We’ve summarised the top 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.
UK Business & Economics
- The UK government’s levelling-up department is set to spend almost 25% less (around $2.5 Billion) on regeneration projects this year. This has been attributed to housing market turmoil and delays in delivery.
- Rachel Reeves, shadow chancellor, announced that the Labour party will be reviewing the UK’s current tax regime as part of an effort to make Britain the fastest-growing economy in the G7.
- The UK’s government flagship pledge to build 40 new hospitals by 2030 has been severely restricted by inflation. The NHS currently faces a budget shortfall of about £2 billion by 2027/2028.
International Business & Economics
- Eurozone inflation remained unchanged at 8.5% in February, although the reading was higher than the predicted 8.2%. Removing food and energy prices, the figure would be around 5.6% .
- America’s three biggest stock markets all declined in February: the S&P 500 was down by 2.6%, NASDAQ fell by 1.1%, The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped by 4.25.
- Sweden’s economy shrank by 0.9% in the final quarter of 2022 compared to the third quarter. Similarly, Finland’s economy fell in the recession in the last quarter of 2022, contracting by 0.6% after a 0.1% fall the previous quarter.
- China is aiming for a growth target of just 5% this year, which is its lowest target in over three decades.
- Pakistan raised the interest rate to 20%, making it the highest in Asia. The announcement on Thursday came after the rupee dropped more than 6% against the dollar.
- Former colleagues of Dominic Raab have spoken out to the BBC about his behaviour and their experience working with him, with an investigation into the allegations against Mr Raab currently being led by senior lawyer Adam Tolley KC.
- The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs ruled nitrous oxide should not be banned under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 following a proposition by ministers earlier this year to ban possession of the drug.
- Sunak’s proposed legislation aimed at stopping Channel crossings has been branded a ‘joke’ by a former minister, with sources confirming that under the plan even children could be detained and that it comes with a proposition from the Home Office to insert a “brake” on human rights legislation to prevent legal challenges.
- The US approved the potential sale of weapons worth $619 million to Taiwan, including anti-aircraft missiles and ammunition for F-16 fighter jets.
- The head of the Wagner Group warned that Russia’s position around Bakhmut would be in peril unless the Kremlin provided his mercenaries with ammunition after claiming his forces had “practically surrounded” the city.
- Kem Sokha, a prominent opposition leader in Cambodia, was sentenced to 27 years of house arrest after being found guilty of treason.
- A Belarusian court sentenced Ales Bialiatski, a Nobel-prize winning human rights activist, to ten years in prison for financing protests against Alexander Lukashenko.
- Greece’s transport minister resigned after a passenger train carrying around 350 people collided with a freight car, killing at least 43 and injuring several more.
Written by Philip Weaver and Rob Webb