We’ve summarised the top stories of the last week into an easily digestible briefing, so that you can stay up to date on what’s happening around the world. You can subscribe to receive the briefing in your inbox each week.
UK Business & Economics
- 40,000 RMT staff at Network Rail and 13 train operating companies will walk out from Tuesday, causing widespread disruption for a week. Mick Lynch, RMT leader, reported to the Financial Times that there was “no chance” of reaching a pay rise deal with the government.
- Ex-PM Gordon Brown urged Boris Johnson to face global action on the cost of living crisis, saying “any sensible government” would be trying to build consensus to tackle the economic crisis instead of jumping from “crisis to crisis”.
- An interest-free loan scheme is being expanded to reach around 20,000 people from September. The No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) aims to offer emergency loans to people who would normally be turned down since they cannot afford interest payments.
International Business & Economics
- Ratings agency Moody’s has doubled its ‘B3 Negative’ ratings of Chinese property developers to a record high of 30.5%, higher than the 27.3% share reached in May 2009. B3 Negative is the lowest rating for a category that denotes assets that are “speculative and are subject to high credit risk”.
- Afghanistan has halted the exports of onions to meet the demands of its internal markets as prices have recently surged. The price has increased by over 600% amid droughts across the country and surging global energy prices.
- Fed governor Loretta Mester stated this Sunday that recession risks are growing and it would take ‘a couple of years’ for inflation to return to its 2% target. The Fed is meeting on July, with an increase of base rates by 0.75% likely.
- Germany has re-opened coal plants as part of a set of emergency laws to generate electricity and auction gas supplies to incentivise businesses to curb gas consumption. Last week, Russia cut gas supplies to Germany’s main gas export pipeline by 60%, causing widespread concerns over the stability of the energy supply across Germany.
- Japan is following ahead with its plans to buy vast quantities of bonds, over ¥ 10 trillion ($74 billion) in June, pushing Japan far out of line with even its most dovish peers such as Switzerland. The BoJ on Friday said it would keep its rates negative, despite global hikes in base rates.
- Ireland’s prime minister has warned that the UK government’s plans to scrap aspects of the post-Brexit trade deal with Ireland would be “economic vandalism” for Northern Ireland. Regardless, the Taoiseach (Ireland’s PM) has maintained that Irish interests are prioritised over Northern Ireland.
- Boris Johnson has announced a training program for Ukrainian forces he said “could change the equation” of the war. The PM pulled out of a conference of northern Tory MPs at the last minute, and instead went on a surprise trip to Kyiv.
- Some asylum seekers to the UK who arrive in s mall boats or in the back of lorries could be electronically tagged under a new Home Office Trial. The first to be tagged are likely those who successfully appealed the deportation flights to Rwanda. Boris Johnson has said it is important to make sure “asylum seekers can’t just vanish into the rest of the country”.
- Sri Lankan troops opened fire on Saturday night to contain unrest over fuel shortages after their guard posts were attacked with stones. Police said four civilians and three soldiers were injured.
- Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has publicly warned that Russo-Ukraine could last for years if financial and military support to Ukraine stops. Boris Johnson has supported this statement, claiming there is a high possibility of a longer-term conflict.
- Emmanuel Macron has lost his absolute majority in parliament. As such, Macron can no longer guarantee a National Assembly that will allow a reliable passage for his reforms.
- The EU will propose new rules this week that will allow the bloc to impose trade sanctions against countries that breached conditions on labour rights and climate change in bilateral deals. Valdis Dombrovskis, EU trade commissioner, said in an interview he wanted to put “sustainability at the heart of trade policy”.
- Presidential elections have begun in Columbia. There are two main contestants, Gustavo Petro and Rodolfo Hernández, who both have distinctly different anti-establishment manifestos.
Written by Philip Weaver and Rob Webb