UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak cancelled the northern leg of the HS2 rail project in favor of other local transport schemes. He also announced education reforms and a raising of the smoking age in his keynote speech at the Conservative party conference. The move makes opposition leader Keir Starmer the real election issue, according to UK chief political commentator Robert Shrimsley.
Kevin McCarthy was ousted as Speaker of the US House of Representatives, the first leader in the history of the lower chamber of Congress to be removed from the position. This highlights the sharp divides in the Republican party and threatens to bring a new era of dysfunction in Washington.
Russia warned it would oppose efforts to reach a global agreement to reduce the use of fossil fuels, setting the stage for a clash with the EU and US at the UN climate summit. Sultan al-Jaber, president-designate of COP28, said the oil and gas industry must prepare for an inevitable “phase down” and not work against decarbonisation efforts.
Despite a partial recovery today, analysts warn that recent sharp moves in global bond markets are likely to inflict damage on parts of the financial system. Bond yields in the US and Europe hit their highest levels in over a decade. Rising borrowing costs are also affecting the property market, with US mortgage rates reaching their highest levels in almost 23 years and home loan applications falling.
In the UK, retail inflation fell to its lowest level in a year in September, according to the British Retail Consortium. The European Commission postponed key elements of its environmental policies, including toxic chemicals regulation. The Russian rouble sank beyond 100 to the US dollar due to western sanctions.
IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva backed reforms to give China more voting power, warning of “devastation” if the institution did not have enough resources to help struggling countries. India and its neighbors are expected to grow more quickly than other regions this year, while Chinese electric vehicle makers are making inroads into Europe.
The Premier League is revamping the sale of its TV rights in the UK, Tesco raised its profit forecast for the year, and Chinese electric vehicle makers’ entry into Europe has echoes of Japanese car companies breaking into the US in the 1970s.
UK migration advisers called for the abolition of the “shortage occupation list,” and there are positive developments in the search for an HIV vaccine-like drug.
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