Good morning. This article is an on-site version of our FirstFT newsletter. Sign up to our Asia, Europe/Africa or Americas edition to get it sent straight to your inbox every weekday morning
How well did you keep up with the news this week? Take our quiz.
Nato member states have agreed to supply new types of advanced weaponry to Ukraine, alliance representatives have said, as Kyiv prepares for a fresh offensive by Russia in the country’s east.
The pledge came after a plea from Ukraine’s foreign minister for western countries to move faster with fresh supplies or instead see “many people die . . . because this help came too late”.
Six weeks since Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, ordered the invasion of Ukraine, Moscow’s troops have largely withdrawn from territory north of Kyiv after failing to seize the capital but are regrouping and rearming ahead of an attempt to advance in the eastern Donbas region, Ukrainian and western officials say.
Meanwhile, the UN General Assembly voted to suspend Russia from the Geneva-based Human Rights Council. Ninety-three members of the UN gave their green light to Russia’s suspension — a rare rebuke for any member of the world body and the first such suspension of any permanent member of the UN security council.
However, 24 UN members — including China, Iran, Bolivia, and Kazakhstan — voted against Russia’s suspension. India, Indonesia and Egypt were among the 58 countries that abstained.
The latest on the war in Ukraine:
Thanks for reading FirstFT Asia. Send any feedback on today’s newsletter to [email protected] — Emily
Five more stories in the news
1. Ketanji Brown Jackson confirmed for US Supreme Court seat The US Senate has confirmed Ketanji Brown Jackson for a seat on the Supreme Court, making her the first black female justice to join America’s highest court in a big win for President Joe Biden, who championed her nomination.
2. Toshiba to consider take-private bids The Japanese company will set up a special committee to assess potential bids from private equity and other investors, opening the door for a landmark deal to take one of the country’s biggest industrial names private.
3. Vietnam’s VinFast files for US IPO Carmaker VinFast is to float its shares in the US as Vietnam’s largest auto group seeks to fund its shift to become fully electric. The move makes it the latest carmaker to turn to the public markets in an attempt to become a major global electric brand.
4. JD.com founder steps down Richard Liu has stepped down as chief executive of JD.com, the Chinese ecommerce group he founded more than two decades ago, marking the latest exit for one of the country’s top entrepreneurs. Beijing’s months-long campaign to rein in Big Tech has spurred several Chinese entrepreneurs to flee executive roles.
5. Samsung bumper profit forecast Samsung Electronics has forecast its highest first-quarter operating profit since 2018 on strong smartphone and microchip sales, but the positive projections failed to dispel growing doubts over its technological edge against rivals Apple and Taiwan chipmaker TSMC.
The days ahead
Japan trade balance figures February data is set to be released on Friday.
Rio London annual general meeting Rio Tinto company will lose another board member after its Friday AGM meeting. Non-executive director Hinda Gharbi is set to leave the company in the wake of the company’s 2020 decision to blow up an Aboriginal heritage site. (West Australian)
French presidential election The first round of the country’s presidential election will be held on Sunday. Here’s what you need to know about the state of the race. If no single candidate wins a majority of votes this weekend (a likely scenario) there will be a second round on April 24.
What else we’re reading
Asia-Pacific start-ups seize growth at home This year’s FT ranking of Asia-Pacific’s high-growth companies is the first of its kind to include data from the pandemic period. And it offers a unique insight into which companies have most effectively navigated Asia’s severe lockdowns.
Twitter’s edit button will not rewrite your life Usually editing is a good idea. The proliferation of rambling newsletters on platforms such as Substack has reinforced the need for it. However, Twitter’s virtue is that it is a forum for quick debate. Introducing edits would only make this a ponderous affair, writes Emma Jacobs.
The weaponisation of finance, part 2 The second of a two-part series on the new era of financial warfare examines how the sanctions freezing Russia’s foreign currency reserves have created an incentive for countries to bypass the US currency. The big question now is: Will there be a backlash against the dollar?
The Franciscan monk helping the Vatican take on AI Engineer, teacher, ethicist and priest — Paolo Benanti is all of these things. He is also helping the Vatican to navigate the moral and ethical issues surrounding cutting-edge technologies such as bioaugmentation, neuroethics and artificial intelligence.
‘The forces of self-interest and technology cannot be undone’ As part of the Economists Exchange series featuring conversations between top FT commentators and leaders in the field, former World Bank economist Branko Milanovic considers Africa’s growing role in global inequality.
Competitive co-operation or containment? Martin Wolf reviews two books that set out opposing views on how the US should approach its relationship with superpower rival China.
Recommended newsletters for you
Working It — Discover what’s shaking up the world of work with work & careers editor Isabel Berwick. Sign up here
Disrupted Times — Your essential FT newsletter about the changes in business and the economy between Covid and conflict. Sign up here
Thank you for reading and remember you can add FirstFT to myFT. You can also elect to receive a FirstFT push notification every morning on the app. Send your recommendations and feedback to [email protected] Sign up here