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The UK's economy has confounded the forecasters and grown in the three months following the EU referendum, according to new figures published by the Office for National Statistics.
Business investment increased 0.9 per cent compared with the previous three months, confounding forecasters' expectations of a 1 per cent decline. The figures will boost Brexiters, who have accused economists of being inaccurate and overly pessimistic on the effects of the decision to leave the EU.
Britons are digesting the news that they could face more than a decade of lost wage growth and will earn no more by 2021 than they did in 2008 as the workforce endures the worst period for pay in at least 70 years. Private papers from former chancellor Geoffrey Howe warned of the ‘devastating effect’ of leaving Europe — back in 1980. (FT)
In the news
Pension profit The world's biggest pension fund, Japan's Government Pension Investment Fund, posted its first quarterly profit in a year, according to newly released data. The release shows that GPIF, which manages ¥132tn, added large batches of Facebook and Amazon shares to its massive portfolio in the year ended in March. This is only the second time the GPIF has disclosed its stock list. (FT, NAR)
Talking Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that Turkey could open its gates for migrants to Europe if pushed into a corner by the European Union, a day the European Parliament on Thursday voted overwhelmingly in favour of suspending EU membership talks with Turkey. Europe's stance towards Ankara has hardened as Mr Erdogan has cracked down on opponents in the wake of an attempted coup last summer. (Reuters, FT)
Democracy, not independence Lord Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong, has lambasted two lawmakers who were recently disqualified for pledging allegiance to the “Hong Kong nation”, arguing that the burgeoning independence movement in the Chinese territory is “completely counter-productive”. (FT)
Arctic tipping point A group of scientists has warned that the increasingly rapid melting of the ice cap risks triggering 19 “tipping points” in the region that could have catastrophic consequences around the globe. The Arctic Resilience Report found that temperatures in the Arctic are currently about 20C higher than expected for the time of year, which the scientists described as “off the charts”. The report warned that the changes could cause uncontrollable climate change around the globe. (Guardian)
Fire in the holy land Tens of thousands of residents in northern Israel have been told to leave their homes as fires raged for a fourth consecutive day. The security establishment believes that several of the wildfires may have been politically motivated cases of arson, but most were caused by extreme wind gusts and drought. A number of countries have sent special aircraft to help fight the fires. (Haaretz)
It’s a big day for
Online shoppers The battle for Thanksgiving online shoppers is under way, with early data suggesting US Black Friday sales via ecommerce will hit $2bn for the first time. (FT)
Food for thought
Born under Isis Thousands of children born in areas under Isis control have no official identity, other than a birth certificate issued by the group's “caliphate”. If no effort is made to normalise their status, a new group of stateless children living on the margins of already fragile and fragmented states such as Iraq, Syria and Libya will emerge. (Foreign Affairs)
Snap out of it Donald Trump is just the jolt Europe needed. Too long coddled by the US, Europeans should welcome the president-elect’s admonition to stand on their own feet, says the FT’s Philip Stephens. Beyond its economic interest in European stability — the EU may have its troubles but it is America’s richest overseas market — the US has much to lose from a break-up of the alliance. (FT)
Italy's bad banks A crisis at two banks has devastated Italy's wealthy Veneto region, causing an estimated 3.4 per cent fall in regional gross domestic product for 2016. But more than just another tale of bad loans in a country suffering under the weight of €360bn of soured bank debt, it asks questions about alleged corruption and lax supervision. (FT)
Move over Tinder For those Catholics itching to be absolved, a Scottish Archbishop may have just revolutionised the search for a confessional — with a new smartphone and tablet app launched at the Vatican. The Tinder-like app, which has inevitably been dubbed “Sindr” by some commentators, is expected to go live in early 2017. (Time)
Estonians prepare Donald Trump's election campaign set alarm bells ringing in the Baltic states, where memories of Russian occupation remain fresh. The citizens of Estonia (dismissed by Trump ally Newt Gingrich as “a suburb of St Petersburg”) are not taking any chances. Growing numbers are enrolling in the country's Defence League, which prepares for armed resistance. (Economist)
Video of the day
Tommy Mair and the far right An act of far-right terrorism stunned Britain — but far-right ideas have advanced towards the mainstream. Tom Burgis investigates Jo Cox’s killer. (FT)
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