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The UK authorities have brought the first criminal charges to be filed against a bank and ‎its former top team related to activities during the financial crisis. Barclays, its former chief executive and three of its other ex-senior executives have been charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation. Two of the individuals and the bank also face a charge of unlawful financial assistance. The charges relate to side-deals struck with Qatar during emergency cash calls to stave off a government bailout at the height of the crisis.

The five-year investigation is the most serious of a number of lingering probes over the bank’s behaviour dating back nearly a decade. Earlier this year two former Barclays bankers were cleared of conspiring to rig the dollar-denominated Libor, which measures the rate at which banks can borrow from one another. Here is a look at former Barclays chief executive John Varley, who was proud of avoiding a government bailout during the credit crunch. (FT, Bloomberg, Reuters)

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In the news

Bank of England holds fast
In a major speech to London’s financial grandees, Bank of England governor Mark Carney said “now is not yet the time” to tighten monetary policy. He listed mixed signals on consumer spending and business investment, subdued domestic inflationary pressures and anaemic wage growth as reasons to hold off from reducing the extraordinary stimulus measures the Bank launched last August. His remarks prompted the British pound  to tumble. (FT)

Vice Media valued at $5.7bn 
Vice Media has completed a $450m investment  from private equity group TPG in a deal it says values the company at $5.7bn. Vice, which has managed to capture a millennial audience with its edgy content, said it would use the new funds to produce scripted “multi-screen” programming in complement to its existing news, documentary and reality series. (FT) 

US-led Syria coalition shakes
Australia has suspended air strikes in Syria the day after Russia  threatened to treat US-led coalition aircraft flying west of the Euphrates river as potential targets. Moscow said on Monday it had suspended use of a US-Russian military hotline used to avoid collisions of their aircraft in Syrian airspace. The escalation came after the US shot down a Syrian government aircraft after it dropped bombs close to US-backed forces battling Isis. (Reuters, FT, NYT)

Germany warns on Brexit The UK’s exit from the EU is “the greatest political risk” facing German foreign trade and investment, the head of the country’s leading industry group has warned. His comments came the day after Brexit negotiations between the EU and the UK began in Brussels. The UK has already conceded that the first stages of negotiations over Brexit will focus on divorce proceedings, and that talks on the UK’s exit bill  and the rights of EU citizens living in the UK and Britons on the continent will take place before those on trade. (FT)

US student dies after release from North Korea Otto Warmbier, the American college student who was detained in North Korea for 17 months before being returned to the US in a coma, has died a week after he was released by Pyongyang. Donald Trump made North Korea his top foreign policy priority after entering office on warnings over the country’s progress on nuclear-armed missiles. Here’s a long look at a global crisis in which there are no good options. (FT, Atlantic)

We may not be alone
Nasa's Kepler space telescope has revealed 10 Earth-like planets, which may be about the same size and temperature as Earth, boosting their chances of hosting life. (Guardian)

The day ahead

MSCI rankings
Argentina is optimistic of reclaiming emerging market status for global investment portfolios later today when MSCI, the index provider, announces its latest rankings for a number of countries. Chinese investors are also watching MSCI to see whether it will add mainland shares to its Emerging Markets Index. As Beijing awaited the decision, stocks in China slipped amid concerns over liquidity conditions. (FT, NAR)

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

What we’re reading

Back to black (and red and gold)
Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel is getting ready for the country’s election by wrapping herself in the national colours. With nationalist sentiment is on the rise in countries with which Germany has important relationships — from the US to Poland — she is keen to show that she is not shy of putting German interests first. (FT)

Prising open Khazakhstan
Wedged between Russia and China, larger than western Europe but with roughly the same population as the Netherlands, Khazakhstan has been closely watched as a barometer for central Asia, where fears of instability abound and natural resource wealth has bred both oligarchs and corruption. Can its statist economy be privatised? (FT) 

Chinese lessons for Hollywood 
In an effort to tap into the Chinese market, studios have tried setting films on the mainland, or hiring Chinese stars for bit parts — but they’re starting to realise that the best way to ensure a blockbuster is to take on a Chinese investment partner who can market the film to the max. (WSJ)

Love in a time of uncertainty
The consequences of Britain’s departure from the EU remain a hotly debated topic. But one area has been shamefully neglected — the impact of Brexit on the international dating scene. Politics, it seems, has moved higher up the list of priorities for singletons. (FT) 

Electronic battleground
The Arab uprisings of 2011 were boosted by an unprecedented use of social media but since then, less benign actors have taken control of the online narrative. Brian Whitacker looks at how the temporary suspension of al-Jazeera’s Twitter feed last week is the latest example of how political battles in the Middle East are increasingly being fought via the internet. (The Medium) 

Did cats domesticate themselves? 
Cats really do know their own mind. DNA analysis suggests that cats lived for thousands of years alongside humans before they were domesticated, likely following the rodents that were attracted to the crops and other agricultural byproducts produced by human civilisation. Even today, their genes have changed little from those of wildcats. (Nat Geo)

Video of the day

FT View: Brexit rethink required
Rob Armstrong gives the FT’s view on how Britain needs a political reconfiguration in order to manage Brexit. (FT)

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