FirstFT: Hong Kong leader tests positive for Covid after Xi meeting

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Hong Kong’s chief executive tested positive for Covid-19 just days after interacting with his boss, Chinese President Xi Jinping, at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum in Bangkok.

Jun Li was seated next to Xi during a meeting on November 18, and also stood next to him at an event the day before, likely one of Xi’s earliest known cures for the virus since the start of the pandemic.

China is pursuing an aggressive policy against the coronavirus, routinely forcing millions into quarantine and home closures despite the huge economic and psychological costs. Neither politician wore a mask on the two occasions they met.

“[John Lee is] The Hong Kong government said on Monday. Li tested positive upon his return to mainland China on Sunday.

The news comes as confusion about the future of China’s coronavirus policy deepens, with any reopening closely watched by investors hoping it will pave the way for an economic recovery.

1. THE EXECUTIVES OF DISNEY RATED A REVOLUTION AGAINST THE IMPOSED PRESIDENT Top Walt Disney executives have led a rebellion against CEO Bob Chapek in recent weeks, leading to his removal and replacement by his predecessor, Bob Iger, according to people familiar with the matter.

2. Sinopec signed one of the largest LNG deals with Qatar The Chinese energy conglomerate secured one of the largest LNG deals ever, signing a 27-year agreement to buy 4 million tonnes per annum of the fuel from QatarEnergy. The agreement announced yesterday comes at a time when Europe is racing to secure alternative supplies of natural gas in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

  • More energy news: Oil prices rebounded from a 10-month low yesterday after Saudi Arabia “categorically” denied a report that OPEC was weighing an increase in production that would help offset Russian supply losses.

3. Two Estonian nationals charged with $575 million cryptocurrency fraud Sergey Potapenko and Ivan Turgin have been arrested and charged in connection with what US prosecutors have described as a $575 million cryptocurrency fraud and money laundering scheme. The US Department of Justice stated that the two Estonian nationals have been charged with defrauding hundreds of thousands of victims.

4. Teams abandon rainbow badge plan after FIFA threat An attempt by European teams to promote inclusion at the World Cup collapsed yesterday after three nations said threats from FIFA forced them to drop plans to wear rainbow armbands. Teams planned to wear One Love armbands to send a message against discrimination while playing in Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal.

England’s Harry Kane wearing the One Love armband in late September © Nick Potts / PA

5. Erdogan indicates a possible ground offensive in northern Syria Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey may expand its military operations against Kurdish militants in northern Syria to include a ground incursion, threatening to escalate tensions in a region where US and Russian forces are present. “This is not limited to just an air campaign,” Erdogan said, according to a statement issued by his office yesterday.

next day

Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development Economic forecasts The group will release its latest Economic Outlook, which contains forecasts for the global economy.

Coordination of Astana talks about Syria Delegations from Russia, Turkey, Iran, the Syrian government and the Syrian opposition will meet in Astana, Kazakhstan to discuss humanitarian, social, economic and political issues in Syria. Representatives of the United Nations, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq will attend as observers.

FTX Bankruptcy Hearing A preliminary court hearing is scheduled for Tuesday morning, local time, in federal bankruptcy court in Delaware before Judge John Dorsey.

Join leaders including Singapore’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Vice President, CEO and CEO of Mewah International Inc. and more on November 23 in Singapore at The Westin and online to talk about the future of the commodities industry. Register here Get your personal or digital pass today.

What else do we read?

China’s aid to the Pacific region falls short of its promises In 2017, the Papua New Guinea government announced a A$4.1 billion ($2.6 billion) upgrade of the country’s heavily potholed highways, funded by development loans from China. Five years later, there has been no progress as Beijing’s development spending has plummeted despite efforts to build influence in the region.

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Iranians put jobs ahead of pro-democracy protests Industrial labor was instrumental in the overthrow of the monarchy during the Islamic Revolution of 1979. But amid one of the largest and longest-running demonstrations in Iran’s history, spurred on by the death of Mahsa Amini, workers this time responded cautiously.

Anti-war protests stretch across Central and Eastern Europe The first orator told a crowd of hundreds: “Germany acts as an exclusive puppet of American and NATO interests.” In Germany, some protests over the impact of the conflict in Ukraine have been organized by the radical left, some by the populist right.

Bay celebrate while i canIf you want to escape global gloom, writes Ruchir Sharma, just fly from its epicenter, London, to any leading capital in the Gulf, the only region in the world where economic growth prospects are so high.

Big Pharma is targeting the $50 billion obesity drug market as demand booms The race to launch a new generation of drugs to tackle obesity – a disease that affects some 650 million people worldwide – has some critics warning of potential abuse and side effects.

Wrote

From business and sports to audiobooks, this annual roundup brings you the best titles selected by FT writers and critics – as well as the FT’s best books of 2022.

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