FirstFT: As we speak’s high information

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Might the coronavirus pandemic have been averted? That is the query on the coronary heart of the Monetary Occasions’ new six-part sequence.

Our reporters spoke to dozens of medical professionals, authorities officers and unusual residents in Wuhan to seek out out what went fallacious within the first weeks of the outbreak.

The individuals who spoke to the FT through the six-month investigation did so at nice private threat to themselves.

Tom Mitchell, Solar Yu, Xinning Liu and Michael Peel begin the sequence by taking readers again to 3 weeks earlier than Xi Jinping’s administration publicly acknowledged {that a} lethal new respiratory illness was spreading by means of certainly one of China’s largest cities.

They comply with the blame recreation because the virus started to unfold past Wuhan to different nations in Asia, and reveal the confusion at Wuhan Central Hospital, the place docs battled to know this lethal new illness.

Their reporting revealed that whilst docs alerted metropolis officers of sufferers with signs of a novel viral pneumonia, they had been repeatedly instructed to attend earlier than elevating the difficulty larger up the chain of command. By that point, Wuhan was already floor zero. (FT)

Comply with the sequence here and discover our interactive, which exhibits the worldwide disaster in knowledge.

How has the pandemic been dealt with the place you reside? What was achieved proper or fallacious? Do you’re employed in a sector that was affected by lockdowns? Share your experiences with us at firstft@ft.com.

Coronavirus digest

Within the information

Chinese language-Individuals marketing campaign for Trump on WeChat Whereas most Chinese language-Individuals voted for Hillary Clinton within the 2016 election, 4 years later the loudest voices on WeChat are pro-Trump. These teams have a tendency to not be captivated with both occasion, however a vocal, mobilised pro-Trump faction has formed the app’s discourse. (FT)

Armenia and Azerbaijan ceasefire seems to have failed Armenia’s defence ministry launched video footage of what it mentioned was Azerbaijani troops “grossly” violating the ceasefire with artillery bombardments 4 minutes after the truce got here into impact. (FT)

Azerbaijan says 13 folks died and 50 had been wounded on Saturday when Armenian missile strikes hit residential areas in Ganja, the nation’s second-largest metropolis © Umit Bektas/Reuters

Iran hails ‘momentous day’ A UN arms embargo on the nation expired on Sunday, in a blow to the Trump administration that failed in its makes an attempt to increase it. The lifting of the embargo, a part of the nuclear deal that Tehran signed with world powers in 2015, is a symbolic victory for the Islamic republic. (FT)

Double-dip recession Europe’s financial system is sliding towards a double-dip recession, with economists warning that rising coronavirus infections and contemporary authorities restrictions on folks’s motion are prone to minimize quick the area’s current restoration. (FT)

Line chart of Eurozone services purchasing managers' index (below 50 = contraction in activity) showing September's PMI report showed signs of a 'double dip' in the economy

Hopes of placing an EU commerce deal are falling Michael Gove, UK Cupboard Workplace minister, is dropping hope of securing a trade agreement with the EU, as enterprise teams urged each side to step again from the brink of no deal. (FT)

‘Unprecedented quantity’ of UK corporations search fee minimize Some 170,000 companies are trying to reduce their business rates bills because the influence of the coronavirus pandemic on excessive streets and workplaces appears to be like set to final far longer than anticipated. (FT)

Grim image for US malls The crisis in the movies business is spreading by means of US procuring centres as cinema closures hit footfall for eating places and different tenants, exacerbating monetary issues for struggling malls. AMC, the world’s largest cinema chain, warned this week it might run out of cash by the tip of the yr. (FT)

Cinemas

The day forward

Democrats set 48-hour deadline Nancy Pelosi mentioned a stimulus package deal must be agreed in the next two days whether it is to cross earlier than the election. The Democratic speaker of the Home of Representatives will meet Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, on Monday as the 2 look to thrash out variations over proposed aid measures which might quantity to about $2tn. (FT)

Nancy Pelosi: ‘We do not have settlement on the language but, however I am hopeful’ © REUTERS

Financial knowledge China’s third-quarter gross home figures are out on Monday, when progress is ready to return in at an annual fee of 5.5 per cent, up from a 3.2 per cent improve within the earlier quarter. Retail gross sales knowledge for September, additionally out on Monday, will present an replace on client spending — a weak spot within the restoration. (FT)

Sustain with the necessary enterprise, financial and political tales within the coming days with the FT’s Week Ahead. Click on to subscribe here. And don’t miss our FT News Briefing audio present — a brief every day rundown of the highest world tales.

What else we’re studying

Ant Group’s formidable plans to realize world enlargement The fintech arm of Chinese language web large Alibaba has struggled to realise its international ambitions, with investments faltering in markets from the UK to India and south-east Asia. The corporate hopes its blockbuster preliminary public providing this month can put it again on monitor. (FT)

Like many Chinese language teams which have made it huge in an unlimited dwelling market freed from worldwide rivals, Ant faces a problem replicating its success abroad  © FT montage

Why Sweden dissented over Covid-19 As through the 2015 migration disaster, Sweden has diverged from its neighbours over coronavirus. Regardless of its dimension, the nation casts itself as a rational “moral superpower”: it has not fought a conflict for greater than two centuries. Janan Ganesh observes that the Covid-19 tradition conflict hasn’t materialised. (FT)

Joe Biden wants an financial staff that can help employees The following president will want a extremely heterodox staff to deal with a really advanced downside: how you can bridge the historic divide between the fortunes of US corporations and employees, writes Rana Foroohar. (FT)

Mr Biden has mentioned that, if elected, he could be a transitional president who acts as a bridge to a youthful technology of leaders © Matt Kenyon

Deutsche Financial institution whistleblower goes broke 4 years in the past, Eric Ben-Artzi was awarded $8.25m by the SEC for serving to uncover false accounting at Deutsche Financial institution. Now, after seven years of courtroom battles, the previous threat supervisor goes broke, however he has a brand new campaign, Tom Braithwaite writes. (FT)

Arsène Wenger on management and life after Arsenal For 22 years, the Frenchman lived and breathed managing the soccer membership. “Generally I feel what sort of human being I is likely to be, as a result of to be obsessed like that and sacrifice all the things — I used to be not fully regular,” he tells Simon Kuper. (FT)

Celebrating in 1998. Arsenal gained three English league titles in Wenger’s first eight seasons on the membership, together with two league-and-cup Doubles © Colorsport/Shutterstock

‘Flatten the curve of visitors’ Covid-19 has wrought modifications to work patterns that had been inconceivable solely a yr in the past, writes Anna Konig Jerlmyr. By deploying the identical technique used to battle coronavirus, rush hour might be a factor of the previous. (FT)

Good riddance to plenty of what I assumed was regular life A colleague, returning to the workplace for the primary time, mentioned he had discovered his desk nonetheless lined in newspapers from the times earlier than the constructing emptied in mid-March, plus a withered Pret sandwich from the identical period. “It’s like Pompeii,” he instructed Pilita Clark.

Beware the fierce devotion of Okay-pop followers Boy band devotees was once docile — the celebrities sang, they swooned. Now they chew, John Gapper writes, disrupting a Donald Trump marketing campaign rally in July and forcing Samsung and Hyundai to distance themselves from South Korean superstars BTS in China. (FT)

Video of the day

Is QAnon a recreation gone fallacious? Izabella Kaminska explains how QAnon stems from the worlds of online gaming and Playboy magazine. It’s not a conspiracy. It’s a option to hack actuality. (FT)

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