Good morning! Here’s what you need to know.
1. The world’s financial leaders failed to resist protectionism and support free trade at the G20 meeting. After a two-day meeting in the German town of Baden-Baden, the finance ministers and central bank governors of the 20 biggest economies dropped a pledge to keep global trade free and open.
2. Prosecutors searched the offices of Volkswagen Chief Executive Matthias Mueller as part of an investigation into diesel emission test cheating at Audi. Some 100 officials searched Audi’s headquarters in Ingolstadt, Germany, and its Neckarsulm plant last week, as well as the Wolfsburg base of Audi’s parent Volkswagen.
3. Unilever is preparing a £6 billion ($US7.44 billion) sale of some of its food brands. The company is planning to sell Flora margarine and Stork butter brands, the Sunday Times said.
4. IMF chief Christine Lagarde sought to play down fears over the US weakening international commitments to free trade, saying the new White House needed time to “adapt and learn.” “Whenever there’s a new member at a G20 meeting, there is a process of learning and adaptation,” Lagarde told AFP after a finance ministers’ gathering in Baden Baden, western Germany.
5. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is not worried about other EU countries leaving the bloc after Britain because Brexit will make them see it is not a good option. Asked by Bild am Sonntag newspaper if other member states would follow Britain’s example in quitting, Juncker said: “No. Britain’s example will make everyone realise that it’s not worth leaving.”
6. The deputy director-general of Britain’s internal security service is to become the new head of intelligence eavesdropping service GCHQ. The Sunday Times reported MI5’s Jeremy Fleming, who it said had worked at the intelligence agency for at least 20 years, would be named GCHQ head this week.
7. A Chinese court has sentenced a senior police officer to 17 years in prison for his part in a bribes-for-projects scandal, proceeds from which were used to buy two homes in Australia. The corruption case comes amid an Australian government crackdown on foreign investors who have skirted overseas investment rules.
8. Angela Merkel’s conservatives have a slight lead over the Social Democrats (SPD), a poll showed six months before a federal election. The conservatives were unchanged on 33% while the SPD dropped one percentage point from last week to 32%, the Emnid poll for Bild am Sonntag newspaper showed.
The IMF has postponed its decision on Ukraine. The IMF’s Executive Board was due to meet on Monday to approve more assistance as part of a $US17.5 billion bailout program for the war-torn nation, in exchange for the pro-Western government passing reforms and tackling corruption.
10. French Centrist Emmanuel Macron would trounce far-right leader Marine Le Pen in the second-round of the French elections. Macron would win a second round against Le Pen with 64% of the vote against 36% for the National Front leader, a poll showed.
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