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Italian PM Conte set to resign as government crisis intensifies

Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte will resign on Tuesday in an escalation of the political instability that has enveloped the country as it battles both the Covid-19 pandemic and a brutal recession. Mr Conte will see his ministers on Tuesday morning to inform them of his decision, and then meet Italian president Sergio Mattarella to...

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Joe Biden reverses Donald Trump’s ban on transgender military service

Joe Biden’s administration is reversing a Donald Trump-era ban on transgender individuals serving in the military, framing it as “the right thing to do” and in the national interest. “President Biden believes that gender identity should not be a bar to military service, and that America’s strength is found in its diversity,” the White House...

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Republican senator Rob Portman will not seek re-election

Rob Portman, the Republican senator from Ohio, has announced he will not seek re-election next year, knocking out one of the party’s moderates as it tries to rebuild in the wake of Donald Trump’s presidential defeat. Mr Portman, a former US trade representative and budget director under former president George W Bush, joins Pat Toomey...

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Foreign workers flee UK as pandemic and Brexit bite

Lorenzo di Cretico, a manager at the central London restaurant and club 100 Wardour Street, moved to the UK 12 years ago with high hopes. He had been a manager at a trattoria in Rome but wanted to learn English and said London “had always been my dream”. He found a waiting job within a...

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GameStop and BlackBerry shares soar on amateur traders’ fervour

Shares in GameStop and BlackBerry surged in early trading in New York on Monday as amateur online traders continued their assault on professional investors betting that the stocks were overvalued. Gaming retailer GameStop rocketed more than 85 per cent in the opening hour of trade, building on a rally on Friday that exceeded 100 per...

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Investor anxiety mounts over prospect of stock market ‘bubble’

This article is the first in the FT’s Runaway Markets series. Screaming stock rallies and wild speculation by have-a-go amateur investors are stirring concerns among market veterans over a bubble to rival anything seen in the past century. After a dramatic rebound from the coronavirus crash last March, benchmark equity indices have toppled a series...

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Dan Gertler wins reprieve from US sanctions over alleged Congo corruption

Donald Trump’s Treasury department eased US sanctions on Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler five days before the former president left office, quietly issuing a licence that temporarily lifts restrictions on the mining tycoon for alleged corruption in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The decision followed an appeal by lobbyists working for Mr Gertler, including the lawyer Alan...

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The new Biden climate team — like the old Obama team

In the first week of his presidency, Joe Biden is expected to sign another round of executive orders to tackle climate change as one of the new administration’s top four priorities, along with Covid-19, the economic crisis and racial justice. A newly assembled team of mainly veterans will be charged with implementing the orders, after...

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Moderna develops new vaccine to tackle mutant Covid strain

Moderna is launching a trial of a new Covid-19 vaccine as the US biotech group warned that its current shot was less effective in tackling the strain that emerged in South Africa.  Laboratory tests show Moderna’s Covid-19 jab still works against the variant named 501.V2, which emerged in South Africa, and B.1.1.7, which was first...

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Further Covid curbs will ‘kill travel’ and hit confidence, warn executives

The prospect of new restrictions on international travel sent a shudder through the travel industry on Monday, piling pressure on companies already reeling from almost a year of disruption. Shares in European airlines tumbled as the UK government prepared to introduce tighter immigration rules following concerns that new strains of Covid-19 could spread from international travellers. Governments...

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Merck abandons bid to develop Covid-19 vaccine

Merck, one of the world’s leading vaccine makers, is ending its Covid-19 vaccine development after its two candidates failed to elicit immune responses as strong as those seen from shots that are already available.  The US pharmaceutical company also said on Monday that its phase 1 trials showed participants’ response was not as robust as...

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White nationalists target scattered Trump supporters

White nationalists are seizing the opportunity to further radicalise the fragmented pro-Donald Trump movement, after crackdowns by large social networks scattered the former US president’s most ardent supporters on to fringe platforms. In the run-up to US president Joe Biden’s inauguration, Facebook and Twitter both censored far-right narratives and Mr Trump himself, while the popular...

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Deutsche probes alleged mis-selling of investment banking products

Deutsche Bank is investigating whether its staff mis-sold sophisticated investment banking products to clients in breach of EU rules and then colluded with individuals within these companies to share the profits. The internal probe — codenamed Project Teal — was triggered by client complaints last year, according to people familiar with the process. It initially focused on...

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Portugal’s president re-elected in pandemic-hit election

Portugal’s centre-right president was re-elected to a second five-year term on Sunday after a campaign fought amid one of the world’s worst outbreaks of coronavirus. Exit polls by three national broadcasters gave Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, a former leader of the opposition Social Democrats (PSD), 55-62 per cent of the vote, enough to win an...