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US president Joe Biden has challenged the leaders of G7 countries to use their financial muscle to counter China’s rising global influence, as he declared that western democracies were “in a contest with autocrats”.
EU leaders at the G7 summit, a gathering of the world’s largest advanced economies, were more cautious about antagonising Beijing. UK prime minister Boris Johnson, the summit host, declined to mention China specifically by name at his closing press conference.
Separately, leaders agreed on the so-called Carbis Bay Declaration, which established a set of global health commitments to try to prevent another worldwide pandemic, such as aiming to cut the length of time needed to develop vaccines and treatments to only 100 days.
The warmth between officials was reflected in the public bonhomie between Biden and France’s Emmanuel Macron, walking along the sand, arms draped around each other. Brexit, however, continued to dog Johnson’s attempt to project the image of a confident “convening” country.
The UK prime minister accused Macron of talking about Northern Ireland “as if it were somehow a different country”.
There are big questions about whether the G7’s delivery will match its rhetoric on vaccines, climate and the effort to create a global infrastructure drive to rival China’s Belt and Road Initiative, writes Gideon Rachman.
Read more of our G7 coverage on FT.com and listen to Sebastian Payne discuss whether Brexit overshadowed Johnson’s efforts to forward his Global Britain agenda.
Five stories in the news
1. Netanyahu ousted Israel’s parliament has voted in a new government, ending the 12-year grip on power of rightwing stalwart and five-time premier Benjamin Netanyahu after four elections and two years of political paralysis. Naftali Bennett, an ultranationalist whose Yamina party controls just six seats in the 120-member Knesset, will assume leadership. Netanyahu’s dethronement has been slow and grinding — but is it the end of Israel’s longest-serving leader?
2. BNP under fire over lossmaking forex trades The French bank is facing allegations that its traders mis-sold billions of euros of lossmaking foreign exchange products to Europe’s largest wine exporter, amid a widening controversy that has enveloped Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank.
3. Four Toshiba executives ousted A four-hour emergency board meeting yesterday resulted in the exits, which included two board members. The meeting propelled Toshiba deeper into a governance crisis following the publication last week of a damning report into the company’s collusion with the government to suppress activist investors.
4. UK hacking warning Lindy Cameron, chief executive of the National Cyber Security Centre, a branch of GCHQ, will warn today that hackers behind ransomware attacks represent a greater risk to national security than online espionage by hostile state. Ransomware attacks are not so much a technology problem as a human problem — and one humans can solve, writes Alex Younger, former head of MI6.
Clean energy company Invenergy said on Friday that it had been hacked but that it did “not intend to pay any ransom” in an extortion attempt targeting its billionaire chief executive.
Joe Biden said at the G7 summit that he was open to an exchange of cybercriminals with Russian president Vladimir Putin.
5. US charges Jho Low and ex-Fugee with 1MDB lobbying The US has charged the Malaysian financier and a former member of the Fugees hip-hop group with back-channel lobbying to drop a probe linked to the embezzlement scandal at the 1MDB state investment fund and to extradite a Chinese dissident based in the US.
Boris Johnson will today approve a delay to the final easing of England’s lockdown restrictions on June 21 — but he will consider proposals to allow larger weddings to go ahead.
Kate Bingham, who led the UK’s vaccine task force, and Sarah Gilbert, Oxford university professor of vaccinology, are among those who have been granted honours as “Covid-19 heroes”.
UK bank bosses are awaiting government guidance on the easing of lockdown as they plan for when their staff can return to the office. The manufacturing sector is expected to grow twice as fast in 2021 as previously forecast.
With the approval of mRNA-based vaccines, US biotech company Vaxxinity has raised the prospect of breakthroughs in treating Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
The FT View is that economic data about the strength of the recovery reflects “base effects”, which distort wage growth and inflation data. Follow our live coronavirus blog here and sign up for our Coronavirus Business Update newsletter.
The day ahead
Nato summit China’s growing military and economic presence in the Atlantic is expected to trigger a rare warning from Nato leaders, diplomats said, as the transatlantic alliance meets today.
Americans face Carlos Ghosn escape trial Michael Taylor and his son Peter go on trial in Tokyo on charges they helped Nissan’s former chair skip bail and flee to Lebanon in 2019. (AP)
Aung San Suu Kyi faces junta charges The ousted 75-year-old Myanmar leader’s trial will open in Naypyidaw, where she faces an array of charges heaped on since the military toppled her government.
UK lobbying review The committee on standards in public life will publish the findings of its emergency review, prompted by the Greensill scandal in which former prime minister David Cameron repeatedly lobbied cabinet ministers and senior officials on behalf of the collapsed supply chain finance company, where he was employed as an adviser.
What else we’re reading
The rebirth of Hertz The FT’s Sujeet Indap details the inside story of how optimism about post-pandemic travel inspired a bidding war for the bankrupt car rental company. Hertz’s remarkable turnround mimics the dramatic rebound that large parts of the global economy are experiencing.
Spain looks to identify civil war victims As countries around the world face a reckoning with their histories, Spain is stepping up the exhumation of tens of thousands of bodies that dictator Francisco Franco’s troops dumped in pits across the country in the 1930s civil war. But critics say the leftwing administration is sowing further discord in a polarised society.
Market veterans mourn death of trading pits Covid-19 has killed off some of the last bastions of “open outcry” trading. Traders who prefer to negotiate deals face-to-face scored a rare victory last week when the London Metal Exchange reversed a plan to permanently close “the Ring”. But CME Group’s announcement last month that it would shutter trading floors for good signalled the end of an era.
Reform of British pension provision is urgent Economic security in old age matters. But it is complex: good policy requires rigorous long-term thinking. Unfortunately, that has been lacking in the UK, which has jumped from one “corner solution” — defined benefit plans — to another — defined contribution plans, writes Martin Wolf.
Lunch with the FT: Footballer Zvonimir Boban The Croatian former midfielder sat down for a virtual lunch with Simon Kuper and weighed in on the kick that prefigured Yugoslavia’s break-up, the Super League and why England shouldn’t play three at the back.
In other football news: England won its opening match of the European Championship. Play was halted between Denmark and Finland as medical staff fought to resuscitate collapsed Danish footballer Christian Eriksen.
Boris Johnson made an abrupt U-turn on Friday over his stance on footballers “taking the knee”, stating fans should not heckle players.
Work and careers
We should pull the plug on pointless after-hours emails, writes Pilita Clark. In a burnout epidemic, the right to switch off is needed more than ever.
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