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FirstFT: Today’s top news

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The Trump administration has sanctioned one former and three current Chinese Communist party officials over their involvement in the detention of more than 1m Muslim Uighurs in re-education camps.

Mike Pompeo, secretary of state, said Washington was responding to the “horrific and systematic abuses in Xinjiang [province]” and urged other countries to join the US in condemning the Chinese government’s approach to the region.

The sanctions mark the latest escalation in the Trump administration’s push to punish China over everything from human rights abuses in Xinjiang to the recent imposition of a draconian security law in Hong Kong.

Donald Trump is expected to sign into law as early as next week the Hong Kong autonomy act. The legislation gives the administration the power to impose sweeping sanctions on officials accused of undermining Hong Kong’s semi-autonomous status, as well as banks and state entities that do “significant transactions” with them.

US and European banks in Hong Kong are conducting emergency audits of their clients, the FT has discovered, to identify Chinese and Hong Kong officials and corporates that could face US sanctions over a new national security law.

China’s foreign ministry, meanwhile, said it would impose reciprocal sanctions against unspecified US organisations and individuals who engaged in “vile acts” related to Xinjiang.

Coronavirus digest

  • Coronavirus-related deaths in the sun belt states of Florida, Texas and California continue to rise at an alarming rate. Across the nation deaths rose by 800 on Thursday and nearly 60,000 new cases were reported.

  • The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will not revise guidelines for how schools should reopen in the autumn despite criticism from Donald Trump that its recommendations are too tough.

  • The president of Bolivia and one of the most powerful figures in Venezuela’s ruling socialist party have tested positive for coronavirus as the pandemic continues to sweep across Latin America.

  • The World Health Organization has launched an independent inquiry to investigate its response to the coronavirus pandemic. “All of us must look in the mirror” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO.

  • A combination of hepatitis C drugs showed promising results as a Covid-19 treatment in Iran.

Barbados is offering a 12-month visa for visitors who want to escape the rigours of the pandemic in their own country and work in a warmer climate. Follow our live coverage.

In the news

Exclusive: Wirecard executive touted Russian nerve gas documents Jan Marsalek, who disappeared last month ahead of Wirecard’s collapse, touted secret documents about the use of a Russian chemical weapon in the UK, promoting his ties to intelligence services to ingratiate himself with London traders. Police searched Wirecard’s Dublin office on Thursday. (FT)

Jan Marsalek and one of the confidential documents he showed to traders in London © FT montage

US Supreme Court rules for handover of Trump tax returns The ruling states the president does not have immunity from a criminal grand jury investigation run by the Manhattan district attorney’s office. But in a second case, the high court temporarily blocked similar subpoenas issued by Congress. The tax decision shows the Supreme Court is refusing to bend to the president’s will. (FT)

Wells Fargo considers cutting thousands of jobs America’s third-biggest bank has launched a strategic review to restore profits from unsustainably low levels, a person familiar with the situation said. The bank, which employs 263,000 staff globally, recently said it would cut its dividend after a recent capital requirement review by the Federal Reserve. (FT)

Exclusive: Turkey closes in on UK trade deal Turkey is “very close” to signing a free trade agreement with the UK, its second-largest trade partner after Germany, foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told the FT. The former chief economist of Turkey’s central bank argues for confronting inflation. (FT)

Asset managers face ESG fight A new Trump administration proposal would force investors to prove they are not sacrificing returns by incorporating environmental, social and governance principles into pension portfolios. The proposal has set off alarm bells across the asset management industry. (FT)

France to restore Notre-Dame The cathedral’s restoration after last year’s devastating fire will stick closely to its former design, after France rejected proposals to add a modern architectural flourish to the destroyed spire. (FT)

The decision comes after Emmanuel Macron’s administration initially considered alternative designs for the rebuilding of the 13th century Gothic masterpiece © AP

Seoul mayor found dead The body of Park Won-soon, seen as a leading contender for the next presidential election, was found on Thursday night after South Korean broadcaster SBS reported his secretary filed a sexual harassment complaint. (FT)

NK dismisses idea of new summit with Donald Trump Kim Yo Jong, the increasingly powerful sister of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, has dismissed the idea of another summit with Donald Trump this year.

Which world leader has tested positive for coronavirus: Viktor Orban, Jair Bolsonaro or Benjamin Netanyahu? Take our quiz.

The days ahead

Singapore election The estranged brother of Singapore’s prime minister has criticised the city-state’s dominant political family ahead of elections on Friday. The People’s Action party has ruled since independence in 1965. (FT)

Trump rally Donald Trump will hold a campaign rally in New Hampshire on Saturday, even after a health official said the US president’s June rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, “likely” contributed to a rise in Covid-19 cases. (FT, AP)

Poland run-off A bitterly contested presidential run-off pits incumbent Andrzej Duda against Rafal Trzaskowski, Warsaw mayor, on Sunday. The FT View says the vote is a struggle between conservative nationalism and liberal centrism — and Poland’s place in the world. (FT)

What else we’re reading

Anthony Fauci: ‘We are living in the perfect storm’ The White House’s top coronavirus adviser sits down for Lunch with the FT at a grave moment for the country. Hospitals are overflowing in Houston and cases are spiking in the sunbelt states. “What worries me is the slope of the curve,” he explains, using his fingers to draw a chart in the air. “It still looks like it’s exponential,” he tells our US pharma and biotech correspondent Hannah Kuchler. (FT)

The leveraging of America The demise of car rental company Hertz has once again drawn attention to the relentless build-up of debt in corporate America. Companies owe a record $10tn, equivalent to 49 per cent of economic output. Can a potential new generation of ‘zombie companies’ be unwound without triggering another crisis? This is the final part of the new social contract series. (FT)

Revenge of the Never-Trumpers Conservative politics used to be a genteel world, where well-written articles for literary magazines or editorial pages could exert great influence. Not any more. Groups like the Lincoln Project and Republican Voters Against Trump are using social media to campaign against the president, with surprising success, reports Anne Applebaum. (FT)

Who is leading the 2020 US election polls? The FT’s interactive calculator uses the latest polling data to predict who’s leading in which states.

Transforming Uber Eats into Uber ‘everything’ Uber’s decision to buy Postmates for $2.65bn has largely been seen as the latest step in the consolidation of the US food delivery market. But people inside the food delivery service see the acquisition as the next step in transforming Uber Eats into Uber “everything” — pitting it against Amazon. (FT)

‘Young pessimists’ vs ‘old optimists’ Have we exaggerated the risk of catching Covid-19? Or are we not nearly frightened enough? Disparate risk perceptions create a social minefield, Tim Harford writes. Here are the stories of six families, in six countries, amid the pandemic. (FT, WaPo)

Colombian guerrilla leader’s second act He has enough enemies to fill a telephone directory and the US once put a $5m bounty on his head. But Rodrigo Londoño, former leader of Colombia’s feared Farc, is enjoying being a father and politician. “I’m 100 per cent optimistic,” he told the FT as he attempts to build a political movement. (FT)

Juancho Torres/Anadolu Agency/Getty
Rodrigo Londoño has exchanged a life in the jungle planning ambushes for a routine of reading bedtime stories to his son, shared via Instagram

The world runs out of bikes It’s the mode of transport and the pastime of choice for millions in the coronavirus era. But the cycling revolution has been stopped in its tracks — by a worldwide shortage of bikes. (FT)

Couture week goes digital — but what were the highlights? Most designers showing this season created abstract videos, given that the usual collection of editors, clients and billionaire collectors were hunkered down at home. (FT)

What fiction and crime reads should you reach for this summer? Join FT reviewers Maria Crawford and Barry Forshaw for a live Q&A at 12pm UK Time on Friday July 10, and don’t miss our summer books guide.

Video of the day

New wildlife trade regime needed to avoid next pandemic John E Scanlon speaks to Vanessa Kortekaas about how conservation efforts have been affected by the Covid-19 crisis and the need for a new international wildlife trade regime to avoid the next pandemic. (FT)

Thank you for reading. Send your recommendations and feedback to firstft@ft.com

This article was originally published on Financial Times

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