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FirstFT: Belarus threatens to chop off EU gasoline as migrant disaster escalates

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Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko has threatened to block the transit of gas and goods to Europe if the EU imposes additional sanctions on his regime over the migrant disaster on the Belarusian-Polish border.

Lukashenko was responding to an announcement by Ursula von der Leyen, European Fee president, on Wednesday that the bloc would widen sanctions, accusing Minsk of a “cynical geopolitical powerplay” in funnelling migrants to the EU’s borders in an try and destabilise it.

Lukashenko warned on Thursday that he would reply to any “unacceptable” sanctions.

“We’re heating Europe, and they’re threatening to shut the border,” he mentioned, in keeping with Belarus state information company Belta. “What if we reduce off gasoline to them . . . We must always not cease at something to defend our sovereignty and independence.”

Lukashenko’s feedback got here as European gasoline costs have soared amid issues over low provides forward of winter.

Thanks for studying FirstFT Europe/Africa. Right here’s the remainder of in the present day’s information — Gary

1. International possession of residential property triples The variety of houses in England and Wales owned by abroad patrons has almost tripled within the final decade as residents from tax havens and Asia purchased in to the UK housing market, fuelling issues that rich offshore buyers are pricing out locals. Hong Kong was the only largest supply of patrons.

Abroad possession has soared in cities corresponding to Liverpool and Salford, pictured © Joel Goodman/LNP/Shutterstock

2. Tory MPs accuse Johnson of hypocrisy Boris Johnson, who this week ordered MPs to dedicate themselves “above all to your constituents” as an alternative of working second jobs, has himself earned more than £4m from exterior pursuits prior to now 14 years, in keeping with Monetary Occasions calculations based mostly on the register of MPs’ monetary pursuits.

3. Sweden not pandemic standout, says Tegnell As a fee seems to be into Sweden’s Covid-19 response, epidemiologist Anders Tegnell — the architect of its early “no lockdown” method — tells the FT that the nation had one of many decrease extra mortality ranges in Europe, whereas on different measures it was nearer to common.

4. Hungary to impose gasoline worth cap as inflation bites Hungary will cap the costs of petrol and diesel from Monday because the nation tries to control rising inflation, prime minister Viktor Orban’s chief of employees mentioned, forward of what’s anticipated to be a carefully fought election subsequent 12 months.

5. Uber CEO flies into London amid driver scarcity Uber’s chief government Dara Khosrowshahi spent 24 hours in London this week — his first worldwide journey through the pandemic — because the ride-hailing big faces a shortage of 20,000 drivers forward of the height Christmas season.

COP26 digest

  • A US-China thaw on local weather change co-operation has shifted the mood at COP26, even because the joint declaration didn’t embrace any main commitments.

  • Negotiators are rushing to agree the foundations governing a world marketplace for carbon, generally known as Article 6.

  • Eight of Europe’s main enterprise colleges are placing apart rivalries to create an alliance on coaching, analysis and operations to sort out local weather change.

  • Opinion: We shouldn’t be too fast to dismiss “blah, blah, blah” on local weather, writes Gillian Tett.

Because of readers who shared ideas concerning the progress — or lack thereof — at COP26. From reader John Bittleston in Singapore:

“Has sufficient significant progress been made at COP26? Clearly not however the spreading of co-operation plus the US-China settlement means that co-operation is now the buzzword. That may be a massive step ahead”

The day forward

Libya convention French president Emmanuel Macron will co-host an international conference on Libya in Paris in the present day. Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi can also be on account of attend. (Reuters)

India inflation The buyer worth index is predicted to hold steady in the present day, however the launch might be closely watched for last clues on inflation forward of the Reserve Financial institution of India’s rate-setting assembly in December. (Reuters, FT)

Earnings AstraZeneca reports today, with buyers looking for readability on whether or not the drugmaker plans to promote its Covid-19 vaccine after the pandemic ends. Deutsche Telekom, Mizuho, Rakuten, Sumitomo Mitsui and Toshiba are additionally set to report outcomes.

What else we’re studying and watching

Prime broking braces for brand spanking new period European and US banks have lengthy used prime broking, a enterprise with regular if unspectacular returns, to forge more lucrative relationships with hedge funds. Credit score Suisse’s determination to exit the enterprise within the wake of the fallout from the collapse of Archegos Capital highlights how the trade is altering.

Bar chart of Based on funds serviced from inception as of 2021 showing Top prime brokers

Weakened UK financial system emerges from Covid mist Has the financial system recovered the bottom misplaced through the disaster, or was the harm so extreme it is going to take two years to return to pre-pandemic ranges? In response to the Workplace for Nationwide Statistics, each statements are true, writes Chris Giles.

Can the Vatican reform its funds? An FT Film investigates the Holy See’s funds and considers how landmark proceedings linked to a controversial London property deal may have an effect on Pope Francis’s reforms within the city-state.

India’s ID system holds warnings for the world The Aadhaar biometric digital identification system has aided India’s explosion of on-line exercise. However it has additionally enabled the piecemeal building of the infrastructure for mass surveillance, writes John Thornhill.

Events are again — however what are the foundations? Our shut-in days are over, and which means a return to previous routines — and events. Because the spirit of socialising as soon as once more exerts its grip on New York and London, Alex Bilmes, editor in chief of Esquire, asks: can issues ever be the identical as earlier than?

Books

What’s your favorite e book of 2021? The FT needs readers’ recommendations for the perfect reads of the 12 months. Responses might be revealed as a part of our Books of the Yr collection that includes picks from FT writers and critics.

A busy bookcase
Inform us of your fave learn and choose up a couple of ideas, too © Getty Photographs/iStockphoto

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