FirstFT: Left push for talks with Putin

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A group of liberal Democrats in the US Congress is pushing Joe Biden to hold direct talks with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, opening a new front of pressure on the president’s Ukraine strategy as his administration tries to retain domestic support for Kiev.

“We urge you to combine the military and economic support provided by the United States to Ukraine with an active diplomatic push, redoubled efforts to find a realistic framework for a ceasefire,” the group wrote in a letter to the White House.

He urged the US to “enter into direct negotiations with Russia” and “explore the prospects for a new European security arrangement acceptable to all parties,” before demanding that the US “seek an early end to the conflict and reiterate that goal as America’s top priority.”

The letter was signed by 30 lawmakers, including Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ayana Presley. a group of liberal congressmen known as “The Squad”.

The new split between Democratic progressives and the White House comes just a week after GOP leader Kevin McCarthy, warned that future aid to Ukraine may be limited if the party wins the House of Representatives in the US midterm elections in November.

Confirming that the letter had been received, John Kirby, a spokesman for the National Security Council, said the White House appreciated “their careful concern about what is happening in the war in Ukraine,” but added that the decision would be up to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. when to communicate with Putin.

Do you agree with progressives? Is it time for the US to start direct negotiations with Russia? Email your thoughts to firstft@ft.com or click reply to this email? You can also vote in our latest poll.

1. The US accuses Chinese officials of interfering in the Huawei investigation Ministry of Justice indicted two Chinese intelligence officers in order to prevent the prosecution of Huawei. It alleged that Guochun He and Zheng Wang, two Chinese nationals who remain at large, paid a US law enforcement official $61,000 in bitcoins to obtain information about a criminal prosecution and investigation.

2. Trump is giving cash infusions to Republican senatorial candidates After sitting out most of the 2022 election cycle, Trump’s political action committees are spending millions of dollars in the final weeks of the campaign. Since early October, Maga Inc., a newly formed Trump Super Pac, has spent $8.5 million on advertising in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada and Arizona.

  • FT live: US columnists Edward Luce and Rana Foruhar, DC Bureau Chief James Politi and veteran commentator Norm Ornstein will discuss midterm election results on special event on November 10.

3. Apple raises subscription prices for TV and music Apple said yesterday that it is raising the prices of TV+ subscriptions, music and service packages for the first time since their launch. Apple’s move will put additional pressure on Spotify to follow suit as consumers face steep price hikes.

4. Renminbi hits 2007 low after Xi announces tougher leadership China’s currency hit its lowest level against the dollar since 2007 amid concerns over President Xi Jinping’s appointment of a tougher leadership team and a struggling economy spread from equities to currency markets. The yuan’s renewed weakness has sent losses against the U.S. currency 13 percent this year and comes after Chinese stocks in Asia and the U.S. fell sharply yesterday.

5. UBS profits fall as turbulent markets scare off wealthy clients This was reported by the Swiss bank 24 percent drop in net profit as its wealthy clients were held back by turbulent markets and investment banking revenues shrank. Conversely, HSBC, Britain’s biggest bank, reported third-quarter profits that beat expectations as it overhauled its management team and announced appointment of a new chief financial officer.

A day ahead

Big tech earnings Google parent Alphabet and Microsoft will begin operations Big tech earnings after the call. Their results – and those from Amazon, Apple and Meta later this week – will be closely watched by investors as they are expected to report slower revenue growth and a slowdown in advertiser spending. Credit card company Visa also reports a busy day of results that includes Coca-Cola, UPS, Raytheon, General Electric, 3M and General Motors,

Economic indicators: Home prices in 20 major U.S. cities are expected to cool further, with price growth slowing to 14.4 percent year-over-year in August from 16.1 percent in July as mortgage rates rise, reducing value for some potential home buyers. Separately, economists expect US consumer confidence, as measured by the Conference Board’s index, to fall to 106.5 in October from a five-month high of 108 in September, as inflation continues to run high.

US midterm elections: Democrat John Fetterman and Republican Mehmet Oz face each other on the debate stage as they compete for a key seat in the US Senate. The winner of this Pennsylvania senatorial contest could tip the balance of power in the upper house of Congress. Elsewhere, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, will meet with her Republican rival, Lee Zeldin, for their own debate.

“Davos in the Desert” begins. American bankers and investors will include Jamie Dimon, Stephen Schwartzman and David Solomon flock to Saudi Arabia to speak at the Future Investment Initiative, better known as “Davos in the desert”.

Britain got a new prime minister Rishi Sunak will become Britain’s youngest prime minister in more than two centuries and the country’s first non-white leader after meeting King Charles at Buckingham Palace. Liz Truss will head to the palace to step down, confirming her status as Britain’s shortest-serving prime minister.

What else are we reading

A legal move in the US that lets corporations off the hook 3M, the conglomerate, is part of a recent trend in which U.S. corporations are entering bankruptcy courts not because they are insolvent but to resolve tort claims. The maneuver is known as the Texas two-step and is aimed at exploiting loopholes in the legal system, but the judges begin to crack down.

‘Clumsy’ Bidenomics is proving a tough sell Under the Democrats’ watch, the U.S. economic recovery has led to the creation of 10 million jobs and a drop in unemployment to 3.5 percent as of January 2021. But months of relentlessly high inflation have made “Bidenomics” a hard sell on the campaign trail.

Xi Jinping’s China and the Rise of the “Global West” If the US wants to keep its international network of allies together, it will have to convince its partners that their darkest fears about Russia and China are justified. writes Gideon Rahman. The recent scenes from Beijing help to do that.

TSMC faces challenges as the world demands ever smaller chips There are manufacturers of microcircuits facing the laws of physics as they strive to make semiconductors faster and more energy efficient. Will the world’s largest contract chip maker stay ahead of the pack as the industry is forced to develop new transistor technologies?

Office workers are embracing hybrid work Commuting to work in the world’s seven largest economies much lower than the pre-coronavirus level took hold in early 2020, according to an analysis of phone traffic published by Google in the Financial Times. Economists say that this shift has become normal.

The journey

From Scotland to Sri Lanka via Australia and Chile, here are five incredible routes worth traveling for.

Torres del Paine in Chile

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