John Aglionby

Russian President Vladimir Putin gives his annual press conference on Thursday as his government and the central bank struggle to contain the turmoil engulfing the nation’s economy. He is also expected to face scrutiny over Russian involvement in Ukraine. Last year’s event lasted more than four hours.

By Jack Farchy, Courtney Weaver, John Aglionby and Claer Barrett

 

John Aglionby

The European Central Bank, as expected, left its benchmark lending rates unchanged on Thursday. Eyes now turn to the monthly press conference of ECB President Mario Draghi to see how close policy makers are to embarking on a full scale programme of quantitative easing. Mr Drahgi starts at 13.30GMT and usually speaks and takes questions for an hour.

By Ralph Atkins and John Aglionby.

 

John Aglionby

Mark Carney, governor, unveiled the Bank of England’s latest forecasts for the UK economy and gave further guidance on the likely path of interest rates in the months ahead at his quarterly inflation briefing on Wednesday.

By Emily Cadman and John Aglionby

 

John Aglionby

Scotland has voted decisively to reject independence, meaning the country’s 307-year-old union with England and Wales remains intact. The No campaign secured over 55 per cent of votes in the referendum, though the UK will now undergo a major period of constitutional change as powers are devolved outside of Westminster.

Voting ended at 10pm, and by 8am UK time, all but one of Scotland’s 32 councils had declared final results on a record turnout of over 85 per cent.

By John Aglionby, Claer Barrett, Gavin Jackson, Martin Stabe, Mark Odell and Lindsay Whipp

 

John Aglionby

International investigators are on their way to the crash site of downed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, which came down on Thursday in eastern Ukraine killing 298 people. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has accused pro-Russian separatists of shooting down the Boeing 777 airliner. At a meeting of the UN Security Council, the US has said the aeroplane was shot down by a surface to air missile and that it would have been hard for the pro-Russian separatists to operate a complex missile system by itself. The separatists are denying any involvement.

International calls for a full and transparent inquiry into what happened to the downed airliner are mounting.

By John Aglionby and Mark Odell

 

John Aglionby

Russian President Vladimir Putin is addressing both chambers of the Russian parliament on his plans for Crimea. On Tuesday morning he directed legislators and the government to move forward on a treaty to incorporate the Ukrainian peninsula into Russia.

By John Aglionby in London, Kathrin Hille in Moscow and FT correspondents around the world

 

John Aglionby

The stand-off between Russia and the G7 over Moscow’s intervention in the Ukrainian region of Crimea continued on Monday. Financial markets reacted sharply to developments: fears of a war wiped a tenth off the value of Moscow’s stock exchange, sent the rouble tumbling to an all-time low and pushed up the price of commodities. At the UN in New York, the security council meeting turned into a showdown between Russia and several other nations, including the US and UK, which strongly condemned its incursion on Ukraine’s territorial integrity. And tensions were high in Crimea where it was reported Russia had given Ukrainian military forces an ultimatum to surrender.

By John Aglionby and Leyla Boulton in London, Shannon Bond in New York and FT correspondents around the world

 

John Aglionby

Bill de Blasio celebrates his election triumph with his family. Reuters

Three months ago, Bill de Blasio was trailing in fourth place in the crowded Democratic race to become the party’s candidate in the New York’s mayoral election. Yet on Tuesday night the 52-year-old public advocate swept to one of the largest victories in the city’s electoral history. This is how he managed it.

1) He played the the “Tale of Two Cities” card – the wealthy and less well off – to great effect. He promised to raise taxes on those earning more than $500,000 a year to pay for pre-school education – a policy President Barack Obama supported. Despite this, according to an exit poll in the New York Daily News, he still won among voters earning more than $100,000. Read more

John Aglionby

Ted Cruz takes the Senate floor

Ten things about Senator Ted Cruz, 42, the junior senator from Texas, who has been talking for more than 14 hours on the Senate floor in a bid to cut off funding for President Barack Obama’s healthcare law.

1) Cruz was one of only three senators to vote against the nomination of John Kerry as secretary of state. “We’ve got two pending nominations, John Kerry and Chuck Hagel, both of whom are very prominently anti-US – less than ardent fans of the US military.”

2) In his speech in July 2012, after winning the Republican nomination to run for the Senate he invoked Milton Friedman, the economist. “We should take it as a providential sign that today would be the 100th birthday of Milton Friedman,” Mr Cruz said. “A true champion for liberty, and we are walking in Uncle Milton’s footsteps.” Read more

John Aglionby

Detroit filing for chapter 9 bankruptcy might have come as a shock to outsiders and anyone glancing at the city’s slick official website, but people who know the home of Motown well say there has been a certain inevitability to its demise.

Doron Levin, who first reported from the city in 1984, in a blogpost for Fortune, blames generation after generation of elected officials who were blind to the long-term implications of their policies:

“[They] dithered and dissembled and argued, instead of undertaking tough measures to close fiscal gaps. In truth, the city’s financial liabilities were created by the very people who should have been resolving them: one administration after another promised wages, job guarantees and pensions to city workers that were simply unsustainable.”

 Read more