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In the line of fire?: Countries that rely most on Russian trade

Russia may only account for 1.7% of global goods and services (2020), but its invasion of Ukraine is likely to trigger a European recession and set back global growth by up to 30%, says a new Statista report. In the meantime, numerous countries still have the sanction-bound Russia as their largest trading partner.

Robot war: Musk’s ‘bots’ concerns torpedo Twitter share price

On 25 April, Elon Musk agreed a $44bn deal to purchase the social media giant Twitter. However, on Friday (13 May) the world’s richest man announced he was putting the deal on hold due to concerns as to the true number of ‘bots’ or spam accounts on the network. He also suggested that he might buy the company for a lower price as a result.

By Monday (16 May) Musk had roiled investors once more when he appeared via videolink at a Miami tech conference saying he thought around 20% of Twitter accounts were fake.

In response to a lengthy thread from Twitter CEO, Parag Agrawal, explaining the difficulties related to detecting and eliminating bots, Musk, who faces a $1bn break-up fee in the event the deal falls through, then posted a ‘poop emoji’.

On Monday, Twitter’s shares fell 8% to close at $37.39, a long way from the $54.20 a share Musk agreed to pay last month.

Credit: Sergei Elagin/

McDonald’s shake: fast-food giant to exit Russia after 30 years

After three decades of trading in Russia, McDonald’s has signalled that it’s pulling up stumps in one of its biggest markets as its presence is no longer “consistent with McDonald’s values” following the invasion of Ukraine.

The closure of its 850 Russian outlets before they are sold to a local business, minus the McDonald’s name, logo, branding and menu, will leave some 62,000 staff looking for work.

McDonald’s was in the second wave of major brands to halt business in Russia back in March, but is among the first to take such draconian action. McDonald’s chief executive, Chris Kempczinski, explained that “…we have a commitment to our global community and must remain steadfast in our values. And our commitment to our values means that we can no longer keep the Arches shining there.”

McDonald’s has said that its Russian and Ukraine outlets contributed 9% of annual revenue, around £1.6bn. It also expects to suffer a write-off of around £1.1bn for exiting its investment.

Credit: Sorbis/

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