good morning. This article is an on-site version of our FirstFT newsletter. Subscribe to our Asia, Europe/Africa or Americas edition to have it sent straight to your inbox every morning of the week
The United States and Germany will send main battle tanks to Kyiv, a dramatic increase in Western military aid that has been condemned by Russia and prompted cheers across Ukraine.
Senior Biden administration officials confirmed Wednesday that the United States will send 31 M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine — or the equivalent of one Ukrainian tank battalion. Earlier today, Germany announced that it would send 14 Leopard 2A6 tanks from stocks held by its army.
Berlin also announced plans to cooperate with other European countries to create two battalions of German-made Leopard 2 tanks, the equivalent of about 90 tanks.
Both the Abrams and Leopard tanks are among the best-rated modern main battle tanks in the world, and Kyiv has argued it needs them to break through a frontline barely budging in recent weeks and retake occupied territory. It also says it needs Western tanks to deter a renewed Russian offensive expected in early spring.
Are the United States and Germany right to supply tanks to Ukraine, or does this move risk escalating Ukraine’s war with Russia? Tell us in our latest poll.
Five more stories in the news
1. Adani stock affected $10.8 billion Shares in listed companies linked to India’s sprawling Adani Group plunged $10.8 billion after Hindenburg Research released a report targeting the conglomerate controlled by billionaire business magnate Gautam Adani. Shares of seven companies included in the Adani Group fell by more than 5 percent on average.
2. Appointment of Taiwanese Tsai as the new Prime Minister to support support President Tsai Ing-wen has chosen former Vice President Chen Xinjin as the new prime minister, handing the soft-spoken epidemiologist the responsibility of tackling the economic downturn amid waning support for the ruling Democratic Progressive Party. The Democratic Progressive Party seeks to stop the decline in support before the presidential and parliamentary elections next January.
3. Chinese migrant workers face repression over wage protests Chinese migrant workers who demand back wages from their employers are facing a crackdown by local governments over alleged “malign” labor activity. More than a dozen cities across China have threatened in recent weeks to punish workers who take “extreme” measures, such as protests blocking traffic or outside government offices, to get money they are owed.
More news from China: Weak international demand for Chinese goods has led to increased freight cancellations at the country’s largest ports. Get the latest news and analysis on Asia’s largest economy with our hub in China.
4. Apple promotes smartphone services Apple is taking steps to separate its mobile operating system from the features offered by Google subsidiary Alphabet, making headway with maps, search and advertising. The two Silicon Valley companies have been rivals in the smartphone market since Google acquired the Android operating system in the 2000s, which Apple co-founder Steve Jobs called a “stolen product.”
5. Murdoch disposes of the merger of Fox News Corp Media mogul Rupert Murdoch has scrapped a proposal to combine Fox and News Corp after shareholders resisted his bid to put the two halves of his media empire back together. News Corp is also in advanced talks to sell its 80 percent stake in digital real estate group Move to rival CoStar, which is valued in the “low billions” of dollars.
Republic Day of India India celebrates its 74th Republic Day, commemorating the entry into force of the country’s constitution. Local stock markets will be closed. (Times of India)
Australia National Day Australia today marks the date on which the British First Fleet landed in Australia in 1788. But in recent years, there has been growing opposition to celebrating this date, the date when the colonial era began. (BBC News)
US economic data Today the US will release consumer spending figures along with its first estimate of GDP movement in the fourth quarter. Gross domestic product is expected to grow 2.6 percent in the three months through December 31, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists.
The Financial Times will hold its second annual Learning to the Future of Business series in February. This one-day virtual event will provide the opportunity for ambitious individuals looking to enhance their skill set, accelerate their career and discuss what life after an MBA might look like. Register today.
What else do we read?
How will the new era of machine learning affect you? ChatGPT, a query answering and text generation system released at the end of November, has burst into the public consciousness in a way rarely seen outside of the realm of science fiction. It is the most obvious of a new wave of “generative” AI systems that can produce content on demand, threatening not only jobs but also the wave of disinformation.
India’s electric vehicle market is sliding into focus Buoyed by government subsidies, some early sales of delivery vans and buses, paranoia among corporations and politicians about China’s high-tech dominance, and a “Made in India” electric vehicle industry is beginning to take shape.
Palace Politics in China: Xi Loyalists Compete for Power Chinese leader Xi Jinping will use the March lianghui – Joint sessions of the Chinese parliament and political advisory body – to confirm a range of appointments to critical roles. The upgrades will complement Xi’s consolidation of power, but also signal the emergence of a new set of factions among his followers and loyalists.
🎧 He listens: Shanghai correspondent Tom Hill and China Global Editor James Kenji detail President Xi Jinping’s main goals and whether they’re enough to jumpstart the country’s economy in this episode of the Behind the Money podcast.
The West faces a dilemma over the Iranian nuclear talks Even as relations between Iran and the West reach new lows, American and European officials are keeping the door open for diplomacy. But this is not because they are optimists. Rather, it is a reflection of the limited options that Western powers face in trying to prevent Iran from expanding its aggressive nuclear program.
Slimmer profit margins have been around for a while With positive news about inflation and improving growth prospects in the US and the Eurozone, there was growing optimism among investors in FMCG companies. But, as Brooke Masters writes, Procter & Gamble was quick to throw cold water at the idea of an easy recovery.
Take a break from the news
cult favorite Everything everywhere at once He was nominated for 11 Oscars, which is the maximum for this year’s award list. Below is the full list of nominations announced in Los Angeles.
Thank you for reading and remember you can add FirstFT to myFT. You can also choose to receive a FirstFT push notification every morning on the app. Send your recommendations and feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org
Newsletters recommended to you
asset management – Discover the inside story on the movers and shakers behind a multi-billion dollar industry. Register here
next week Start each week by reviewing what’s on the agenda. Register here