We’ve summarised the 15 key stories of the last week into an easily digestible briefing so that you can stay up to date on what’s happening around the world. You can subscribe to receive the briefing in your inbox each week.
- Boris Johnson has announced a 10-point plan designed to put the UK on track to hit its net zero by 2050 target ahead of the COP26 summit in Glasgow next year. The announcement commits £12 billion of spending to a number of different projects, including renewable energies and the banning of petrol and diesel car sales by 2030.
- Donald Trump is still refusing to concede the presidential election to Joe Biden, despite the certifying of results in Georgia and a judge dismissing the last Trump lawsuit in Pennsylvania. As of yet, no credible evidence has been presented to support his claims.
- The government have announced an increase in spending on defence, with £16 billion to be committed over the next 4 years. New departments, including a National Cyber Force, Space Command and artificial intelligence agency will all be set up, despite worries about stretched public finances.
- Moderna have announced that their Covid-19 vaccine is almost 95% effective according to data from trials. The UK have now bought 5 million doses of the vaccine. Meanwhile, Pfizer has started applying for approval of its vaccine candidate in the US.
- A report on Priti Patel’s alleged bullying was released this week. A report by Standards chief Sir Alex Allan found that Priti Patel had broken the ministerial code when dealing with staff. Sir Alex resigned from his position after Boris Johnson rejected his report.
- Poland and Hungary have vetoed an important EU budget that would have provided €750 billion for a Covid-19 recovery fund. They disagreed with the budget as a result of a clause that made funding conditional on adhering to the rule of law. Hungary and Poland have both faced criticism for violating rights set out in the EU’s founding treaty.
- A report on the Australian SAS’s actions in Afghanistan has been released. The report, which has taken 4 years to compile, found that there was credible evidence that members of the Australian SAS illegally killed 39 people in Afghanistan. It recommended the investigation of 19 soldiers by the federal police.
- The Thai parliament has rejected the idea of limiting the powers of the monarchy, despite months of mounting protests. The Thai PM has pledged to use “all laws” to curb the protestors, who are calling for the resignation of the government, the rewriting of the constitution and reform of the monarchy.
Business & Economics
- The UK and Canada have agreed a trade continuation agreement, allowing the two countries to continue trading on the terms the EU had with Canada. The move paves the way for an expanded trade deal to be negotiated in the future, yet while Liz Truss suggested the new deal could be signed next year, Justin Trudeau suggested it would take several years.
- Steven Mnuchin has announced that he will cut crisis lending tools, prompting fears that he is trying to limit Biden’s ability to deal with a recession. The move came despite the wishes of the Federal Reserve, who said they would prefer to have the “full suite” of tools available.
- The UK government has officially taken control of the satellite company OneWeb after it emerged from bankruptcy. The company already has 74 satellites in orbit and 36 more are being prepared for launch in December. The UK government took a stake after it transpired that it wouldn’t be able to take part in the EU’s Galileo satellite program.
- Sage, a FTSE 100 accountancy company, experienced a 13% drop in its share price after it announced that it would increase spending next year. The company announced that while profit margins would grow in the future, next year they would take a small dip as a result of the spending.
- Apple has announced that the cut it takes from purchases on its App Store will be reduced from 30% to 15% for companies that are earning less than $1 million in revenue. The move comes as Apple faces increasing criticism for its pricing practices, with the EU launching an antitrust commission after complaints from Spotify.
- Amazon has launched its latest brand in its quest to diversify with the announcement of Amazon Pharmacy. Available only in the US to start with, the site will allow for significant discounts on many medicines. However, there are concerns over the health data that Amazon intends to collect.
- Tesla will be added to the S&P 500 in December after reporting the fifth consecutive quarter of profitability. When Tesla is added to the index, it will become the tenth largest stock in the index, with a market cap of $387 billion currently.
Written by Milo Dennison and Ed Hilditch