Stay informed with free updates
Simply sign up to the Global Economy myFT Digest — delivered directly to your inbox.
Good morning. The US urged restraint on Israel as Washington and Saudi Arabia stepped up efforts to prevent the war with Hamas from spiralling into a regional conflict.
Secretary of state Antony Blinken called on Israel to avoid civilian casualties at a press conference with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose newly formed unity government is expected to launch a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip.
Blinken also reiterated to other regional actors not to “take advantage” of the crisis to attack Israel. The secretary issued the warning amid concerns that a broader conflict could draw in Iranian-backed militant groups in Lebanon, Syria and elsewhere.
“Israel has the right, indeed the obligation, to defend itself and to ensure that this never happens again,” Blinken said, referring to the deadly incursion Hamas mounted from Gaza at the weekend.
But he added: “How Israel does this matters. We democracies distinguish ourselves from terrorists by striving for a different standard . . . That’s why it’s so important to take every possible precaution to avoid harming civilians.”
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman also discussed the hostilities by phone with Iran’s president Ebrahim Raisi on Wednesday. The call marked the first such contact between the Middle East’s Sunni and Shia heavyweights for years. Read more on the diplomatic effort to prevent the war from spreading.
Here’s what else I’m keeping tabs on today and over the weekend:
China economic data: September consumer and producer price indices will be published, as well as trade balance figures.
Results: BlackRock, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase report third-quarter earnings today.
Australia’s ‘Voice’ referendum: Polls show that Australians on Saturday are expected to reject a proposed constitutional amendment to formally recognise the country’s indigenous population. (Reuters)
New Zealand elections: When Kiwis go to the polls on Saturday, the opposition centre-right National Party is expected to win the largest share of the vote. (The New York Times)
How well did you keep up with the news this week? Take our quiz.
Five more top stories
1. The US is “ill-prepared” for the growing nuclear threat from China and existing risk from Russia, a new report by a congressional commission has said. Here’s what the panel recommended — and why it’s likely to spark debate in Asia.
2. Exclusive: China’s HongShan is plotting to expand globally after splitting from Sequoia Capital earlier this year owing to political pressure. With the domestic economy slowing down, the plans could see the venture capital group investing in foreign companies targeting the Chinese market or those founded by overseas Chinese entrepreneurs. Read the full story.
3. US senator Robert Menendez has been charged with conspiring to act as a foreign agent on behalf of the Egyptian government. The allegations in a superseding indictment filed on Thursday raise the stakes in a criminal case accusing the former chair of the powerful Senate foreign relations committee of accepting bribes to benefit Cairo.
More US news: US inflation was higher than forecast in September, increasing the likelihood of another interest rate rise from the Federal Reserve.
4. Vanguard, the world’s second-largest asset manager, is channelling US investment dollars into Chinese military companies and corporations sanctioned over human rights abuses, according to a new report by a US producers’ lobby group. Read the details of the allegations.
5. Goldman Sachs said it has sued Malaysia over disputed payments related to 1MDB, arguing that the country did not recognise $500mn in assets provided under a 2020 settlement in the money-laundering scandal. Here’s more on the latest chapter in the multibillion-dollar embezzlement scheme.
The Adani Group, the politically connected conglomerate that dominates large parts of India’s economy, appears to have imported billions of dollars of coal at prices well above market value, according to customs records reviewed by the FT. The data supports longstanding allegations that Adani has been inflating fuel costs and led millions of Indian consumers and businesses to overpay for electricity. Here’s what the records show.
We’re also reading and listening to . . .
Chart of the day
The World Meteorological Organization predicts that the world will experience an “increasingly erratic” water cycle as climate change drives new patterns of both extreme flooding and drought across the globe.
Take a break from the news
The Tutti is crisp, juicy and heat resistant — the first apple designed to be grown in very hot weather. But the pace of climate change has outstripped expectations, leaving growers to wonder if the arrival of the Tutti marks the start of a new era for the apple industry, or the beginning of the end?
Additional contributions from Tee Zhuo and Gordon Smith