Hello! Here’s what you need to know on Thursday.
1. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev says new US sanctions are “a declaration of a full-fledged economic war on Russia”. His Facebook post said “the Trump administration has shown its total weakness by handing over executive power to Congress in the most humiliating way”. The sanctions are in response to alleged meddling by Moscow in the 2016 US presidential election.
2. The US has banned travel to North Korea from September 1 and says all Americans should leave. Journalists and humanitarian workers may apply for exceptions. The Hermit Kingdom will become the only country US passport holders are banned from visiting.
3. The UK faces £520 million ($AU870m) bill to move European Medicines Agency out of London after Brexit. The EU insisted Britain foot the bill because it’s being caused by Brexit – and gets “a jewel in the EU’s crown”, because it attracts businesses and experts.
4. Anthony Scaramucci will publicly address his firing from the White House during an online event. The former communications director, who lasted 10 days, will speak on Friday. BYO beers and popcorn.
5. Here’s another indication that the global economy is improving. New International Air Transport Association figures show annualised growth in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs multiply cargo weight by kilometers traveled) of 10.4%, in the first half of 2017, the strongest level since 2010.
6. More than 60,000 people cancelled their Tesla Model 3 orders in the past year. Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed 63,000 changed their minds, as the company’s earnings statement showed negative free cash flow expanded to a record -$1.2 billion from -$622.4 million a year earlier. Musk also made a surprise announcement during his Q2 earnings call, saying Tesla will use the Model 3’s platform to build the Model Y, the compact SUV due to hit the market by 2020.
7. A new tax appears to have slammed the brakes on India’s economy. The government introduced a goods and services tax on July 1, with taxes of up to 28% on some consumer goods. The nation’s PMI reading – a leading indicator of economic activity and based on a survey of purchasing managers, collapsed to its lowest level in four years.
8. China’s border dispute with India just got a little clearer. Beijing offered a position paper, calling on New Delhi to “unconditionally and immediately” withdraw its forces from the Doklam plateau where the southern end of Tibet meets Bhutan in the east and Sikkim in India in the west. The paper is regarded as a signal that China wants to end the stand-off, before the leaders of the two nations meet in Xiamen next month.
9. GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) are tipping $US1 billion into US entertainment giant WME-IMG. The agency’s brands include Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Miss Universe and Miss USA and New York Fashion Week. WME-IMG paid $US4 billion for UFC last month.
10. Australia’s biggest bank is being taken to court for breaching money laundering laws. The government’s financial intelligence and regulatory agency launched civil action alleging the Commonwealth Bank of Australia breached the financing laws more than 53,000 times involving combined cash deposits of $AU624.7 million between 2012 and 2015. One crime syndicate allegedly deposited $AU27.2 million in an account, which was immediately transferred offshore.
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