Live news updates: Hong Kong shortens hotel quarantine for international arrivals to 3 days
This week offers one of the most important votes in Africa this year as Kenyans go to the polls on Tuesday to decide a new president.
The contest is between current deputy president William Ruto, 55, and Raila Odinga, a 77-year-old veteran of such campaigns now in his fifth attempt at the top job. Relations with China, which has invested heavily in the country in recent decades, raising concerns among Kenyans, has become a key battleground for the campaign.
The usual rule of incumbent advantage was reversed after Ruto fell to incumbent president Uhuru Kenyatta, who in turn threw his weight behind Odinga. As a result, the contest is now open, according to the FT’s Africa editor David Pilling. Further FT commentary on the Kenyan poll, which will also include elections for parliament and 47 local assemblies, will be posted as the results come in.
Attention will also turn this week (again) to a previous significant poll: the 2020 US presidential election. Rudy Giuliani, the former New York mayor who became former president Donald Trump’s personal attorney, was ordered by a New York judge to testify Tuesday before a grand jury investigating the supporters’ attempts by Trump to overturn the results of the 2020 Georgia election.
It’s an indication of the threat the Georgia grand jury probe poses to Trump and those around him, more so than the January 6 congressional committee investigation into the 2021 Capitol attack.
In other news, the UK’s Summer of Discontent over post-lockdown pay awards continues this week with up to 120 Red Funnel staff on the Isle of Wight ferry starting a walkout on Tuesday. More than 1,000 staff at Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, one of Northern Ireland’s largest local authorities, will go on strike on Wednesday, affecting waste collection, planning and leisure services.
On Friday it’s the turn of Glasgow Subway workers, a particular inconvenience for Rangers fans on a match day, followed by a (nother) national rail strike by Aslef train drivers in nine companies by train on Saturday.
On the bright side, and goodness knows we need it, Tuesday kicks off the British school exam results season with Scottish students hoping for news that they have the required Highers and Advanced Highers grades to get places in universities and colleges.
This is the first year students are sitting the exam since the pandemic so expect this to be discussed as a factor in any grades students receive. It will also be an opportunity for a school report on the performance of the Scottish National party which runs education north of the border.
The main economic news this week was inflation data from the US and China, along with the UK’s first stab at second-quarter gross domestic product figures.
We can also get some indication of the future movement of fuel prices in the monthly oil market reports from the Energy Information Administration and Opec. The increased likelihood of a recession and, by extension, oil demand concerns will have an impact on these updates despite supply remaining very tight.
Like a holiday tan, the rush of company results announcements fades for another season. The dominant theme was insurance companies, providing further evidence of the damage inflation is doing to the sector, particularly motor insurers, as the price of parts and other claims costs rose right
After July’s profit warnings for Direct Line and Sabre, all eyes are on Admiral’s half-year results on Wednesday to see if its profitability and guidance can withstand the inflationary threat.
Other notable players are Aviva and Zurich. “These will provide further evidence of how the largest, most diversified groups are faring in a time of rising interest rates and a worsening economic outlook,” said my colleague, the FT insurance correspondent Ian Smith.
Read the full week in the next calendar here