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The International Energy Agency has warned that the world risks becoming ever more reliant on Middle Eastern oil as lower prices derail efforts by governments to curb demand. The energy watchdog said demand for crude has overshadowed efforts to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions. The organisation’s executive director Fatih Birol said that even with increased US oil production, the Middle East will remain a crucial source of crude.

Brexit briefing

Wallowing sterling The pound remained below $1.30 late on Wednesday, a level not seen since 1985, with the currency market forecasting further weakness. (FT)

The gatings continue Three more fund managers have stopped investors from leaving their UK property funds, trapping an additional £5.5bn and bringing to six the total funds unable to meet withdrawal requests after the Brexit vote. (FT)

Paris rolls out the welcome mat Hedge funds and private equity groups are considering shifting operations out of the UK and hiring staff in continental Europe at the same time that France’s prime minister is promising tax breaks to lure them across the channel. (FT)

Find our full coverage of the aftermath of Brexit here and in our daily Brussels Briefing.

In the news

Chilcot report fallout Tony Blair has been defending himself after the much-awaited inquiry reserved particular criticism for the former prime minister, who it concludes committed to an invasion of Iraq almost eight months before receiving parliamentary and legal backing, and began military action before diplomatic alternatives were exhausted. Mr Blair insists that “we would be in a worse position” if the conflict had not taken place. Many Iraqis, currently mourning the deaths of more than 250 people in a single bombing, disagree. Here’s David Gardner on three truths about the Iraq war and its consequences. (FT, Guardian)

Lionel Messi sentenced to jail term The FC Barcelona footballer was given a 21-month sentence by a Spanish court after being found guilty of three counts of tax fraud, though he is not likely to spend any time in jail. The four-time world footballer of the year was also ordered to pay a fine of €2.09m, and his father told to pay a fine of €1.6m. (FT)

A female PM for the UK? Britain looks set to be governed by its second female prime minister following the resignation of David Cameron. But the question consuming Westminster is which woman will seize the crown. Meanwhile, in a last-ditch attempt to secure votes for himself, justice secretary Michael Gove is urging MPs to vote tactically and block Andrea Leadsom, the energy secretary, from potentially becoming the country’s next leader. (Telegraph, FT)

France jails Rwandan mayors A Paris court has sentenced two former Rwandan mayors to life in jail after they were found guilty of crimes against humanity for their role in the country’s 1994 genocide. The two men were accused of being supervisors and executioners in the massacre. They deny the charges. (Guardian)

Kim Jong Un: sanctioned The US has sanctioned the North Korean leader for the first time, accusing him of being directly responsible for human rights violations, including extrajudicial killings, torture and forced labour, in his country. (NAR)

It’s a big day for

Nato The group’s summit in Warsaw will draw the leaders of the US and Europe the day after President Barack Obama said he would keep significantly more troops in Afghanistan than he had previously planned. The conflict is set to be one of the main items on the agenda. Here’s what else to expect. (FT)

Food for thought

No Brexit regrets The FT’s Mehreen Khan on why she voted to leave — and feels no “buyer’s remorse”. “The Brexit vote has the potential to act as a watershed in the UK’s democratic revival and crystallise a fundamental realignment in the country’s politics.” (FT)

Trading: out of the pit, into the cloud The world’s one-time dominant oil bourse, the New York Mercantile Exchange, is set to close its commodities trading floor — the last of a kind in a city once full of them. Its disappearance into the virtual realm testifies to the technological disruption reshaping markets and threatening vast segments of the workforce, from taxi drivers to bankers. (FT)

The leader we need Following the Brexit vote, experts weigh in on the type of statesman we need and the leader — living or dead — whose example might offer a way out of the current crisis. Lincoln, Mandela, Thatcher. Have your own say in the comments. (FT)

Japanese cyber defences The proliferation of email-based cyber attacks targeting specific businesses in Japan has increased the threat of data leaks. Despite the mounting risks, many companies are still woefully ill-equipped to counter this threat. (NAR)

Why bad ideas refuse to die They may have been disproved by science or dismissed as ridiculous, but some foolish beliefs endure. In theory they should wither away — but it’s not that simple. (The Guardian)

Video of the day

UK Iraq war inquiry — Chilcot rebukes Blair Sir John Chilcot has released his report into the UK’s role in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. FT deputy editor Roula Khalaf and leader writer James Blitz assess the inquiry’s criticism of then prime minister Tony Blair and its excoriating verdict on political, military and intelligence failings. (FT)

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