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Sweden’s central bank moved its interest rates deeper into negative territory with an unexpectedly large cut, intensifying fears that global policymakers are being forced to take more extreme action to tackle low inflation.

The Riksbank cut its main repo rate by 15 basis points to minus 0.5 per cent, despite the fact that the country’s economy is booming. The bank said it felt forced to act because of “weakening confidence” in achieving its inflation target of 2 per cent. It warned that monetary policy could be made “even more expansionary if this is needed to safeguard the inflation target”.

The move rattled currency markets, sending the Swedish krona down 1.6 per cent against the euro, while the yen hit a 14-month high of 111.39 against the US dollar. Core European bond yields dropped to new record lows after the Riksbank caught markets off guard with its move, while a broader stock market sell-off across the continent accelerated. (FT, FastFT)

In the news

Yellen warns on market turbulence Fed chair Janet Yellen warned that global market turbulence could stifle US growth and corporate hiring if it persists, using language that suggests a near-term interest rate rise has become less likely. Ms Yellen pointed to risks to the US from China and said financial conditions had become “less supportive” of US growth, citing the recent slide in equity prices, higher credit costs for riskier borrowers and the rise in the dollar, which has battered exporters. (FT)

10,000 Syrian children ‘missing’ According to the European police agency Europol, more than 10,000 children who entered Europe during the past two years have disappeared, vanishing through the gaping cracks in Europe’s chaotic system for dealing with refugees and migrants. The fear is that many have been trafficked into the sex trade by the same groups that are profiting by ferrying refugees into and across Europe. (NYT)

Former Auschwitz guard on trial A 94-year-old former Nazi SS guard at the Auschwitz death camp is going on trial in Germany over the murder of at least 170,000 people. Prosecutors say Reinhold Hanning met Jewish prisoners as they arrived at the camp in occupied Poland and may have escorted some to the gas chambers. (BBC)

Facebook colonialism row Mark Zuckerberg has clashed with Marc Andreessen over the longstanding Facebook investor and board member’s “deeply upsetting” remarks about India. Mr Andreessen had dismissed India’s decision to block Facebook’s “free” mobile internet scheme as “anti-colonialism”, unwittingly stoking the fears of those who believe Mr Zuckerberg’s stated philanthropic ambitions are a front for his desire to dominate the internet in the developing world. (FT, BBC)

Twitter ‘flatlining’ Last quarter, Twitter had 320m monthly active users, virtually flat from the quarter before. That’s bad news, and if you look closer, it’s actually worse. Last year Twitter started including what are called SMS Fast Followers, who are people who use the service exclusively by SMS, in its tally of monthly active users. A closer look at Twitter’s earnings report reveals that excluding these users, Twitter dropped from 307m to 305m monthly active users. Ouch. (Gizmodo)

North Korea’s isolation worsens The US Senate has unanimously passed a bill that would impose tougher sanctions on North Korea in the hope of galvanising stronger international pressure on the regime over its nuclear programme. Meanwhile, South Korea’s decision to close the Kaesong Industrial Complex just above the line dividing North from South Korea marks the final ending of an era of failed hopes for North-South reconciliation. (FT, Forbes)

Fukushima clean-up faces huge hurdles Nearly five years after a devastating earthquake and tsunami, the wreckage that litters the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant underscores the massive undertaking of decommissioning the reactors that is expected to take decades. (NAR)

It’s a big day for

Einstein’s legacy Scientists are expected to confirm the existence of gravitational waves in what would be one of the biggest scientific discoveries in years and confirmation of one of Einstein’s last unproven theories. (The Verge)

Food for thought

Death in Aleppo, victory in Russia, havoc in Europe The FT’s Roula Khalaf on the metastasising crisis in Syria, and why the west can no longer afford to look the other way. “Syria’s civil war has sparked the worst refugee crisis since the second world war. It has fed into the xenophobia peddled by Europe’s far right and poisoned the political battles over the EU. Now, the crisis is about to grow bigger, and probably nastier, as tens of thousands of Syrians are made homeless.” (FT)

The strain in Spain The country’s parliament is more fragmented than at any point in its recent history — and neither the left nor the right has a clear path to power. The political manoeuvring may seem bewildering but there are profound challenges lurking behind the deadlock, ranging from the decline of the middle class to the resurgence of separatist movements. (FT)

How your TV, car and toys could spy on you The ever-widening array of “smart” web-enabled devices — the so-called internet of things — is a boon for spy agencies, the US director of national intelligence said this week. But it’s not just spooks who might eavesdrop on your living room; knowing where you are and what you have is valuable information for thieves — and possibly even divorce lawyers. (The Guardian)

Depp nails Trump in video spoof Funny or Die greeted Trump’s victory in the New Hampshire primary with the surprise release of The Art of the Deal, a 50-minute streaming film starring Johnny Depp as a very convincing Donald Trump. The 50-minute film, supposedly unearthed at a yard sale by Ron Howard, is kitted out perfectly as a 1980s relic, with a VHS hiss in the background and even an original theme song written by Kenny Loggins. (Vox, Vanity Fair)

Video of the day

We need to talk about dividends The FT’s Alan Livsey discusses the importance of energy and mining companies’ dividends in the FTSE as a whole. (FT)

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