FirstFT: Today’s top stories | Financial Times

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UK ministers are targeting June 22 to reopen England’s pubs and restaurants amid fears of mass job losses if the hospitality sector misses the lucrative summer season.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is among half a dozen ministers — calling themselves the “save summer six” — seeking to accelerate the reopening of the economy, but scientists have raised concerns about lifting the lockdown too early and risking a resurgence of Covid-19 infections.

Meanwhile, travellers arriving in Britain from Monday will have to self-isolate for 14 days under quarantine plans that already face a legal challenge from EasyJet, Ryanair and British Airways’ parent owner IAG.

The Treasury confirmed on Friday that the chancellor is delaying his big stimulus package until autumn, damping hopes of a summer Budget. The FT View has recommendations for Mr Sunak to support Britain’s recovery. (FT)

Coronavirus digest

  • Tokyo’s governor has questioned whether the Olympic Games can go ahead next year without an international travel and quarantine arrangement.

  • Brussels is under fire for failing to focus its planned €750bn recovery fund on economic damage caused by the shutdown. The EU economy is “through the worst” but activity is still depressed.

  • Hong Kong will relax its 14-day quarantine for executives of 480 of the largest companies listed in the city.

  • Siemens Healthineers said it is ready to produce 50m antibody tests this month. A US senator accused China of trying to block vaccine development.

  • Brazil resumed data releases for its coronavirus case and death totals following uproar. The country’s central bank chief intends to resist using newly granted quantitative easing powers. (FT, BBC, SCMP)

Follow our live coverage here.

In the news

Huawei hits back Huawei will launch a public fightback on Monday to preserve its role in Britain’s 5G networks, urging Boris Johnson not to “overestimate the risk” of delaying its rollout, vice-president Victor Zhang told the Financial Times. (FT)

Military faults Trump’s response Donald Trump faced growing criticism — including from Colin Powell, former secretary of state — over his handling of peaceful anti-police-violence protests. The US rallies were supported by protests across the world over the weekend. Civil rights groups have received a surge in corporate donations. (FT)

Protesters in Bristol threw a statue of slave trader Edward Colston into the harbour © PA

BNP sets sights on Goldman France’s largest investment bank is seeking to displace Goldman Sachs as one of the top three global prime brokers to hedge funds, and surpass Barclays as the dominant European player after acquiring Deutsche Bank’s business last year. (FT)

Trade logjam The shipping industry has warned of a mounting crisis on board merchant vessels, with up to 400,000 crew stranded either at sea or in port by travel restrictions because of the pandemic. (FT)

US jobless questions The US agency responsible for publishing labour statistics is struggling to pin down the actual unemployment rate following a “misclassification” in Friday’s report, which unexpectedly showed the US added 2.5m new jobs in May. Global stocks climbed on Monday. (FT)

Oil cuts extended Opec and Russia agreed to extend record oil production cuts for a further month as crude recovers to near $40 a barrel, but Saudi Arabia and Russia called for stronger compliance from other oil-producing nations at a virtual meeting. (FT, Bloomberg)

Vatican arrests London-based broker The Vatican has arrested Gianluigi Torzi over the multimillion-pound purchase in 2018 of a luxury property in Chelsea in a sweeping investigation into suspected financial irregularities inside the Holy See. (FT)

A bite out of the great British sandwich Coronavirus has cut sharply into sales of the UK sandwich sector, which for 30 years has enjoyed an almost uninterrupted boom and is worth more than £8bn a year. But with office workers at home and sales falling, outlets have been forced to close. (FT)

Pret A Manger is seeing footfall at about a fifth of pre-pandemic levels as it reopens branches after lockdown © PA

The day ahead

Coronavirus easing Restrictions continue to lift around the world on Monday. New York City will enter the first of four reopening phases, allowing 400,000 people to return to work. Belgium’s restaurants and bars will reopen, while Spain will loosen lockdown in some areas. (NYT, Politico)

Barclays’ legal battle Financier Amanda Staveley’s £1.5bn High Court case against Barclays for alleged deceit over the terms of its 2008 emergency fundraising begins on Monday, and should give new insights into the bank’s crisis-era activity. (FT)

George Floyd memorial Thousands are expected to gather for the public viewing of George Floyd’s body in Houston, Texas, on Monday; on the same day, the police officer charged with his death will appear in court. (WSJ)

Football’s big (legal) match begins this week. It’s Manchester City, the Premier League title holders, versus Uefa, European football’s governing body. More in Scoreboard, our new newsletter covering the business of sport. Sign up here.

What else we’re reading

Inside Facebook’s muddled makeover Over the past fortnight, Mark Zuckerberg has faced one of his most defining tests yet: whether to follow rival Twitter and censure — or censor — Donald Trump. To remain unregulated, the social media platform can’t afford to upset rulers, Rana Foroohar writes. (FT)

Mark Zuckerberg tried to make Facebook part of the response to coronavirus, but ran into trouble over his refusal to censor Donald Trump’s incendiary tweets © FT montage; Reuters; EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Twisted corporate logic In the same week that Standard Chartered boss Bill Winters blogged about the death of George Floyd, the bank struck a conciliatory tone on Beijing’s national security legislation for Hong Kong. Double standard? Yes, but also perfectly logical, writes Patrick Jenkins. (FT)

Dover-Calais uncertainty From January 1, some 4m trucks a year from the European Union will be subject to full customs controls for the first time. With just six months to go before new rules come into place, there is still no clarity on how the UK plans to manage the new customs border. (FT)

Column chart of Annual truck traffic (000s) showing Dover-Calais traffic could be slowed by UK customs checks

EY fights fires The accounting firm is facing regulatory scrutiny over its role with a Dubai gold company, NMC Health, and Wirecard, straining its lobbying influence just as British legislators consider aggressive proposals to break-up big accounting firms. (FT)

Lunch with the FT After so long under lockdown, what better lunch companion than the “happiest man in the world”?. Matthieu Ricard, the biologist-turned-Buddhist monk, weighs in on growing up with Buñuel and Breton, the virtues of solitude and the secret to a life well lived. (FT)

The Dalai Lama asked Matthieu Ricard — who is fluent in French, English and Tibetan — to become his French interpreter © James Ferguson

Green recovery Last Friday was World Environment Day. Congratulations if you noticed, writes Pilita Clark. In this year of pandemic and protest, are efforts to stave off the threat of climate change being derailed? (FT)

Is work going to be divided into pre- and post-coronavirus eras? Join Isabel Berwick, Work & Careers editor, for a live Q&A at 12pm UK time on June 8.

End of the cruise line? The 2020s were meant to be a boom decade for cruises. But with coronavirus having dealt the industry what looks like a crippling blow, operators are focusing on rebuilding trust. (FT)

Carnival’s Grand Princess cruise ship was held off Oakland, California. Eventually 78 passengers tested positive for the virus © Josh Edelson/AFP

How to be funny online From Twitter to TikTok, a new brand of comedy is blurring the line between silly and serious, writes Sam Leith. Primal instincts and the design of social media platforms help explain why we’re glued to our screens, “doomscrolling”. (FT, WSJ)

Video of the day

Lockdown lunches Daniel Garrahan always fancied making a cheese soufflé but has never been brave enough to try. Tim Hayward shows him how to make this classic French dish, fit for a 1970s-style dinner party. (FT)



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