Live News Update: China extends Covid testing in southern island province of Hainan

Live News Update: China extends Covid testing in southern island province of Hainan

This week offers one of the most important votes in Africa this year, as Kenyans go to the polls on Tuesday to decide on a new president.

The contest is between current Deputy President William Ruto, 55, and Raila Odinga, a 77-year-old veteran of such campaigns, who is now on his fifth attempt at the top. Relations with China, which has invested heavily in the country in recent decades, causing concern among Kenyans, have become a key battleground for the campaign.

The usual rule of preference for the incumbent was upended after Ruto fell out with incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta, who in turn threw his weight behind Odinga. As a result, the competition is now wide open, according to the FT’s Africa editor David Pilling. Further comment by FT Kenya’s the poll, which will also include elections for parliament and 47 local assemblies, will be released as soon as the results are announced.

This week’s attention will (once again) be focused on the previous important survey: the 2020 US presidential election. Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York who became former President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, was ordered by a New York judge to testify on Tuesday before a grand jury investigating attempts by Trump supporters to overturn the results of the 2020 Georgia election.

It’s an indication of the threat the Georgia grand jury investigation poses to Trump and those around him, which some believe more than Congress Committee investigation on January 6 to attack the Capitol in 2021.

Meanwhile, the UK The summer of discontent due to wages after lockdown continues this week with up to 120 Red Funnel staff on the Isle of Wight ferry, which began with Tuesday’s departure. More than 1,000 staff in Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, one of Northern Ireland’s largest local authorities, will go on strike on Wednesday, affecting waste collection, planning and leisure services.

Glasgow Tube workers plan strike © Strathclyde Partnership for Transport via FT

On Friday it will be the turn of Glasgow Underground workers, a particular inconvenience for Rangers fans on match day, followed by the (second) national rail strike by Aslef drivers across nine rail companies on Saturday.

On the other hand, and god knows we need it, Tuesday kicks off the UK school exam results season with Scottish students hoping for news that they have the required grades at further and higher schools to secure places at universities and colleges.

This is the first year that students have taken exams since the pandemic, so expect this to be discussed as a factor in what students will get. It will also be an opportunity for a schools report on the performance of the Scottish National Party in education north of the border.

Economic data

The main economic news this week will be inflation data from the US and China, plus the UK’s first stab at second-quarter gross domestic product.

We may also get some indication of future fuel price movements from the monthly oil market reports from the Energy Information Administration and Opec. The increased likelihood of a recession and, therefore, concerns about oil demand will have an impact on these updates despite supply remaining very tight.

Companies

Like a holiday tan, the rush of company results fades for another season. The dominant theme will be insurance companies, providing further evidence of the damage inflation has done to the sector, particularly car insurers, as parts prices and other claims costs rise sharply.

After July’s profit warnings for Direct Line and Sabre, all eyes will be 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. “This will provide more evidence of how the largest, most diverse groups are faring in a period of rising interest rates and a worsening economic outlook,” says my colleague, the FT’s insurance correspondent Ian Smith.

Read the calendar for the entire week in advance here



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