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At least 240 people killed as two boats sink in Mediterranean, survivors tell UN refugee agency on Italian island of Lampedusa
At least 240 people are feared to have drowned in the southern Mediterranean, bringing the annual total to 4,220 – the highest in the Mediterranean on record. About 100 people drowned when an inflatable dinghy capsized shortly after leaving the Libyan coast on Wednesday, some of the 29 survivors told the UN refugee agency. A further 140 are thought to have drowned in a second incident in another rubber boat early on Thursday morning. Only two people appear to have survived the second tragedy.
The survivors’ testimonies “were all very consistent”, a spokeswoman for the UN refugee agency, Carlotta Sami, said in a telephone interview. “They report two shipwrecks, both not far from the Libyan shore, and they report the boats were in a very bad condition. Many women, pregnant women and children were onboard, and they were in the water for hours.”
City regulator’s move comes after competition watchdog stepped back from imposing a limit on overdraft fees
Controversy over the fees banks charge for overdrafts is to be reignited by the City regulator, which is to launch an investigation into loans with high interest rates. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced the decision in its response to the Competition and Markets Authority’s two year investigation into high street banks, which was completed in August. The CMA stepped back from imposing a limit on overdrafts – which campaigners such as Labour MP Rachel Reeves argue cost more than payday loans – and instead said banks should publish their monthly maximum charge (MMCs).
In its response to the CMA’s findings, which were published in August, the FCA said it was preparing to review “high-cost, short-term credit” which is likely to also include products such as payday loans and doorstep lending.
Threadneedle Street may have got its forecasts badly wrong after the Brexit vote. Then again, you could say its policies have restored calm and confidence
The Bank of England is not much cop at forecasting what will happen to the economy. It proved as much before, during and after the financial crisis of 2008-09. But even by its own standards, it has got the post-referendum economy badly wrong. Three months ago when it announced a comprehensive package of measures to support the economy after the shock decision to leave the European Union, Threadneedle Street said it expected growth of just 0.1% in the third quarter of 2016 followed by no growth at all in the fourth quarter. If the Bank had been right, the UK would have been a whisker away from a technical recession in the second half of the year.
England’s High Court ruled on Thursday that the British government requires parliamentary approval to trigger the process of exiting the European Union, upsetting Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plans. The government said it would appeal against the decision and a spokeswoman for May said the prime minister would press ahead with the planned timetable of launching talks on the terms of Brexit by the end of March. The pound rose on the court’s ruling, hitting a three-week high against the dollar. Many investors took the view that lawmakers would temper the government’s policies and make an economically disruptive “hard Brexit” less likely.
“The most fundamental rule of the UK’s constitution is that parliament is sovereign and can make and unmake any law it chooses,” said Lord Chief Justice John Thomas, England’s most senior judge.
UK shares fell on Thursday in choppy trade, dropping after the British government lost a court case on how to trigger the Brexit process, which sent sterling higher. The blue chip FTSE 100 index .FTSE was down 0.3 percent at 6,825.38 points by 1032 GMT, lagging the broader European market which was broadly positive. The blue chip index turned negative after England’s High Court ruled that Britain’s government requires parliament’s approval to trigger the UK’s exit from the European Union, with sterling rising on the news.
“With this court ruling regarding Brexit … sterling will rally, dollar earners will come under a lot of pressure,” Zeg Choudhry, managing director at LONTRAD, said.
“We think the market’s going to start unwinding a little bit here and the potential for the market to fall reasonably sharply has increased. We were only doing a technical bounce today anyway – there was no reason to buy this market in front of the U.S. election, so this has given another down draft.”
Volkswagen Group’s supervisory board will meet on Friday to discuss restructuring of the automaker, the premier of the German state of Lower Saxony, VW’s second-biggest shareholder, confirmed today. VW’s management and labour leaders are seeking to agree on cost cuts and investments that will form part of the automaker’s efforts to revive its fortunes more than a year after the diesel emissions scandal broke.
Friday’s meeting is necessary because of the sheer number of issues facing the board on Nov. 18 when it is scheduled to ratify spending plans for the multi-brand group through 2021, sources told Reuters on Wednesday.
Inflation will rise close to three percent by the end of next year thanks to the plunge in the pound and fears of a “hard” Brexit according to the latest forecasts from the Bank of England today.
And in an indication that the Bank may be forced to jack up interest rates considerably sooner than markets currently expect the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee [MPC] stressed “limits to which above-target inflation could be tolerated”. The Bank warned the rise in inflation and the plunge in the currency was due to a “shock to future supply” in the UK economy brought on by fears the UK is now heading out of the EU single market. In its latest round of forecasts the Bank projects consumer price inflation rising to 2.7 per cent in the final quarter of 2017, up from 2 per cent in its August forecasts.
Nissan’s announcement last week that it would build two new models at its Sunderland plant following government “support and assurances”. The chief executive of Aston Martin has called for the Government to extend assurances provided to Nissan to other carmakers. Andy Palmer’s comments come after Nissan’s announcement last week that it would build two new models at its Sunderland plant following government “support and assurances”.
Speaking to Bloomberg, Palmer said carmakers that have factories in the UK, including Honda Ford and Toyota, should benefit from the same deal as Nissan after the UK leaves the EU. He said: “Any deal that’s been done – normally that should levelise and everybody should enjoy it”.
It also follows alarm from Haruki Hayashi, the president of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce in the UK and chief executive of Mitsubishi in the EU, who urged Britain to give more than “general reassurances” to Japanese firms or risk putting investment decisions at risk.
The latest data from early voting in the US election suggests Hillary Clinton is in the lead, but not by as much as her campaign team would have hoped. With more than 32 million votes already cast – about a quarter of all those expected if turnout is similar to 2012 – the Democrats are maintaining an apparent edge over Republican candidate Donald Trump. Data about the early vote suggests Ms Clinton is not doing as well as President Barack Obama did in 2012, particularly in the key states of North Carolina and Florida. The numbers from likely supporters have been weak in parts of the Midwest, and black turnout has fallen, too.
But the data also points to strength from Democratic-leaning Latino voters, potentially giving Ms Clinton a significant advantage in major swing states Nevada and Colorado.