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Joe Biden placed the blame for the January 6 assault on the US Capitol squarely on Donald Trump as he vowed to defend the country from a “dagger at the throat of democracy” during a speech to mark the first anniversary of the deadly attack.
In an emotionally charged address, Biden, who referred to Trump only as “the former president”, said his predecessor “values power over principle because he sees his own interest as more important than his country’s interest and America’s interest.
“His bruised ego matters more to him than our democracy or our Constitution,” the US president said. Dismissing Trump’s claims that the 2020 election was “stolen”, Biden called on Americans to think seriously about the state of the country’s democracy.
Former president Jimmy Carter wrote in the New York Times that he fears for the future of American democracy.
Corporate America’s response to the January 6 attack was also in focus as one of Washington’s top business groups condemned those perpetuating “the falsehood of an illegitimate 2020 presidential election”. (FT, NYT)
News in-depth: Polls show voters remain sharply divided over who is to blame for the siege and how significant it was.
The FT View: Dwelling on legislative or technical reforms avoids the larger issue: the Republican party has become more estranged from civilised politics.
Thank you for reading FirstFT Europe/Africa. Tell us what you think of today’s newsletter at email@example.com — Jennifer
Five more stories in the news
1. Kazakhstan protests Russian paratroopers and allied regional troops arrived in Kazakhstan after the president appealed for help controlling protests in which dozens have been killed in clashes with police. The demonstrations could mark the end of Nursultan Nazarbayev’s long grip on power, but they do not suggest a smooth transition from autocratic rule.
Related news: Chevron has made a “temporary adjustment” to oil output in Kazakhstan, the first sign of the upheaval affecting energy supplies.
2. Banks and UK regulator consider energy supplier loans NatWest and Barclays are in talks with regulators to provide loans that would allow energy suppliers to spread out the costs of taking on customers from failed rivals, partially mitigating an impending jump in household gas and electricity bills.
3. Fed trading scandal rekindled by new disclosure Outgoing Federal Reserve vice-chair Richard Clarida was more active in financial markets at the start of the pandemic than he originally divulged, according to new disclosures. Clarida, who was already under fire for trading as the Fed planned emergency support for the economy, blamed “inadvertent errors”.
4. Cathie Wood’s flagship Ark fund suffers blow Ark Invest’s Innovation exchange traded fund has dropped 9 per cent this year following a sharp fall in 2021 as investors shifted out of the unprofitable tech stocks that powered its extraordinary rise.
5. UK worker-executive pay gap narrows The gap between chief executives’ pay and average earnings narrowed in 2020 as companies hit by the pandemic cancelled bonuses and investors stepped up scrutiny of pay policies.
The military has been deployed to support frontline NHS hospitals in London. Meanwhile, more than a third of England’s schools had at least 10 per cent of staff absent on the first day of term this week as a result of the pandemic.
France and Italy are instituting measures to pressure the unvaccinated to get Covid-19 jabs, such as no longer accepting negative tests to access restaurants.
Novak Djokovic has sought an injunction to stop his deportation from Australia after the Serbian tennis player failed to provide sufficient evidence to justify an exemption from vaccination rules. Eliminating anti-vaxxers is a pipe dream, writes Henry Mance: “We have to content ourselves with judging them.”
Xi’an officials fired hospital workers for denying entry to a pregnant woman who lacked a negative Covid test and subsequently had a miscarriage.
Drugmakers must prioritise global access to vaccines and tie management pay to equitable distribution of jabs, say a group of top international investors.
The day ahead
Eurozone inflation Figures are expected to show a dip from 4.9 per cent in November to 4.7 per cent in December, still close to a 13-year high.
US jobs The official non-farm payrolls report is forecast to show the US economy created 400,000 jobs in December while the unemployment rate is projected to slip to 4.1 per cent, from 4.2 per cent previously. President Joe Biden is expected to address the report.
What else we’re reading and listening to
DC Thomson’s 1921 census published online A century after it was taken, the survey of more than 38m people in England and Wales was finally put online, following a three-year project by the National Archives and its partner Findmypast, a division of media company DC Thomson. What does it tell us about an interwar period of economic and social turmoil?
Why a private equity newbie is making bets on sport Since its launch, Arctos Sports Partners has become the most prolific buyer of sports stakes around the world, including in English football’s Liverpool FC, baseball’s Boston Red Sox and basketball’s Golden State Warriors. At the same time, the rush of institutional capital is raising questions about how investors will seek returns in exits.
Sudan’s struggle for democracy The country’s attempt to transition to democratic rule foundered this week with the resignation of Abdalla Hamdok, interim prime minister. On the Rachman Review, Gideon Rachman discusses what happens next with London-based journalist Yousra Elbagir and Sudan-based writer Muzan Alneel.
Football’s future is in the metaverse When European football was having conniptions last year over plans for a breakaway Super League, a central theme was the concept of the “real fan”. Technology is about to give this debate an intriguing new dimension, writes Leo Lewis.
Six FT writers on the best party they ever attended From a 16th-birthday bash hosted by a hip-hop star to a fancy-dress rave in Mumbai, these writers reflect on their most memorable nights.
“Sometime well after midnight two actual cops showed up but no one noticed them because there were already so many paunchy, moustachioed men in the joint” — Neil Munshi, FT west Africa bureau chief
Thank you to those who took part in our poll on Wednesday. Fifty per cent of respondents said scientists should decide what to say to aliens, rather than civilians.
Running club numbers are on an upward sprint. One big draw is the sense of on-demand community — a rare chance to expand one’s social horizons at a time when many social touchpoints of daily interaction remain at a low.