Happy May! 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.

This week: The Coronation

The UK celebrates the coronation of King Charles III this coming weekend, with an extra bank holiday in the calendar for the event on Monday 8th May.

  • For the first time, Britons will be invited to swear an oath of allegiance to Charles III and all his successors, in a break from tradition. In the past, many hereditary peers would do this directly to the king during the ceremony, instead of the public. 
  • Event planning and large-scale rehearsals, carried out under ‘Operation Golden Orb’, have been taking place in recent days, while additional opening hours for pubs and clubs are tipped to bring an extra £71 million to the hospitality industry in the form of 16 million additional pints consumed than on a typical May weekend.

UK Economics and Business

  1. The Confederation of British Industry’s days appear numbered as it faces a plethora of scandals concerning sexual harassment and drug use.
  2. ARM, a British microchip producer, registered for an initial public offering in New York, and hopes to raise $10bn.
  3. Healthcare members of Unite, Britain’s second largest union, last week rejected a deal with the UK government which would have given them two immediate one-off payments and a 5% wage increase next year, dashing hopes for an end to industrial action.
  4. The Bank of England has estimated the UK Treasury would have to give it £100bn over the next ten years to cover losses on its quantitative easing programme.

World Economics and Business

  1. As of Monday morning, JPMorgan is set to take over the troubled First Republic bank, according to US regulators.
  2. BuzzFeed will liquidate its news division, laying off huge numbers of staff in order to cut costs due to a significant decrease in advertising revenue.
  3. Sales of electric vehicles worldwide rose by 25% year on year in the first quarter, as governments implement measures to encourage their production.
  4. Stock prices of Alphabet and Microsoft have risen by 20% since the start of the year, better than the S&P 500 average.
  5. Meta’s quarterly revenue rose by 3%, year on year, even though its efforts to develop the metaverse have made another heavy loss.
  6. China rejected a deal proposed by the US, which would have granted Chinese airlines the same number of flights as American ones between both countries if they agreed not to fly in Russian airspace.

UK Politics

  1. Nurses in England started a 28 hour strike at 8pm Sunday, which has been called the largest NHS industrial action to date in the current wave of strikes.
  2. England will hold local elections on Thursday, 4th May, where 230 councils will be elected some or all of their councillors to a total of around 8,000 seats.
  3. The UK government backtracked on its plans to axe all retained EU law by the end of 2023, plans business secretary Kemi Badenoch revealed to Conservative party Brexiteers last week. 
  4. The BBC’s director general Richard Sharp resigned last week after a report found him to have failed to disclose two potential conflicts of interest. He was involved in Boris Johnson’s personal finances without informing him that he was also trying to secure the BBC’s top job. He had already been under scrutiny for failing to declare his position as a loan guarantor to Johnson.

World Politics

  1. The UK’s last evacuation flight from Sudan left the capital, Khartoum, at 10pm local time on Saturday. However, late on Sunday, another flight was announced from Port Sudan, 500 miles from the capital, to take off on Monday. On the same day, a 72 hour ceasefire broke down as armed groups escalated their fight for the capital.
  2. Several highly ranked former military officers have been elected to Finland’s new parliament, emphasising a change of mood amongst Finland’s population from seeing the country as neutral to its new status as a NATO member.
  3. Xi Jinping has urged Volodymyr Zelensky to negotiate with Moscow in the first conversation between the premiers since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
  4. After last week’s joint US-Philippines joint military exercise, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is travelling to Washington to meet President Biden as the two countries step up their military alliance to counteract China’s increased activity in the South China Sea. 
  5. According to President Erdogan, Turkish forces killed Abu Hussein al-Qurashi, the leader of Islamic State in Syria. Mr al-Qurashi’s predecessor had been killed by Free Syrian Army rebels.
  6. Santiago Peña won a landslide victory in Paraguay’s presidential elections. As a result, Paraguay will remain one of the few countries that maintain diplomatic relations with Taiwan; Peña’s main rival, Efraín Alegre, would have switched recognition to China.

Written by Sean Tan, Angus McIntyre, and Zihan Tian