G7 summit, Putin visits Austria, Apple conference

Hello, and welcome to the Week
Ahead from the Financial Times in London. Here’s some of the
big stories we’ll be watching in the coming days. G7 leaders are heading to
Canada for the annual summit amid growing tensions between
the US and its allies. Russian president Vladimir
Putin heads to Austria. And what new gadgets does
Apple have up its sleeve? We’ll find out at the
company’s developer conference. Let’s start in Canada,
where the quiet town of La Malbaie in Quebec
is set to host this year’s Group of Seven summit. The meeting of the seven
leading advanced economies on June 8 and 9 promises
to be a fractious event. There were disagreements
at last year’s meeting in Italy, where US President
Donald Trump refused to sign up to
environmental commitments and the others decided
to press on regardless. But this year, trade tensions
will dominate the meeting between the US, Japan,
Germany, France, the UK, Italy, and Canada. The US administration
has begun levying tariffs on steel and aluminium
imports from economies, including Canada,
Mexico, and the EU. And that’s on the grounds
of national security. Those affected have quickly
responded by announcing tit for tat tariffs on US imports. This all comes, of
course, as Canada, the US, and Mexico are in the process of
renegotiating Nafta, the North American Free Trade Agreement. Here’s a look at what
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had to say. These tariffs are
totally unacceptable, that Canada could be
considered a national security threat to the United
States is inconceivable. These tariffs will harm
industry and workers on both sides of the
Canada-US border. These tariffs are an affront
to the long-standing security partnership between Canada
and the United States and in particular an affront to
the thousands of Canadians who have fought and died alongside
their American brothers in arms. Now Vladimir Putin is set
to visit Vienna on Tuesday for talks with Austrian
president Alexander Vander der Bellen and Chancellor
Sebastian Kurz. This is being seen as
a prime opportunity for the Russian
president to step up efforts to exploit the divisions
in Europe’s relationship with the US. For years Moscow
has been claiming that the US is forcing an
anti-Russian agenda on Europe that runs counter to
Europe’s own interest. Now, the Trump administration’s
unilateral exit from the Iran nuclear
deal has driven some European politicians
to echo that tune. Mr Putin will be hoping
to convince Austria to oppose the rollover of
anti-Russian sanctions, which EU governments are due to agree
this month just as Austria prepares to take over the
rotating EU presidency. Here’s Gideon Rachman, our
chief foreign affairs columnist, with more on Russia
EU relations. Vladimir Putin’s visit to
Austria is a potentially important one for
the Russian leader, because the Russians are trying
to break free from the western imposed isolation or
semi-isolation that happened after the annexation of
Crimea by Russia in 2014 – economic sanctions
and all of that. Austria, although,
it’s a small country, is a potentially important
one for the Russians, because it’s more Russia
friendly than most of the EU. It didn’t, for example,
expel Russian diplomats as most European countries
did after the attempted murder of Sergei Skripal
here in the UK. And the Austrians also keen on
a strong economic relationship with Russia and
traditionally have been a neutral country,
not a member of Nato. So Austria could be a kind
of lever for the Russians. And finally, Apple
fans take note. The company’s annual
developer conference is set to take place this week. The meeting ranked second
only to the iPhone launch in the company’s
calendar of events and is an opportunity
for app makers to preview the next version of
iOS, brush up on their coding and design skills, and
mingle with the app store as gatekeepers. For investors and
analysts, it often provides a hint of where
Apple’s headed next. Advances in artificial
intelligence, augmented reality, and
the so-called smart home are expected as Apple races
to match Google and Amazon. Apple is also likely to
address growing concerns about smartphone addiction
after a group of investors pressed the iPhone
maker earlier this year over the unintentional negative
side effects in children. Here’s our US
technology correspondent Tim Bradshaw with more
on what to expect. Last year at Apple’s
develop a conference, it unveiled the HomePod,
which was the Siri powered smart speaker designed to
compete with Amazon’s Echo and Google Home. But the device shipped late. They didn’t get it out
in time for Christmas. It’s a lot more expensive than
the $100 or less smart speakers that its rivals are selling. And so the
performance has really been seen as kind
of lacklustre, which has been a complaint about
Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant, for some time. So I think the really
interesting test at the WWDC events this week will be as
to whether Apple is really showing progress in
artificial intelligence and virtual assistance. Otherwise, it risks being
left behind by its rivals in Silicon Valley. And that’s what the week ahead
looks like in the Financial Times in London. See you again next time.

15 thoughts on “G7 summit, Putin visits Austria, Apple conference

  1. Silly person, it's pronounced Canadia, not Canada. They changed it, last week. Well, that's what I heard.

  2. TRUMP is a MAN who means what he says and only does what's right for America and American citizens.

  3. The e u is over let it go. and Justin truduo is socialist and haets Canadian patriots donald trump loves the Canadian army more than Justin just wants wemon to take over like the gender diversity wanker he is he should resine as soon as possible for being a fool

  4. European tariffs on cars from USA 10.5%. American tariffs on cars from Europe 2.5%. Good for Trump, he is looking after his own country. The simple answer is, all countries should drop tariffs and have a level playing field.

  5. Smart phones and driving. I adore walking in the country. Turn your phones off when you are driving please……:)

  6. Trimp in Austria -expect to see Austrian leader prostrate himself saying " I am unworthy " – got that not tight at least!

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