Chief UN climate official Christina Figueres at the opening of the UN climate conference in Durban, South Africa. Photo Reuters

UN climate talks kick off this week in South Africa, with delegates from nearly 200 countries trying to produce a global pact that legally obliges countries to stop emitting so much carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas blamed for global warming.

The chances of success are seen as slim to zeroRead more

Protesters clash with riot police near Tahrir Square. Photo AFP/Getty

Welcome to our live blog of the turmoil in the Middle East. Written by John Aglionby and Tom Burgis on the news desk in London and with contributions from correspondents around the world. All times are GMT.

  • Where next for Egypt now that the protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square have rejected the ruling military’s offer of an accelerated handover to civilian rule?
  • After three broken promises, Ali Abdullah Saleh, president of Yemen, has finally bowed to mounting pressure and signed a deal to begin the transfer of power
  • A major report on human rights in Bahrain has been published – and is analysed here by a Chatham House expert
  • Syria remains in crisis

18.52 That brings us to the end of our live coverage of the Middle East today. See FT.com through the night for updates from Tahrir Square and analysis of what Saleh’s promise to depart means for Yemen. We’ll leave you with this exclusive analysis on the political implications of today’s report into abuses by Bahrain’s security forces from Jane Kinninmont, senior research fellow in the Middle East and North Africa programme at the Chatham House think-tank (emphasis ours). Read more

Mario Monti arrives to unveil his new government at the Quirinale Palace in Rome. Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images

Mario Monti arrives to unveil his new government at the Quirinale Palace in Rome. Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images

Welcome back to the FT’s rolling coverage of the eurozone crisis. By Esther Bintliff and John Aglionby on the world news desk, with contributions from correspondents around the world. All times GMT.

Europe’s two new technocratic prime ministers consolidated their respective grips on power today. Lucas Papademos in Greece won a confidence vote in parliament, while Mario Monti, his Italian counterpart, announced his new cabinet and was sworn in as prime minister.

19.03: We’re going to wrap up the live blog for tonight, but you can read lots more on FT.com. Here’s a quick update on today’s events:

  • In Greece, prime minister Lucas Papademos won an overwhelming vote of confidence in his new interim government – 255 votes in favour, 38 against
  • Charles Dallara, managing director of the Institute for International Finance, is about to meet with Mr Papademos (see our 12.15 update). The IIF has been negotiating with Greece on behalf of investors holding Greek sovereign debt
  • In Italy, Mario Monti unveiled his new technocrat cabinet (see our 12.52 update, and this article) and said he would serve as both prime minister and finance minister. ”We finally have a competent government, not one of dwarves and ballerinas,” declared Antonio di Pietro, former anti-graft magistrate and head of the Italy of Values party.
  • Italy’s statistics agency spooked the market by announcing that it wouldn’t be releasing preliminary Q3 GDP data
  • The number of jobless in the UK reached 2.62m, a 15-year high, while the number of young unemployed topped one million for the first time since these records began in 1992
  • In its November Inflation report the Bank of England revised downwards its growth and inflation forecasts, and prompted economists to predict that quantitative easing would be ramped up sooner than expected
  • Mervyn King, the Bank of England governor, said he had “great sympathy” with the ECB in “not going around and buying all sorts of assets”
  • Angela Merkel said Germany was prepared to “give up a little bit of national sovereignty” in the name of strengthening the wider eurozone area (see 13.44 update)
  • Portugal passed its latest troika exam - or rather, the European Union and International Monetary Fund approved the disbursal of the next €8bn tranche of the country’s €78bn financial rescue package after concluding a second quarterly review of the the government’s progress with the bail-out programme (16.04 update)
  • Italy’s 10-year government bond yield spent the day fluctuating around 7 per cent – and finally settling at that level, reports Dave Shellock on our markets team. Reported buying by the European Central Bank of both Italian and Spanish debt offered only limited support

 Read more

By Anna Fifield in Washington

Even Herman Cain would not have claimed to be a foreign policy expert.

In fact, the former pizza chain boss turned Republican presidential
hopeful has seemed to revel in his lack of knowledge about the outside world, saying he didn’t need to know who led “small insignificant states” like “Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan”. Read more

Mario Monti in Rome on Monday. Photo: Pier Paolo Cito/AP

Mario Monti, Italy's newly appointed prime minister designate, in Rome on Monday. Photo: Pier Paolo Cito/AP

Welcome back to the FT’s live coverage of the eurozone crisis and the global fallout. By John Aglionby and Esther Bintliff in London with contributions from correspondents around the world. All times are GMT.

Are calmer waters finally visible on the horizon of the eurozone? Perhaps – for now. Mario Monti’s first full day as Italian prime minister designate will be marked by a bond auction and his efforts to form a government. A confidence debate starts in Greece on Lucas Papademos’s government. And German chancellor Angela Merkel holds her Christian Democratic Union party annual conference in Leipzig.

19.50: That’s all for now, but before we go, here’s a whistlestop tour through today’s latest FT news and insights on the eurozone crisis:

  • Greece has met financial requirements for an €8bn loan payment but still has to reassure “taxpayers abroad” that it is fully committed to implementing the terms of an international bail-out, the country’s new premier told parliament on Monday.
  • Understanding Mario Monti – the view from Brussels
  • Three key themes that will guide Mr Monti as he attempts to pull Italy out of its sovereign debt quagmire - financial rigour, promotion of economic growth and social equity
  • Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, calls for Europe to build a “political union” to underpin the euro and help the continent emerge from its “toughest hour since world war two
  • Looking ahead to tomorrow: France’s third quarter growth figures, due out on Tuesday, will be watched with more than usual concern. Here’s why.

Thanks for reading.
 Read more

From the FT’s Brussels blog:

Ukraine’s Viktor Yanukovich, left, and Commission president José Manuel Barroso in March 2010

The European Commission announced today that Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich was no longer welcome in Brussels on Thursday after opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko was sentenced to seven years in prison last week.

Both Yanukovich (who made Brussels his first foreign stop when he became president last year) and Tymoshenko (who attended the pre-summit gathering of centre-right presidents and prime ministers ahead of the March EU summit) have been regular visitors to Europe’s capital as Ukraine tries to finalise an “association agreement” with the EU before the end of the year.

 Read more

The Financial Times’ View from the Top conference this year focuses on “The future of America”, with business leaders, politicians and economists exploring a variety of factors that will shape America including the economy, the influence of China and power.

While there was an appropriate balance of positive and negative outlooks for the future of America, all the speakers called for an end to the political wrangling that threatens to derail the economic recovery. Read more

By Lina Saigol

Steve Jobs: Hero of the Arab spring. Or so say the tweeting foot soldiers of the unrest sweeping the region.

Their (somewhat tenuous) accolade is thanks to the biological father of the visionary co-founder and former chief executive of Apple who died on Wednesday, aged 56, being Syrian.

Abdel-Fattah Jandali, 81, was born in Homs, Syria’s third largest city and epicentre of the seven-month uprising against Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

A former professor of political science, Mr Jandali put Mr Jobs up for adoption because his girlfriend’s father was extremely conservative and would not let him marry her. Read more

 

Welcome to our continuing coverage of the eurozone crisis. All times are London time.

Curated by Esther Bintliff and John Aglionby on the world news desk in London, with contributions from FT correspondents around the world.


19.20: We’re wrapping up the live blog now but we’ll be back tomorrow for more fun and games – including, notably, the European Central Bank’s rate announcement and the swansong press conference of Jean-Claude Trichet. In the meantime, do follow us on twitter – we’re @ftworldnews – and of course at ft.com

19.15: How does one go about recapitalising a continent’s banks? Patrick Jenkins, the FT’s banking editor, and Gerrit Weismann, correspondent in Berlin, have put their heads together and come up with a very nice Q&A, which tells you how big the hole is, how recapitalisation might happen and what type of capital will be raised:

Consensus is now building in the markets that a European form of the Troubled Assets Relief Programme, or Tarp, that underpinned mandatory US bank recapitalisations in the wake of the 2008 crisis, is the best way to restore confidence…

 Read more

Welcome to our continuing coverage of the eurozone crisis. All times are London time. Curated by Esther Bintliff and John Aglionby on the world news desk in London, with contributions from FT correspondents around the world.

 

14.44: We’re now handing over to our colleagues on Money Supply, who are  liveblogging the testimony of Ben Bernanke, US Federal Reserve chairman, before Congress. Thanks for reading today and we’ll be back soon.

14.37: A quick round-up of today’s events:

  • Eurozone finance ministers postponed the disbursement of the next tranche of Greece’s bailout money until November
  • However, the Eurogroup also indicated they were preparing to paper over Greece’s failure to meet international lenders’ mandated budget targets for 2011, saying they would now evaluate Athens’ performance based on goals that combine both this year’s and next year’s finances
  • Jean-Claude Juncker confirmed that the eurogroup will review the losses imposed on private sector bondholders (mainly banks) as part of the Greek bailout agreed in July. Last week, the FT reported that as many as seven of the eurozone members wanted private creditors to swallow a bigger writedown on their Greek bondholdings
  • The French and Belgian governments stepped in to stem investor panic on Tuesday by saying they would guarantee loans made by Dexia, amid fears of a funding crisis at the Franco-Belgian bank
  • Shares in Deutsche Bank fell after it said it was going to take an approximately €250m impairment charge on its Greek sovereign debt holdings
  • Ireland’s central bank downgraded its growth forecasts for Ireland in 2012 (see our 13.15 update) while upgrading its forecast for 2011

 Read more

Welcome to day four of our rolling coverage of the eurozone crisis.

All times are London time. Curated by Esther Bintliff and John Aglionby on the world news desk in London, with contributions from FT correspondents around the world.

19.20: We’re wrapping up the blog here, but many thanks for reading (and commenting). You can follow the rest of our coverage at ft.com/world and on twitter, @FTWorldNews

19.15: What are the chances of Greece being able to meet its commitment to cut the general government deficit from €24.1bn to €17.1bn this year?

It’s an incredibly tough task – equivalent to about 7.5 per cent of gross domestic product.

Kerin Hope, our Athens correspondent, has taken a good look at the numbers:

Greece faces a desperate catch-up effort to achieve this year’s budget targets after reporting the central government deficit widened an annual 22.2 per cent for the first eight months of this year.

Talks with international lenders, which resumed on Thursday, are intended to wrap up details of the 2012 budget and of structural reforms to reduce public sector spending so that Athens can receive its next €8bn slice of bail-out funding, according to Greek officials.

But the current shortfall in this year’s budget indicates new measures may be needed…

Read the full story hereRead more


Welcome to our rolling coverage of the eurozone crisis.
All times are London time. Curated by Esther Bintliff and John Aglionby on the world news desk in London, with contributions from FT correspondents around the world.

19.23: We’re winding up the rolling blog for today but thanks for reading, and do follow the rest of our coverage at ft.com/world. We’ll be back tomorrow to cover the crucial German parliamentary vote on expanding the EFSF (will Merkel preserve her absolute majority?) aswell as any other eurozone shenanigans…

19.21: Earlier we referred to some comments made by Angela Merkel in an interview with Greek TV late last night. Here’s the full story, from which:

Angela Merkel, German chancellor, has warned Greece that a €109bn rescue package, approved by the 17 eurozone leaders in July, may have to be reviewed if Athens fails to meet deficit reduction targets agreed with the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

 Read more

Palestine, Turkey, Hong Kong

In this week’s podcast: As president Mahmoud Abbas presses his argument for Palestinian statehood at the UN – we ask former editor of the Jerusalem Post, David Horovitz and head of the Palestinian government media centre, Ghassan Khatib, what the people on the streets of Israel and Palestine really think about the prospect; then we talk about an activist Turkish foreign policy which sees Turkey facing confrontation on many borders; and finally, rising inflation and soaring property prices in Hong Kong open up the gap in living standards between the rich and poor. Read more

Brics buying debt, Greece in trouble again, Palestine lobbies for statehood

In this week’s show: As Europe looks to China and other Bric nations to buy up its debt – we ask, is the global economy at a tipping point? Back in the Eurozone – rumours are flying again about the possibility of a Greek debt and Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel is under pressure; and, Palestinian leaders prepare to present their case to the UN for statehood. Read more

By David Oakley

A decision by ratings agency Moody’s over whether to downgrade Italy’s triple A sovereign rating is imminent. As the debacle this summer over S&P’s decision to downgrade the US illustrated, such a move could have major repercussions in the markets. So, just what is going on? How worried should we be? And might there be more downgrades to come in the eurozone?

What is Italy’s current investment rating?

Moody’s announced that it had put Italy on watch for downgrade in the middle of June. The agency gives itself a deadline of three months to make a decision, which should be in the next few days. Read more

American business and political leaders reflect on the 9/11 terror attacks and how they changed the US and the world.

The legacy of 9/11

We devote this week’s show to the aftermath of the terrorist attack on the United States and the decade that has followed. We talk to the editor of the Financial Times, Lionel Barber, about his memories of the time and we hear from FT correspondent Matthew Green about life on the Afghan-Pakistan border, in 2011. Read more

Libya, the eurozone, and anti-corruption in India

In this week’s podcast: Libya – a week on from the fall of Gaddafi; the eurozone and the state of play as we come out of the summer break; and, an Indian hunger striker forces parliament to support his anti-corruption crusade. Read more

Gaddafi, gold, Gaza

In this week’s podcast: Is the conflict in Libya finally coming to an end? The world’s new craze for gold; and, Gaza, renewed violence dashes hopes for ceasefire. Read more

US debt, Greek debt, and Indonesian growth

In this week’s podcast: Obama and the US debt limit – the president avoids default at the 11th hour; Greece, we ask whether the second bail-out package is enough to stem contagion across the eurozone; and, Indonesia’s growth trajectory attracts foreign investment. Read more