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Simon Case is thinking of quitting his job as UK cabinet secretary, sources told the Financial Times, after his leaked WhatsApp messages angered Conservative MPs.
In Taiwan, President Tsai Ing-wen has convinced US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to meet in California instead of Taipei to avoid provoking China.
Scroll down for more on both stories. Meanwhile, I’ll be keeping tabs on:
US Federal Reserve: Chair Jay Powell testifies today before the Senate Banking Committee as fellow Fed officials hint at keeping interest rates higher for longer.
Results: Ashtead, Bank of Ireland, Foxtons, Fresnillo, Greggs, Henkel, IWG and Reach report.
French strikes: Widespread protests are expected against President Emmanuel Macron’s plans to raise the legal retirement age from 62 to 64.
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Today’s top news
1. EXCLUSIVE: US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy will meet Taiwan’s Tsai Ing-wen in California and not Taipei to avoid an aggressive Chinese military response, as tensions run high between Beijing and Washington. More on why the venue was changed.
2. The US defence secretary said Iran is doing the “unthinkable” in Ukraine by gaining experience through deploying drones for Russia. Here’s why Lloyd Austin thinks this “doesn’t bode well” for the Middle East.
3. EXCLUSIVE: Simon Case is thinking of quitting after leaked WhatsApp messages angered Conservative MPs. The UK’s most senior civil servant is “fed up”, his friends told the FT.
4. Chinese companies are choosing Switzerland to raise money, shunning the US due to geopolitical tensions and Britain over tougher audit standards. Find out how Chinese companies raised nearly seven times the capital in Zurich as in New York last year.
5. EXCLUSIVE: Private credit groups are set to write the largest direct loan on record, with Apollo, Ares and Blackstone confident they can land a deal to help Carlyle acquire 50 per cent of healthcare analytics company Cotiviti, sources said. Read the full story.
Join the FT and the FT’s Financial Literacy and Inclusion Campaign tomorrow for an hour of financial empowerment in key areas affecting women. Register for free.
The Big Read
Electronic cigarettes have cemented their status as a less harmful way of consuming nicotine — but at a big cost to the environment. Tonnes of electronic waste are being produced, with critical metals inside the disposable “vapes” more likely to be dumped than recycled.
We’re also reading and watching . . .
Chart of the day
China’s political leadership announced an unambitious 5 per cent growth target this weekend, despite optimism following three years of closures. Why has Beijing set its lowest goal in decades? Read our analysis to find out.
Take a break from the news
While the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hems, haws and nervously assembles a crisis team ahead of awards night on March 12, FT readers can have their say now via our new Oscars voting tool. Cast your ballots below. (Ball gowns and black tie optional.)
Additional contributions by Emily Goldberg and David Hindley
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