seeks to counter punitive measures issued by US President Donald Trump. (FT)
Indonesian authorities retrieve plane wreckage The country’s president on Sunday confirmed the crash and expressed his condolences for what he called the “tragedy”. Joko Widodo said in a statement that after receiving word the plane had lost radar contact, he had ordered relevant authorities to carry out search and rescue operations. (FT)
Top US banks set to buy back $10bn of shares A strong end to 2020 has paved the way for America’s top banks to buy back more than $10bn of their shares in the first quarter, as the loan losses of the pandemic year recede and capital markets fire on all cylinders. (FT)
US eases limits on Taiwan relations Mike Pompeo, US secretary of state, has lifted longstanding restrictions that limit US diplomatic relations with Taiwan — a move that is likely to incense China days before the Biden administration takes power. Analysts are urging Beijing not to act on the Trump administration’s “desperate last act”. (FT, SCMP)
South Korea delivers ‘comfort women’ ruling The Seoul central district court has ordered Japan to pay Won100m ($91,000) to 12 former sex slaves — known as comfort women — saying no compensation had ever been made for their “extreme, unimaginable mental and physical pain”. The judgment risks driving a new wedge between Tokyo and Seoul. (FT)
Nationalist wins Kyrgyzstan presidential vote Nationalist prisoner-turned-prime minister Sadyr Japarov has won a landslide victory in Kyrgyzstan’s presidential election, with early results on Sunday suggesting he garnered almost 80 per cent of the vote. (FT)
Dalio: China will vie to become world financial centre China will emerge as a rival to New York and London as the world’s financial centre, Bridgewater founder Ray Dalio told the Financial Times in a December interview. He is betting heavily on what would be an epochal shift in the global economy. (FT)
The day ahead
China inflation data December consumer prices are forecast to stay flat when they’re released on Monday, while producer price index deflation is expected to have eased slightly. (FT)
New York goes in on vice Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected on Monday to give details of his plans to legalise mobile sports betting in the state, creating the largest market for such activity in the US. (FT)
CES goes virtual Up to 200,000 visitors usually spend the week in Las Vegas Strip scoping out potential tech breakthroughs, but this year the four-day annual consumer electronics show, which begins on Monday, will be entirely virtual. (WSJ)
Join Peter Spiegel and Swamp Notes columnists Rana Foroohar and Edward Luce as they discuss what to expect on Inauguration Day and beyond. Sign up and tune in on January 19.
What else we’re reading
Simon Schama: Trump’s weaponised lies blew up in his face Wednesday saw the most dramatic consummation of what has always been standard operational procedure for Trumpism: the wink to violence and the empire of lies. The violence, however, could have been much worse, and the threat is not over. (FT, Atlantic)
Inside Hong Kong’s dawn raids on activists With last week’s detentions, authorities have undertaken a deeper, root-and-branch operation to eliminate the pro-democracy movement, including civil society groups and the city’s version of municipal councils, analysts say. (FT)
What we can read into Jack Ma’s disappearance A speech Jack Ma gave to the Bund Summit last October, the last time he was seen in public, holds a key to the Alibaba founder’s invisibility — and rehabilitation, writes Leo Lewis. Meanwhile, Beijing has ordered Chinese media to censor coverage of its Alibaba probe. (FT)
Jennifer Robinson’s Lunch with the FT As Julian Assange’s longest serving lawyer, Ms Robinson has watched as the founder of WikiLeaks, once feted as the future of investigative journalism, has made powerful enemies around the world. She insists that Assange has been misunderstood. (FT)
Bitcoin has ambitions for gold’s role Can bitcoin seriously compete with gold as a safe asset for the largest investors? History, regulation and market volatility make that seem improbable, but it is beginning to develop a more important role. (FT)
Beware the cunning minimalist These workers avoid the tiresome, invisible work that makes life easier for colleagues but gain little credit. During the pandemic, these employees have become an increasingly risky management problem as the pull to join their ranks grows, writes Pilita Clark. (FT)
Home-schooling tips for locked-down parents What can we do to survive pandemic mayhem and ensure our children emerge unscathed? Jill Kelsall, deputy head of West Preparatory Public School, offers tips for a time when more is being asked of parents, teachers and kids than ever before. (FT)
Motivation in the new year from hell 2021 would have been greatly improved had I simply stayed in bed, writes Jo Ellison. She sought advice from Julia Samuel, psychotherapist and author of This Too Shall Pass. “Be self-compassionate,” she says. “What you say to yourself affects your mood and behaviour.” Plus, 52 places to love in 2021. (FT, NYT)
Video of the day
Five things investors are worried about in 2021 Markets editor Katie Martin on the indicators to watch in coming months as fund managers and households look to protect their incomes and jobs. (FT)
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