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The US believes Russia is planning to invade Ukraine “as soon as early 2022” with an estimated 175,000 troops — in a sign of the escalating alarm in Washington about Moscow’s intentions towards its neighbour. A Biden administration official said on Friday night that Moscow’s plans “call for a military offensive against Ukraine as soon
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The Omicron coronavirus variant threatens to intensify imbalances that are slowing growth and boosting inflation, and to delay the world economy’s return to normality, the OECD said on Wednesday as it published its latest forecasts. The Paris-based international organisation of largely rich country members warned that monetary policymakers should be “cautious” given the new strain
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New cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant continued to be detected around the world on Sunday, as nations tried to delay a surge in infections by restricting travel and imposing new quarantine measures. Omicron first emerged earlier this month in southern Africa. The World Health Organization designated it a “variant of concern” on Friday, saying
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President Joe Biden has announced the release of oil from the US’s strategic stockpile in a bid to drive down petrol prices and snuff out a crude market rally that the White House has said poses a threat to the global economic recovery. The White House said on Tuesday the president was authorising the release
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Telecom Italia is to hold an emergency board meeting on Sunday to evaluate a takeover offer from US private equity group KKR, a deal that would be one of the largest telecoms buyouts of all time. KKR already holds a 37.5 per cent stake in Telecom Italia’s “last mile” network but has moved to make
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UBS has proposed former Morgan Stanley president Colm Kelleher as its next chair, succeeding Axel Weber when he steps down next year after a decade overseeing the Swiss lender. The appointment of Kelleher, a 64-year-old Irishman who spent 30 years at the Wall Street bank, was announced on Saturday morning. UBS conducted a wide external
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Germany’s energy regulator said it had “temporarily suspended” certification of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, dealing a setback to the Kremlin-backed gas project and sparking a rise in UK and continental European gas prices. The regulator said it could not yet approve the project, led by Russia’s Gazprom, because its owners had not yet properly
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In early March 2020, Pfizer’s chief scientific officer was summoned to the White House to discuss the disease that was sweeping across the world. Mikael Dolsten did not talk about the vaccine that would later bring the company fame and enormous wealth: instead, in those early days, he described how the drugmaker was working on
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Johnson & Johnson is to spin off its consumer products division, best known for Band-Aid plasters and baby shampoo, as the world’s largest healthcare company seeks to focus on pharmaceuticals and medical devices. The division, which generated $14bn in sales last year, will be split off in 18 to 24 months, most likely via a
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Google has lost an appeal against a landmark €2.42bn European antitrust decision that ruled the tech giant had abused its position to the detriment of rivals to its shopping service. The General Court of Luxembourg on Wednesday dismissed Google’s legal challenge against the EU’s 2017 decision, marking a big victory for competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager’s
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SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son has promised a ¥1tn ($8.8bn) share buyback programme over the next 12 months, yielding to investor pressure after the company’s Vision Fund unit disclosed a record quarterly loss of ¥825.1bn. Market expectations of a new round of share repurchases had been rising with some of the company’s largest shareholders, including activist
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China reported dozens of new local coronavirus infections on Saturday, a day after the government reaffirmed its commitment to strict measures designed to limit the pandemic’s spread within its borders. The country’s National Health Commission on Sunday reported 74 new cases for the previous day, of which 50 were locally transmitted. A wave of cases
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In early 2017, Xi Jinping strode on to the stage at Davos, high in the Swiss alps, and stunned the world’s financial and political elites with a defence of globalisation and the liberal economic order. Flanked by the biggest ever delegation of senior officials from Beijing, Xi’s presence at global capitalism’s spiritual home marked the
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SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son is facing pressure to unveil a new stock buyback programme next week, as the Japanese technology group’s slumping share price has created “deep frustration” among shareholders, people with knowledge of the matter said. The pressure underscores a view by some SoftBank investors including activist hedge fund Elliott Management, which has a
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More than 100 global leaders will make a commitment on Tuesday to halt deforestation by 2030, while 30 financial institutions are set to promise to eliminate the harmful practice from their portfolios by 2025. In what is being billed as one of the first significant steps of the COP26 summit in Glasgow, leaders from countries
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Manufacturing activity in China shrank for a second-straight month in October, as the fallout from the country’s property sector downturn and energy shortages spreads through the world’s second-biggest economy. China’s manufacturing purchasing managers’ index was 49.2 in October, below the 50-point threshold that indicates expansion rather than contraction, official data showed on Sunday. The PMI
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