Stock markets have retreated again over worries of further US interest rate rises after the Federal Reserve defied Donald Trump to increase rates for the fourth time this year.

The EU has confirmed it is “actively investigating” a potential breach of its diplomatic communications network, following reports that secret cables had been stolen by hackers.

The Bank of England has welcomed a “crucial and positive” move by the EU to help keep a key part of the financial system functioning in the event of a “no-deal” Brexit.

A handful of banks will be forced to write multimillion pound cheques to buy shares in the construction giant Kier Group after some of its biggest investors snubbed the chance to take part in a £250m fundraising.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is to merge its consumer healthcare unit with that of rival Pfizer, to create a new market leader with almost £10bn in annual sales.

 

Santander has been fined more than £30m for “serious failings” in processing the accounts of dead customers, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) says.

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Trump: playing with reality

Surrounded by new radical advisers who support his instincts, Donald Trump meets in North Korea with the international reality, so different from the business world.

The United States, an admirable country in many and varied senses, is also a country in which every day we put our hands to our heads exclaiming: How is it possible that this is happening! While the problems that add up to the world grow in number and character, seemingly without remedy, a gibberish of contradictions shakes the whole nation: what worries the most and what most agitates the media and public opinion is the soap opera, also seemingly endless, of the investigation into the collusion of Donald Trump with the Russian intelligence services and his own efforts with banks in Germany and Russia.

The president does not know how to stop the investigation: to pursue it, he dismissed the director of the FBI, James Comey; he has wanted to get rid of the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, for having been challenged because of his own relations with the Russians instead of stopping the investigation; thunders against Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, for having appointed a special prosecutor, Robert Mueller (forgetting that this appointment was applauded by his own party) and now rails against justice when a New York judge, acting on the allegations of the prosecutor’s office, has seized all the documentation of his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, to clarify the illegality of Trump’s businesses and the payments made to silence his sexual escapades with one or several actresses,

As if that were not enough, Comey has just published the memoirs of his relations with the president and his dismissal in terms that are surprising not so much because of the data he reveals – which add almost nothing to what is already known – but because of personal comments and political positions that are allowed to be made. Superior loyalty denounces the president’s immorality, declares him unfit for the presidency and a danger to the nation. Comey hopes his book will convince the electorate to vote against his re-election. Many are hoping that it will reveal what Trump really is for his followers …

-JAIME DE OJEDA

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