US-South Korea meeting, Colombia election, Irish abortion vote

Hello, and welcome to the Week
Ahead from the Financial Times in London. Here are some of the big stories
we’ll be watching this week. The US and South Korea meets
to discuss North Korea. Colombians go to the
polls for a new president. UK bellwether
retailer and Spencer faces uncertain results. French President
Emmanuel Macron has talks with Russian
counterpart Vladimir Putin on Iran and Ukraine. And Ireland votes on whether
to lift a ban on abortion. South Korean
President Moon Jae-in heads to Washington
on Tuesday, where he’ll meet with US
President Donald Trump. The top of the agenda
will be North Korea, which last week sparked a
flurry of concern when it raised the possibility of cancelling
a potentially historic summit with the US on June the 12th
where Mr Trump is due to meet North Korean leader Kim
Jong Un in Singapore. Mr Moon’s visit is aimed at
sharing tips and strategies ahead of the highly
anticipated summit and to keep talks on track,
as his spokesperson made clear recently. Colombians are likely to buck
the global populist trend in presidential
elections this week and vote for a
centre-right candidate from the establishment. Ivan Duque, 41, a protege of
former President Alvaro Uribe, comfortably leads polls
with 34% of the vote. That lead is probably not
enough for the youthful senator to win outright in
the first round vote, but it’s certainly enough to
propel Mr Duque into the June 17th runoff. There, his rival
will most likely be Gustavo Petro, a former M-19
guerrilla and mayor of Bogota, currently polling at 23%. The often bitter
electoral race has been polarised by President
Juan Manuel Santos’S controversial peace
deal with the Farc, a Marxist guerrilla group, and
the implosion of neighbouring socialist Venezuela. Sales of dresses
in underwear used to be what concerned investors
in Marks and Spencer, one of the UK’s most
famous retailers. To that, they can now add food. Retail correspondent
Jonathan Eley has more on what to expect
from their results this week. Marks and Spencer is
perhaps the retailer that’s closest to the
heart of British people, so its fortunes
matter enormously in the national consciousness. One thing we’re looking
out for is food sales. They have traditionally
been a driver of growth at the store over
the last few years. At the interim
results in November, there was a slowdown in food. They’re not opening as
many new food stores, so it’ll be interesting
to see if that trend is better or worse since then. Another thing to
watch, the mood music between the chief
executive Steve Rowe who is a lifelong Marks
and Spencer employee, came from the shop
floor, and Archie Norman, the chairman who
joined last September. He’s external, big reputation,
veteran of many turnrounds, very widely admired, but he’s
very hands on, very forthright, very opinionated. The two seem to be
getting on so far. They made a big show of unity
at the interims in November. But since then, there have
been quite a few management departures from
Marks and Spencer, so it will be interesting to
see if their relations are still holding firm. French President
Emmanuel Macron travels to St Petersburg’s
International Economic Forum this week for a meeting with
his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. The encounter comes after
US President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out from
the Iran nuclear agreement, and also following air
strikes by the US, France, and the UK against the
Russian-supported Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad. However, the EU is
now more focused on salvaging the
Iranian nuclear deal, notably with the help of Russia. The 40-year-old French
leader has sort of become the favourite middle man
between Mr Trump and Mr Putin. And Irish voters go to
the polls this Friday in a referendum to repeal the
country’s constitutional ban on abortion. The abortion question is
one of the most contentious in the politics of a once
strongly Catholic country that voted in 2015 to
legalise gay marriage, but surveys suggest the campaign
to remove the ban on abortion has a large but narrowing lead. And that’s what the weak head
looks like from the Financial Times in London. Goodbye.

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. abortion is so evil, most of the voters for "yes" have never seen what it does to the baby. how can humans be so cruel to everything and everybody's right to live.

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