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Europe is the latest target for president-elect Donald Trump ahead of his inauguration ceremony on Friday. He has labelled the EU “ a vehicle for Germany” and predicted that other countries will follow Britain in leaving the bloc. He has also warned Germany’s carmakers could be hit with a border tax if they produce cars in Mexico for export to the US. For good measure, Mr Trump accused Germany’s Angela Merkel of making a “catastrophic mistake” by admitting more than 1m migrants. German politicians played down the comments with a Merkel spokesman saying only that the chancellor looked forward to “close co-operation” with Mr Trump’s government. 

Meanwhile, Ms Merkel, who faces an election this year, has warned about the possibility of Russian hacking during the campaign. Her government is upping the pressure on social networks to curb the spread of malicious posts. Facebook is already on track to begin testing fake news filtering tools in Germany in the coming weeks after the spread of false stories in the country. (FT, Times, BBC, Bloomberg)

In the news

Eyewear giant Italy’s Luxottica and France’s Essilor have agreed a €50bn merger deal , one of the largest ever European cross-border transactions, creating a global leader in the fast-growing eyewear industry. Luxottica is the world’s leading consumer eyewear group and owner of Ray-Ban, Oakley and Sunglass Hut, while Essilor is the world’s leading manufacturer of lenses. (FT)

Corruption in South Korea Special prosecutors in Seoul requested an arrest warrant for the de facto head of Samsung, the country’s largest company, as a corruption scandal that toppled President Park Geun-hye ensnared another powerful South Korean figure. (FT)

Brexit unveiling The British government has begun to reveal a pragmatic negotiating stance with Brussels ahead of Theresa May’s speech on Tuesday in which she sets out her Brexit blueprint. Sterling slid below $1.20 for the first time since October in anticipation of the address and remained low in early Asia morning trade. This is what we know so far about Mrs May’s Brexit plan. (FT)

Xi’s Davos close-up The Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s unexpected victory have transformed Xi Jinping’s turn at the World Economic Forum in Davos this week into an unexpected opportunity. But the FT’s Gideon Rachman writes that Mr Trump’s shadow will loom over delegates at the mountain resort. (FT)

Eight to 3.6bn Just eight men are worth the equivalent of the world’s poorest 50 per cent — some 3.6bn people — according to a new report by a charity highlighting global inequality. Oxfam said the widening gap between rich and poor helped explain the victory of Donald Trump and the Brexit vote, and said a new economic model was needed to reverse the trend. (Guardian)

Blow for Sisi In its final ruling, a court in Egypt has rejected an unpopular plan to cede two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia. President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi’s government had argued that the agreement would bring economic benefits for Egypt, but the deal, which was announced last year, provoked outrage among Egyptians and prompted rare protests. (Al Jazeera)

It’s a big day for

Lehman Brothers in Europe A £10bn claim by the administrators of Lehman Brothers’ European operations will come before London courts. (FT)

Keep up with the important business, economic and political stories in the coming days with the FT’s WeekAhead.

Food for thought

China’s football spree threatened Chinese leader Xi Jinping may love the beautiful game but high-priced football transfers are coming under scrutiny as Chinese authorities try to curb capital flight. But that did not prevent Shanghai SIPG from reportedly paying £51m for Brazilian international Oscar this month. (NAR)

Ireland: desperately seeking friends With Dublin expected to feel the impact of the UK’s exit more than any other state in the union, Ireland is on the hunt for new EU friends. (FT)

The other migration crisis The plight of migrants trying to reach Europe from Africa may dominate the headlines but in recent years there has also been a surge in the numbers of those risking everything to travel within Africa. New conflicts and unresolved crises have led to an overall increase of about 20 per cent in the number of people displaced across the continent. (Guardian)

Fake news is not new The practice was honed by the ancient Romans, most notoriously by Octavian who brandished what he claimed was a will proving Mark Anthony was planning to leave Roman territory to the children he had with Egypt’s Cleopatra. The senate stripped Mark Anthony of his powers and the rest, as they say, is history. Meanwhile, Jeremy Paxman bemoans how in our era social media amplifies gossip and misinformation. (The Conversation, FT) 

Video of the day

A look at the week ahead Vanessa Kortekaas highlights the key stories to watch for in the week ahead, including Donald Trump being sworn in as the 45th US president and the annual World Economic Forum in Davos. (FT)

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