UK minister warns on foreign workers, Moscow’s Syria game and cod accents

Employers’ groups and businesses react angrily to speech

Listen to this article

00:00
00:00

Sign up to receive FirstFT by email here

UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd vowed to “flush out” employers who fail to recruit British workers a day after she called on businesses to employ fewer foreigners. Employers’ groups and businesses have reacted angrily to her speech, saying it sends the wrong message to companies nervous about the risks of Brexit.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s tough talk on Brexit has put so much pressure on sterling that the UK has fallen below France in the global table of economic powers when measured at market exchange rates.

A series of speeches by Mrs May and her ministers at the Conservative party conference in recent days have increased fears of investors that the UK is heading towards a ‘hard’ Brexit. The pound fell to a five-year low against the euro on Wednesday as the prime minister gave the closing speech at her party’s annual conference. (FT, Guardian)

In the news

Matthew goes north The most powerful Caribbean hurricane in nearly a decade is moving to the southern US after hitting Haiti. The 230kph winds, heavy rain and dangerous storm surges left a scene described by one local politician as “catastrophic”. Many US governors have declared a state of emergency in preparation for the storm. (FT)

Fishy talk Cod have regional accents according to British scientists. Underwater recordings reveal a difference between American and European cod. The sounds originate in the swim bladders of male fish and are designed to attract mates. (FT

HK activist barred Joshua Wong, the teenager who became the face of Hong Kong’s 2014 umbrella protest has been barred from entering Thailand after China reportedly asked for his name to be placed on a blacklist. He was due to give a speech at an event marking the 40th anniversary of a massacre of pro-democracy students in Thailand. (Guardian, FT)

Google unveils Pixel smartphone The tech group plunged deep into smartphones and other hardware on Tuesday as it unveiled an expensive and potentially risky bet intended to create a showcase for its artificial intelligence and other services. (FT)

Obama ‘can go to hell’ Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte is at it again. As his country began joint military exercises with the US he told Barack Obama to “go to hell” and warned that he would “break up with America” and “go to Russia and to China”. (BBC)

It’s a big day for

Insider trading The Supreme Court will hear a pivotal case, considering just how much benefit the inside tipper must gain in order to prove culpability. Bassam Salman is appealing his three-year sentence for trading on nonpublic information he received from his brother-in-law in a case that will have an extensive impact over future prosecutions. (Bloomberg)

Food for thought

Moscow’s Syria game The US has accused Russia of prolonging the conflict in Syria as it continues to back Syrian regime forces as they pummel rebel-held Aleppo. But analysts and officials in Russia and the US say Moscow is in fact rushing to strengthen President Bashar al-Assad’s hold on power and constrain the options of the US ahead of the upcoming presidential election. (FT, NYT)

Deutsche Bank’s lesson in risk A little while ago the focus was on the Italian banks. Today, it is on Deutsche Bank, writes Martin Wolf. “The solution is to ensure adequate capital at all times and, in its absence, sufficient bail-in-able debt. In the absence of either, banking remains an accident waiting to happen.” (FT)

Iran’s renewable energy boom The lifting of sanctions against the oil-rich Islamic republic has helped propel a shift to renewable energy. Officials say that ending dependence on fossil fuels will not only help the planet, but it will provide Iran with possible export opportunities. (Al-Monitor)

Egypt’s military economy Under Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, Egypt’s president and former army chief, the military is widening its footprint on the country’s struggling economy. The private sector fears that it cannot compete with the politically powerful and opaque institution. (FT)

The future of laundry The days of folding laundry may be over. In future the tedious task can be done by the laundroid, an artificial intelligence-infused device on show at Ceatec, Japan’s largest information technology and electronics exhibition. They will go on the market next year. (NAR)

Video of the day

Trump attacks Fed independence The FT’s Sam Fleming examines the recent attacks by Donald Trump on the Federal Reserve’s political independence after he accuses Janet Yellen of a secret conspiracy with Barack Obama.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved. You may share using our article tools. Please don't copy articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.