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The British government has defended an official forecast that Brexit could cost public finances £60bn, after the figure was attacked by Eurosceptics as based on “worthless” assumptions. Philip Hammond said the calculation by the Office of Budget Responsibilty had “a high degree of uncertainty” given lack of information on the official negotiation plans for leaving the EU. Iain Duncan Smith, a former cabinet minister, called the prediction “worthless”. Here is a guide to the best of the FT’s coverage of Wednesday’s Autumn statement, including winners and losers. (FT)

In the news

White-collar grip Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump’s nominee as US attorney-general, is likely to take a tough line on financial and corporate abuse, judging by his support for in jail time while he was a federal prosecutor and his statements on the Senate judiciary committee. Mr Trump has already reversed course on some campaign pledges including the use of torture. He has added his first woman and first African-American to his cabinet. His education chief steered money from public schools. (FT, NYT)

Singles Day disappointment China’s “11.11”, the biggest shopping day of the year, is known for discounts and promotions, but many online shoppers have paid more than usual, according to a new study of last year’s bonanza. (NAR)

German election heats up Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament, is to stand down and run for office in Germany, opening to door to a potential run at the chancellorship. Angela Merkel has set out on her own bid for a fourth term in the job, saying the country had “never had it so good”. (FT)

Alzheimer’s drug failure An experimental Alzheimer’s medicine has flunked a large clinical trial, wiping more than $10bn off the market value of its developer Eli Lilly and dealing a significant blow to the hunt for a drug to delay the fatal disease. (FT)

Chinese buy British unicorn Ctrip International, the Chinese online travel service provider, has agreed to pay £1.4bn for Skyscanner, the Scottish airfare comparison website. The deal adds to the $191bn worth of Chinese overseas acquisitions that were announced during the first nine months of this year. (FT)

It’s a big day for

Ukraine and the EU Ukrainian leader Petro Poroshenko is in Brussels for his first meeting with EU leaders since the election of Donald Trump upended the future of US foreign policy in the region. (FT)

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

Food for thought

French connection The Welsh wife of François Fillon, the frontrunner as the centre-right presidential candidate, was known at school for her intellect, love of horses and reserve. (FT)

Rupee clean-up won’t purify Indian politics Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ban on Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes was aimed at catching Indians with illicit black market money. But the cash crunch is causing long queues in front of banks and is unlikely to cleanse India’s democracy without other substantive reforms to its opaque campaign finance system. (NAR, FT)

The man who could have stopped Isis Almost 10 years ago, an al-Qaeda emissary was sent to tell Abu Musab al-Zarqawi to tone down his terrorism. The journey, and its failure, gave birth to Isis. (ForeignPolicy)

Poor record A single US defence lawyer has had more clients sentenced to death in federal courts than any other. He says he is a maverick with appropriate methods. (Guardian)

End of the embrace Cosy lending practices added to Italy’s banking crisis and threaten its recovery. Experts say the problems point to a failure of governance that requires a system-wide clean-up. Many fear that the legacy of the crisis here will cast a shadow over the region for the next generation. (FT)

World’s gloomiest millennials They face a future of paying to care for one of the world’s most rapidly growing elderly populations, a huge public debt burden and more. Young Japanese rank as the most pessimistic among the world’s biggest economies. (Bloomberg)

Protecting your digital life There are more reasons than ever to understand how to protect your personal information. An “attacker” — anyone trying to access your data whom you have not given express permission to — can be a hacker, a corporation or even a government. Here are seven basic steps that experts recommend. (NYT)

Video of the day

Autumn Statement — five takeaways Philip Hammond mapped out a post-Brexit path for the UK in his first Autumn Statement as chancellor. It focused heavily on infrastructure investment and the deteriorating finances of the UK. (FT)

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