Bitcoin plunged again and Apple and Facebook suffered a battering as Wall Street pulled back from a record-setting session on concerns that escalating tensions in the Middle East could slow down global growth. Oil fell to its lowest level in almost a month after news that Saudi Arabia would begin selling its stake in Aramco, the state oil company.
Puerto Rico’s government will withdraw from the bankruptcy court overseeing its multibillion-dollar public debt crisis as the island faces a default on a $422m debt payment this week, according to a court filing. Firefighters on the front line of London’s Grenfell fire have suffered toxic levels of gas and asbestos in their homes as well as in their belongings. The London mayor said that even though the city is working with the Russian government to increase security at the games, it won’t deploy military troops.
The US healthcare regulator is investigating social media companies and big tech companies for potential breaches of the law and is looking at potential liability issues, according to NBC News. Morgan Stanley and the London-based blockchain startup TransferWise are among technology firms to be included in a study on how blockchain could be used to boost efficiency and savings across the banking industry. New software could allow businesses to store and understand the relationships in their data to lower cybersecurity risk.
The UK’s Brexit secretary, David Davis, vowed to open negotiations in earnest this week when EU ministers in Brussels failed to give him a mandate to start talks on future economic relations. Theresa May’s spokesman declined to say if she will attend the European parliament in Strasbourg. A successful Brexit divorce bill will be required to cover Britain’s outstanding liabilities to the EU, including EU funds and loans to the UK.
A court ruling last week leaves the prospect of further RBS litigation hanging in the balance. According to the latest figures, the total value of banking fines and payouts, including ongoing penalties and compensation, has come to $275bn over the past 10 years. The total sum of compensation and damages paid to financial services customers in Britain has hit £19.3bn – equivalent to 9.6% of the entire UK economy.
As US college students descend on Washington, frustrated by sky-high tuition costs and the proliferation of for-profit colleges, there is evidence that young people are taking to the streets in their tens of thousands. The crowds, which could exceed 200,000 and which authorities say could force the closure of schools, come after a series of walkouts and protests this year.
Luxury carmakers had largely ignored a market downturn in recent years, but market leaders including BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi are seeing sales slip, with many analysts expecting a correction to start this year or next. Some expect an imminent reduction in Chinese steel output after the government targeted heavy polluters, although a slowdown is increasingly likely.
The cost of Bitcoin slumped below $6,800 on Wednesday, its lowest level in over a month, as ongoing concerns over the security of its underlying technology left investors jittery.
Homebuying in Britain is returning to levels last seen before the financial crisis, and could even reach pre-crisis levels by the end of the year, according to a report. For many, it will be a sweet relief after the deep price slump in the months before the country’s vote to leave the EU last June.
The Guardian view on the Sun/BBC contract: it’s a quick, dirty and expensive breakfast | Editorial Read more
The soaring rate of inflation is once again a concern, with the first reading of the annual rate for April up to 3.2%.
Robert Rickett, the maverick editor of The Sun, who was sacked by Rupert Murdoch’s press giant for breaking company rules on reporting human rights abuses in Myanmar, has set up a news site which claims to be “fearless”, which shares an office and physical location with the Sun’s controversial digital news arm. The Metro is further the younger of the Sun’s competing papers, being owned by Murdoch’s News UK. It is widely thought to be the world’s second largest circulation morning paper, selling slightly more than the Sun.
First though, the Sun seems to be facing a new era of government pressure over coverage of race relations. On Tuesday evening, the British home secretary, Amber Rudd, demanded an explanation from the Sun after the paper published photographs of a young black man held by police with a crown court judge ruling that he should not be released while he was being monitored for weapons offences.
One of the most successful exporters from Africa to the UK was attempting to get serious about avoiding