A Hong Kong university remains under siege after a second day of ferocious clashes between riot police and protesters holed up on the campus.
Officers from the special tactical contingent, known as the “raptors”, had attempted to storm the university on Monday but were beaten back by volleys of petrol bombs that set the main entrance to Hong Kong Polytechnic University ablaze.
Black-clad young protesters throwing Molotov cocktails fought fierce battles with police in the streets around the university as they attempted to break the siege. By Monday evening, student union representatives estimated that there were still 500 people occupying the campus.
The siege of PolyU comes after the most violent week in the city’s months-long political crisis. At least one person was shot by police, another was set on fire, a 70-year-old man died after he was hit on the head by a flying brick and the police warned that the city was on “the brink of total collapse”. This video shows how universities have become the newest battlegrounds in Hong Kong.
A win for protesters: Hong Kong’s High Court on Monday struck down the government’s mask ban, declaring the emergency legislation unconstitutional.
The situation in Hong Kong is a nightmare for China’s president Xi Jinping, writes Gideon Rachman. Meanwhile, one of the oldest companies in Hong Kong is now one of the territory’s most exposed conglomerates.
In last week’s poll we asked if you would leave Hong Kong because of the violence. A majority of respondents said they would. See the full results below. (FT, New York Times, South China Morning Post)
In the news
Extension granted for US-Huawei business The Trump administration has approved a 90-day extension for US companies to do business with the blacklisted Chinese telecoms group as regulators continue to hammer out rules on companies that pose a national security risk and negotiators strive for progress in trade talks. It is the third such extension. (FT, NPR)
Saudi Aramco IPO abandons international roadshow In the latest sign of the initial public offering’s shrunken ambitions, bankers learnt on Monday that no formal European investor meetings would take place, a day after roadshows in the US and Asia were called off, said people familiar with the matter. (FT)
Boris Johnson delays cutting UK corporation tax The decision to postpone Conservatives’ plan to cut UK corporation tax to 17 per cent demonstrates the lack of a war chest available to the Tories for tax cuts and public spending promises since they committed to balancing the government’s books, excluding capital investment. Elsewhere in the election, the FT’s Miranda Green weighs in on whether the insurgents trying to tempt voters away from the two main parties can transform traditional politics. More on why Mr Johnson’s delayed corporate tax cut makes sense in the Brexit Election Briefing. Sign up here. (FT)
Fed chair meets Donald Trump Jay Powell, Federal Reserve chairman, told the US president the central bank would continue to make monetary policy in a “non-political” manner, in a meeting that followed months of criticism of Mr Powell by the president. The rare sit-down was the pair’s second meeting of the year. (FT, Bloomberg)
US reverses course on West Bank settlements Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement that the US is softening its stance on Israeli settlements marks a historic shift in US policy. The move to declare the settlements not illegal puts the US at odds with others working towards Israeli-Palestinian peace. (Associated Press)
SoftBank-backed Yahoo Japan and Line agree to merge The deal follows a long courtship of Line by Masayoshi Son (below), SoftBank’s founder, who has long pitched the merger as a way to compete against bigger groups in China and Silicon Valley, said people familiar with the discussions. (FT)
T-Mobile USA chief to step down John Legere has called time on his stint as chief executive of the telecoms company, and his longtime deputy Mike Sievert will take over at the post next year. Mr Legere’s future has been unclear since he was linked to the vacant chief executive role at WeWork. Separately, the shared-office space company announced it would begin US job cuts “in earnest” this week. (FT, Bloomberg)
China’s central bank cuts short-term lending rate The People’s Bank of China’s first easing in four years signals Beijing’s concern over slower growth. The central bank said on Monday that it would lower the seven-day reverse repurchase rate from 2.55 per cent to 2.5 per cent. The FT’s senior investment commentator Mike Mackenzie has more on the easing in his Market Forces newsletter, a daily analysis of what’s moving global markets. Sign up here. (FT)
The day ahead
UK general election debate ITV will host the first head-to-head clash between Conservative leader Boris Johnson and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn on Tuesday. Ahead of the debate, the FT’s political commentator Robert Shrimsley writes that Brexit has afforded Mr Johnson a definition he does not really possess. (FT)
US impeachment hearings Lawmakers will hold four public hearings in the impeachment inquiry into Mr Trump on Tuesday. The president himself said he would “strongly consider” testifying. As part of the inquiry, lawmakers are also investigating whether Mr Trump lied to special counsel Robert Mueller during the Russia investigation. (FT, CNN)
Google to launch cloud gaming service US search group will release Stadia, a service that will stream computer games across 14 countries at launch. Originally it was expected to host 10 games, but late on Sunday night Google upped its offerings to 22. The service promises players a high-speed, console-quality experience, from their living rooms to their smartphones, piped from one of the search giant’s many vast data centres. (FT, The Verge)
Which developing country embraced digital and digitally-outsourced industries at an early stage and regarded them as a key part of its growth strategy? India. And which country is now threatening to tax cross-border digital trade, overturning a 21-year WTO moratorium on such tariffs? India again. More in Trade Secrets, the FT’s must-read daily briefing on the changing face of international trade and globalisation. Sign up here.
What else we’re reading
Facebook — faking it Mark Zuckerberg has always said the social network is a platform for authenticity. But the proliferation of phoney identities has reached a record high. That’s a big problem for a company that trumpets user growth — a barometer of health to investors — and is often criticised for failing to police false information. Rana Foroohar writes that our personal data needs protecting from Big Tech. (FT)
How to survive an election With less than four weeks to go — or a year, if you’re a US voter — before polls open, Tim Harford offers his handy guide for surviving an election with your insanity intact. Here’s how to keep cool amid the cacophony and cast your vote wisely. Our guide will come in especially handy if you’re an American getting worn out from being inundated with political news. (FT, NYT)
Tehran’s web of influence in Iraq The Intercept obtained 700 pages of Iranian intelligence reports — an unprecedented leak from one of the world’s most secretive governments. The cables, provided by an anonymous source, reveal both Tehran’s attempt to infiltrate Iraqi politics, and the impact of US foreign policy following the 2003 invasion. Explore the full project or the key takeaways. (The Intercept, NYT)
The stigma of menopause at work fadesMenopausal women are the fastest-growing demographic in workplaces across the UK, according to government figures. That is why companies are starting to consider how they can support employees who may be struggling with symptoms, from hot flushes and brain fog to depression and a greater propensity for urinary tract infections. (FT)
Do you have personal experience with menopause at work? Please share your thoughts with other readers in the comments. Does your company have any specific policies or support for menopausal women? If yes, what are they? If not, what would you like those policies to be?
Who will rule the internet? There are two models of internet for the world to choose from. The US follows a chaotic means of digital freedom. Sure, that allows for freedom of expression online, but it can come at the cost of amplifying false, sometimes dangerous, information. Meanwhile, China exercises ruthless control. Companies are more likely to take down problematic information, but the government’s tight grip lends itself to mass repression. Neither are good options. (BuzzFeed News)
Dealing with mistakes at work Good god, I thought. That could have been me, writes Pilita Clark after watching Official Secrets, a film based on the true story of an explosive US intelligence memo that was leaked to Britain’s Observer newspaper on the eve of the 2003 Iraq war. The memo was inadvertently changed from American English into British English by an unsuspecting assistant who thought she was being helpful but it led to suspicions the memo was a fake. In her column, Pilita asks how should we deal with mistakes at work? (FT)
Prince Andrew’s bad reputation Partying was what second sons were expected to do in the days of the Duke of York’s youth, but Prince Andrew did not seem to recall much of his “playboy prince” past during his interview with BBC’s Emily Maitlis. History, however, shows his journey from “golden prince to being the embarrassing uncle”, as Catherine Mayer, author and leader of the Women’s Equality party, put it. (The Guardian)
FT Executive MBA Ranking 2019 French school HEC Paris tops this year’s list of universities offering executive MBAs, up from sixth a year ago. The EMBA is a part-time programme often taken by people more established in their careers compared with those on full-time courses. Applications for traditional two-year, full-time MBA programmes in the US have declined overall for five straight years, according to the Graduate Management Admission Council, while EMBA applications have grown steadily. This is the list of best performing schools. (FT)
Video of the day
Why healthcare policy is a defining issue for America The FT’s Rana Foroohar on why wrangling over insurance system reforms will dominate the 2020 presidential election.