Elizabeth Warren pressures Obama, the world’s largest tech fund and China’s development rethink

US senator calls on president to use exceptional powers to sack Mary Jo White, chair of the SEC

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Barack Obama is being pressed to sack Mary Jo White, chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission and one of his most senior appointees.

In a blistering letter, Senator Elizabeth Warren called on Mr Obama to use exceptional powers to eject Ms White, accusing her of standing in the way of greater corporate transparency, zeroing in on her alleged failure to develop a rule mandating the disclosure of political spending by companies — a hot issue since a loosening of restrictions on US campaign finance in 2010.

Elizabeth Warren accuses Mary Jo White of 'ignoring the SEC’s core mission of investor protection' © Bloomberg

Ms Warren, known as the “scourge of Wall Street”, last month castigated former Wells Fargo chief John Stumpf for his bank’s phantom accounts scandal. A video of her grilling the banking chief went viral on the internet. Mr Stumpf resigned this week. (FT, YouTube)

In the news

Tech fund giant SoftBank and Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund are preparing to launch the SoftBank Vision Fund that will manage as much as $100bn, creating one of the largest tech investment funds in the world. Based in London, it will be seeded with $25bn from SoftBank and up to $45bn from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund over the next five years. (FT)

Trump plays the victim The Republican presidential candidate painted himself as the victim of an establishment conspiracy as he rejected new allegations that he had made unwelcome sexual advances towards women, accusing the media of producing them in cahoots with Hillary Clinton. Here is a rundown of the latest accusations against him. (FT)

Thailand in mourning Thais begin 30 days of mourning the day after King Bhumibol Adulyadej died following 70 years on the throne. Civil servants will wear black for 12 full months in his memory. The much-revered king revived the prestige and power of a troubled monarchy but saw his country lurch between democracy and dictatorship throughout his reign. (FT, Guardian)

© Reuters

Chibok girls freed Nigeria's Boko Haram militants have freed 21 of the girls they kidnapped in Chibok two-and-a-half years ago. The girls met with the vice-president, Yemi Osinbajo, in the capital and are said to be in good health. Two hundred of the schoolgirls kidnapped in the northern town are still missing. (Reuters)

1MDB linked to White House visit Federal investigators are looking into whether money improperly obtained from 1MDB, the scandal-plagued Malaysian government fund, was paid to a businessman who later arranged an Oval Office visit for relatives of the Malaysian prime minister. (WSJ). 

It’s a big day for

Rwandan hospitals The world's first private drone delivery service will begin dropping packages to rural hospitals in the central African country. (BBC)

Wells Fargo The embattled lender reports earnings, which will be presented for the first time by Tim Sloan, who replaced John Stumpf as chief executive yesterday in the wake of a scandal over bogus accounts. (FT)

Food for thought

China begins to rethink developing world largesse Is this the end of risky bets on the “red elephants” of Beijing’s global financial diplomacy? (FT)

Saudi Arabia's economic makeover Ending Saudi dependence on cheap energy is a struggle, as the oil-rich kingdom grapples with low oil prices and a costly war in Yemen. (NYT)

Spicing up Indian train journeys Inedible meals will soon be a thing of the past on Asia's oldest railway. New delivery apps on parts of India's rail network mean passengers can have samosas, pizzas or other dishes delivered from local restaurants straight to their seats. It is part of a five-year, $137bn overhaul of the state-owned railway. (The National)

Going rogue in Indonesia The sudden stripping of taxpayer licences for a group of foreign companies by an Indonesian tax collector last month highlights the investment risk posed by rogue officials in the Southeast Asian state. (NAR)

Confronting the offensive With an unprecedented lack of civility taking hold of US presidential campaigning, the New York Times asks how to confront offensive comments without destroying relationships. (NYT)

Video of the day

Sterling: A political animal The FT’s Katie Martin and David Bloom from HSBC discuss last week’s “flash crash” in sterling and explain how “FX vigilantes” are making their views heard on the UK’s journey to the exit from the EU. (FT)

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